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For the 1990s police television series, see Homicide: Life on the Street.

Homicide refers to the act of killing another human being. Although homicide does not define an illegal act necessarily, sometimes it is used synonymously with "murder".


  • Thou shalt not kill.
    • The Bible (King James Version), Deuteronomy 5:17. Alternatively translated as "You shall not murder" (New International Version); "Do not murder" (Contemporary English Version); "Thou dost not murder" (Young's Literal Translation); "Do not kill another person" (New Life Version); "Do not commit murder" (New International Reader's Version).
  • Of crimes injurious to the persons of private subjects, the most principal and important is the offense of taking away that life, which is the immediate gift of the great creator; and which therefore no man can be entitled to deprive himself or another of, but in some manner either expressly commanded in, or evidently deducible from, those laws which the creator has given us; the divine laws, I mean, of either nature or revelation.
  • Mordre wol out, that see we day by day.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, "The Nonnes Preestes Tale" ("The Nun's Priest's Tale", line 15,058.
  • Oh dear, I never realized what a terrible lot of explaining one has to do in a murder!
  • It must be true that whenever a sensational murder is committed there are people who — though they are, quite properly, of no interest to law enforcers, attorneys, or newspaper reporters — weep, lie sleepless, and realize at last that their lives have been changed by a crime in which they played no part.
    • Viña Delmar, The Becker Scandal, a Time Remembered (1968).
  • To kill someone for committing murder is a punishment incomparably worse than the crime itself. Murder by legal sentence is immeasurably more terrible than murder by brigands.
  • One of television's great contributions is that it brought murder back into the home, where it belongs.
  • You're not a homicidal, I checked that on your record before I came out after you. That is why I know you will join the Corps and get a great deal of pleasure out of going after the other kind of criminal who is sick, not just socially protesting. The man who can kill and enjoy it.
  • .....murder is not just a crime of lust or violence. It becomes possession. They are part of you … [the victim] becomes a part of you, and you [two] are forever one … and the grounds where you kill them or leave them become sacred to you, and you will always be drawn back to them.
    • Ted Bundy, quoted by Bill Hagmaier. Rule, Ann (2009). The Stranger Beside Me (Paperback; updated 2009 ed.). New York: Pocket Books pages 380–96.
  • Gentlemen of the Jury, the charge against the prisoner is murder, and the punishment of murder Is death ; and that simple statement is sufficient to suggest to us the awful solemnity of the occasion which brings you and me face to face.
  • For instance, if you have by a lie hindered a man who is even now planning a murder, you are legally responsible for all the consequences. But if you have strictly adhered to the truth, public justice can find no fault with you, be the unforeseen consequence what it may. It is possible that whilst you have honestly answered Yes to the murderer's question, whether his intended victim is in the house, the latter may have gone out unobserved, and so not have come in the way of the murderer, and the deed therefore have not been done; whereas, if you lied and said he was not in the house, and he had really gone out (though unknown to you) so that the murderer met him as he went, and executed his purpose on him, then you might with justice be accused as the cause of his death. For, if you had spoken the truth as well as you knew it, perhaps the murderer while seeking for his enemy in the house might have been caught by neighbours coming up and the deed been prevented.
    • Immanuel Kant , On a Supposed Right to Tell Lies from Benevolent Motives (1797).
  • Murder, like talent, seems occasionally to run in families.
  • One murder made a villain,
    Millions a hero. Princes were privileged
    To kill, and numbers sanctified the crime.
  • I believe too thoroughly that we create our own reality, for one thing -- an unpopular belief where violence is concerned -- but I'm convinced that the victim-to-be picks out the assailant with as much skill and craft as the murderer seeks his victim, and until we learn much more about both, we'll get nowhere battling crime. I'm not justifying murder by any means, but I'm saying that the victim wants to be murdered -- perhaps to be punished, if not by a vengeful god then by one of his fellows, and that a would-be murderer can switch in a minute and become the victim instead; and that the slayer wants to be slain.
    • Jane Roberts, Psychic Politics: An Aspect Psychology Book, p. 205.
  • I say a murder is abstract. You pull the trigger and after that you do not understand anything that happens.
  • We are concerned here only with the imposition of capital punishment for the crime of murder, and when a life has been taken deliberately by the offender, we cannot say that the punishment is invariably disproportionate to the crime. It is an extreme sanction suitable to the most extreme of crimes.
    • Potter Stewart, Majority opinion in 7-2 ruling that the death penalty is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment for premeditated murder (July 2, 1976).
  • This is my costume. I'm a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.
  • Do you not weep?
    Other sins only speak; murder shrieks out.
    The element of water moistens the earth,
    But blood flies upwards and bedews the heavens.
    • John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (1612–13), Act 4, Sc. 2. By Bosola, to Ferdinand upon gazing on the dead body of the Duchess. Sometimes reported as "murder cries out".
  • One to destroy is murder by the law,
    And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
    To murder thousands takes a specious name,
    War's glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
  • A man lusts to become a god...and there is murder. Murder upon murder upon murder. Why is the world of men nothing but murder?

