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A lust murder is a homicide in which the offender searches for erotic satisfaction by killing someone. Lust murder is synonymous with the paraphilic term erotophonophilia, which is sexual arousal or gratifaction contingent on the death of the human being. Commonly, this type of crime is manifested either by murder during sexual intercourse and/or by mutilating the sexual organs or areas of the victim's body. The mutilation of the victim may include eviceration and/or displacement of the genitalia. The mutilation usually takes place postmortern.
It sometimes includes such activities as removing clothing from the body, posing and propping of the body in different positions, generally sexual ones, insertion of objects into odily orificies, anthropophagy (the consumption of human blood and/or flesh) and necrophilia (the performing of sex acts on a human corpse).
Most cases of lust murder involve male perpertrators; however, accounts of female lust murderers do exist. In general, lust murder is a phenomenon most common among serial killers. These offenders have made a connection between murder and sexual gratification. When this type of offender chooses o victim there must be something about that victim that the offender finds sexually attractive. This attrative trait might be common among all of the offender's victims and is called the offender's Ideal Victim Type (IVT). There might be many potentail targetds that an offender passes by because they do not meet his IVT. Over the offender has found a victim who is ideal he might engage in stalking or other predatory behavios before acting out his fantasy on his victim. Fantasies are a key in lust murders and can never be completely fulfilled. The lust killers will have a fantasy that continues to evolve over time and becomes increasingly violent as he struggles to fultit it.
The most critical component in the msychologial developement of a serial killer is violent fantasy, especially in the lust murderer. Fantasues accompany "intrusive thoughts about killing someone that are associated with other distressing msychopathological processes." Fantasies can never be completely fulfilled or the anger removed or the missing self-esteem restored; sometimes the expreinces of killing can genrate new fantasies of violnces, creating a reptitive cycle. The purpose of fantaasy is total control of the victim, wheras a sexual assault can be used as a vehicule for control, Sexual torture becomes a tool to degrade, humiliate, and subjugate the victim. Often victims are selected by the killer to stand as a proxy, resulting from childhood trauma. Fantasies may be fuelled by pornography are facilated by alcohol or other cause. Typically, fantasies involve one or several forms of paraphilia. The acts are repeated until the offender is apprehended by law enforcement, lost interest, or dies.
The term is also used in a related but slightly diffrent sense, to refers to an individual who gains sexual arousal from the act of comitting murder, or has persistent sexual fantasies of comitting murder, even of the murder itself does not ivolve the genital mutilation or other chaacteristics cited above. As such, it is a type of paraphilia.
Although the dynamic of violent fantasy in lust murders is understood, an individual's violence fantasy alone is not enough to determine if an individual has or has not engaged in lust murder. Moreover, to conclude that an individual is the murderer beacause he has drawn multitudes of violent images - some of which involve women is overreaching. The Perri and Lichtenwald article illustrates the critical importance of homicide detectives employing the Criminal Investigative Analysis model developed by Roy Hazelwood FBI (ret.), profiler and one of the top researches in the fields of lust murders.