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My research examines the case of Joseph Vacher, one of the most prolific serial murderers in French history, as a micro- historical study to analyze the evolution of criminal theory

My research examines the case of Joseph Vacher, one of the most prolific serial murderers in French history, as a micro- historical study to analyze the evolution of criminal theory and application of the insanity defense over the course of the Belle Époque, as French judicial systems and medico-legal experts attempted to cope with the emerging psychiatric distinction between mental illness and personality disorders. Historically, attempts to explain seemingly unmotivated homicides left a narrow margain for mitigating factors, aside from pleas of insanity.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05
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