We all know the story well; an escaped lunatic goes on a murderous rampage. There’s screams, and gore and some sort of protagonist vanquishes the evil once and for all (OR HAVE THEY? MUAHAHAHA). That’s how popular media typically portrays murder whether its a book written in the Victorian era, a slasher film or even the 6 o’clock news. The reality of homicide is a lot less theatrical than the notions that we see.
Homicide is a heavily studied subject, and we can break down the epidemiological variables into age, race, gender, method of killing, relationship between the victim and perpetrator, the perpetrator’s prior arrest record, the use of alcohol and other drugs, and circumstances surrounding the homicide. It’s easy to think that epidemiology is only useful in the context of disease and health, but we can apply those same principles to human behavior.