Quotes by William Shakespeare[edit]

Many of Shakespeare's plays include or even center on a homicide.

  • Murder most foul, as in the best it is, But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.
    • Hamlet, (Ghost, Act I, scene v, line 27).
  • For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
    With most miraculous organ.
    • Hamlet (1600-02), (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii, line 622).
  • He took my father grossly, full of bread;
    With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
    And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?
    • Hamlet (1600-02), Act III, scene 3, line 80.
  • No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize.
    • Hamlet (1600-02), Act IV, scene 7, line 128.
  • O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
    That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
    Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
    That ever lived in the tide of times.
    Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood
    Over thy wounds now do I prophesy.
    • Julius Caesar, Act III, scene 1, line 254.
  • Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
    Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
    The multitudinous seas incardine,
    Making the green one red.
    • Macbeth, Act II, scene 2, line 60.
  • Blood hath been shed ere now i' the olden time,
    Ere humane statute purg'd the gentle weal;
    Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
    Too terrible for the ear: the time has been,
    That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
    And there an end; but now they rise again,
    With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
    And push us from our stools: this is more strange
    Than such a murder is.
    • Macbeth, Act III, scene 4, line 76.
  • The great King of kings
    Hath in the table of his law commanded
    That thou shalt do no murder: and wilt thou, then,
    Spurn at his edict and fulfill a man's?
    • Richard III, Act I, scene 4, line 200.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 634.

  • Carcasses bleed at the sight of the murderer.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I. Sec. I. Memb. II. Subsec. V.
  • Et tu, Brute fili.
    • You also, O son Brutus.
    • Caesar. Words on being stabbed by Brutus, according to Suetonius. Quoted as "Et tu Brutus" and "Tu quoque Brute." True Tragedy of Richarde, Duke of York. (1600). Also found in S. Nicholson's Acolastus his Afterwitte. (1600) Caesar's Legend, in Mirror for Magistrates. (1587) Malone suggests that the Latin words appeared in the old Latin play by Richard Eedes—Epilogus Coesaris Interfecti, given at Christ Church, Oxford. (1582).
  • Blood, though it sleep a time, yet never dies.
    Trie gods on murtherers fix revengeful eyes.
  • Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time,
    But tardy justice will o'ertake the crime.
  • Murder, like talent, seems occasionally to run in families.
  • Neque enim lex est sequior ulla,
    Quam necis artifices arte perire sua.
    • Nor is there any law more just, than that he who has plotted death shall perish by his own plot.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, I. 655.
  • Cast not the clouded gem away,
    Quench not the dim but living ray,—
    My brother man, Beware!
    With that deep voice which from the skies
    Forbade the Patriarch's sacrifice.
    God's angel, cries, Forbear!
  • One to destroy is murder by the law,
    And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
    To murder thousands takes a specious name,
    War's glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
    • Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire VII, line 55.
  • Killing no murder.
    • Title of a tract in Harleian Miscellany, ascribed to Col. Silas Titus, recommending the murder of Cromwell.

External links[edit]

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