Psychotic homicides in Copenhagen from 1959 to 1983

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1987 Sep;76(3):285-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1987.tb02897.x.


During the years from 1959 to 1983, 263 Copenhagen defendants of homicide underwent a psychiatric examination for the court. Twenty-three percent of the defendants were held to be psychotic at the time of the crime. The psychotic defendants differed from the non-psychotic by being older, less often substance abusing and by choosing victims inside their families. It is discussed whether a reduction in the available number of psychiatric beds could be a contributional reason for the increase in especially the number of schizophrenic defendants. About one third of all defendants were by the examining psychiatrists found in need of a sanction different from ordinary punishment; furthermore, a tendency towards sanctions of treatment instead of just placement in a psychiatric hospital was documented and is discussed. The increasing demand of capacity for forensic, psychiatric patients is mentioned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Criminal Law
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Homicide*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Punishment
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology