Forensic Psychology and Crime in the News

In this, the first of an intermittent series, I will be sharing some link love from across the web – news and articles in areas I find fascinating, particularly in criminology and forensic psychology.

  • Marilyn Monroe – Published on the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's controversial death, Dr. Katherine Ramsland in Psychology Today introduces the psychological autopsy in “Marilyn’s Forensic Legacy”. (5th August)
  • Lizzy Borden – Dr Katherine Ramsland also discusses Lizzy Borden on the 120th anniversary of Ax Lizzie's family killings, in Ax Lizzie for the Tour | Psychology Today (4th August)
  • Volcanic Eruption brought pestilence on Great Britain – From the Guardian U.K. (via Dead Men Talking) – Mass grave in London reveals how volcano caused global catastrophe | UK news | The Observer – a huge volcanic eruption in the tropics caused mass deaths in the 13th century which were previously pinned on the plague.
  • Genie, Feral Child – Psychology Today discusses Genie, a famous feral child of the 70's in Genie: One of History's Most Famous Feral Children (7th August)
  • Sherlock Holmes – Psychologist Maria Konnikova argues the point that the BBC's Sherlock Holmes may claim he is a sociopath but in actual fact this is the same as being a psychopath – which, Konnikova then suggests, Sherlock is not. The debate intrigues me because several psychologists do distinguish between psychopathy and sociopathy normally based on the levels of disorder found in certain traits. However, both terms are not recognised specifically under the DSM-IV, but this manual lists both under the more general anti-social disorder. There are several views on these disorders, and obviously the BBC writing team hold one which differentiates both. Still, while Cumberbatch's Sherlock does claim to be a sociopath rather than psychopath this would explain why he does hold the welfare of those he deems “family” as being important. Read the comments on Konnikova's post to find a link to an interview kwith Stephen Moffat who wrote the episode of Sherlock being debated here, where he simply suggests Holmes lives his monastic life by choice. All of which is nothing to do with claims found elsewhere that Sherlock Holmes is actually a high performing sufferer of a form of aspergers syndrome.
  • U.S. Crime RatesThree Strange Theories About Why America's Crime Rate Is So Low – i09 writer Annalee Newitz provides 3 random social reasonings proposed as providing lower crime rates – employment, abortion and nice windows.
  • Expert WitnessesMental health expert witnesses slammed in court – a post by Karen Frankin, Ph.D. discusses accusations of bias against mental health experts.
  • The Plague still Exists – guest poster and author Michele Drier provides some startling information on Plague…The Black Death at Manic Readers.


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Hunter Emkay writes psychological thrillers set in our contemporary domestic world. Hunter Emkay grew up and moved between small town surburbia to corporate geekiness – and back. Maybe all that surburban excitement has led to a little too much murder on her mind.

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