R. von (Richard) Krafft-Ebing.

Psychopathia sexualis, with especial reference to the antipathetic sexual instinct : a medico-forensic study online

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ashes and manure. The head was severed from the body,
the flesh cut away from the bones, the whole body covered
with cuts and wounds. Tlie largest ciit was on the inner
side of the left thigh, penetrating through the genitals into
the abdomen. Another cut extended from the fossa iliaca
obliquely across the abdomen. The clothes and linen were
torn and cut into shreds.

The corpse of the ninth victim was found with the
throat cut across, blood was flowing from the eyes, the
heart was pierced by innumerable stabs. A number of
thrusts were found in the abdomen. The scrotum was
ripped open, the testicles were hanging out, and the glans
penis was cut off.

K. had first lured the boy to him as he had done the
little girl, cut his throat and then stabbed him all over.


K., whose hereditary conditions were not known, had
oeen suffering from a severe illness during the whole of
his first year's existence, and thus had become very much
emaciated. He began to recover, and it is claimed that
since then he was not afflicted with bad health, excepting
frequent complaints about pain in the head and eyes and
vertigo, until he was eleven, when he went through a "se-
vere illness," which made him delirious. Headaches would
suddenly seize him, so that he would run away from play,
and return only after a considerable interval. When asked
on such occasions about his conduct, he would slowly an-
swer, "My head, my head".

He was intractable, disobedient and beyond control.
Showed sudden and extreme moods, desires and opinions.
When three years old he was one day seen to torture a
chicken with a knife. He lied with every appearance of
truth. At school he was a disturbing element, making
faces, constantly talking to himself ; was obstinate and dis-
respectful. Punishment to him was injustice ; he was reni-
tent. In the house of correction he was secluded, preoccu-
pied with himself, suspicious, disliked by his comrades — in
fact without any chum. His intellectual powers were good ;
he possessed sagacity, reason and a good memory. He
showed great defect in the ethical direction. He betrayed
not the slightest signs of sorrow or penitence for his deeds,
or the least consciousness of his responsibility. Only for
his mother he seemed to have a sort of tender feeling. He
-could assign no object for his actions. He calmly dis-
cussed his chances : "they would not condemn him to
death because he was only fourteen years of age; hereto-
fore they had not been wont to hang boys of his age,
and surely they would not make a beginning with him";
What motive he had in his deeds cannot be ascertained
from him. Once he said that reading a description of
the tortures visited upon their victims by the Red Indians
had tempted him to imitate them. He had even once
thought of running away from home to join the Indians.

536 PSyCllOPATlllA SEXtALlS.

Whenever he espied a victim his imagination would be
filled with pictures of cruel actions.

On the morning of such days he would always wake
up with vertigo and pressure in the head, which condition
would last all day.

As physical anomalies only an exceptionally large penis
and very big testicles are mentioned. Mons veneris com-
pletely and thickly covered with hair ; in fact, the genitals
were fully developed like those of an adult. ISTo symptoms
of epilepsy (Dr. MacDonald, Clark University, Mass.).

Case 219. Sadism; bodily injury. B., seventeen
years of age, tinsmith, bought on the 4th January, 1893,
a long knife; went to a prostitute, had repeatedly sexual
intercourse with her, gave her money, and made her sit
undressed on the edge of the bed. He now stabbed her
slightly three times in the chest and abdomen whilst his
memhrum was erected. When the girl began to yell and
people came to her assistance, B. fled, but immediately
gave himself up to the police. At first he said he had
stabbed the girl in a quarrel, but afterwards stated he had
had no motive for his deed. Several blood relations of
his father had been insane. B. was not tainted, not a
drunkard, had not gone through any severe illness, never
masturbated, but had practised coitus for two years.
Genitals normal. Seemed, under observation, mentally^
normal ; was ashamed of his action, to which the experts
properly ascribed a sexual motive. In spite of definite
proof of mental sanity, he was released {Coutagne, "Annal.
med. psych.," 1893, July, Aug.).

