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Journal Article


Koops E, Burwinkel K, Kleiber M, Puschel K. Acta Med. Leg. Soc. (Liege) 1986; 36(1): 165-175.

Vernacular Title

Kriminelle Leichenzerst├╝ckelung.


(Copyright © 1986, International Academy of Legal Medicine and Social Medicine)






In the period from 1959 to 1984 the Institute of Legal Medicine in Hamburg had to investigate 27 cases of criminal dismemberment. With regard to all legal autopsies the average frequency was about 1:500. A distinct increase of the number of cases is noticeable within the last years; i.e., 1984 there were 6 victims. Our study enclosed the autopsy findings, the police investigations, and the available court records. 11 cases were classified as defensive and 16 cases as offensive dismemberment of bodies (among these: 2 cases of dismemberment after stealing the corpse and 2 cases of killing the victims by decapitation). One perpetrator had 3 victims, twice there was a perpetrator with 2 victims. The victims were of all ages, but mainly between 40 and 50 years old. 22 of them were female and 5 male. 16 perpetrators could be identified, 14 of them were male and 2 female; all of them were older than 30 years, mostly between the age of 40 and 50. The psychiatric experts classified 11 of the perpetrators as "normal," 3 as abnormal, and 2 as psychotic. More details concerning victims, perpetrators, used instruments for killing and dismembering, elimination and identification of the dismembered bodies and judicial aspects are given in this paper.

Language: de


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