Thirty-nine incidents of homicide-suicide occurring in Victoria, Australia between 1985 and 1989 were examined. In 33 cases the assailants were men. The victims were spouses or women living in a de facto marriage. The majority of the victims were shot, and this was also the most frequent method of suicide. Breakdown in a relationship was the most frequent reason for killing. Mental illness of the assailant accounted for the killing in approximately 20% of cases. Physical ill health and financial stress were identified as important associative factors, particularly in the elderly. The pattern of homicide-suicide in Victoria is similar to that observed in other jurisdictions and represents an important and distinct subgroup of homicide.