Americans Mostly Kill the Ones We Know

For All the Media Obsession With Mass Shootings, Homicides in the U.S. Are Most Often About Familiarity and Contempt

Turn on your television in the coming months, and you will see and hear just how much Americans fear strangers and guns.

Yet when it comes to violent crime, especially murder, Americans are at much greater risk of falling victim to someone they know, perhaps someone they know intimately. And these kinds of murderers are less likely to commit their crimes with guns.

A homicide detective once told me, “Familiarity breeds attempt.” The fact is that most victims and their killers are at least passingly familiar with each other. Intimates interact …

UC Irvine Criminologist Keramet Reiter

Where Does Someone Who Studies Solitary Confinement Go to Be Alone?

Criminologist Keramet Reiter studies prisons, prisoners’ rights, and the impact of prison and punishment policy on individuals, communities, and legal systems at UC Irvine. She also has done a great …