Sunday, 30 January 2011

FILICIDE: USA: statistics teenage children murdered

By Richard Martin and Caryn Baird, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Saturday, January 29, 2011
About 200 children are killed each year in the United States by their mothers or stepmothers, according to government statistics. In the large majority of cases, the victim is under age 6. It's rare for mothers to kill teenagers.
According to data from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, about 3 percent of murder victims ages 15 to 17 are killed by a parent or stepparent. Among victims ages 12 to 14, about 11 percent are killed by a parent or stepparent.
The federal data analyzed the cases of 52,300 children murdered in the United States between 1980 and 2006. Of the 38,700 cases in which the killer was identified, about a third were killed by a parent or stepparent. That agency groups all parent murderers together, but other research suggests mothers are the killers in about half the cases. Among the highest-profile cases in recent years:
October 1994: Susan Smith pushes her car into a South Carolina lake, drowning her 3-year-old and 14-month-old sons.
June 2001: Andrea Yates drowns her five children, ages 6 months to 7 years, in the bathtub of their Houston home.
May 2003: Deanna LaJune Laney confesses to using rocks to bash the heads of her three sons in the yard of her Tyler, Texas, home, killing two of them, ages 6 and 8.
May 2007: Gilberta Estrada of Hudson Oaks, Texas, fashions nooses for her four children, ages 8 months to 5 years, hangs them, then herself. The infant was the only survivor.
February 2008: Leatrice Brewer drowns her three children, all under 6, in the bathtub of her New Cassel, N.Y., apartment.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Richard Martin can be reached at or (727) 893-8330

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