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Homicide-suicide. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics. Illustration regarding a clinical case Volume 87, issue 4, Avril 2011

Authors
Centre hospitalier spécialisé, 13, route de Krafft, Erstein, France, Centre hospitalier spécialisé, Unité malades difficiles, 1, rue Calmette, 57200 Sarreguemines, France

The homicide-suicide is defined as any murder (or attempted murder) followed by suicide (or suicide) within 24 hours. The incidence of actually committing suicide following a murder is rare and does vary from simple to double depending on the country concerned. However, it is important that this type of medico-legal complication is known to the psychiatrist. Underlying psychiatric disorders are often present, including all the related consequences in terms of therapeutic treatment but also expertise. The homicide-suicide has its own particular characteristics, distinguishing the phenomenon of homicides and suicides. Initially we present a review of the literature on the key data of known homicide-suicide. In a second stage we present an original case report, involving a patient suffering from a paranoid personality involved in sensitive transition to the act of suicide.