Murder can be defined as the deliberate unlawful killing of another person. But can murder sometimes be justified?
In the past, head hunting, killing a person and preserving their head, was practised in societies from Scandinavia to the Pacific Islands. It was carried out for a variety of reasons but most of all it reinforced the structures of societies and people’s place in their community. Attacking and killing your enemy has been seen as a rite of passage for many young men throughout time.
Today most countries recognise such killings as ritual murder and as a criminal offence. The mass suicides at Jonestown in Guyana in 1978, where cult leader Jim Jones ordered hundreds of his followers to kill themselves, could be seen as ritual mass murder.