Killing of in­fants - a foren­sic psy­chi­atric ex­am­i­na­tion 1992-2016

The purpose of the project is to describe mental illness and other factors that contributed to the murder being committed in order to prevent new killings. Subsequent follow-up is planned in Danish registries regarding description of treatment, prognosis and later recidivism.

It is incredibly tragic when infants are killed by their mother or father. In order to prevent these tragedies, it is important to learn the maximum of each and every miserable case. The purpose of this research project is to promote the prevention of these tragedies.

Objective: It will be an important objective of the study to identify risk factors so that injury and killing of infants by their parents may be preventable in the future.

Method: Review and analysis of 37 Danish cases involving the killing of infants from 1992-2016. These cases are identified by the date of the murder and the police journal number in the database at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Aarhus. The files are requested from the police districts where the crime took place. There will, among other things, be looked at mental statements and follow-up studies of the killers.

Ethical considerations: A study such as the present one includes a highly delicate subject that demands the greatest discretion towards those involved. Thus, information will only be collected from registers and existing sources, such as documents in connection with a possible lawsuit. There will be no contact with the perpetrator or other relatives and in the few cases where case descriptions are included, these will be anonymized, to make it impossible to identify victims and perpetrators.

​Foundations that supports the pr​oject:

Gerhart Lind Legat

Responsible editor