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» » The Psychopathology of Serial Murder
The Psychopathology of Serial Murder


Stephen J. Giannangelo


The Psychopathology of Serial Murder



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1548 kb

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1237 kb

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1439 kb

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Praeger (November 14, 1996)




Social Sciences



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The Psychopathology of Serial Murder by Stephen J. Giannangelo

In this book, criminologist Stephen Giannangelo offers an original theory of the origins and development of the serial murderer. The author constructs a two-part model of the serial murderer's development. The first part outlines biological factors and concomitant psychological anomalies that can predispose individuals toward homicidal behavior. Then, in developing the second part of his model, Giannangelo describes how a traumatic environmental stressor may trigger a cyclical pattern of violent behavior in those persons predisposed to kill. Having constructed his archetype of the serial killer, the author concludes by suggesting how diagnostic tools could be constructed and employed by psychologists, criminologists, and law enforcement officials to recognize the serial killer and to arrest the cycle of violence.

I've been looking for a book that discusses the psychology of serial killers using the DSM, and this book does just that. Very interesting read, especially for those familiar with psychological terms and how to use the DSM.
Well writen and factual.
At first I was upset when I read this book since I was heading in the direction Giannangelo went. However, I got over it and am grateful to him for providing a direction for me to go. His use of DSM categories and the diathesis- stress model are the only theory so far that "feels right" in desribing serial killers. He provides clear, concise and believable arguments in favor of this theory's applicability to serial killers. He shows that serial killing is primarily a psychological pathology (hence the title of the book) but the diatheis- stress model highlights the importance of both biology and environmental factos in their emergence. It allows for individual differences in experience to lead to the same act. I would like to see a follow up work, especially trying to apply his proposed DSM category to these killers. This is an important book for anyone studying serial killers seriously. It packs a lot into a little book.
In regards to the theory itself, it just makes sense. I know that sounds a bit simplistic, especially in light of the many years of studying others have done without too much success, but it does make sense. The author has come up with a classification that is more than supposable. I like so many of you have longed for a reasonable explanation for how and why one becomes a serial killer--something solid and definitive. Giannangelo has attained this. The Psychopathology of Serial Murder is not a comparison of what is known and it is not to dispel what has been thus far suggested. It is a theory of violence and it is a proficient one. It is believable and comprehendible. I was surprised by this book and believe you will be too. I urge you to get it and place it amongst your most often used resource books--I already have.

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