Case 220. Acts of violence emanating from sadism.
M., sixty years of age, owner of several millions, happily
married, father of two daughters, one eighteen, the other
eixteen years of age, was convicted of seduction of minors
and acts of violence on females. He was accustomed to
go to the house of a procuress, where he was known as
I'homme qui pique, and there, lying upon a sofa in a pink


silk dressing-gown, lavishly trimmed with lace, would
await his victims — puellas tres nudas. They had to ap-
proach him in single file, in silence and smiling. They
gave him needles, cambric handkerchiefs and a whip.
Kneeling before one of the girls, he would now stick about
a hundred needles in her body, and fasten with twenty
needles a handkerchief iipon her bosom; this he would
suddenly tear away, whip the girl, tear the hair from
her mons veneris and squeeze her mammcey etc., whilst the
other two girls would wipe the perspiration from his fore-
head and strike lascivious plastic attitudes. Now excited
to the highest pitch, he would have coitus with his victim.
Latei- on, for the sake of economy, he was satisfied to per-
form his brutality with one girl alone. This girl fell in
consequence into a severe illness, and in her distress asked
him for help. He reported this "extortion" to the police,
who, on their part, made inquiries, and brought a charge
against him. At first he denied the facts, but convicted,
expressed his surprise that such a fuss should be made
about a mere trifle. M. was described as a man of re-
pulsive appearance, with receding forehead. He was sen-
tenced to six months' imprisonment, a fine of 200 francs,
and 1000 francs damages to his. victim ("Journal Gil
Bias," Aug. 14 and 16, 1891).

A less revolting case, that of a young man, is related
by Ferrioni, "Archivio delle psicopatie sessuali," i., p. 106,
1896. This young sadist would first wrestle with the girl
in order to bring about virility and would, inter actum, bite
and pinch her in order to produce satisfaction. But one
day he bit the girl so hard that she brought an action
against him.

Case 22 1 .. Murder through sadism. Married man,
at the time of this crime thirty years of age. He had lured
a girl to the bell tower of the church of which he was
the sexton and there killed her. Circumstantial evidence
forcing him to admit the deed, he confessed to pother


similar murder. Both corpses showed numerous contu-
sions about the fleshy parts of the head, fractures of the
skull, extravasations under the dura mater and in the brain.
No other bodily injuries were found j the genital organs
Avere intact.

Spermal stains were found on the underwear of the
criminal, who was arrested soon after the deed was
committed. L. was described as of pleasing appearance,
of dark complexion, beardless. No details about his
hereditary relations, antecedents, vita sexualis ante acta,

His motive, according to his own admission, was "lust
of the cruellest and most abominable kind" (Dr. MacDon-
aid, Clark University, Mass.).

Guilleheau,^ Professor at the Veterinary College at
Berne, has collected a number of cases of horrible sadistic
acts of violence on dumb brutes.

1. Injuries to the vagina in six cows. Offender un-

2. Mortal injuries on four calves and goats, committed
by a youth, nineteen years of age, with the sharp point of a
stick. He had become an imbecile at the age of four
through meningitis. He confessed that the act was one of
sexual lust. Considered irresponsible.

3. Repeated and- numerous injuries to cows and goats
in the anus and in the vagina, by a stable-boy (age twenty-
four) with a stick. He confessed that when milking or
f)therwise attending the animals he became sexually ex-
cited, had violent erections and sensations of fear. At
first he used his hand, and then a stick, which he would
introduce into the orifice. It was always an impulsive
act and only at such times when he suffered from sleep-
lessness and nervous and sexual excitement. After the
act he was always tormented by pangs of "conscience but
could not help relapsing into the same fault. Considered

(■Schweizer Arcbiv f, Thierheilkunde, Heft 1, Jahrg. 1889.)


*. A similar offence (in imitation of the former) in
the same stable by a feeble-minded cowherd, eighteen
years old, on the rectum of an ox.

Case 222. X., age twenty-four. Parents healthy,
two brothers died from tuberculosis, one sister suffered
from periodical fits. X. began to experience at the age
of eight pleasurable feelings with erection when he pressed
his abdomen against the form in school. lie often did
this. Later he practised mutual masturbation with a
schoolmate. First ejaculation at the age of thirteen. In
the first attempt at coitus (when eighteen) he was im-
potent. He continued auto-masturbation. When reading
a popular book describing the* dreadful consequences of
onanism, he became very neurasthenic. A water cure
brought improvement, but a second attempt at coitus proved
a fizzle; Return to masturbation. In time this failed
him, too. He would now pick up a living bird by the bill
and swing it around in the air. The sight of the tortured
animal provoked erection and when the flapping wing
touched his penis, ejaculation would ensue with enormous
sexual lust. (Dr. Wachholz, Friedreich's Blatter, f.
gerichtl. Med. 1892, 6 Heft, p. 336.)

