Bereavement due to traumatic death

Murder or manslaughter with a knife or a blunt instrument

Learning that a friend or relative has been murdered is deeply shocking (see 'Changing emotions and physical reactions'). Some of the people we talked to described what happened after a relative or friend was stabbed with a knife or hit with a blunt instrument by a complete stranger or by someone they hardly knew.

People suggested why it had happened and recalled how they had heard the news. Some had thought that jealously had played a part, but people suggested other reasons too.

Lisa found out that her ex-boyfriend, who was homeless at the time of his death, had been stabbed by a man who said he had murdered two people because he was “cleaning up the streets”. Two friends of Lisa's were murdered within seven months.

Adam’s brother, Lloyd, was murdered by "thugs" who hit him over the head with a wooden sign. They beat him unconscious, broke his jaw and inflicted several other injuries. Adam wanted to cry but he felt that he had to be strong for his parents’ sake, so he choked back his tears. He also had other reactions.

Jayne’s husband, Jonathan, and Dolores’ son, Tom, were both killed by strangers who were already known to be mentally ill.

Some people we talked to said that those who had committed the crimes had been a family member or a friend of the victim.

For example, Alison's estranged husband had killed two of their children after they had had a violent argument. Some of the killers were ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. Angela talked about her cousin, who lived in Jamaica and who had been murdered by her boyfriend. She also talked about her UK friend whose grandson had stabbed her to death.

Last reviewed October 2015.
Last updated October 2015.

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