facts about crimes of passion

10 Chaotic Facts about Crimes of Passion

We have all heard of crimes of passion – they’re committed by people who act in a violent or even murderous way in the heat of a moment! Crimes of passion usually occur between two people who have a strong connection or tense history together. And, in many cases (as you’ll see below), crimes of passion usually involve some form of toxic love! So, let’s take a closer look at these statistics! Here are some “fun” facts about crimes of passion!

1. Who was Ruth Ellis?

Did you know that the last woman ever executed in the UK was guilty of a crime of passion? That would be Ruth Ellis, who shot her lover, leading to her hanging back in 1955.

2. And what of Carlos Castro?

You might want to brace yourself for this one or even skip to the next fact if you’re likely to feel faint! Carlos Castro was a Portuguese journalist and TV personality who was found castrated and beaten to death in a New York City hotel. It was his boyfriend who committed the horrific murder.

3. Most women are killed by people they know.

It is believed that only 10% of female victims are killed by strangers. Men are far more likely to commit crimes of passion, and they target mostly women. That doesn’t mean you should avoid walking alone at night, however!

A bloodied hand...

4. Brazil’s laws, thankfully, have changed.

Believe it or not, in Brazil, it was legal for a man to kill his wife until 1991! Thankfully, a man can no longer kill his wife there on the basis of “legitimate defense of honor.” We live in enlightened times indeed…

5. Men are also at risk from deadly love.

It is believed that about 4.9% of male murder victims were killed by their intimate partners in recent years. That is still far too many, but you can notice the severe difference between the male and the female statistics!

6. An iconic murderer.

Of course, one cannot talk about crimes of passion without mentioning Jack the Ripper. His remains one of the most infuriatingly unsolved crimes of passion of all time. He famously murdered five women in London – but very little could be understood about the true nature of the murders and the killer was never caught. We may never know who he was!

7. Murder in the sky!

In 2006, Els Van Doren was murdered during a skydive! Her parachute had been tampered with by a woman who had been romantically involved with the same man. Now that’s an unpleasant way to go.

8. Sickles claimed insanity.

Although we can assume that crimes of passion are certainly nothing new, Daniel Sickles was the first to successfully plead temporary insanity for committing such an act. He killed his wife’s lover – and believe it or not, he was acquitted!

9. Domestic abuse is no joke.

While crimes of passion have long since been the focus of fascination, horrifyingly, around one in four women experience severe domestic abuse in their lifetimes. That is why it is so important to check on the women in your life and learn more about what you can do to help!

crimes of passion facts

10. Men are affected, too.

Although many of us tend to focus more on women in cases of domestic abuse, it is just as important to remember that men can be victims, too. In fact, about one in nine men experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes. So, do not hesitate to reach out to the men in your lives and see how you can help them, too.

FAQs about Crimes of Passion

What might be a motive for a crime of passion?

It is said that people who commit crimes of passion are driven to momentary insanity and an instinct so overwhelming it blocks their own reason. However, this is never an excuse, and crimes of passion are still punishable by most laws!

What are the characteristics of a crime of passion?

A crime of passion refers to a violent crime (commonly homicide) in which the attacker commits a violent act against someone due to a sudden impulse of anger or even jealousy. This differentiates it from premeditated crimes, for example.

What films or TV shows cover crimes of passion?

Crimes of passion occur in films such as American Beauty, Unfaithful, Fatal Attraction, Far from the Madding Crowd, and more!

Further reading:

Do you know any fun facts about crimes of passion?  Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on July 26, 2023. Suggest an edit