State ranks 5th in women killed by men

Published 11:27 am Monday, September 15, 2014

Mississippi ranked fifth in the nation in the rate of women killed by men, according to a recent study by the Violence Policy Center. 

At least 3 percent and possibly 6 percent of the deadly violence against women in Mississippi happened in Warren County during 2012, which was the year data used to conduct the study was taken.

The murder rate of women killed by men in Mississippi that year was 1.89 per 100,000 people.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

During that year, men in Mississippi killed at least 29 women including 45-year-old Mary Ann Truitt of Jackson who was found bludgeoned to death with the dull side of an axe at her home at 116 Lightcap Blvd.

About four hours later, Her estranged husband, Charles Truitt Sr., was found hanging in a tree above two graves in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Charles Truitt Sr. was the sole suspect in the case, police have said.

A second woman disappeared in 2012, and her remains were discovered in 2013. Her death is not included in the study, but would drive Vicksburg and Warren County’s homicide rate for women up if she were found to have been killed by a man.

Police have made no arrest nor officially named any suspects in the death of Shanell Burden Stowers whose body was found in vacant lot off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in March 2013.

The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.

The city of Jackson had the most women killed by men at 8. Tunica County had three; Rankin County had two, according to data released by the Violence Policy Center. Sixteen police or sheriff’s department jurisdictions had 1 woman killed.

The annual report is being released during the week marking the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law on September 13, 1994. The study also comes in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

“Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act 20 years ago, the federal government and many states and communities have taken heroic steps to reduce domestic violence,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Yet today, far more remains to be done to stop the epidemic of violence against women. The rate of women murdered by men in the United States is tragic and unacceptable.”

Alaska had the highest murder rate among women at 2.57 per 100,000 people. South Carolina was second at 2.06. Oklahoma had 2.03 at third, and Louisiana was fourth with 1.92.

Nevada, Missouri, Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee rounded out the top ten state with the highest murder rate for women.

The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 17 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 26 percent — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.16 per 100,000 in 2012.

The majority of homicides in the study were not related to any other felony crime, such as rape or robbery. Nationwide, for homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 85 percent of the homicides were not related to the commission of another felony.

Most often, females were killed by males in the course of an argument between the victim and the offender.

The study calculates the rate of women murdered by men by dividing the total number of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents by the total female population and multiplying the result by 100,000. This is the standard and accepted method of comparing fatal levels of gun violence.