International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 148–152 | Cite as

The lethal paraphiliac syndrome: accidental autoerotic deaths in four women and a review of the literature

  • N. Behrendt
  • N. Buhl
  • S. Seidl
Case report


Four previously unpublished cases of female asphyxiophilia are presented. All women were found immobilised by obviously self-tied ropes, string or handcuffs. The women, who were alone at the time of death, died of a lethal paraphilia. The autopsies revealed asphyxiation as the cause of death, caused in two cases by suffocation as a result of hanging and strangulation and in the other two cases by plastic bags placed over the individuals head. In one case there was additional evidence at the scene that the deceased had inhaled ether. In none of the four cases was there any indication that the asphyxiation was due to homicide or suicide. Thus they can be described as accidental autoerotic deaths (AAD). The four cases closely mirror findings from scenes of male AADs, although autoerotic practices are generally believed to be rarer among females than in males.

Keywords Female accidental autoerotic death Lethal paraphiliac syndrome Non-lethal paraphilia Paraphiliac pattern 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Behrendt
    • 1
  • N. Buhl
    • 2
  • S. Seidl
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Forensic Pathology, Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Frederik V. Vej, 2100 Copenhagen Oe., Denmark e-mail:, Tel.: +45-35326167, Fax: +45-35326150DK
  2. 2.Gerichtsärztlicher Dienst Amberg, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, GermanyDE

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