Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Victoria Time

Committee Member

Michael Deckard

Committee Member

Roderick Graham


The purpose of this study is to examine the influence that victim-offender relationships and the event circumstances have on homicide weapon choice. From Cornish and Clarke’s Rational Choice theoretical perspective, offenders go through decision- making processes to determine which weapon will be the most effective to meet their goal, based on the circumstances of the event. This study examined the use of three weapon types: firearms, knife/ blunt objects, and personal weapons, amongst victim-offender relationships such as acquaintance, intimate, non-intimate family/friend, and strangers along with circumstances such as homicides committed as the result of a felony, and homicides committed as a result of an argument. Results show that firearms were used the most by strangers, and in felony circumstances, while knife/ blunt objects and personal weapons were used the most by non-intimate family/ friends and in argument circumstances.


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