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A population-based study on toxicological findings in Swedish homicide victims and offenders from 2007 to 2009
National Board Forens Med, Sweden; Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
National Board Forens Med, Sweden; Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
National Board Forens Med, Sweden; Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Forensic Science International, ISSN 0379-0738, E-ISSN 1872-6283, Vol. 244, 25-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and objectives: Previous research on the toxicology of homicide has shown that about half of offenders and victims have psychoactive substances in their blood. The purpose of this study was to examine this topic in a Swedish setting. Methods: Toxicological data were sought in a database for all victims (n = 273) and perpetrators (n = 257) of homicide in Sweden from 2007 to 2009. Sufficient tests were identified for 97.1% of all victims (n = 265) and 46.7% of all offenders (n = 120). Additional information was obtained from court records and police reports. Results: A majority of individuals involved in homicides displayed positive toxicology (57.0% of victims and 62.5% of offenders). The most commonly detected substances, in both victims and offenders, were ethanol (44.9% vs. 40.8%) and benzodiazepines (8.3% vs. 19.2%). The difference between offenders and victims concerning benzodiazepines was statistically significant (OR 2.6; p = 0.002). Perpetrators of homicide-suicide had a lower prevalence of positive toxicology (30.8%) than other homicide offenders (66.4%; p = 0.04) and victims in unsolved cases more often exhibited positive drug toxicology compared to victims in solved cases (36.1% vs. 8.3%; p less than 0.001). Conclusions: The results of the study support the notion that substance abuse is firmly linked to committing homicide and to becoming a victim thereof.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2014. Vol. 244, 25-29 p.
Keyword [en]
Homicide; Toxicology; Substance abuse
National Category
Clinical Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-113020DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.07.015ISI: 000345017000016PubMedID: 25151217OAI: diva2:778930
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2015-01-12

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Ahlner, Johan
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