Monstrous Crimes and the Failure of Forensic Psychiatry

  • John Douard
  • Pamela D. Schultz

Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 53)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 13-33
  3. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 35-50
  4. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 51-70
  5. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 71-93
  6. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 95-111
  7. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 113-132
  8. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 133-156
  9. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 157-178
  10. John Douard, Pamela D. Schultz
    Pages 179-189
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 191-197

About this book


The metaphor of the monster or predator—usually a sexual predator, drug dealer in areas frequented by children, or psychopathic murderer—is a powerful framing device in public discourse about how the criminal justice system should respond to serious violent crimes. The cultural history of the monster reveals significant features of the metaphor that raise questions about the extent to which justice can be achieved in both the punishment of what are regarded as "monstrous crimes" and the treatment of those who commit such crimes.

This volume is the first to address the connections between the history of the monster metaphor, the 19th century idea of the criminal as monster, and the 20th century conception of the psychopath: the new monster. The book addresses, in particular, the ways in which the metaphor is used to scapegoat certain categories of crimes and criminals for anxieties about our own potential for deviant, and, indeed, dangerous interests. These interests have long been found to be associated with the fascination people have for monsters in most cultures, including the West.

The book concludes with an analysis of the role of forensic psychiatrists and psychologists in representing criminal defendants as psychopaths, or persons with certain personality disorders. As psychiatry and psychology have transformed bad behavior into mad behavior, these institutions have taken on the legal role of helping to sort out the most dangerous among us for preventive "treatment" rather than carceral "punishment."


behavior criminal justice system forensic psychiatrists monster personality disorder psychologist psychopath punishment social justice violent crimes

Authors and affiliations

  • John Douard
    • 1
  • Pamela D. Schultz
    • 2
  1. 1.New BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.AlfredUSA

Bibliographic information