Home > Publications > An Analysis of the Probable Association Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a Rage-Type Murder Event (Part 1)

An Analysis of the Probable Association Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a
Rage-Type Murder Event (Part 1)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout & Michelle Wharren

Abstract
This research was directed at establishing whether narcissistic individuals will go to
extreme levels of violence, specifically murder, if their self-image is threatened. The aim
was to determine the extent of pre-existing narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in these
individuals and how this could have contributed to the murderous action they committed.
Emphasis was placed on the psychological motivation of the perpetrator, as well as the
relationship that existed between the perpetrator and the victim prior to the event. Research
on narcissism indicates that hostile aggression is a reaction to threatening evaluations of the
self-esteem which often could lead to a gratuitous hostile aggressive action or an overkill
murderous event.
This contribution is the first part of a two part series pertaining to our research. Part one
will focus on the definition of the concepts, a literature review and a general discussion of the
probable association between narcissistic personality disorder and rage-type murder. Acase
study will be reviewed against the backdrop of the existing literature. Part two of the research
in a future publication will focus on our fieldwork and research findings pertaining to this
topic.

Keywords: Aggression, “Catathymic Crisis”; DSM-IV-TR; Grandiosity; Narcissism; Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD); Rage-Type Murder; Self; Self-esteem; Self-image; Violence.