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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 a relative or other person in a position of authority), 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), homicide (killing another person) and genocide (killing large numbers of people of one particular race, tribe or other group).

Patricides in religions and cultures

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 shepard. 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

  • Tukulti-Ninurta I (r. 1243–1207 B.C.E.), Assyrian king, was killed by his own son after sacking Babylon.
  • Sennacherib (r. 704–681 B.C.E.), Assyrian king, was killed by two of his sons for his desecration of Babylon.
  • Emperor Yang of Sui in Chinese history allegedly killed his father, Emperor Wen of Sui.
  • Beatrice Cenci, Italian 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 her stepmother in 1599.
  • Lizzie Borden (1860–1927) allegedly killed her father and her stepmother with an axe in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1892. She was acquitted, 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 had been raping her for fifteen years, on October 5, 1968, in Japan. The incident changed the Criminal Code of Japan regarding parricide.
  • Toru Sakai (age 22) murdered his 54-year-old father Takashi (Glenn) Sakai on April 20, 1987, in Beverly Hills, California. Toru Sakai was never captured and is currently wanted for the crime by the Los Angeles Police Department.
  • Kip Kinkel (1982- ), an Oregon boy who was convicted of killing his parents at home and two fellow students at school on May 20, 1998.
  • Sarah Marie Johnson (1987- ), an Idaho girl who was convicted of killing both parents on the morning of September 2, 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 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 second trial in July 1996 for the shotgun killings of their parents in 1989.
  • Karađorđe Petrović (1768–1817), the leader of the Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire, and eventual leader of independent Serbia, killed his father Petar around 1786 while the family was fleeing Serbia to the safety of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, after Petar threatened to return to Serbia and betray the family to the Turks.

Music

Patricide appeared as an experimental electronic noise band in 2008, releasing an eponymous album in 2010.

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