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Intimate Partner Violence

A Rare Case of Reciprocal Homicide

Cauchois, Aurélie MD; Paraire, François MD; Lorin de la Grandmaison, Geoffroy MD, PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2017 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 107–110
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000308
Case Reports

We present the case of a reciprocal homicide by stabbing that occurred within an unmarried couple without known history of spousal violence. Each partner killed the other one at the same time and at the same place using kitchen knives. They were both found dead at home lying on the floor after the neighbors heard an argument and screams coming from the couple's apartment, so they called the police and the fire department. The door was locked from the inside, and the fire department was forced to break the door. Two kitchen knives supporting blood traces were found at the scene. At autopsy, both bodies showed multiple stab wounds, and the lethal ones were due to heart injuries. Defense injuries were also found in both bodies. To our knowledge, this is the first case of reciprocal homicide described in the literature. Other manners of death are discussed, including homicide by a third party, homicide-suicide, and suicide pact.

From the Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, AP-HP, Versailles Saint-Quentin University, Garches, France.

Manuscript received September 23, 2016; accepted January 22, 2017.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Geoffroy Lorin de la Grandmaison, MD, PhD, Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, 104 Boulevard Raymond Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France. E-mail:

© 2017 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.