Serial Killers

Psychiatry, Criminology and Responsibility

By Francesca Biagi-Chai

Translated by Veronique Voruz, Suzanne Yang

© 2013 – Routledge-Cavendish

216 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415681674
pub: 2012-08-19
US Dollars$46.99
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Hardback: 9780415561129
pub: 2011-09-28
US Dollars$140.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Francesca Biagi-Chai’s book - a translation from the French of Le Cas Landru - tackles the issue of criminal responsibility in the case of serial killers, and other 'mad' people who are nonetheless deemed to be answerable before the law. The author, a Lacanian psychoanalyst and senior psychiatrist in France, with extensive experience working in institutional settings, analyses the logic informing the crimes of famous serial killers. Addressing the Landru case (which was the inspiration for Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux), as well as those of Pierre Rivière and Donato Bilancia, Biagi-Chai casts light on the confusion that pervades forensic psychiatry and criminal law as to the distinction between mental illness and ‘madness’. She then elaborates the consequences of her argument in a sustained critique of the insanity defence. The book includes a Foreword by the renowned psychoanalyst, Jacques-Alain Miller, and an introduction by the translators on the question of insanity before the law in the US and in the UK, which considers the pertinence of Biagi-Chai’s argument for forensic psychiatry, for criminal law, and for the increasing contemporary focus on the assessment of dangerousness and risk-management strategies in crime control practices.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jacques-Alain Miller; Introduction. Revisiting the Question of Madness, Véronique Voruz and Suzanne Yang; Chapter 1. The Enigma of Serial Killers; Chapter 2. Case Study of a Serial Killer: Henri-Désiré Landru; Chapter 3.Landru and Women: Three Categories Plus One; Chapter 4. Landru and Men: A World Divided in Two; Chapter 5 .Landru’s Psychosis; Chapter 6. Further Case-Studies; Conclusion. Criminal Responsibilities

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW000000
LAW / General
LAW026000
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW067000
LAW / Mental Health
PSY014000
PSYCHOLOGY / Forensic Psychology
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSY036000
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
SOC004000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology