Familicidal Hearts: The Emotional Styles of 211 Killers

Paperback | June 26, 2013

byNeil Websdale

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Oscar, physically and sexually abusive, stabbed his partner and two stepdaughters to death, buried the bodies, and fled the state with his two younger children. Paul, a respected investment banker, donned a Halloween mask and shot his wife and two children before turning the gun on himself.What drives individuals as different as Oscar and Paul to kill their families? Why does familicide appear to be on the rise?In Familicidal Hearts, award-winning author and sociologist Neil Websdale uncovers the stories behind 196 male and 15 female perpetrators of this shocking offense, situating their emotional styles on a continuum, from the livid coercive to the civil reputable. With highly detailed and riveting casestudies, Websdale explores the pivotal roles of shame, rage, fear, anxiety, and depression in the lives and crimes of the killers. His analysis demonstrates how internal emotional conflict, against a backdrop of societal pressures, is at the root of familicide, challenging the widely acceptedargument that murderers kill family members to assert power and control. Websdale contends instead that most perpetrators struggle with intense shame, many sensing that they failed to live up to the demands of modern gender prescriptions, as fathers and lovers, wives and mothers. What emerges is acompelling theory about the haunting effects of modern emotional struggles on perpetrators, controlling and upstanding alike.Captivatingly written and expertly researched, this provocative book weaves a gripping tale of modern-era "haunted hearts." Blending the social, the historical, and the emotional into a new way of making sense of a horrific crime, Familicidal Hearts is a provocative meditation on gender roles,social forces, and modern life itself.

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Oscar, physically and sexually abusive, stabbed his partner and two stepdaughters to death, buried the bodies, and fled the state with his two younger children. Paul, a respected investment banker, donned a Halloween mask and shot his wife and two children before turning the gun on himself.What drives individuals as different as Oscar ...

Neil Websdale, PhD, is a Professor of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University and the Director and Principal Project Advisor of the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative (US Department of Justice).

other books by Neil Websdale

Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:June 26, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199325847

ISBN - 13:9780199325849

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Table of Contents

1. Situating Familicide2. Figurations of Feeling, Haunted Hearts, and Uncanny Acts3. Familicide: A History4. Livid Coercive Hearts5. Civil Reputable Hearts6. Familicide as a Consequence of Modern Era Emotional Formations7. Closing Thoughts and ImplicationsAppendix I: The Occupational Backgrounds of the Livid Coercive and Civil Reputable HeartsAppendix II: The Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds of the Livid Coercive and Civil Reputable HeartsAppendix III: Rates of Familicide per 100,000 US Population in 10 year intervals (N= 190 US Cases)Appendix IV: Survey Instrument: Male PerpetratorsNotesReferencesIndex