Psychopathy, Perversion, and Lust Homicide
Recognizing the Mental Disorders That Power Serial Killers
by Duane L. Dobbert
June 2009, 185pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36621-5
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36622-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A fascinating, if horiffic, study of the psychological and social histories of more than a dozen serial killers, and the red flags society missed that might have saved some victims.

In this pointed study of serial killers, internationally known Forensic Psychologist Duane Dobbert shows us how – even years before the crimes were commmitted- the perpetrators of lust homicides exhibited behaviors showing certain mental and sexual disorders which grew to fuel the horiffic murders. Dobbert’s analysis, covering 13 killers from Herman Mudgett, who confessed to 27 murders in the late 1800s, to Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991 – looks at their early lives and development of Antisocial Personality Disorder, as well as sexual disorders including sexual sadism and necrophilia. Special attention is paid to early signs of these disorders that were missed, mishandled, minimized or ignored by professionals in law enforcement, education, health care and criminal justice. The author demonstrates how and why most serial murders are sexually motivated, and fueled by this combination of psychopathy and sexual disorder. Having a clear understanding of the precursor behaviors could benefit us by enabling prediction and prevention of such crimes, says Dobbert. He also addresses signs of psychopathy and sexual disorders that should send red flags up to any adult or parent looking to protect their loved ones from harm.

Dobbert offers psychological and social history of each killer, from early life on, which molded each into an ultimate monster. Lucas, for example, was born to a prostitute and an alcoholic father who lost his legs in a train accident. He was forced to watch his mother perform sexual acts with clients, regularly beaten and one head injury from a beating put him into a coma. His mother curled his hair into ringlets and dressed him as a girl, sending him to school like that. Lucas showed all the signs of Conduct Disorder by the time he was 10 and already an alcoholic. He was obsessed with sex by the time he was 13, and had sex with his half-brother, as well as animals he would trap, torture and kill in sexual rituals. Lucas was convicted as a teenager of a burglary, and sent to a training school, where he was disruptive and attempted several escapes, but released a year later. He confessed later to raping his 12-year-old niece the next day. Each of these killers have a unique psychological development, but all demonstrated early the patterned behavior of psychopathy and sexual disorder, explains Dobbert.


"Dobbert (criminal forensic studies, Florida Gulf Coast U.) uses his 39 years of experience as a forensic behavioral analyst to examine the early sexual motivations, psychopathy, and sexual disorders that drive most serial killers toward a life of crime. The author uses 13 case studies ranging from the 19th-century killer Herman Mudgett to Jeffrey Dahmer to provide a detailed psychological profile of each subject. The author emphasizes the patterns and precursors that bind each case so that students and practitioners in the behavioral sciences can have a clear understanding of these precursor behaviors." —Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2009

"Psychopathy, Perversion, and Lust Homicide (2009) presents a new perspective on the characteristics of serial killers that may assist in future detection and apprehension of these types of offenders. . . . Overall, I recommend this book for students, researchers, and practitioners who are interested or work in areas that bring them into contact with individuals who exhibit behaviours consistent with a diagnosis of ASPD on the entire continuum of least to most severe behavioural manifestations. Equally informative and useful is the careful analysis of the evidence from each case to support assertions that an individual exhibits behaviours consistent with various paraphilias and sexual pathology. Psychopathy, Perversion, and Lust Homicide is well organized, evidence is thoroughly presented in an unbiased manner, and is written in prose that will appeal to a variety of audiences."—Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, January 1, 2010
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