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Endangered Children: Homicide and Other Crimes, Second Edition

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Endangered Children: Homicide and Other Crimes, Second Edition

This book provides a psychological, sociological, and criminological perspective of these acts, as the authors answer the many questions that arise from these crimes.

By Lita Linzer Schwartz,

Natalie Isser,

ISBN: 9781439876268

Retail price: $87.95   $67.95


People are horrified when parents kill their children, yet this act occurs daily on a global basis. Endangered Children: Neonaticide, Infanticide and Filicide, Second Edition provides a psychological, sociological, and criminological perspective of these acts, as the authors answer the many questions that arise from these crimes.

With an emphasis on neonaticide in terms of motives, alternatives, defenses offered, and penalties imposed, this book will be of interest to everyone from social workers to attorneys. A secondary area of focus is infanticide and filicide, again with attention paid to motives, defenses, and legal outcomes. Particular attention is paid to psychological/psychiatric defenses that have been offered and their impact as reported in law review articles and elsewhere.

Despite universal reprobation, neonaticide and infanticide have been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of intellectual complexity. This text will examine the mothers of the victims in terms of background and motives along with the role, if any, that mental illness plays in the death of their children.

What sets the stage for a parent of a newborn to abandon it to an almost certain death? What motives underlie such an act? Do the attitudes and laws regarding abortion have any relation to neonaticide?

These questions, as well as many others will be answered in societal, religious and legal terms. Professionals and the lay public alike need to understand why these incidents occur and what actions can be undertaken to reduce them in the future.


Children: An Endangered Species throughout History
Gender and child homicide
The literary legacy
Child homicide in literature and opera

Neonaticide in Theory and in History: Who are the Perpetrators?
Sociobiological perspectives
Cross-cultural perspectives
An historical perspective

Motives for Murder
Why murder?
Infanticide and filicide
Neonaticide and its Alternatives
Options in pregnancy
Why neonaticide?

Neonaticide and the law
Legal ramifications
Variations in charges and sentencing
Should neonaticide be punished? If so, how?
Anglo-American laws and sentencing
What about the fathers?
Concluding comments

In Transition: From One form of Child Homicide to Another
Neonaticide syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome/shaking impact syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome
Munchausen syndrome by Proxy (MSBP)

Postpartum Depression Disorders
Differentiating the disorders
Case examples
What can be done
Early diagnosis
Legal controversies

Infanticide and Filicide by Parents and their Surrogates
What kind of parent…?
Other motives
Paternal homicide
Child abuse
Legal ramifications
The survivors
If these are the causes…

Neonaticide, Infanticide, Filicide, and the Law
The insanity defense
Postpartum depression versus postpartum psychosis
Alternative defenses
In defense of the defendant
Variations in penalties
An interesting question
Are the laws antifemale
Looking back and ahead

Choice and Reproduction: Political and Other Arguments
The abortion controversy
In the courts
Euthanasia and infanticide
Eugenics, mercy-killing, and euthanasia
The parental positions
Closing thoughts

Child Homicide: Preventive Measures
Prevention of Neonaticide
Pregnancy prevention
Preventing infanticide and filicide
Summarizing the alternatives

Concluding Thoughts and Recommendations
Provide information
Therapeutic rehabilitation
The role of therapeutic jurisprudence

Published: December 2011


Pages:  216