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A murder–suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before or at the same time as killing oneself. The combination of murder and suicide can take various forms, often linked to the first form:

A murder–suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before or at the same time as killing oneself. The combination of murder and suicide can take various forms, often linked to the first form:

  • Murder linked with suicide of a mentally unstable person with a homicidal ideation;
  • Murder which entails suicide, such as driving a car with one or more passenger(s) over a precipice or suicide bombing;
  • Suicide after murder to escape state punishment(s);
  • Suicide after murder as a form of self-punishment due to guilt;
  • Suicide after (or before) murder by proxy;
  • Suicide after or during murder inflicted by others;
  • Murder to receive a death sentence willfully;
  • Joint suicide in the form of killing the other with consent, and then killing oneself;
  • Murder before suicide with the intent of preventing future pain and suffering of others including family members and oneself, such as a parent killing their children before ending their own life;

Suicide-lawful killing has three conceivable forms:

  • To murder one's assailant through proportionate self-defense killing oneself in the process;
  • Lawful killing to prevent an individual from causing harm to others, in so doing killing oneself;
  • Lawful killing indirectly resulting in or contributing to suicide.

Many spree killings have ended in suicide, such as in many school shootings. Some cases of religiously-motivated suicides may also involve murder. All categorization amounts to forming somewhat arbitrary distinctions where relating to intention in the case of psychosis, where the intention(s) is/are more likely than not to be irrational. Ascertaining the legal intention (mens rea) is inapplicable to cases properly categorized as insanity.

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