Base Instincts: What Makes Killers Kill?

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2002 - Psychology - 239 pages
Neurologist Dr. Jonathan Pincus personally examined and probed into the family and medical history of numerous serial killers and other violent criminals to analyze what creates and triggers the violent instinct. He discovered that virtually all suffered severe abuse as children, as well as brain damage and mental illness. In these gripping, terrifying stories, Pincus concludes that violent criminal behavior is the catastrophic product of a dysfunctional brain coupled with an abusive environment. Focusing on these critical factors, how can we prevent the development of potentially violent persons from a young age before the damage becomes irrevocable? And how do we evaluate chances of rehabilitation? "[A] rigorous, troubling, and profoundly humane book."-Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic "An urgent wake-up call for the nation...a must-read for every professional engaged in the administration of criminal justice."-Samuel Dash, Georgetown University Law Center
 

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User Review  - Alezanne - LibraryThing

Excellent book supporting the theory of neurosurgeon Jonathan Pincus as to why people kill. He meets with murderers in prisons around the country, and recounts the most horrifying stories of childhood ... Read full review

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Contents

Acknowledgments
7
Prologue
9
The Theory of Violence as Taught by Louis Culpepper
15
Murder on the School Bus
20
Murder by Abuse
35
Genes Geography and the Generation of Violence
56
Wrath Repression and ReleaseThe Effects of Frontal Lobotomy
70
Immaturity Mania Mistreatment and Miscreancy
87
Nature Nurture and Neurology
117
Anatomy of Evil
128
Did You Ever Hear a Baby Cry?
157
Hitler and Hatred
178
Prevention and Treatment
194
Tools of Diagnosis History Physical Examination and the Role of Tests
211
Notes
227
Copyright

Toxins and Turmoil
104

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About the author (2002)

Jonathan H. Pincus is chairman emeritus of Georgetown University's Department of Neurology & the author of numerous texts on neurology.

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