See also, Murder through Sadism. Rivista Sperimen-
tale, 1897, xxiii., p. 702, and 1898, xxiv., fasc. 1. — Kolle,
ger. psych. Gutachten, Fall 4. p. 48.

4. Masochism and Sexual Bondage.

Masochism^ miay under certain circumstances attain
forensic importance, for modern criminal law no longer

'As Herbst ("Handb. d. osterr. Strafrechta, Wien," 1878, p. 72)
remarks, there are, nevertheless, crimes conditioned by the absence of
assent on the part of the injured individual which cease to be such
as soon as the injured individual has given consent — e. g., theft, rape.

But Eerbst also enumerates here the limitation of personal
freedom ( ? ) .

Of late a decided change of views on this point has taken place.
The German criminal law regards the consent of a man to his own


recognises tlie principle volenti non fit injuria, and the
present Austrian statute in § 4 says expressly: "Crimes
may also be committed on persons who demand their com-
mission on themselves".

Psychologically speaking, the facts of sexual bondage
are of greater criminal importance (cf. p. 181).

If sensuality is predominant, or in other words, if a
man is held in fetich-thraldom and his moral power of
resistance is but weak, he may by an avaricious or vin-
dictive woman into whose bondage his passion has led him
be goaded on to the very worst crimes. The following
case is a striking instance : —

Case 223. Murder of a family through sexual bond-
age N., soap manufacturer in Catania ; thirty-four years
of age ; previously of good character ; stabbed his wife in
her sleep to death on the 21st of December, 1886, and
strangled his two daughters, one seven years and the
other six weeks old. At first he denied the deed, tried
to throw suspicion upon others, but finally confessed to
all the details and begged to be hanged.

N. came of a sound family, was healthy himself, a
good business man and highly respected ; married well, but
for several years was under the fascinating influence of a
mistress who had captivated and completely controlled him.

He had kept this matter a secret from the world and
his wife.

By playing on his jealousy and declaring that by
marriage alone he could for the future possess her, this
monster of a woman had brought the weak and infatuated
N. to become the murderer of his wife and children.

death of such importance that a very different and much milder
punishment is inflicted under such circumstances (§ 216) ; and it is
the same in Austrian law ( Austrian Abridgment, § 222 ) . The so-
called double suicide ot lovers was the act considered. In bodily
injury and deprivation of freedom, the consent of the victim must
also receive consideration at the hands of the judge. Certainly a
knowledge of masochism is of importance in making a judgment of
the probability of asserted consent.


After the deed be had induced his young nephew to. fetter
him as if he himself were the victim of the villains and
under the threat of death commanded him to silence.
When the neighbors came in he played the role of the
unhappy, maltreated father.

After a full confession he showed the deepest contri-
tion. During the two years of the subsequent trial, N.
never showed signs of mental derangement.

His mad love for the mistress he could only explain
as an infatuation. He never had cause to find fault with
his wife. There were no traces of abnormal or perverse
sexual instinct in this exceptional criminal. His sorrow
and contrition over the deed gave sufSeient proof that
no moral defect was present. His mental condition was
declared to be sound. Exclusion of irresistible impulse
(Madalari, "II morgagni," 1890, Feb.).

Case 224. Sexual bondage in a lady.

Mrs. X., thirty-six years of age ; mother of four
children. Carrie from a neuropathic and heavily-tainted
mother. Father psychopathic. She began to masturbate
at the age of five, had- an attack of melancholia at the
age of ten, during which period she was troubled with the
delusion that she could not go to, heaven on account of
her sins. This made her nervous, excitable, emotional,
neurasthenic. At the age of seventeen she fell in love
with a man who was denied her by her parents. She
now showed symptoms of hysteria. When twenty-one
she married a man by many years her senior who had
but little sexual appetite. Her conjugal relations with
him never satisfied her ; coitus produced severe erethismus
genitalis which she could not satisfy with masturbation.
She suffered tortures from this libido insatiata, yielded
more and more . to onanism, became heavily hystero-
neurasthenic, capricious and quarrelsome, so that marital
relations grew ever colder.

