Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Helenan S. Robin

Second Advisor

Dr. Chet Rogers

Third Advisor

Dr. Larry Ziring

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Assassination has been a constant companion of the world's societies from the beginning of recorded history. Only relatively recently have social scientists begun empirical study of these acts in an effort to reveal any commonalties and possible predictive traits. Investigation of the assassination phenomenon assumed a special urgency in America as violence seemed to escalate in the 1960s, which resulted in some notable research.

The present research collected data of presidential and non-presidential assassinations and attempts that occurred from 1969 through 1992 and compared the findings with the results of earlier studies.

The data indicate that presidential assaults increased in frequency from 1969 through 1992 and that those attacks continued to be perpetrated by individuals seeking to solve their respective problems via symbolic use of the presidency. The data further reveal that non-presidential assassination differed in several respects from presidential events and was remarkably more lethal.