Post-homicidal behaviors of intrafamilial crime authors in France: An archival study

Frederic Tomas, Cecile Poste, Samuel Demarchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction. - Confessions in criminal cases range between 42 and 57%, all crimes considered. However, there is no data specifically on confessions regarding intrafamilial homicides, despite the fact that this subtype of homicide accounts for 30-40% of all homicides. Objective. - The purpose of the present research aims to establish the links between the sociodemographic characteristics of the perpetrators of intrafamilial murder, and their behavior and interaction with the criminal justice system after that they committed the crime (e.g., self-denunciation and confession). Method. - All cases of domestic homicide over a period of eleven years and judged in a single court of assize were analyzed (N = 44). Data regarding the type of homicide (conjugal, parricide, filicide, familicide), the sociodemographic profile of the perpetrator (sex, age, family situation, occupation, educational level) and their behaviour pre-, during-and post-the homicide were collected and analyzed. Results. - The common intrafamilial murderer is a 36 years old man belonging to a disadvantaged socioprofessional group, mostly without judicial antecedent. Moreover, confession rate is above 98% (including 41% spontaneous denunciations by the perpetrators themselves). Discussion and conclusion. - This research supports earlier work on the profiles of family crime perpetrators. However, perpetrators of intrafamilial homicides confess more often than perpetrators of all other types of homicide. The results are discussed in terms of cognitive and emotional mechanisms. Suggestions for the use of such insights by investigative services are proposed. (c) 2021 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100673
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Review of Applied Psychology = Revue Européenne de psychologie appliquée
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Intrafamilial homicide
  • Post-homicide behaviors
  • Confessions
  • Archival study
  • KILL

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