Sexual Murder : Catathymic and Compulsive Homicides book cover
1st Edition

Sexual Murder
Catathymic and Compulsive Homicides

ISBN 9780849311307
Published August 26, 2003 by CRC Press
416 Pages - 41 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Forensic psychologist and author Louis B. Schlesinger delves deep into the minds of sexual murderers. It is a place where few dare to tread, but a necessary journey if we are to understand the motivations behind their inconceivable actions. Culminating nearly 30 years of experience analyzing sexually motivated homicides, Sexual Murder: Catathymic and Compulsive Homicides makes this complex phenomenon fully comprehensible.

The author provides a strong foundation by first exploring the psychopathology of sexual homicide within the context of nonsexual homicide. He also discusses forensic assessment of the sexual murderer, theories of crime, and systems of homicide classification. The remaining chapters explore the two types of sexual murders: catathymic, caused by a breakthrough of underlying sexual conflicts, and compulsive, in which a fusion of sex and aggression results in a powerful internal drive that pushes the offender to seek out victims to kill - and the killing itself is sexually gratifying. Presenting both forms of sexual murder from a clinical-descriptive perspective, the book provides historical background and examines both planned and unplanned homicides for each. Finally, it considers prediction, disposition, and possibilities for preventing sexual murder.

Providing a fresh approach to an old crime, Sexual Murder: Catathymic and Compulsive Homicides brings intriguing theories and detailed analyses to life. Through a variety of illustrative case examples from the author's vast experience, this amazing book will broaden your view of sexual murder and alter many preconceived ideas.

Table of Contents

Foreword, J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D.
Understanding Sexual Murder: Problems and Approaches
Forensic Assessment: Evaluation of the Sexual Murderer
The Place of Sexual Murder in the Classification of Crime
Catathymia and Catathymic Crisis: Contributions of Hans W. Maier and Fredric Wertham
Acute Catathymic Homicides
Chronic Catathymic Homicides
Compulsive Homicides in Historical Perspective
Planned Compulsive Homicides
Unplanned Compulsive Homicides
Prediction and Disposition
Author Index
Subject Index

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"[The author] has written a highly readable and informative volume. … We are given fascinating insights into the minds of these killers. … [C]ase studies are all that is really available in this relatively young field and the rich variety of them in the book illuminate the various concepts very well. … In conclusion, a thoroughly accessible book to all disciplines involved in forensic work. … [T]his is a highly accomplished piece of work which is clearly laid out with useful tables and diagrams. It will be of use to anyone who is interested in any aspect of sexual murders and those who commit them."
- Science & Justice, Vol. 44, No. 4, 2004

From the foreword

"Sexual Murder: Catathymic and Compulsive Homicides will take its place alongside Cleckley's Mask of Sanity, Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis, and Ressler et al's Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives as a classic in our specialized field of criminal forensic psychology. … Dr. Schlesinger is interested in the inner life of the sexual murderer … [and] finds answers to questions that disturb and frighten most people: Why would anyone be sexually aroused by violence? How could anyone contemplate, let alone commit, such horrendous acts? … This book is a brilliant integration and application of previous theory and research, and advances the field of criminal forensic psychology."

- J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D.
Author of The Psychopathic Mind and Violent Attachments

Praise from bestselling crime writer

"It is said that when you stare at evil, it stares back at you. Dr. Lous B. Schlesinger illuminates the face, the intelligence, the mental illnesses, and the driving compulsions of the sexual predators we call monsters. Through Dr. Schlesinger's brilliant forensic psychological insight and relentlessness - gained from years of examining the worst of the worst - he presents the sexual murderer in a way that helps both the professional and the layman to redefine and understand the darkest and more incomprehensible aspects of human life and death."

- Patricia Cornwell
Author of Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed