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33. Other Don't agree with any of the preceding 32? Got your own ideas? Tell us about them in here.

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Old April 20th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #31
Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline Morris View Post
I am always terribly wary of anything that might depend on a captured killer's own version of events
I was thinking a bit along these lines in that I think it should be considered where we got the term "catathymic" from?

Was it derived from numerous interviews with serial killers for example - in which a psychopath who had savagely mutilated a complete stranger for no reason just answers that he doesn't know why he did it. He felt a sudden rush of anger toward this stranger. He didn't have any memory of it later because, as a psychopath, he felt no guilt or remorse etc and we also get the mother fixation etc

In short, is it an invented term to fit the testimony of some questionable people?
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Old April 20th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #32
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Hi Nemo

Th eproblem with your notion of it being something invented to fit peoples stories are numerous:

Its being an invented term.....it was invented in 1912. hardly the hey day of televise serial killing and pseudo scientific profiling.

"Catathymia has a long and distinguished history in forensic thought but is not well-known. It is a motivational pattern, not a diagnosis" - Meloy, 2000.

All case studies I have seen reported indciate that the culprits do not "use it" as a defence (it cannot be one as the crime WAS, by their own admission, committed) but fully and frankly admit their guilt, if in a somewhat detached manner.

The culprits typically have no idea what the underlying trauma was that was eventually triggered and it is only found in later analysis by a psychiatrist.

"At such times, a chance acquaintance or even a stranger was easily able to lose his real meaning and assume an identity in the unconscious traumatic configuration." - wertham, 1937.

In chronic catathymia the victims are usually people they are close to...wives, family, friends.

In catathymic killings there is often no overt sexual overtones. The chap who killed the girl scout who called to his door apparently killed her when he said he no change of a twenty for the cookies she was selling, she said she would come back next day, and he killed her because she was in a position to tell him what to do and did so. It was the feelings of no self-worth (a child ordering him about) that sparked him off. Nothing more.

That many acute catathymic killings are followed by suicide of the victims is indicative of people who are not looking for an excuse surely?

The fact that it doesnt appear in more defences and is, until recently, confined to the dustier pages of psychiatric texts is surely indicative of it being fairly easy to disprove in court or the fact that many murderers who fall prey to it kill themselves and therefore it never gets a chance to see the light of day?

p
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Old April 20th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #33
Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
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Hi Mr P

I just put that forward as worth considering

I wasn't necessarily referring to defence pleas or excuses - just the explanations given by killers really

It just seems very close to what a psychopath would construct or be diagnosed as having undergone - a catathymic "episode" where he killed a total stranger in an over the top brutal manner for no real reason and then not having that action bother him or even enter his memory later
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