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Title: Patricide  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Parricide, Regicide, Fratricide, The Brothers (novella), Homicide
Collection: Fatherhood, Homicide, Men and Death, Patricides, Violence Against Men
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Patricide is (i) the act of killing one's father, or (ii) a person who kills his 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.


  • Patricides in myths and religions 1
  • Known or suspected historical patricides 2
  • Patricides in fiction and popular culture 3
    • Anime and manga 3.1
    • Film and television 3.2
    • Literature 3.3
    • Music 3.4
    • Theater 3.5
    • Video games 3.6

Patricides in myths and religions

Patricide is a common archetype prevalent throughout many religions and cultures, particularly Greek culture.

  • In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Babruvahana killed his father Arjun, but Arjun was brought back to life by his wife, the snake goddess Uloopi
  • In the Greek creation epic, Cronus killed or castrated his father Uranus to usurp his domination of the universe. In turn, he was overthrown by his son Zeus.
  • 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 shepherd. Once grown, Oedipus meets his father while his father is travelling and kills him. He then unknowingly marries his mother to become king, ultimately fulfilling the prophecy.
  • Pelias was killed by his daughters, who were deceived by Medea into thinking he could be resurrected.
  • In Norse mythology, Fafnir murdered his father Hreidmar to gain the cursed golden ring of Andvari that he had obtained. Some versions say that his brother Regin helped him.
  • 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.
  • Bimbisara (r. 543–491 B.C.E.), king of Magadha, was executed by his own son, Ajatashatru.
  • Ajatashatru (r. 492–c. 460 B.C.E.), king of Magadha, was killed by his own son, Udayabhadra.
  • King Kassapa I (473-495 CE) creator of the Sigiriya citadel of ancient Sri Lanka killed his father king Dhatusena for the throne.
  • Emperor Zhu Yougui (888?-913 CE) of China killed his father Zhu Wen (852–912 CE).
  • Emperor Yang of Sui (569–618 CE) in Chinese history allegedly killed his father, Emperor Wen of Sui (541-604 CE).
  • Samvel killed his father Vahan, who converted to Christianity and joined the Zoroastrian Persian Empire.
  • Beatrice Cenci (1577–1599), 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 a hatchet in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1892. She was acquitted, but her innocence 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.
  • Richard Dadd (1817-1886), the English artist, murdered his father in 1843 following the onset of psychiatric illness.
  • Chiyo Aizawa murdered her 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 remains 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.
  • Australian Rules Football former player and then-Adelaide Crows Senior Coach Phil Walsh was murdered in the early hours of 3 July 2015, by his 26-year-old son, Cy.

Patricides in fiction and popular culture

Anime and manga

  • In Eureka Seven, Dewey Novak in order to become the next king and to calm the planet murdered his father as part of his family tradition, however the planet rejected his ritual.
  • In Hokage, the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village.
  • In Buso Renkin, Koshaku Chono kills his father after becoming the humanoid homunculus Papillon, when his father mistook him as his younger brother, by spearing his hand into the man's stomach and then devouring him inside out.
  • In Code Geass' second season of the anime, Lelouch kills his father Charles Zi Britannia to become the emperor of the Britannian Empire. Also, before the events of the series Suzaku Kururugi killed his father, the former Prime Minister of Japan, Genbu Kururugi when he wanted to keep fighting the Britannian invasion until the end.
  • In the anime/manga series, Berserk, in the childhood of the series' protagonist, Guts kills his adoptive father, Gambino who is assaulting him one night.
  • In both Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and anime, Dark Marik kills his father when he tortured his adoptive brother, Rishid, into unconsciousness. In the manga, Dark Marik skins his father's back off, while the anime tones it down to a simple stab in the heart. In the English dub of the anime, Yami Marik just sent his father to the Shadow Realm.
  • In Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly kills his father Paragus while he tries to escape from a planet by using a Saiyan space pod, and Broly crushes the space pod with Paragus in it.
  • In the prelude of Madlax, Margaret Burton killed her father in self-defense, splitting her personality.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Gheren Zabi murdered his father, when his father tried to end the war.
  • In One Piece Donquixote Doflamingo killed his father Donquixote Homing for renouncing their luxury life as World Nobles before the former's mother's death from poverty.
  • In Fairy Tail Sting and Rogue both claimed to kill their foster dragon fathers Weisslogia and Skiadrum respectively in order to become stronger. However both dragon guardians themselves later revealed them as false memories, which was in order to prevent dragonification of them like Dragon King Acnologia.
  • In Bleach Yhwach kills his father, the Soul King by absorbing him completely after absorbing the latter's right hand Mimihagi.
  • In Attack on Titan, there occur two father killings:
    • Eren Yeager as a child devoured his father Grisha Yeager by mistake.
    • Historia Reiss kills her father lord Rod Reiss by slicing his nape after turning down his offer to eat Eren and/to become a Titan and before declaring herself as the true queen of the walls.
  • In Avatar The Last Airbender, Ozai murders his father, Azulon, by poison.