After nine years of mental and physical anguish, Mrs.
X. succumbed to the blandishments of another man in


whose arms she found that gratification for which she
had so long languished.

But now she was tormented with the consciousness
of having broken her marriage vow, often feared she
would become insane, and only the love for her children
prevented her from committing suicide.

She scarcely dared to appear before her husband whom
she highly esteemed on account of his noble character,
and felt dreadful qualms of conscience because she had
to conceal the awful secret from him.

Although she found full gratification and immense
sensual pleasure in the arms of the other man, she had
repeatedly made attempts to give up this liaison. Pier
efforts were in vain. She got deeper and deeper into the
bondage of this man, who recognising and abusing "his
power had merely to dissemble as if he would leave her
in order to possess her without restraint. He abused this
bondage of the miserable woman only to gratify his sexual
appetite, gradually even in a perverse manner. She was
unable to refuse him any demand.

"When Mrs. X. in her despair came to me for pro-
fessional advice she declared that she could no longer
continue such a life of misery and anguish. An insuper-
able lihido, disgusting to herself, drew her to this man,
whom she could not love but as little do without, whilst
on the other hand she was constantly tormented with the
danger of discovery, and with self-reproach on account
of her offence against the law of God and man.

The greatest mental pain was caused by the thought
of losing her paramour, who often threatened to leave her
if she did not yield to his wishes, and who controlled her
so thoroughly that she' would do anything and everything
at his bidding.

The soundness of mind in the horrible ease 223 and
in many other analogous cases cannot be called in ques-
tion. As matters stand now-a-days when the public cannot
comprehend the more refined analysis of the motives in


a tragedy and when the law profession eschews psychology
in favour of logical formalism, it can hardly be expected
that judge and jury will regard the weight of sexiuil bond-
age — especially as in this condition the incentive to the
crime is not a morbid one an,d the intensity of the incentive
itself cannot be dealt with.

Nevertheless in such cases it behoves to consider
whether the accused was possibly still susceptible to
counter-motives or whether these were excluded from an
effective presence. If the latter be the case it would be
equivalent to a disturbance of the psychical equilibrium.

No doubt in these cases a sort of acquired moral weak-
ness is produced which impairs the soundness of mind.
Sexual bondage should certainly constitute a cause for
leniency in crimes committed through its agency.

5. Bodily Injury, Robbery and Theft Dependent on

(Austrian, §190; German, §249 [robbery]. Austrian, §§ 171, 460;
German, §242 [theft].)

It is seen from the section on fetichism, under "Gen-
eral Pathology," that pathological fetichism may become
the cause of crimes. There are now recognised, as such,
hair-despoiling (cases 81, 82, 83) ; robbery or theft of
female linen, handkerchiefs, aprons (cases 86, 87, 91, 93) ;
shoes (cases 66, 93, 94), and silks (case 99). It cannot
be doubted that such individuals are the subjects of deep
mental taint. But, for the assumption of an absence of
mental freedom and consequent- irresponsibility, it must
be proved that there was an irresistible impulse, which,
either owing to the strength of the impulse itself or to
the existence of -mental weakness, rendered control of the
criminal perverse impelling force impossible.

Such crimes and the peculiar manner in which they
are carried out — whereby they differ very much from
common robbery and theft — always demand a medico-
legal examination. But that the act per se does not by


any means necessarily arise from psycho-pathological
conditions is shown by the infrequent oases of hair-
despoiling^ simply for the purpose of gain.

Case 225. P., labourer, age twenty-nine. Family
heavily tainted. Emotional, irritable, masturbated since
childhood. When ten years old he saw a boy masturbate
into a woman's handkerchief. This gave the direction to
P.'s vita sexualis. He stole handkerchiefs from pretty girls
and masturbated into them. The mother tried every means
to break him of this habit; she admonished him, took the
stolen handkerchiefs away and bought him new ones, all
in vain. He was caught by the police and punished for
theft. He then went to Africa and served in the army
with an excellent record. On his return to France he re-
sumed his old practices. He was only potent if the puella
held a white handkerchief in her hand during the act. He
married in 1894 and sustained his virility by grasping a
handkerchief during coitus.

