Patty Smith

Kathleen M. Heide

in Understanding Parricide

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195176667
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979028 | DOI:
Patty Smith

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This chapter discusses the case of Patricia Smith, a 17-year-old White girl from a middle-class background, who was arrested about 32 hours after killing her father. It describes the assessment of Patty Smith based on clinical interviews with the defendant and her mother, plus a review of hundreds of pages of pertinent materials. Ten of the twelve characteristics commonly found in cases of severely abused children who kill their parents were clearly present in this case. These include a pattern of family violence in the Smith home, Patty's inability to get help or escape the family situation, and the increasing isolation the youth felt as her freedom was restricted. Patty felt increasingly helpless to deal with her home situation as her father's violence toward her escalated to an intolerable level, including sexual assault.

Keywords: adolescent parricide offenders; female offenders; juveniles; parricide; clinical interviews; psychological assessment; abused children

Chapter.  12896 words. 

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