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Criminology Club Guest Speaker - Dr. Kathleen Heide




February 12, 2018 Presentation by Dr. Heide
Sponsored by the USF Criminology Club


The killing of parents, increasingly referred to as parricide, has been documented worldwide. In this presentation, Professor Heide summarized the frequencies of these killings across cultures and highlighted some basic correlates of parricide incidents in the United States, based on her analyses of nearly 10,000 cases. Dr. Heide discussed the relevance of offender age in understanding the perceptions, circumstances, motivations, and mental health of children, adolescents, and adults who kill mothers and fathers. She illustrated different parricide offender types based on her research, parricide defendants she has evaluated, cases on which she has consulted, and her extensive knowledge of the literature. Three of these parricide types were introduced by Professor Heide more than 20 years ago in her 1992 book, Why Kids Kill Parents, and have stood the test of time as referenced by other clinicians and scholars in the field. These three types are: severely abused, dangerously antisocial, and severely mentally ill. Professor Heide presented a fourth type, the enraged parricide offender, in her second book on this topic, Understanding Parricide: When Sons and Daughters Kill Parents, published in 2013. Dr. Heide addressed how the legal system in the US deals with adolescent parricide offenders. She concluded by focusing on risk factors and strategies to prevent parricides.

More than 200 students attended this event. They represented many disciplines, including Criminology, Psychology, Public Health, Nursing, Social Work, Education, Biomedical Sciences, Biology, German, Math, English, and Mass Communication. Following Dr. Heide's presentation, she fielded many excellent questions and stayed afterwards to talk to students privately. This event was one of the most successful ones planned to date.