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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/859

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835
ENRICO FERRI ON HOMICIDE.

that "in delinquents murder is a means, in madmen it is an end," adopted until now by most scientists, and only lately dismissed as inadequate by the most eminent anthropologists and criminalists in consequence of Ferri's criticisms published in 1886.

In the present book the author adds two other characteristic motive factors found in mad delinquents—that is to say, homicide for purpose of suicide (for example, a man kills another in order to expiate his crime on the scaffold); and sacrificial homicide induced by the desire to kill, to sacrifice a victim for his own good or for the good of both murderer and victim. This, according to Ferri, is the attitude of the insane homicide before, during, and after his criminal excitement. First, and less common, there is the premeditation which approximates the insane homicide to the homicide born. The concomitants of this type may be the killing of his victim openly in the face of witnesses, the lack of accomplices, the latter an important feature and one that the mad homicide has almost always in common with the murderer by passionate impulse. It is not, however, unknown that madmen associate to commit crimes, from the sociability that is a characteristic of the epileptic, and forms indeed yet another proof of the fundamental identity of epilepsy and congenital delinquency with so-called moral insanity, so wonderfully demonstrated by Lombroso.

While committing the crime the manner of the mad homicide is generally agitated. He is also of a violent ferocity, which differs from that of the born homicide, which may lead him to the point of cannibalism, just as it does the latter. Another symptom, which is, however, exclusively seen in the insane (imbeciles, idiots, epileptics), is that of the monstrous sexual passion that finds its vent on the corpse of their victim (necro-philomania), to which must be added the murder of persons beloved or of persons unknown, as well as indiscriminate massacre.

The symptoms and the attitude of the mad homicide after his crime are in part common to those of the born homicide, although the psychological genesis of these symptoms is different. These are: calmness after committing the act, which often continues when arrested and during the trial, impassibility at sight of the corpse, etc. A true characteristic symptom distinguishing the mad homicide from the born homicide is great prostration and abnormal sleep into which he often falls after his murderous assault, very different from the calmness and the placid sleep of the born homicide. Notable, too, is the impulse toward suicide that seizes him immediately after the consummation of the deed, an instantaneous reaction of his moral sense, the feeling of relief, as though a heavy weight were removed, the moral Daltonism