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Necrophilia - Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects, 1st Edition, by Anil Aggrawal. Hard Bound, 16.8” x 6.1” x 0.8”.
CRC Press LLC, 2000 Corporate Blvd., N.W., Boca Raton, Florida 33431, Phone - 1(800)272-7737, Fax - 1(800)374-3401. Publication Date December 7, 2010. 268 pages, ISBN-10: 1420089129; ISBN-13: 978-1420089127 (alk. paper). Price: $129.95
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As a student wanting to do her secondary research paper on ‘Necrophilia’, I faced a lot of difficulties trying to find authentic and reliable material on necrophilia, but then I came across ‘Necrophilia: Forensic & Medico-Legal Aspects’ by Anil Aggrawal & all my worries vanished.
Initially before reading the book, one would feel hesitant about whether he/she would be able to understand the intricacies or even the language of the book considering the topic it describes and explains is a topic rarely touched. But once you’re finished with the book, it completely turns your opinion around.
The approach taken by Dr Anil Aggrawal, to explain Necrophilia; from the historical aspects to the forensic and medico-legal aspects, is not only understandable to a layman, but it is so concise and well organized, that it leaves no scope for disappointment for the reader.
Initially it introduces Necrophilia and throws light on the long and rich history of necrophilia by citing various instances from Greek mythology, ancient cultures, the Greco-Roman period, Middle Ages, Modern Era, & even in Arts and Literature. As one read further, it gives you a detailed and well described account of the various etiological factors which might contribute to Necrophilia. It not only talks about the biological factors but also about the psychological factors which in turn result in the development of this bizarre paraphilia.
Perhaps the most important and the valued part of this book is the chapter on the various existing classifications used to classify this disorder into sub classes & a 10-tier classification proposed by the author himself, after the evident extensive research on this disorder. This 10-tier classification clears all confusion centring on the subjective terms related to necrophilia, as this disorder can’t be studied properly without classifying it. This chapter not only provides the descriptions of the different classifications but also gives various tables, line diagrams etc explaining the same in simpler formats.
Following the Classification of Necrophilia, comes the chapter explaining the epidemiology of this disorder which is also of importance as necrophilia is presumed to be very rare and an understanding of the different epidemiological factors related to it is a must, for a thorough understanding of the disorder.
Next, the various case studies with the author’s impressions and conclusion of the numerous documented sexual deviants, in this case, the necrophiles are provided. Along with the case studies, given are the pictures of some of the necrophiles, which in turn engorge the reader even further.
After the chapter of Case Studies, the different components of a medico-legal investigation are listed and described. This part of the book explains the examination of the scene of crime, examination of the dead body and the examination of the suspect in such a clear manner, that one doesn’t need to be a medical student to understand what has been written. The author makes use of technical jargons very intelligently and carefully which helps a layman to understand the medico-legal investigation of necrophilia without having much difficulty.
The last part of the book talks about the legal and ethical aspects of necrophilia & expert testimony in necrophilia cases. It lists the legal standings of the various countries on Necrophilia, and then compares and contrasts between the different laws on this disorder. Further it discusses about the ethical aspects, giving examples of real cases involved in post-mortem sperm procurement for impregnation.
The last chapter introduces the reader to the expert testimony in necrophilia cases. It sheds light on the kind of an expert needed for testimony in necrophilia cases, the basic rules for expert witnesses along with quoting real cases as examples, and the basic rules for lawyers.
Other than the information in different chapters, the author cites references at the end of every chapter which, in itself is a vast treasure of bibliography and references, especially for researchers and students. Also towards the end it gives a brief chronology of necrophilia in a tabled format which makes it very easy for the reader to quickly and superficially go through the whole book itself. The index provided in this book proves to be very time saving for the readers who want to be more specific in their reading. All throughout the book, the use of small tables containing quick facts helps the reader to glance through the gist of the various sub topics. The use of tables and conclusion summarizing every chapter comes in very handy.
Perhaps the only change this book needs is a little alteration in the title, as it not only explains the forensic and medico-legal aspects but the psychological aspects of Necrophilia as well. This book keeps its promise and fulfils the goal of making it an educational as well as an interesting read. What makes this book unique is not only the very topic it undertakes to explain but also the intelligent writing and the use of simple and basic language which enables even a layman to understand this disorder. Necrophilia: Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects is a highly recommended read for professionals from the field of forensic medicine, forensic psychology, criminal psychology, students of clinical psychology, forensic psychology, abnormal psychology and especially for researchers in the fields of paraphilias & sexual deviance. I welcome it into my own library and would recommend it to others as well.
Meetali Devgun is currently pursuing her masters in clinical psychology, and interning side by side in a clinical setting as an assistant psychologist for over 2 years. Her areas of interest are parapsychology, paraphilias, criminal psychology, & personality psychology. She likes reading, writing and watching movies, and is also a junior level handwriting analyst. Ms Devgun is associated with this journal as a resource person.
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