Ghastly murders: What’s the mind behind them?

Recent reports suggest a growing trend towards gory murders and nerve chilling encounters. What is this mind-set that drives them crazy? Is there a remedy if such signs in people can be detected earlier? Or, is this impulsive to an extreme?

We get into a quick chat with one of the capital’s most sought after psychiatrists, Dr. Sameer Malhotra, counselling at Max Healthcare in the city.

What kind of mindset is it that allows you to chop a body and put pieces into a refrigerator? Or makes you drive around town for hours with a chopped body inside?

Excessive angst, fear of being caught.

Does the mindset change when the body is of a known person or somebody u have lived with or loved?

Cannot be generalized; it depends on the personality trait of the perpetrator, the context and circumstances in which it is committed, the dynamics of relationship with the victim, any perceived threat  from the victim.

Is this a sudden one-off occurrence or inherent in the psyche but remained dormant?

Depends on multiple factors as listed in the answer above.

If identified earlier can it be averted, cured or arrested?

There can be multiple ways of addressing the issue: some in general and some in specific.

Healthy home environment, value based education with emphasis on empathy and respect for the law, promotion of healthy lifestyle can be helpful. Early recognition and treatment of impulse control problems, anger management, treatment of conduct problems and aberrant or distructive behaviours or substance misuse shall be helpful.

Is this a case of “pagal ho Gaya tha” which means should it be treated and cured or deserves harsh and capital punishment?

Needs detailed evaluation and investigation, rather than over-generalisation.

Does it matter if the culprit shows repentance or shows defiance?

Repentance or defiance depend upon the personality trait of the individual and the nature of relationship shared with the victim.

What is the one emotion that is strongest in such moments? Like anger, or revenge or what?

Anger dyscontrol in impulsive crime.

Some of these appear to be pre-meditated and planned? Would you separate these from impulsive actions? How and why?

Yes, but details of each case need proper evaluation.


Dr Sameer Malhotra is a leading psychiatrist with 30 years of experience. He is presently associated with Max Multi-Speciality Clinic in South Delhi.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *