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Patricide is (i) the act of killing one's father, or (ii) a person who kills his or her father. The word patricide derives from the Latin word pater (father) and the Latin suffix -cida (cutter or killer). Patricide is a sub-form of parricide, which is defined as an act of killing a close relative.
Compare with parricide (the killing of any close relative), matricide (the killing of one's mother), filicide (the killing of a child by his or her parent), fratricide (the killing of one's sibling, in particular a brother-compare to sororicide), regicide (the killing of a monarch), suicide (killing oneself) and homicide (killing another person).
Patricides in religions and cultures[edit | edit source]
Patricide is a common archetype prevalent throughout many religions and cultures, particularly Greek culture.
- In the Greek creation epic, Cronus was poisoned by his son Zeus and wife Rhea.
- Apsu, in the Babylonian creation epic the Enûma Elish, was killed by his son Ea in the struggle for supremacy among the gods.
- Oedipus was fated to kill his father, a king, and marry his mother. His parents attempted to prevent this by leaving him on the side of a mountain as an infant. He was found and raised by a farmer. Once grown, Oedipus meets his father while his father is travelling and kills him. He then marries his mother to become king, unknowingly fulfilling the prophecy.
- Pelias was killed by his daughters, who were deceived by Medea into thinking he could be resurrected.
- In Chinese belief, people who commit patricide (or matricide) will be killed by a lightning strike as a punishment from filial and warrior deity Erlang Shen.
Known or suspected historical patricides[edit | edit source]
- Emperor Yang of Sui in Chinese history allegedly killed his father, Emperor Wen of Sui.
- Beatrice Cenci, Roman noblewoman who, according to legend, killed her father after he imprisoned and raped her. She was condemned and beheaded for the crime along with her brother and stepmother in 1599.
- Lizzie Borden (1860-1927) allegedly killed her father and stepmother with an ax in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1892. She was acquitted of the crime, but her guilt is still disputed.
- Iyasus I of Ethiopia (1682-1706), one of the great warrior emperors of Ethiopia, was deposed by his son Tekle Haymanot in 1706 and subsequently assassinated.
- Chiyo Aizawa murdered her own father who raped her on October 5, 1968 in Japan. The incident changed the Japanese criminal law.
- Sarah Marie Johnson (1987- ), an Idaho girl who was convicted of killing both parents on the morning of 2 September 2003.
- Dipendra of Nepal (1971-2001) reportedly massacred much of his family at a royal dinner on June 1, 2001, including his father King Birendra, mother, brother, and sister.
- Christopher Porco (1983- ), was convicted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 of the murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother with an axe.
- The Menendez Brothers were convicted during a highly publicized trial in July 1996 for the shotgun killings of their parents in 1989.
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