Characteristics of Infanticide in Chicago, 1965-1995

Kimberly A. Vogt, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Carolyn Rebecca Block, Illinois Crim Justice Info Authority

This paper will discuss the patterns and circumstances of homicide victimization of infants (less than 2 years of age) in Chicago during the years 1965-1995. The patterns of victimization will be examined by sex of the victim, race/ethnicity of the victim, victim-offender relationship, and circumstances surrounding the death. Data on the characteristics of known offenders of infanticide cases will also be presented. The study finds that there are several unique characteristics of infancy that put infants at risk of victimization. As would be expected, the majority of infants are killed by their parents, but there are some important differences in the gender, victim-offender relationship, and the type of weapon used in infanticides. The relationship of the study findings to strategies for reducing infanticide will also be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006