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August 2015

Law academics complete Britain’s largest study of murder

(29 July 2015)

A husband and wife team from the School of Law have carried out the most in-depth and comprehensive study of murder in Britain.

During their research, Professors Rebecca and Russell Dobash, both criminologists, painstakingly analysed 866 case files (786 men and 80 women) and interviewed 180 men and 20 women convicted of murder and serving a life sentence in prison. Their findings are to be published in their new book ‘When Men Murder Women’.

They outline three distinct types of murder: intimate partner murder, sexual murder and the murder of older women. The researchers compared each of these types to those in which men murder other men and uncovered data about the relationships between the victim and the perpetrator.

Rebecca commented: “We have spent our entire working lives researching various forms of violence, particularly violence against women, with an aim of furthering what is known about the nature of the violence and the contexts in which it occurs.

“We want our research to help society to understand what motivates certain men to kill and why they finally commit the act. I hope our research provides crucial evidence and insights necessary to prevent these horrific crimes and to better assist the victims. Our hope is that it will help to change social beliefs, policies, practices and laws”.