Film and television

Nato Vachnadze and Vano Sarajishvili in the 1923 photo film Patricide (1923 film)
  • In the 2000 film Gladiator, Commodus smothers his father, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, with a pillow, having been denied the accession.
  • In the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day, main villain Colonel Sun-Tan Moon kills his father, General Moon, at the climax, having revealed his transformation into Gustave Graves and been rejected.
  • In the South Park episode Scott Tenorman Must Die, Eric Cartman, humiliated by an older boy named Scott Tenorman, gets revenge by seeing to the death of Tenorman's parents and feeding him chili made from their bodies. Years later, in the episode "201", Cartman would discover that Mr. Tenorman, a former Denver Bronco, was his own father as well.
  • In the sixth season of Supernatural, Sam is told by Balthazar that he must commit patricide for his body to resist his soul. With his father already being sent to hell, Balthazar says that "[Sam needs] the blood of his father, but [his father] needn't be blood", meaning his father figure, Bobby, will do the trick.
  • On Lost, Kate Austen murdered her father by blowing up the house he was sleeping in, and Ben Linus murdered his father by releasing poison gas in the car they were both sitting in (Ben survived by wearing a gas mask).
  • Cheryl Brady, former character on British soap opera Hollyoaks, killed her father Seamus to prevent him from raping her half-brother (and his son) Brendan, as he had done when Brendan was 8.
  • In the 2015 TV series Daredevil, we see in flashback how, as a boy, 'Kingpin' villain Wilson Fisk killed his abusive father with a hammer. His mother then dismembered the body with a saw for the pair to gradually dispose of.
  • In the slasher film Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Tina Shepard kills her father John with her telekinetic powers by mistake as a seven-year-old girl, after witnessing him abusing her mother and his wife Amanda.
  • In the slasher-thriller film Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Maggie Burroughs recollects serial killer and her father Freddy Krueger killing his adoptive father after being whipped by him with a belt.
    • In addition, Maggie kills Freddy with the assistance of Tracy and Doc towards the end.
  • In the 2012 film Sinister, Ashley Oswalt murders her father Ellison along with her mother and her older brother while under the influence of an pagan deity called Bughuul.
  • In the Smallville episode Descent, Lex Luthor pushes his father, Lionel Luthor, to his death off the Luthorcorp Plaza building.
  • In the last season of Sons of Anarchy, Jax Teller kills his step father, Clay Morrow.



  • Patricide is the main theme of the song Janie's Got a Gun by Aerosmith where the titular character kills her father after nobody believes her father raped her, so she kills him herself.
  • Patricide is also an element of "The End" by The Doors, with the lines: 'Father?/Yes, son?/I want to kill you'. The lyrics also contain themes of the speaker having an Oedipus complex.


  • In The Playboy of the Western World, Christy Mahon is praised by locals for his boldness after claiming he is on the run after killing his own father. Having only been wounded, his father eventually appears after tracking his son down to the tavern in which he was staying.

Video games

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