The Psychology of Lust Murder

The Psychology of Lust Murder, 1st Edition

Paraphilia, Sexual Killing, and Serial Homicide

The Psychology of Lust Murder, 1st Edition,Catherine Purcell,Bruce Arrigo,ISBN9780123705105


Academic Press




229 X 152

Utilizing the insights of psychology and criminology, this book describes a thought-provoking, original, and sensible model that accounts for the role of paraphilia (i.e., sexual deviance) in the serial commission of lust murder

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Key Features

* Contributes, in a thoughtful and scholarly way, to the audiences' existing library of books on crimes and criminals
* Provides new and insightful information on the criminal behavior of Jeffrey Dahmer
* Enables readers to compare and contrast different models/theories on sexual homicide and serial murder
* Assists researchers, educators, public officials, and the lay public determine how best to respond to the phenomenon of lust murder


The Psychology of Lust Murder systematically examines the phenomenon of paraphilia (i.e., aberrant sexuality) in relationship to the crime of lust murder. By synthesizing the relevant theories on sexual homicide and serial killing, the authors develop an original, timely, sensible model that accounts for the emergence and progression of paraphilias expressed through increasingly violent erotic fantasies. Over time, these disturbing paraphilic images that, among other things, involve rape, body mutilation and dismemberment, torture, post-mortem sexual intercourse, and cannibalism, are all actualized. Thus, it is the sustained presence of deviant sexuality that contributes to and serves as underlying motive for the phenomenon of lust murder (a.k.a. erotophonophilia). Going well beyond theoretical speculation, the authors (Dr. Catherine Purcell, a forensic psychologist and Dr. Bruce Arrigo, a criminologist) apply their integrated model to the gruesome and chilling case of Jeffrey Dahmer. They convincingly demonstrate where and how their conceptual framework provides a more complete explanation of lust homicide than any other model available in the field today. The book concludes with a number of practical suggestions linked to clinical prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies; police training, profiling, and apprehension efforts; as well as legal and public policy responses to sexually violent and predatory assailants. Comprehensive in its coverage, accessible in its prose, and thoughtful in its analysis, The Psychology of Lust Murder is a must read for any person interested in the crime of erotophonophilia and those offenders responsible for its serial commission.


Psychologist/criminologists teaching criminal and clinical aspects of aberrant sexuality; students interested in the crime of lust murder and those responsible for its serial commission; criminologist/psychologists researching sexual homicide and serial murder; students studying criminal psychology, sociology of deviance, offender profiles; lay public interested in "true crime" accounts of murder

Catherine Purcell

Affiliations and Expertise

Loveland, CO, USA

Bruce Arrigo

Bruce A. Arrigo, Ph.D., is Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. He holds additional faculty appointments in Psychology, in Public Policy, and in Public Health Sciences. Dr. Arrigo has (co)authored or (co)edited) 30+ books and 175+ scholarly papers in the areas of justice and social welfare at the intersection of law, mental health, and society. He also is the founding and current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and has served as a consultant to the Correctional Service of Canada, the National Institute of Justice, the National Science Foundation, and Savant Learning Systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of North Carolina, Charlotte, U.S.A.

View additional works by Bruce A. Arrigo

The Psychology of Lust Murder, 1st Edition

Preliminary TOC
Chapter 1: Introduction
Sexual Homicide and Serial Murder: Towards an Integration
Organization of the Book
Comments on Presuppositions

Chapter 2: On Paraphilia and Lust Murder
Definition of Paraphilia
Etiology of Paraphilia
Lust Murder/Erotophonophilia
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter 3: On Sexual Homicide and Serial Murder: What Do We Know?
MacCulloch Model
Motivational Model
Trauma Control Model
The Limits of the Existing Models
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter 4: An Integrative Model: What Do We Need?
Formative Development
Early Fantasy and Paraphilic Development
Paraphilic Process
Behavioral Manifestations
Increasingly Violent Fantasies
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter 5: The Case of Jeffrey Dahmer
Methodological Concerns
Birth and Early Childhood Development
Early Sexual Identity
Early Fantasy Development
First Victim
Post- High School Encounters
Early Criminal and Employment History
Violent Fantasies and Homicidal Conduct
Paraphilic Behaviors
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter 6: Dahmer, Sexual Deviance and Lust Murder: Testing the Models
The Motivation Model
The Trauma Control Model
The Integrated Paraphilic Model
The Paraphilic Continuum
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter 7: In Search of Meaning: On Theory Construction and Model Making
The Criminological Theory of Self-Concept and Crime
Similarities Among the Models
Differences Among the Models
Unique Features of the Models
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter 8: Implications and Conclusions
Rethinking the Case of Jeffrey Dahmer
Law Enforcement Administration and Management
Criminal and Clinical Psychology
Law and Public Policy

Quotes and reviews

"...serves nicely as an introduction to lust murder. Readers seeking a primer on the topic will find it useful...Overall, the book offers an interesting and readable introduction to the psychology of lust murder. The discussions of the role of sexual fantasy and psychopathy in lust murders are especially interesting...this book offers a number of observations and conclusions that are open to empirical tests. It is hoped that future researchers will accept the challenge."
--Richard D. McAnulty for PsycCRITIQUES, May 9, 2007, Vol. 52, Release 19, Article 9
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