This study focuses on the dynamics of victimization. It looks at the encounter between criminal and victim in an opposite direction from what is customary, dealing not with the perpetrator but the victim.

The victims studied in this research were 295 people who were the subjects of homicidal assaults in Riverside County between January, 1975 and December, 1979. The details of their deaths were gathered from records in the Coroner's office at Riverside, and 29 variables were selected for analysis.

The subjects included 231 males and 63 females, 228 of whom were Caucasians, 38 Blacks, 24 Mexicans, 4 American Indians, 1 Oriental, and one who could not be identified at all. The homicide rate over the five year period was 56 victims per 100,000 residents in the County, higher than the national average. Use was made in this study of 119 zip code areas, which were important to this study, 38 of which identify the places where the . homicide victims' bodies were found, and 82 of which gave the general location of their residences prior to their death. Not all of the victims were residents of Riverside County. Some were residents of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura and other counties outside of Southern California.

Homicides took place more in the p.m. hours than in the a.m. hours. A disproportionate number of victims were killed during the weekends. The gun was the most common weapon used in this act, with the knife second. Also, some type of drugs were found in almost half of the victims' bodies.

The major demographic characteristics covered in this study to give a detailed understanding are age, sex, marital status, ethnicity and occupation. Three groups, Caucasians, Blacks and American Indians were over-represented as homicide victims when compared with their proportions in the general population. Blacks outnumbered all other ethnicity by a ratio of almost 3 to 1. Certain parts of the city were also over-represented as locations of homicidal attacks. The finding of this study are not much different from other studies on homicide victims in terms of circumstantial and demographic characteristics. The results reflect the diversity of the Riverside population.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Won Kil Yoon

Second Advisor

Ian Chand

Third Advisor

Jerry Lee

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Homicide -- California -- Riverside County -- Statistics



Page Count

ix; 81

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives