Some reflections on the issue of homicide-suicide prompted by a case series of forensic psychology assessments

doi: 10.7417/CT.2020.2216

  • C. Barbieri Sezione di Medicina Legale e Scienze Forensi, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia
  • I. Grattagliano Dipartimento di Scienze della Formazione, Psicologia e Comunicazione, Università degli Studi Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy

Abstract

From the criminologic standpoint, as a crime committed against a psychological background of depression, homicide-suicide is a “dual death” whose significance transcends the specificity of the two events taken singly.  Although diametrically opposite phenomena, in fact they share the same pulsions, to be found in aggressiveness, or the desire to eliminate the tensions underlying it.  From this perspective, various attempts have been made to classify the homicide-suicide phenomenon, which have indicated that those who, through homicide, deprive themselves of their primary source of gratification may then decide to commit suicide as a result of this unbearable loss.  Therefore, suicide post-homicide is a marker of the importance of the bond between the murderer and the victim.   Indeed, some Authors have confirmed that the strong attachment between the two increases the likelihood of suicide of the former after the death of the latter;  that the crime develops in a relational context featuring abuse and maltreatments; that it also stems from the fear of betrayal and the loss of an object that escapes all attempts to possess it, and that in many cases the destruction of the object through the crime is followed by the self-destruction of the criminal.

Published
2020-04-22
How to Cite
BARBIERI, C.; GRATTAGLIANO, I.. Some reflections on the issue of homicide-suicide prompted by a case series of forensic psychology assessments. La Clinica Terapeutica, [S.l.], v. 171, n. 3, p. e216 - e224, apr. 2020. ISSN 1972-6007. Available at: <http://www.clinicaterapeutica.it/ojs/index.php/ClinicaTerapeutica/article/view/645>. Date accessed: 27 may 2020.