October 1969

Homicidal Threats.

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va


By John M. Mac-Donald, MD, FRCP. Price, $6.50. Pp 120, with 5 tables and 2 figures. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, Ill 62703, 1968.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(4):515. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300200127032

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One wonders whether, in order to underline the importance of this book, one should put some statistical figures to good use?

Are we aware, for example, that 10,920 homicide deaths occurred in the United States in 1960? Should we not remember that the homicide rate (1963) in our country is almost 4 times that in Japan, almost 8 times that in England, and an astonishing 55 times that in Spain? If these facts are not sufficiently unsettling, the gentle reader will be greatly and, it is certain, profitably disturbed by this excellent work of John Mac-Donald.

We know that the suicide rate is 35 times higher for those who have threatened or attempted the act than for those with an apparently negative history. This study attempts to establish a comparable relationship between the threat to kill and the act of homicide, and in its wake the dark recesses of the

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