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Patricide is (i) the act of killing one's father, or (ii) a person who kills their father. The word patricide derives from the Latin word pater (father) and the Latin suffix -cida (cutter or killer). Patricide is a sub-form of parricide, which is defined as an act of killing a close relative.
Patricides in myths and religions
Patricide is a common archetype prevalent throughout many religions and cultures, particularly Greek culture.
- In the Hindu epic Mahabharat, Babruvahana killed his father Arjun, but Arjun was brought back to life by his wife, the snake goddess Uloopi
- In the Greek creation epic, Cronus killed or castrated his father Uranus to usurp his domination of the universe. In turn, he was overthrown by his son Zeus.
- Apsu, in the Babylonian creation epic the Enûma Elish, was killed by his son Ea in the struggle for supremacy among the gods.
- Oedipus was fated to kill his father, a king, and marry his mother. His parents attempted to prevent this by leaving him on the side of a mountain as an infant. He was found and raised by a shepherd. Once grown, Oedipus meets his father while his father is travelling and kills him. He then unknowingly marries his mother to become king, ultimately fulfilling the prophecy.
- Pelias was killed by his daughters, who were deceived by Medea into thinking he could be resurrected.
- In Norse mythology, Fafnir murdered his father Hreidmar to gain the cursed golden ring of Andvari that he had obtained. Some versions say that his brother Regin helped him.
- In Chinese belief, people who commit patricide (or matricide) will be killed by a lightning strike as a punishment from filial and warrior deity Erlang Shen.
Known or suspected historical patricides
- Tukulti-Ninurta I (r. 1243–1207 B.C.E.), Assyrian king, was killed by his own son after sacking Babylon.
- Sennacherib (r. 704–681 B.C.E.), Assyrian king, was killed by two of his sons for his desecration of Babylon.
- Bimbisara (r. 543–491 B.C.E.), king of Magadha, was executed by his own son, Ajatasatru.
- Ajatasatru (r. 492–c. 460 B.C.E.), king of Magadha, was killed by his own son, Udayabhadra.
- King Kassapa I (473-495 CE) creator of the Sigiriya citadel of ancient Sri Lanka killed his father king Dhatusena for the throne.
- Emperor Zhu Yougui (888?-913 CE) of China killed his father Zhu Wen (852–912 CE).
- Emperor Yang of Sui (569–618 CE) in Chinese history allegedly killed his father, Emperor Wen of Sui (541-604 CE).
- Samvel killed his father Vahan, who converted to Christianity and joined the Zoroastrian Persian Empire.
- Beatrice Cenci (1577–1599), Italian noblewoman who, according to legend, killed her father after he imprisoned and raped her. She was condemned and beheaded for the crime along with her brother and her stepmother in 1599.
- Lizzie Borden (1860–1927) allegedly killed her father and her stepmother with an hatchet in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1892. She was acquitted, but her innocence is still disputed.
- Iyasus I of Ethiopia (1682–1706), one of the great warrior emperors of Ethiopia, was deposed by his son Tekle Haymanot in 1706 and subsequently assassinated.
- Richard Dadd (1817-1886), the English artist, murdered his father in 1843 following the onset of psychiatric illness.
- Chiyo Aizawa murdered her father who had been raping her for fifteen years, on October 5, 1968, in Japan. The incident changed the Criminal Code of Japan regarding parricide.
- Toru Sakai (age 22) murdered his 54-year-old father Takashi (Glenn) Sakai on April 20, 1987, in Beverly Hills, California. Toru Sakai was never captured and remains wanted for the crime by the Los Angeles Police Department.
- Kip Kinkel (1982- ), an Oregon boy who was convicted of killing his parents at home and two fellow students at school on May 20, 1998.
- Sarah Marie Johnson (1987- ), an Idaho girl who was convicted of killing both parents on the morning of September 2, 2003.
- Dipendra of Nepal (1971–2001) reportedly massacred much of his family at a royal dinner on June 1, 2001, including his father King Birendra, mother, brother, and sister.
- Christopher Porco (1983- ), was convicted on August 10, 2006, of the murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother with an axe.
- The Menendez Brothers were convicted during a highly publicized second trial in July 1996 for the shotgun killings of their parents in 1989.
- Karađorđe Petrović (1768–1817), the leader of the Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire, and eventual leader of independent Serbia, killed his father Petar around 1786 while the family was fleeing Serbia to the safety of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, after Petar threatened to return to Serbia and betray the family to the Turks.
Patricides in fiction and popular culture
Anime and manga
- In Eureka Seven, Dewey Novak in order to become the next king and to calm the planet murdered his father as part of his family tradition, however the planet rejected his ritual.
- In Naruto, Itachi Uchiha kills his father along with the rest of the Uchiha clan with the help of Obito Uchiha aka Tobi, for organizing and leading a coup to overthrow the Hokage, the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village.
- In Code Geass's second season of the anime, Lelouch kills his father Charles Zi Britannia to become the emperor of the Britannian Empire. Also, before the events of the series Suzaku Kururugi killed his father, the former Prime Minister of Japan, Genbu Kururugi when he wanted to keep fighting the Britannian invasion until the end.
- In the anime/manga series, Berserk, in the childhood of the series' protagonist, Guts kills his adoptive father, Gambino who is assaulting him one night.
