Sexual homicide

A clinical and investigative analysis

Authored by: Stacey L. Shipley , Bruce A. Arrigo

The Routledge International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415722131
eBook ISBN: 9781315858449
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936749


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Sexual homicide is considered among the most depraved of human behaviors (Palermo, 2004; Purcell and Arrigo, 2006). By undertaking an examination of it, we seek to understand the darkest side of aberrant thought and degenerate conduct. How can one person inflict such callous brutality upon another? Some argue that the very instinct of self-preservation or survival necessitates aggressive and sexual impulses (e.g. Zillmann, 1998; Schlesinger, 2003; Pennington, 2005). However, when these two powerful drives are fused without the requisite prosocial attachments and restraints, various forms of sexual sadism can surface and various types of sexual homicide can occur.

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