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J Forensic Sci. 2011 Nov;56(6):1626-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01933.x. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Sociodemographic and diagnostic characteristics of homicidal and nonhomicidal sexual offenders.

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University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, Martinistraβe 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. Rothenbaumchaussee 7, 20148 Hamburg, Germany.


The aims of this study were to compare the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and "psychopathy" in homicidal and nonhomicidal sexual offenders and to investigate the specificity of previous studies on psychiatric morbidity of a sample of sexual murderers. Information from court reports of 166 homicidal and 56 nonhomicidal sex offenders was evaluated using standardized instruments (SCID-II, PCL-R) and classification systems (DSM-IV). Sexual murderers were diagnosed more often with a personality disorder (80.1% vs. 50%; p < 0.001), especially schizoid personality disorder (16.3% vs. 5.4%; p < 0.05), as well as with sexual sadism (36.7% vs. 8.9%; p < 0.001) and sexual dysfunctions (21.7% vs. 7.1%; p < 0.05). Additionally, they had more often used alcohol during the offense (63.2% vs. 41%; p < 0.05). The results indicate that sexual murderers have more and a greater variety of psychiatric disorders when compared to nonhomicidal sex offenders.

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