Intimate partner homicide–suicide (IPHS) is the most violent domestic abuse outcome, devastating families and communities. Nationwide murder–suicide data were collected from news surveillance of 728 events (representing 1611 deaths) reported 1999–2005. Content analysis compared perpetrator's primary intent (homicide or suicide) across 3 age categories: young (18–44), middle aged (45–59) and elder adult (60 +) couples. Based on information obtained, a known history of intimate partner violence (IPV) was most common in young dyads, compared to other age categories. Suicide pacts and mercy killings appear to be very rare. The majority of perpetrators were men who utilized firearms. Female victims varied in their awareness of danger. Evidence suggests there were differences in the primary intentions with young adults reflecting homicidal motive and elders were more often suicidal. Those in middle age indicated a mix, with most similarities to young adults. If substance abuse and mental illness played a significant role in the IPHS events, it was not evident from these data. Triangulation of data analysis methods contributed rich details about themes associated with danger clarity, perceptions of lethality, and evidence of the perpetrator's view of the self and others. Understanding existing distinctions in primary intent is crucial to the development of appropriate lethality assessments and prevention efforts.