Joanne Dennehy
19th November 2013

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Joanne Dennehy

Joanne Dennehy

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"I killed to see if I was as cold as I thought I was. Then it got moreish and I got a taste for it"

In the annals of female criminality, Joanne Dennehy represents the outer marker of unbridled bloodlust. In the space of 10 days she stabbed 3 men to death in a case which has defied conventional criminal analysis. So severe were her crimes and so callous to her victims was her attitude that she became the first woman in Britain to be sentenced by a judge to die behind bars.†

In sentencing her, Judge Spencer noted:

"I have read the psychiatric report on you from Dr Farnham, dated 26th October 2013. I note that his assessment is that you suffer from a severe emotionally unstable personality disorder, and from an antisocial personality disorder. In his opinion you also suffer from paraphilia sadomasochism, a disorder of preference for sexual activity involving the infliction of pain or humiliation or bondage. It is Dr Farnhamís assessment that you suffer from a psychopathic disorder, that is a personality disorder characterised by superficial charm, callous disregard for others, pathological lying and a diminished capacity for remorse

You have shown no genuine remorse. Quite the reverse. In the letter you have written to me you say in terms that you do not feel any remorse for the murders, and to claim otherwise would be a lie. You claim in that letter, and this formed part of your counselís mitigation, that you do feel remorse for the attempted murders. You say that you are ashamed of the brutality and fear you heaped upon those two victims and that the attacks will always be a great source of regret. The only reason you can offer for the attempted murders is 'drunken cruelty plain and simple, compelled by my lack of respect for human life'. As I have already made clear, I reject your protestations of remorse for these attempted murders. I note that you told the psychiatrist that you killed to see how you would feel, 'to see if I was as cold as I thought I was. Then it got moreish and I got a taste for it'Ē It is very significant, in my judgement, that from a single stab wound to the heart to kill your first victim you progressed by the end to the frenzied attack on John Rogers when you so nearly killed him, stabbing him more than 30 times. You told the psychiatrist you saw the killings as a kind of fetish and that you were sadistic."

Yet despite the extent of her obvious psychopathy and the nature of her crimes, her powers of suasion were such that during her killing spree she lured several men into being willing participants in murder. While they themselves clearly lacked the moral scruples to distance themselves from such actions, it is doubtful whether any of them would have gone so far were it not for her baleful influence.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 12th August 2014 | © Weird Island 2010-2018
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