The fetichistic crisis always came suddenly, like a
paroxysm, especially at moments of laziness. He would
feel out of sorts, psychically moody and sexually excited
and impelled to masturbate. Soon the fancy-picture of a
handkerchief would appear and take full possession of his
thoughts and feelings. If at that period he should catch
sight of a woman's handkerchief he would choke with fear,
palpitation of the heart would set in, he would tremble
and profuse perspiration would break out all over his body.
Although conscious of the risk invMved, he was irresistibly
forced to steal the handkerchief. He was arrested on one
such occasion, but the examining physician declared him
irresponsible. During the time of detention he was free
from the obsession. He hoped to master his weakness in
future. The number of handkerchiefs he had stolen he

■According to Austrian law, this crime should fall under § 411,
as slight bodily injury; according to the German criminal law, it i»
bodily injury (c/. Liaxt, p. 325).


estimated to be one hundred. lie used each handkerchief
only once and then threw it away. (Magnan in Thoinot,
attentats aux moeurs, p. 428.)

Case 226. Handkerchief -feticMsm; repeated thefts
of handkerchiefs belonging to women.

D., forty-two years of age, man-servant, single, was
sent on 11th March, 1892, by the police to the district
asylum of Deggendorf (ISTiederbayern) for observation of
his mental faculties.

He was 1.62 m. high, muscular and well fed. Head
submicrocephalic ; expression of face blank. The eye
distinctly neuropathic. Genital organs normal. With
the exception of a moderate degree of neurasthenia and
increased patellar reflexes, there was nothing abnormal in
D.'s nervous system.

In 18Y8 D. received his first sentence of one and a
half years' imprisonment at Straubing for stealing hand-

In 1880 he stole a handkerchief from a tradeswoman
in the yard of an inn, and was sentenced to fourteen days.

In 1882 he made an attempt in the public road to
pull the handkerchief from the hand of a peasant girl.
Charged with attempted robbery, he was found not guilty
on the strength. of medical opinion, which stated weak-
ness of mind and a morbid disturbance of the mental
faculties tempore delicti.

In 1884 he was tried before, a jury for having com-
mitted, under similar circumstances, robbery of a woman's
handkerchief, found guilty, and sentenced to four years'

In 1888 he took in the public market-place a hand-
kerchief from the pocket of a woman. Sentence, four

In 1889, for a similar offence, nine months.

In 1891, ditto, ten months. Otherwise his record
shows only a few fines or detentions at the police station



for carrying a concealed weapon (a knife) and for va-

All the thefts of handkerchiefs were committed from
young females, chiefly in broad daylight, in the presence
of other people, and so clumsily and impudently that each
time he was arrested on the spot. In the proceedings not
the slightest traces of theft of other articles, ever so small,
can be found.

On the 9th December, 1891, D. was once more re-
leased from jail. On the 14th he was caught stealing the
handkerchief from a peasant girl in a crowd at the annual
fair. He was at once arrested, and upon searching him
the police found two more white handkerchiefs belonging
to women.

On former occasions also whole collections of women's
handkerchiefs had been found on his person (1880, thirty-
two pieces; 1882, fourteen, nine of which he wore next
his skin; on another occasion twenty-five. In 1891 seven
white handkerchiefs were found upon him).

When questioned as to the motive for stealing hand-
kerchiefs, he always said that he was drunk at the time,
and had taken the handkerchiefs for a joke.

The handkerchiefs found upon him he claimed to have
bought or swapped for something else, or he said women
with whom he had relations had given them to him.

Under observation D. showed weakness of mind, ap-
peared run down through vagrancy, drink and masturba-
tion, but good-natured, obedient, and by no means afraid of

He knew nothing of his parents, grew up without
supervision; when a child he made a living by begging;
at thirteen he was a stable-boy, and was used at fourteen
by others for pederasty. He declared that at a very early
period he felt the sexual instinct very strongly; began
early to have coitus and to practise masturbation. When
he was fifteen, a coachman had told him that great
pleasure cotild be dorived by applying the handkerchiefs
of young women ad genitalia. He tried it, found it to be


the case, and now sought to obtain in all manner possible
such handkerchiefs. This craving became so strong that
wherever he saw a pleasing young woman with a hand-

Online LibraryR. von (Richard) Krafft-EbingPsychopathia sexualis, with especial reference to the antipathetic sexual instinct : a medico-forensic study → online text (page 46 of 52)