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Parricide (Latin: parricida, killer of parents or another close relative) is defined as:

  • The act of killing one's father (patricide),[1] or less usually one's mother (matricide)[2] or some other close relative, but usually not children (infanticide).[3]
  • The act of killing a person (such as the ruler of one's country) who stands in a relationship resembling that of a father[4]
  • A person who commits such an act[5]
  • A related adjective ("parricide treason", "parricide brothers")[6]

Historical cases[edit]

  • Tullia, along with her husband, arranged the murder and overthrow of her father, securing the throne for her husband.
  • Lucius Hostius reportedly was the first patricide in Rome, sometime after the Second Punic War.
  • Mary Blandy (1720–1752) poisoned her father, Francis Blandy, with arsenic in England in 1751.
  • Lizzie Borden (1860–1927) was an American woman accused and acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother.
  • The Criminal Code of Japan once determined that patricide brought capital punishment or life imprisonment. However, the law was abolished because of the trial of the Tochigi patricide case in which a woman killed her father in 1968 after she was sexually abused by him and bore their children.

Known cases and suspected cases[edit]

Legal definition in Roman times[edit]

In the sixth century CE collection of earlier juristical sayings, the Digest, a precise enumeration of the victims' possible relations to the parricide is given by the 3rd century CE lawyer Modestinus:

By the lex Pompeia on parricides it is laid down that if anyone kills his father, his mother, his grandfather, his grandmother, his brother, his sister, first cousin on his father's side, first cousin on his mother's side, paternal or maternal uncle, paternal (or maternal) aunt, first cousin (male or female) by mother's sister, wife, husband, father-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law, (daughter-in-law), stepfather, stepson, stepdaughter, patron, or patroness, or with malicious intent brings this about, shall be liable to the same penalty as that of the lex Cornelia on murderers. And a mother who kills her son or daughter suffers the penalty of the same statute, as does a grandfather who kills a grandson; and in addition, a person who buys poison to give to his father, even though he is unable to administer it.[11]

In film and television[edit]

  • In the 1993 film Addams Family Values, Deborah "Debbie" Jellinsky admits to the Addams family that during her 10th birthday celebration she was disappointed with a birthday present that her parents Dave Jellinsky and Sharon Jellinsky gave her and killed them when she set her childhood home on fire.
  • In the 1998 film "Star Trek: Insurrection", Captain Picard points out that "...Ru'afo need for revenge has now escalated into parricide."
  • In Naruto, Itachi Uchiha kills his parents 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, though spares his beloved younger brother Sasuke who unaware of the coup, hiding the truth from Sasuke and manipulating into hating him so Sasuke would avenge the murdered Uchiha Clan and kill him, however during their battle Itachi succumbs to his illness and dies. However Tobi impersonating Madara Uchiha later revealed the truth to Sasuke who fell to victim to the Uchiha Clan's Curse of Hatred and became determined to destroy the Hidden Leaf for what it had done to his brother, though after encountering the resurrected Itachi and speaking to the resurrected past Hokage, Sasuke decided protect the village so Itachi's sacrifice would not be in vain.
  • In the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren kills his father Han Solo after Solo tried to bring his son back to the light side of the Force.
  • In Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, it is discovered halfway through the series that Suzaku Kururugi killed his father, the Prime Minister of Japan, in the events preceding the main timeline of the show, in order to more quickly end the war with Britannia.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. ed.: parricide: ... killing a near relative (now usually a father)
  2. ^ "Definition of MATRICIDE". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  3. ^ "Definition of INFANTICIDE". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. ed.: parricide: ... fig.: the action or crime of killing the ruler of or betraying one's country
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. ed.: parricide 1: A person who kills a near relative; parricide 2: The action or crime of killing a near relative
  6. ^ examples from Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. ed.
  7. ^ "The Denver Post Online: Family Violence Special Report". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  8. ^ Blanco, Juan Ignacio. "Ronald DeFeo | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  9. ^ "Lyle Menendez Finally Speaks From Prison, 27 Years After Killing Parents". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Watson, Alan (ed.); Robinson, Olivia (tr.) (1998). The Digest of Justinian, Volume 4, Book 48. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-8122-2036-0. 

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