Each homicide has a unique fingerprint of circumstances and motive, from drugs and alcohol, to financial reasons, to the intangibles of jealousy and mental illness. No two killings are exactly the same.

Men kill more often, according to innumerable studies. But now a study looks at a population of women who kill – and finds the fatal scenarios almost always play out right within the home, and between close members of the family.

Twenty years of Swedish homicides became the focus of the study, published recently in the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health.

The 1,570 homicides committed by a single killer were split, as usual, between the 90 percent by men, and the 10 percent perpetrated by women.

But men were more likely to kill strangers and acquaintances in unfamiliar locations. Women, on the other hand, most often kill intimate partners or family members in their own homes, according to the Swedish researchers.

“The adult victims of female perpetrators were more often male and an intimate partner,” said Thomas Nilsson, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy. “The victims were often under the influence of substances at the time of the crime and they died mostly due to knife violence.”

Some 80 percent of the victims of women killers were family members. About 50 percent of homicides committed by females victimized intimate partners. And nine of 10 female killers took the victims’ lives in their own home.

The females were more likely to live under ordered social conditions, and to have sought assistance from social services or police.

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Women were more likely to be classified as having a severe mental disorder at the time of their crimes – and their actions were more frequently classified as manslaughter or infanticide (women were more likely to kill children).

Men, on the other hand, had more charges and convictions of murder or involuntary manslaughter by assault.

“These results taken together lend support to a quite common prototypical scenario, in which a habitually abusive man, disinhibited by intoxication, initiates a spiral of escalating aggression that culminates in him being killed by his female partner,” the authors write.

Sweden has among the lowest per-capita homicide rates in the world. For instance, California has nearly as many annual homicides (approximately 1,600 – 1,700 per year) as the Scandinavian nation reported over the two decades of the study.