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Arieti, S. Schreiber, F.R. (1981). Multiple Murders of a Schizophrenic Patient: A Psychodynamic Interpretation. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 9(4):501-524.

(1981). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 9(4):501-524

Multiple Murders of a Schizophrenic Patient: A Psychodynamic Interpretation

Silvano Arieti, M.D. and Flora Rheta Schreiber

Homicide is less common among schizophrenic patients than is generally believed. Guttmacher (1960) stressed the fact that homicide is a very rare phenomenon among schizophrenics. He stated: When one considers the great prevalence of this disorder, the tens of thousands of cases that exist, and the few homicides committed by schizophrenics and other types of psychotic individuals, there is no cause for alarm. On the other hand, there seems to be no doubt that schizophrenia is more common among murderers than among the general population. A study by Cole, Fisher, and Cole (1968) revealed that 18 percent of women who had committed murder were psychotic (usually paranoid schizophrenic) but they were not considered legally insane.

Nivoli (1973) completed a study of the “schizophrenic murderer” which is a fundamental statement on the subject.

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