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An examination of the psychological aspects of bite marks.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology
Publication Date
Volume
5
Issue
1
Pages
25–29
Identifiers
PMID: 6711515
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The intent of this paper is to present some psychological threads which appear to be operative for the perpetrator of bite marks. In the catalogue of multiple motivations, there appears to be a current theme of power, control, potency, and the attempt to have a psychological symbolization of the perpetrator's omniscient capacity for absorbing life essences. In an examination of these highly complex needs, the modern perpetrator appears to act out consistently with cultural biases coupled with immediate psychological needs which have pressed for expression. Due to a pattern of psychologically expressed ritualism, the perpetrator will often inadvertently leave important psychological clues at the crime scene. The attack style, mode of death, characteristics of the victim, etc.--these components reveal the information on the type of psychological needs that the perpetrator is trying to satisfy. In the cases of bite marks associated with violent crime, it becomes crucial to an "investigator" what type of personality characteristics are welded together to form this kind of need complex. After reviewing cases reported in the literature and after conducting psychological interviews with perpetrators, three major groups of perpetrators seem to be apparent. The first group is motivated out of an anger track, the second group is motivated out of sadistic biting, and the third is out of the more traditional "cannibal complex" motif.

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