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Haphazard homicides at home.

Haphazard homicides at home

A study of domestic violence released last week finds no patterns or signs indicating which violent incidents are most likely to result in a killing, providing both bad and good news to police officers.

The bad news is that in the hazardous realm of domestic violence, where police called to the scene are often in imminent danger themselves, there apparently are no reliable ways to predict whether a homicide is likely. The good news is that the data do not support contentions in recent lawsuits in some cities alleging police liability for failing to protect spouses who were hurt or killed after previous threats.

The study of violence in the home was conducted in Milwaukee by investigators from the Crime Control Institute, a nonprofit research group in Washington, D.C. The researchers tabulated 15,537 reports of domestic battery to the Milwaukee police in a 22-month span from 1987 to 1989. Of the 33 domestic homicides in that period, only one yielded evidence of prior violence between the same two people. Threats to kill, or pointing of guns, occurred in 110 incidents, but when the cases were monitored for an average of 16 months, not one of the threats led to injury or death.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 17, 1990
Words:208
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