The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide

Thomas E. Joiner


The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide

The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide

  • Title: The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide
  • Author: Thomas E. Joiner
  • ISBN: 9780199334551
  • Page: 282
  • Format: Hardcover



Of the approximately 38,500 deaths by suicide in the U.S annually, about two percent between 750 and 800 are murder suicides The horror of murder suicides looms large in the public consciousness they are reported in the media with frequency and far sensationalism than most suicides, and yet we have little understanding of this grave form of violence.In The POf the approximately 38,500 deaths by suicide in the U.S annually, about two percent between 750 and 800 are murder suicides The horror of murder suicides looms large in the public consciousness they are reported in the media with frequency and far sensationalism than most suicides, and yet we have little understanding of this grave form of violence.In The Perversion of Virtue, leading suicide researcher Thomas Joiner explores the nature of murder suicide and offers a unique new theory to explain this nearly unexplainable act that murder suicides always involve the wrongheaded invocation of one of four interpersonal virtues mercy, justice, duty, and glory The parent who murders his child and then himself seeks to save his child from a fatherless life of hardship the wife who murders her husband and then herself seeks to right the wrongs he committed against her, and so on Murder suicides involve the gross misperception of when and how these four virtues should be applied.Drawing from extensive research as well as real examples from the media, Joiner meticulously examines, deconstructs, and finally rebuilds our understanding of murder suicide in such a way that brings tragic reason to what may seem an unfathomable act of violence Along the way, he dispels some of the most enduring myths of suicide for instance, that suicide is usually an impulsive act it is almost always pre meditated , or that alcohol or drugs are involved in most suicides usually they are not.Sure to be controversial, this book seeks to make sense of one of the most difficult to comprehend types of violence in modern society, shedding new light that will ultimately lead to better understanding and even prevention.


Recent Comments "The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide"

The conceptualization of murder-suicide as originating in suicidal intent is profound for the field and the clinical discussions are illuminating. However, I definitely agree with the reviewer who said that much more editing was needed. Because I listened to the audiobook it was difficult to encounter the repetition. Many times I thought this would be a good long article.

Initially, Joiner's book seemed surprisingly different from his typical area of expertise. However, one quickly gains the insight that while murder-suicide is distinct from suicide per se, it can be argued that murder-suicide is a particular subset of suicide. This perspective demystifies much about this difficult topic. Joiner demonstrates a unique ability to illustrate suicide decedents and murder-suicide perpetrators in a relatable way. The book is filled speculation and arguments heavily bas [...]

Good for clinicians to readDr. Joiner is considered an expert in suicide studies and treatment. One of my co-workers highly recommended this book to our consultation group. When my peer was explaining the traits attributed to suicide risk my first thought was that was taken from Durkheim decades earlier. It is a narrow book that has a lot of information. If the intended audience was clinicians, the editorial staff was deficient. Much of the first portion could have been summarized. It was a chor [...]

Disclaimer: I am obsessed with Thomas Joiner. With that being said, this book is wonderful. Joiner presents a clinically-relevant classification of murder-suicide. At first, one might think, "Is there really THAT big of a difference between murders, suicides, and murder-suicides?" The answer is YES. Joiner examines murder-suicide through the lens of perverted virtue; and includes cognitive distortions (hello, CBT!), psychosocial correlates, and even neuroscience. Superb read.

Read for research. But the book has changed the way I understand these sad incidents that happen nearly every day. Excellent book.

Not only does Joiner give a cohesive conceptualization of murder-suicide but he includes comments about intervention. My career is winding down. I wish he had written this book 40 years ago!


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    Published :2018-01-05T09:09:44+00:00