Murder and assault arrests of White House cases: clinical and demographic correlates of violence subsequent to civil commitment

Am J Psychiatry. 1989 May;146(5):645-51. doi: 10.1176/ajp.146.5.645.


The authors studied arrest records and clinical data on 217 persons formerly hospitalized as "White House Cases" because they were psychotically preoccupied with prominent political figures. Prior arrest for violent crime was the variable most strongly associated with arrest for violent crime after hospital discharge. Male gender and a history of weapons possession were also correlated with future violence. For those with prior violent crime arrests, hospital incidents requiring seclusion were also associated with later violence. For those without prior arrests, subsequent violence was associated with threats, living outside Washington, and command hallucinations. For those previously arrested for nonviolent crimes, only persecutory delusions were associated with later violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Commitment of Mentally Ill
  • Delusions / psychology
  • District of Columbia
  • Hallucinations / psychology
  • Homicide*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Politics*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • United States
  • Violence*