All About Law and Crime

Psychology and the law intersect in the field of forensic science. Legal practitioners require a grasp of human motivation at its most basic and most debased in order to render fair judgment.

Recent Posts on Law and Crime

Jodi Arias Wins

After a deadlocked jury, for Jodi Arias the death penalty is now off the table.

Dinner for the Dying: Last Suppers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 04, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
Art exhibit in Dayton features paintings of inmates' final meals; artist Julie Green describes her process.

The Attraction of Terrorism

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on March 01, 2015 in Am I Right?
Young people want challenges; they need challenges; they yearn to discover their own strengths; they want to be part of something larger and more meaningful than their individual selves.

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

Gangs: Protecting Today’s Youth - Part One

Gangs are a problem plaguing our nation. While trends show a steady decrease from the past, gangs are still prevalent in many communities throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, many gangs lure susceptible youth into their ranks leading them down a path of criminal activity, drugs and ultimately destruction.

How (Not) to Win the War on Terrorism

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How can we protect society against a few committed radicals who can disrupt society by marshaling powerful communications networks? In the good old days, we tracked the movement of physical assets as early warning signs of trouble. What can we do now, when weapons are intangible and untraceable? Might it be possible to mobilize the mainstream as a balancing force?

Schizophrenia and Violence, Part II

By Betsy Seifter Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in After the Diagnosis
The insanity defense fails again, but mentally ill offenders need treatment, not punishment.

Think You Can't Get Drunk on Soda Water? Think Again.

Don't blame it on the alcohol! Blame it on your expectations about drinking.

A Mother's Love: Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths

By Peg Streep on February 26, 2015 in Tech Support
Commonly held ideas about motherhood shape the dialogue we have culturally, get in the way of understanding parent-child conflict, and affect each of us individually by setting a high and sometimes impossible standard. Why it's time to banish some of the myths that animate the discussion and start a new conversation.

"Falling" Into Crime?

Crime is a matter of choice.


By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
This week, the anniversaries of two arrests remind us of the shocking reverberations of murder in ordinary communities.

Online Dating: The Dark Side

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Love, Digitally
These people use devious psychological ploys. Have you ever been suspicious about an online relationship?

Stars In Their Eyes

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in In Excess
Celebriphilia has been defined as “an intense desire to have a romantic relationship with a celebrity” and shares many similarities with celebrity stalking. It is also a completely modern, man-made phenomenon. But what do we know about celebriphilia?

How Mass Murder and Serial Murder Differ

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
A mass murder often occurs when the perpetrator, who may be deeply troubled, strikes out in a blitz-like attack. Unlike serial killers, mass murderers are often killed at the scene of the crime. They do not plan to escape and kill another day like their serial killer counterparts who are addicted to murder.

Use Curiosity to Hook New Friends

“Curiosity hooks” act as silent invitations for people to initiate conversations.

Escaping Across the Border Through Art

By David Gussak Ph.D., ATR-BC on February 19, 2015 in Art on Trial
Often, women who are emigrating from Mexico—sometimes illegally—may be doing so to escape from violence and suffering. Sometimes, they escape towards it. This post examines how one art therapist, guest blogger Valentina Castro, uses art to help endure and heal from such pain.

Shades of Play: Trauma Reenactment Versus Trauma Play

Psychologists still quite commonly use childhood abuse to explain and pathologize those who enjoy BDSM. This article discusses the difference between trauma reenactment and trauma play, and provides insights into why some therapists may be mistakenly shaming clients into trying to correct what is actually a healthy form of human sexual expression.

Robert Durst On Disappearance Of Wife: ‘I Lied’

By Cathy Scott on February 18, 2015 in Crime, She Writes
Billionaire in an HBO series unwittingly reveals never-before-released details in the disappearance of his wife Kathie Durst.

Why "I Am Charlie" (And a Bit Danish too)

By George Michelsen Foy on February 15, 2015 in Shut Up and Listen!
The attacks on free speech in France (and now Denmark) cannot be justified by a country's social problems

13: A Deadly Number

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
This Friday the 13th is the anniversary of the arrest of a man who'd murdered 13 people, starting on another Friday the 13th.

Insanity Defense

By Helen M Farrell M.D. on February 12, 2015 in Frontpage Forensics
Criminal insanity requires that a defendant did not know right from wrong.

Mass Shootings in America: Crisis and Opportunity

By Joe Pierre M.D. on February 12, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Why do some people commit mass murder? Is it violent entertainment, guns, mental illness... or something else that lurks inside all of us and is reflected in American culture?

The "Beastly Existence" of "Respectable Men"

Radically different directions in defining one's purpose

Suicide is the New Murder in America

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Alienating social forces over the past decade have made suicide the new murder as frustrated and fearful Americans turn their anger onto themselves in unprecedented numbers. Suicide is a tragic and growing epidemic. However, the reality of suicide is invisible to the general public because of the all-American ideology of individualism and Protestant ethic.

Domestic Violence: Why I Stayed and Why I Left

By Cathy Scott on February 09, 2015 in Crime, She Writes
Writer tells personal experience and advises those suffering from physical abuse after a victim tells her story on the Grammys

Will Legalizing Marijuana Increase its Use? Probably Not

By J. Wesley Boyd M.D., Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Almost Addicted
The writing is on the wall that cannabis will increasingly be legalized in various ways and that access will become easier and easier. In the face of this reality, two big questions arise: will cannabis usage skyrocket? Will addiction rates go through the roof? The answer to both is probably not.

Je Suis Ferguson?

By Hogan M Sherrow Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in You Evolving
Muslim jihadists, police, and the nature of xenophobic violence.

Anxious Parents Helped by “World’s Worst Mom”

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
Lenore Skenazy was called a bad mother when she let her 9-year old son ride the NY subway alone. Now she hosts a TV show to help parents become more like her.

Does Cyber-Terrorism Terrorize? Hormones Suggest It Does

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Caveman Politics
Think cyber-terrorism can't happen to you? Think it doesn't "hurt" anyone? Ask the 3,800 employees of Sony Pictures, including some of its stars, who got caught up in the international political intrigue over the company's movie, The Interview. And see what one study shows that cyber-terror does to our hormones.

911 Call Reveals New Details Against Former Rap Producer

By Cathy Scott on February 06, 2015 in Crime, She Writes
With murder charges against Suge Knight now official, it's looking even worse for the former music mogul as audio of a 911 call from a witness details the fatal hit and run.