Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Child Homicide

Parents Who Kill, 1st Edition

By Lita Linzer Schwartz, Natalie Isser

CRC Press

297 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780849393662
pub: 2006-08-15
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From governments that enact population-limiting legislation or commit wholesale neonaticide, to families who purposely allow a weak, infirm, or unfavorably gendered infant to perish rather than expend limited resources, neonaticide, infanticide, and filicide, are practiced on every continent and by every level of cultural complexity.

Taking an objective and diagnostic approach, Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill examines the crime of neonaticide from all angles including historical, cultural, psychological, and legal. Expanding on the first edition, published as Endangered Children: Neonaticide, Infanticide, and Filicide, this edition details child homicide in its many forms such as shaken baby syndrome and Munchausen-by-Proxy as well as the differing circumstances involved in infanticide and filicide. Unlike many books on the subject, it investigates the behavior of the father--deemed responsible in roughly 75 percent of these cases--whether aggressive, complicit, or merely absent, and his ultimate culpability under the law.

The authors study the influence of today's media, and how its lightning-fast dissemination of these shocking and often complicated stories affect public opinion, copycat crime, and legal bias. This book explains legal defenses including insanity, differential post partum diagnosis such as post-partum psychosis, and discusses new policies, more appropriate, therapeutic punishments, and preventive measures.

Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill places this phenomenon in its historical, cultural, and human context and makes us realize that this is not just someone else's nightmare.

Table of Contents

Children: An Endangered Species

Throughout History

Gender and Child Homicide

The Literary Legacy

Child Homicide in Literature and Opera

Neonaticide in Theory and in History:

Who Are the Perpetrators?

Sociobiological Perspectives

Cross-Cultural Perspectives

An Historical Perspective

Motives for Murder

Why Murder?


Infanticide and Filicide

Neonaticide and Its Alternatives

Options in Pregnancy

Why Neonaticide?

Neonaticide and the Law

Legal Ramifications

Variations in Charges and Sentencing

Should Neonaticide Be Punished? If So, How?

Anglo-American Laws and Sentencing

What about the Fathers?

In Transition: From One Form of Child

Homicide to Another

Neonaticide Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome/Shaking Impact Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP)

Postpartum Depression Disorders

Differentiating the Disorders

Case Examples

What Can Be Done

Early Diagnosis

Legal Controversies

Infanticide and Filicide by Parents and

Their Surrogates


What Kind of Parent…?

Other Motives

Paternal Homicide

Child Abuse

Legal Ramifications

The Survivors

If These Are the Causes …

Neonaticide, Infanticide, Filicide, and the Law

The Insanity Defense

Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Psychosis

Alternative Defenses

In Defense of the Defendant

Variations in Penalties

An Interesting Question

Are the Laws Anti-female?

Looking Back and Ahead

Choice and Reproduction: Political and

Other Arguments

The Abortion Controversy

In the Courts

Euthanasia and Infanticide

Eugenics, Mercy-Killing, and Euthanasia

The Parental Positions

Child Homicide: Preventive Measures

Prevention of Neonaticide

Pregnancy Prevention

Preventing Infanticide and Filicide

Concluding Thoughts and Recommendations

Provide Information

Therapeutic Rehabilitation

The Role of Therapeutic Jurisprudence


Appendix A

Appendix B


About the Originator

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science
MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General