Women are more sedate killers!
Statistics indicate that only 39% of killers using a gun to murder their victims are women, and women are six times more likely to use a poison or a drug to kill (2.5% for women compared to 0.4% for men).
Criminologists agree that women who murder are not the norm and that murder is a predominantly male trait. Women commit only 11-15% of all murders according to recent statistics, and women account for a mere 2% of mass murders.
Women also are not usually serial killers. Women tend to know their victims, and according to studies are more likely to kill just one person. Serial killings account for only 1% of all murders anyway, but women represent only 17% of serial killers.
The usual murder victims of women (up to 60%) are their significant others (a spouse, an ex-spouse or someone the murderer is dating), and women tend to use poisons or drugs that don’t produce violent side effects when they kill.
The types of drugs most commonly used as murder weapons by women include those that sedate their victims—drugs that cause the victim to fall asleep and never wake up. These include toxic doses of alcohol, opiate painkillers and sedatives-hypnotics. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of these general categories:
Alcohol: This might include spiking one’s drink with too much alcohol and also injecting the victim with a lethal dose after the person is too intoxicated to fight back. Methanol and isopropyl alcohol (the kinds of alcohol used in rubbing and disinfectant alcohols) are the most lethal to inject. Ethylene glycol (a form of alcohol used in antifreeze) is a most effective poison when added to flavored drinks.
Opiate Painkillers: Opiate drugs include some of the most popular prescription painkillers. Some are natural opiates derived from poppy seed plants. These include the familiar drugs codeine and morphine. They are powerful painkillers and larger than therapeutic doses will suppress the central nervous system to produce an opiate coma and eventually death.
Other often-prescribed painkillers are synthetic drugs manufactured to function as opiates in the body. These synthetic opiods are usually much stronger and work faster as lethal drugs. These opiates include oxycodone (Oxycontin), oxymorphone (Opana), hydrocodone (Vicodan, Lortab, Norco), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol) and fentanyl (Duragesic). These are strong painkillers and therefore more effective and efficient when used as murder weapons.
For instance, a mere 7.5mgs of hydromorphone is equivalent to a larger 30mg dose of morphine. Click here to view a chart of therapeutic dosing and duration of actions, and click here for equivalent dose comparisons of the various opiate drugs. A normal one-week supply of any of these medications, as is often prescribed for severe pain, would be more than enough to kill a victim—with a few pills left over to calm the killer’s nerves.
Sedatives-Hypnotic Drugs: These medications, like the opiate drugs, cause the body to slow down—and in large enough doses cease bodily functions all together, and death results.
The barbiturate and benzodiazepine classes of drugs predominate the sedative-hypnotic drug categories. The barbiturates include all the “…bital” drugs: secobarbital, pentobarbital and phenobarbital most notably. The benzodiazepines include Valium, Librium and Tranxene tranquilizer drugs.
Some non-benzodiazepine drugs include the popular sleep medications Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata.
All of these sedatives-hypnotics are potentially lethal in larger than therapeutic doses and are readily prescribed by physicians these days to patients with sleep disorders.
In summary, most murderers are male and most murder victims are also male. A 2008 study revealed that 1.6 women (as compared to 11.3 men) committed murder out of every 100,000 people. But when women do commit murder, they tend to choose a less violent method.
With drugs so much a part of our everyday world in modern society, the medications mentioned above make excellent and very effective murder weapons.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!