Le Meurtre de Laïus par Oedipe by Joseph Blanc depicts the mythological patricide of Laius by his son Oedipus.

Patricide (or paternal homicide) is the act of killing one's own father. The word patricide derives from the Latin word pater (father) and the suffix -cida (cutter or killer). Patricide is a sub-form of parricide, which is defined as an act of killing a close relative.[1] In many cultures and religions patricide was considered one of the worst sins. For example, according to Marcus Tullius Cicero, in the Roman Republic it was the only crime for which the civilian could be sentenced to death.[2]

Patricides in myths and religions

Patricide is a common motif that is prevalent throughout many religions and cultures, and particularly in the mythology and religion of Greek culture. Some key examples of patricide from various cultures are included as follows:

Known or suspected historical patricides

Contemporary statistics

In the United States between 1980 and 2010 fathers were more likely than mothers to be killed by their children. Teenage sons (16 to 19 years-old) were most often the perpetrators in parental killings.[8]

Breakdown of known homicides involving children killing a father between 1980 and 2008. Sons committed patricide far more frequently than daughters.[8]
Rates of individual homicide involving family members in the United States between 1980 and 2010.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of PATRICIDE". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  2. ^ "How and Why the Romans Executed People". Owlcation.com. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  3. ^ Medico, Kathryn; Barrows, Mollye (2004). A Perversion of Justice: A Southern Tragedy of Murder, Lies and Innocence Betrayed. HarperCollins. p. 15. ISBN 9780060549299.
  4. ^ Barrows, Mollye (24 April 2024). "Alex King, who killed his dad as a 12-year-old in Pensacola, dies in Montana at 35". Pensacola News Journal. Gannett. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  5. ^ "Winnipeg Homicide". Winnipeghomicide.org. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  6. ^ Waldie, Paul (31 May 2004). "CEO's killer past comes back to haunt him". Theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  7. ^ Sandoval, Edgar. "Princeton Graduate Killed Father Over Allowance. He Got 30 Years to Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  8. ^ a b c Cooper, Alexia D.; Smith, Erica L. (2011-11-16). Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980–2008 (Report). Bureau of Justice Statistics. pp. 21–22. NCJ 236018. Archived from the original on 2018-03-30. Fathers were more likely than mothers to be killed by their children; Teenage sons (16 to 19 years-old) were most often the perpetrators in parental killings (figures 32a and 32b)