Weapon Use in Korean Homicide: Differences Between Homicides Involving Sharp and Blunt Instruments
On the basis of information regarding 276 homicides committed in South Korea between 1987 and 2008, we compared offenders' and victims' characteristics, injury locations, weapon-related behavior, and offending behavior between homicides involving sharp and blunt instruments. The victims of sharp-force homicide were much younger relative to those of blunt-force homicide. In addition, homicides involving blunt instruments were more likely to be committed by offenders who lived with the victims. Most sharp-force homicides involved injuries to the torso, while blunt-force homicides involved mainly head injuries. Furthermore, perpetrators of sharp-force homicides tended to preselect their weapons, while those of blunt-force homicides were likely to use weapons of opportunity. Logistic regression analysis identified a number of factors, including injury location and body transportation, which significantly predicted weapon type. As this was the first South Korean study to compare sharp- and blunt-force homicides, the results have practical implications for homicide investigations.