Do Gang Members Commit Abnormal Homicide?

Matt DeLisi, James O. Spruill, Michael G. Vaughn, Chad R. Trulson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Gang membership is a robust correlate of homicide offending and victimization, but little is known about the association between gang status and various abnormal forms of homicide (e.g., multiple-victim homicide, sexual homicide, and abduction homicide). The current study utilized data from a large sample of 618 male convicted murderers to empirically examine gang status and diverse forms of homicide perpetration. Gang-involved offenders were nearly three times as likely to commit a normal homicide characterized as a single-victim murder. However, gang members were 64 % less likely to perpetrate multiple-victim murder. In other models, gang status reduced the likelihood of sexual homicide by 75 % and reduced the likelihood of abduction homicide by 56 %. These findings present an anomaly in the gang-homicide literature, and suggestions for additional research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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