The psychological characteristics of sexual murderers

Kerr, Kevin John (2015). The psychological characteristics of sexual murderers. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the offence of sexual homicide in psychiatric and non-psychiatric forensic populations using a variety of methods. Overall, this thesis reports a number of findings that are consistent with existing literature. Firstly, the offence of sexual homicide is extremely complex and cannot be understood without consideration of both internal and external factors. Secondly, severe forms of physical and/or sexual abuse as well as critical early life events are important in understanding the offence and may be reflected in an individual’s crime(s). Thirdly, severe forms of mental illness and other types of psychopathology are apparent in sexual killers detained in hospital, which is likely to impact on the offender’s thinking at the time of the offence and a highly disorganised crime scene. Finally, defining the offence, which has proved difficult for academics, is less important than an accurate formulation detailing motive and clear treatment targets. Clinical implications and limitations of the research are also discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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