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Homicide, Second Edition

A Psychiatric Perspective

Carl P. Malmquist, M.D., M.S.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-204-7
  • Item #62204
Winner of the 2007 Manfred S. Guttmacher Award

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Most professional books on the subject of homicide convey a criminological or legal standpoint. Homicide: A Psychiatric Perspective complements those approaches by offering a clinical understanding unique in the literature, considering not merely the crime but the broad spectrum of homicidal behavior. Combining psychiatric knowledge of that behavior with actual case material, this work provides a single-expert point of view, synthesizing current literature while maintaining a focused perspective that not only reviews the macroscopic findings of descriptive nosology but also places the individual murderer under the microscope.

This new edition considers aspects of homicidal behavior in American society that were not prominent a decade ago, as evidenced by such phenomena as the Columbine killings and public fascination with The Sopranos. Dr. Malmquist draws on his extensive background in forensic psychiatry and consultancy experience in hundreds of murder cases, blending medical, biological, psychological, and social factors to forge a psychiatric understanding of homicide in the twenty-first century.

He provides insight into such key concerns as epidemiology, the ongoing difficulty of predicting homicidal behavior in psychotic individuals, and the contrasting viewpoints of psychiatry and the legal system; and he describes how various clinical psychiatric conditions such as narcissism and depression have their own special vulnerabilities for homicidal violence. The book uses DSM-IV-TR as a diagnostic framework and adds a psychodynamic component for appropriate cases, offering a broad overview of homicide today:

  • Cases are drawn from evaluated homicidal individuals, not simply generic examples, and reflect homicides that involve a legal conviction, a confession, or clinical material beyond media reportage.
  • New to this edition are insights into recent homicide trends such as sexual and serial murders, school killings, homicide among preadolescents, stalking, murder by health care personnel, and close-combat killings in the military.
  • Statistical data on epidemiology have been updated, recent cases have been added, and the latest legal decisions are discussed—all making this book as timely as it is authoritative.

Homicide: A Psychiatric Perspective is an essential reference for mental health professionals as well as attorneys, correctional officers, or social workers engaged in criminal law. With its keys to evaluating patients or defendants who have engaged in serious acts of violence, it offers unprecedented clinical insights into the homicidal mind.


  • Foreword
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Epidemiological Aspects of Homicide
  • Chapter 2. Biological Factors in Homicide
  • Chapter 3. Schizophrenia, Delusional Disorders, and the Prediction Problem Regarding Homicide
  • Chapter 4. Borderline Personality Disorder and Homicide: The Quest for Vindication
  • Chapter 5. Dependent Personality Disorder and Homicide
  • Chapter 6. Narcissism and Homicide
  • Chapter 7. Masochism and Homicide: The Ultimate Enslavement
  • Chapter 8. The Depressed or Bipolar Person and Homicide
  • Chapter 9. Juveniles and Homicide
  • Chapter 10. Sexual Homicide
  • Chapter 11. Legal Versus Clinical Views on Homicide: Diagnosis and Voluntariness
  • Chapter 12. Homicide in the Twenty-First Century: Where Knowledge Is Needed
  • Index

About the Authors

Carl P. Malmquist, M.D., M.S., is a psychiatrist who is board-certified in Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry. He has served as a professor at both the medical and law schools of the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan. Dr. Malmquist is currently Professor of Social Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota. He has written numerous publications and has functioned as the psychiatric consultant to the Distric Court System in Minneapolis.

Dr. Malmquist follows his First Edition faithfully with a significant update on the clinical perspectives on homicide. He details the types of individuals who commit homicide and illustrates his work with actual cases in which he has been involved. For anyone working in the field of forensic psychiatry, this book is a must because it details what we all need to know when working with defendants who commit murder or manslaughter. The chapter on comparing legal and clinical views on homicide, 'Diagnosis and Voluntariness,' is of particular interest. Homicide: A Psychiatric Perspective, Second Edition is a welcome addition to any forensic library. .—Robert L. Sadoff, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I was impressed by the author's comprehension of the topics and his ability to explain complicated ideas succinctly.The chapter, Legal Versus Clinical Views on Homicide provides exceptional insight into the struggle between the legal and clinical understanding of this horrific act.—Doody's Book Review Service, 4/18/2007

Malmquist's book on homicide, Homicide: A Psychiatric Perspective, is a bridge from the community, court, and prison context related to murder to the encounter with the mental health establishment.He brings a depth of understanding to the issue of homicide that provides even the most skilled practitioners in the field with a knowledge and research base and clinical perspective that is compelling.I found Malmquist's book not only readable and enjoyable but thoroughly educational, increasing my understanding of homicide and its related issues (e.g., near murderers) from a psychiatric perspective.—PsycCRITIQUES, 4/18/2007

The author has capably covered a wide range of topics on murder, and this diversity is strength of the book.I consider Homicide to be a first-rate addition to the literature on murder. It provides the reader with a unique and clinically enriched understanding of homicide.—Journal of American Medical Association, 4/18/2007

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