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9780761907596

Fatal Families : The Dynamics of Intrafamilial Homicide

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780761907596

  • ISBN10:

    0761907599

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-07-29
  • Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc

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Summary

For most Americans-regardless of where they live-the risk of being murdered is much greater in their own homes than on any main street on which they are ever likely to walk. Every year, nearly half of the more than 20,0000 homicide victims are related to or acquainted with their killers. Alcohol abuse, mental illness, and criminality figure largely in intrafamilial homicide. But, whatever the scenario behind the murder, murder within families is the most chilling and frightening of all crimes. Fatal Families examines the nature, causes, and consequences of family homicide in modern American society. Using a case study approach, author Charles Patrick Ewing explores the social, cultural, and psychological forces that lead people to kill members of their own families. Drawing on his professional background in both law and psychology, he points the way to measures that can be taken to halt the steady pace of murder within families. Examining a horrifying but necessary topic, Fatal Families will be vitally important to professionals and students in family studies, criminology, interpersonal violence, psychology, social work, and urban studies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
All in the Family
1(11)
Batterers Who Kill
12(14)
Why Batterers Kill
22(2)
The Failure of the Legal System
24(2)
Battered Women Who Kill
26(11)
Battered Women and Battered Woman Syndrome
31(2)
Battered Women Who Kill
33(2)
Why Battered Women Kill
35(2)
Munchausen Mothers
37(19)
Why They Killed: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
45(3)
Recent Munchausen Cases
48(5)
Dynamics of Munchausen by Proxy Killings
53(3)
Postpartum Homicides
56(11)
The Insanity Defense
61(1)
Baby Blues? Or Postpartum Depression?
61(4)
The Law's Response: Punishment? Or Treatment?
65(2)
Disappearing, Disposable Babies
67(23)
Mentally Ill? Or Antisocial?
77(4)
Disposable Babies, Desperate Mothers
81(3)
Who Are These Mothers?
84(2)
Why Do They Dump Their Babies?
86(4)
Child Abuse Fatalities
90(10)
Incidence and Prevalence of Fatal Maltreatment
95(1)
Who Are the Victims and the Perpetrators?
95(1)
Classifying Filicide: Why Do Parents Kill?
96(4)
Parricide
100(15)
Incidence and Prevalence of Parricide
103(1)
Abused Children Killing Abusive Parents?
104(1)
Other Factors in Parricide
105(1)
Family Conspiracy?
105(2)
Mental Illness and Parricide
107(2)
Antisocial Offender? Or Abuse Victim?
109(2)
Greed as a Motive for Parricide?
111(4)
Fratricide and Sororicide
115(11)
Incidence and Prevalence of Fratricide and Sororicide
117(1)
Why Do Siblings Kill?
117(9)
Familicide
126(14)
Circumstances and Motives in Familicide
134(2)
Juvenile Familicide
136(4)
Mercy Killings
140(11)
Mercy Killing Among the Elderly
142(2)
An End to Whose Suffering?
144(7)
Preventing Family Homicide
151(12)
The Roots of Family Homicide
152(3)
Preventing Family Homicide
155(5)
Conclusion: Hope for the Future?
160(3)
References and Notes 163(26)
Name Index 189(4)
Subject Index 193(2)
About the Author 195

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