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The question is why do some people kill?

Killer instinct: Having a mind for murder

The question is, why do some people kill?

The question is, why do some people kill? In the book Killer Instinct: Having a mind for murder Donald Grant gives us an idea to the question

Donald Grant

Donald Grant: was Queensland’s first State Director of Forensic psychiatry and he worked in Mental Health Court for five years


In Killer instinct: Having a mind for murder, we learn about ten different murder cases. All of the cases are very different from each other. Therefore we get some valuable knowledge on different perpetrators. Besides, we will have a look at the question of why do some people kill

I will speak briefly about each case because I don´t want to spoil your reading experience by rambling too much. And as the book spans over ten cases, the amount of information on each case is little. Some of the examples I will refer so can be identified by telling what the media nicknamed those cases to give you an idea to what you will read about but other cases I will leave unidentified.

At the end of this writing, I will share with you how Mr. Grant and his book Killer Instinct: Having a mind for murder ran into some massive controversy while launching the book. Mainly because the dispute was by the mother of one of the victims mentioned in the book, I will handle it respectfully.

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Case one:

In the first case, we learn about how a woman kills a man with a knife. The example mentioned witchcraft and vampires. This lady received the diagnosis MPD. Today the diagnosis of Multi Personality Disorder is highly controversial; therefore, the illness got another term. Dissociative Identity Disorder for short DID. This case became infamous as The Lesbian Vampire Killer.

Case two:

In case two, Donald Grant takes a look at Grant Westley Meredith. Mr. Meredith seemed to be below average intelligence, and he had fetishes for years. He had an old computer filled with 1000 of images and several videos of child pornography. The children were estimated to range from the ages of 6 months to 15 years.

Here Mr. Grant tells about how sadistic killers are motivated and how some of these killers turn to necrophilia and cannibalism. Grant explains how killers like this don´t come overnight and how they develop.

Case three

In case three, we learn how a husband had planned to kill his wife. The man decides to give his wife a heavy blow to the head with a hammer, but his wife didn´t die immediately, so he made it look like a burglar had been in their home. What I found very strange in this case is that the husband on the suggestion of his wife had killed a cat with the same hammer he used for killing her.

Case four

Case four is the case that gained controversy. But I will share the discussion with you later after the writing of the book review. Bianca Faith Girven was a beautiful young mother who got strangled by her boyfriend, Rhys Michael Austin. The young couple had been an on and off couple for some time. But in 2009 the couple started dating again. Rhys Austin had attacked Bianca Girven before with a knife. Mr. Austin heard voices, and as his illness increased, he thought he could communicate with other people telepathically. Rhys strangled Bianca and claimed they had gotten attacked.

Case five

In case five, we learn about the chilling discovery of a baby found in a washing machine. The deceased baby was a little girl, and she had been breathing at birth. At first, there were several speculations to why a mother would do that to her newborn baby. In this case, the mother had a mental illness, and the father had been aware of her pregnancy.

Case six

In case six, we learn how a son couldn´t handle when his mother couldn´t stay in a nursing home, and he, therefore, ends up killing his mother.

Case seven

In case seven, we learn about a dangerous prisoner who wanted to live out his fantasy. He tried to rape and kill a woman. When he lived out what had been on his mind for so long, it didn´t turn out in real life as in his fantasy. This predator had a personality disorder and had an upbringing with sexual abuse

The Amygdala

Between case seven and case eight, Donald Grant walks us through the meaning of the Amygdala. I found these pieces of information very interesting.

Case eight

In case eight, we hear about a woman who decides to kill her husband. After the murder, she showed his corpse to their children. The woman had begun changing after she spent a lot of time online looking into conspiracies and The New World Order. The woman got diagnosed, and she received help. Therefore, she was able to acknowledge what she had done, and she felt terrible about her doing.

Case nine

In case nine, we learn about a man who came from a dysfunctional family. The man wanted to commit suicide, and he was under psychiatric care, but he was allowed to go home. When he came back, his wife told she wanted a divorce. The thought of her leaving him made him kill her. While serving time for the murder, he met another woman.  When the couple got a baby girl and were married things turned. His new wife wanted another man to live with them etc. this gave arguments between the couple, and the second wife said she would leave him and threatened to take their baby away from him. The thought of not seeing his daughter made him furious, and he killed his second wife. After the murder, he decided to turn himself in. He didn´t have any remorse for killing his second wife

Case ten

In case ten, we learn about an adult man the police had known since his teen year. The man attacked a 16-year-old girl who was saved by three teenage boys who heard her scream. The man had been a suspect in the rape and murder of a young girl, but at the time, DNA samples were useless. But as the police matched his now found DNA with the DNA found on the dead victim, they got a match. This perpetrator kept reoffending. Douglas Carter hoped to figure out something from the man’s childhood to get an idea to how come he turned out as a violent rapist and killer. But even though Carter knew there had been some family secrets with the father this offender minimized what happened in his childhood

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Studies by Douglas Carter

After going through ten different cases, Mr. Carter speaks about how it is misleading to believe that because a person has a mental illness, they will turn out murderers because that is not the case. Letting us know that mentally ill people don´t commit crimes as often as we believe.

The question is, why do some people kill? Mr. Carter explains that anyone of us could become a killer.

Carter tells he has often said he likes a good murder but not in the sense that Carter wants the violence, but Douglas Carter loves the challenge of analyzing crimes even though he admits some cases do stretch his limits to the point where they bother him and disturb his sleep

Guide to legal matters

At the end of the book, Douglas Carter provides his readers with a guide to legal issues. Here he explains and dives deeper into different aspects of the medical-legal maze as he puts it.


When I look at the book as a whole, it was a good read, but I have to be honest and say it was a dry read. When I began reading, I knew the cases would be small summaries, but in hindsight, I would have preferred learning about a less amount of cases and then have gotten a more in-depth look into each case and the psychology behind the attacks and killings. With Killer Instinct: Having a mind for murder, we get a small glimpse into the question I asked at the beginning of the review Why do some people kill? But I would have liked to dive deeper into the answer to that question. This review is about my opinion about the book not covering the controversy about the book release

And the question is, why do some people kill?

Do we get an answer to the question about why some people kill when reading this book you might think? The answer is yes, and no. Because Killer instinct: Having a mind for murder doesn´t provide us with more answers to the question of why people kill than other books.

The Controversy about this book

As I mentioned at the beginning of this writing, the release of this book came with some controversy. The controversy happened when the mother, Sonia Anderson of murder victim Bianca Faith Griven went and confronted Douglas Carter while he was launching his book in Brisbane. Sonia Anderson told how Douglas Carter revealed information in the book about her daughters final minutes that she, as the victim’s mother had never been told. Mrs. Anderson wanted the book removed from stores because she felt Mr. Carter betrayed victims of crime and by telling details he was breaking his confidence.

A spokesperson from Queensland Health said the book was a concern. If you want to know more about the issue of this controversy take a look here

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