- In Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly kills his father Paragus while he tries to escape from a planet by using a Saiyan space pod, and Broly crushes the space pod with Paragus in it.
- In the prelude of Madlax, Margaret Burton killed her father in self-defense, splitting her personality.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Gheren Zabi murdered his father, when his father tried to end the war.
- In One Piece Donquixote Doflamingo claims to have killed his father at the age of ten.
- In Fairy Tail Sting and Rogue both admitted to kill their foster dragon father(s) in order to become stronger.
Film and television
- In the movie Gladiator, Commodus killed his father and emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius.
- In the South Park episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Eric Cartman, humiliated by an older boy named Scott Tenorman, gets revenge by seeing to the death of Tenorman's parents and feeding him chili in which the meat is made from their bodies. Years later, in the episode "201", Cartman would discover that Mr. Tenorman, a former Denver Bronco, was his own father as well.
- In the sixth season of Supernatural, Sam is told by Balthazar that he must commit patricide for his body to resist his soul. With his father already being sent to hell, Balthazar says that "[Sam needs] the blood of his father, but [his father needn't be blood", meaning his father figure, Bobby, will do the trick.
- On Lost, Kate Austen murdered her father by blowing up the house he was sleeping in, and Ben Linus murdered his father by releasing poison gas in the car they were both sitting in (Ben survived by wearing a gas mask).
- Cheryl Brady, former character on British soap opera Hollyoaks, killed her father Seamus to prevent him from raping her half-brother (and his son) Brendan, as he had done when Brendan was 8.
- Captain Musgrave murders and impersonates his father in The Worst Crime in the World, a Father Brown story by G. K. Chesterton, collected in The Secret of Father Brown (1927)
- Shaddam Corrino IV along with Count Hasimir Fenring killed Elrood Corrino IX in the prelude to dune novel Dune: House Atreides
- The novel The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is centered on a patricide.
- The Patricide is a novel by Alexander Kazbegi.
- Ronald DeFeo, Jr. became the inspiration for The Amityville Horror.
- Eve Dallas, the main character in the in Death series of novels, committed patricide as a young child.
- In Undead Knights, Sylvia kills her father Kirk in revenge for a violent massacre he ordered.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it is said that Bartemius Crouch Jr. (disguised as Alastor Moody) kills his father, Bartemius Crouch Sr.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it is said that Tom Riddle Jr. (young Lord Voldemort) killed his father, Tom Riddle Sr.
- In 5 Days a Stranger, it is revealed that John DeFoe killed his father and brother before dying of his own injuries inflicted by his father.
- In A Storm of Swords, the third novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, Tyrion Lannister kills his father Tywin with a crossbow.
- In The Vampire Diaries, Klaus kills his adoptive father, Mikael, with a stake.
- Patricide is the main theme of the song Janie's Got a Gun by Aerosmith where the titular character kills her father after nobody believes her father raped her, so she kills him herself.
- Patricide is also an element of "The End" by The Doors, with the lines: 'Father?/Yes, son?/I want to kill you'. The lyrics also contain themes of the speaker having an Oedipus complex.
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- Alucard, one of protagonists of Castlevania series, twice defeated and destroyed his father, Dracula, though Dracula was later resurrected.
- Baek Doo San, from Tekken 2, he accidentally kills his father while they are training.
- Solid Snake, the main character in the Metal Gear (series), kills his father, Big Boss in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Big Boss was revealed to survive after he fought Solid Snake.
- Psycho Mantis, one of the antagonists in Metal Gear Solid, killed his own father, and draws comparison to Snake, as he had killed his father Big Boss in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
- The video game Devil May Cry 3 features the character Lady killing her father Arkham in revenge for the death of her mother Kalina Ann.
- In Warcraft III, Arthas Menethil stabs and kills his father, the king, after losing his soul to Frostmourne.
- Kratos from the game series God of War wants to kill his father Zeus for betraying him. Kratos succeeds in doing this in the third game by assaulting Zeus with a barrage of punches, reducing him to a bloody corpse.
- In Resident Evil 5, Albert Wesker kills his adoptive father Ozwell E. Spencer after finding out about his true origins as a biological weapon, believing that he was the only one who deserved to become a god.
- In the video game Bayonetta, the protagonist Bayonetta attempts to murder her father Balder by shooting him in the head, but this turns out to be a failure after she is weakened from regaining her memories.
- In Mass Effect 3 Miranda Lawson kills her father Henry Lawson.
- In Final Fantasy X, Seymour Guado killed his father Lord Jyscal in order to gain leadership over the Guado.
- In Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Cesare Borgia Kills his father, Alexander VI by forcing him to consume poison
- In Assassin's Creed III, Connor Kenway kills his father Haytham Kenway.
- Familial killing terms:
- Avunculicide, the killing of one's uncle
- Fratricide, the killing of one's brother
- Mariticide, the killing of one's spouse
- Nepoticide, the killing of one's nephew
- Parricide, the killing of one's parents or another close relative
- Prolicide, the killing of one's offspring
- Sororicide, the killing of one's sister
- Uxoricide, the killing of one's wife
- Common non-familial killing terms from the same root:
- Deicide, the killing of a god
- Homicide, the killing of any human
- Infanticide, the killing of an infant from birth to 12 months
- Regicide, the killing of a monarch
- Tyrannicide, the killing of a tyrant