Writers at Stanton - Donald Grant

31-May-2018 • 1pm

Killer Instict, having a mind for murder

Forensic psychiatrist Donald Grant asks what it is about murder that fascinates us. Is it a chill whisper of fear reminding us we too can kill? Grant describes ten true murder cases, each different, each complex, each with unique triggers. Fact leaves fiction for dead. For those directly affected, murder is a sombre and scarring event. For most of us, murder is an arm's length experience, close enough to frighten and fascinate yet far enough not to traumatise. Grant proposes that our restless chatter about it, our state of heightened alert, our endless viewing, may be play therapy, reassuring us that our own killer instinct is under control

Killer Instinct … is an intriguing read. It gives a fascinating insight into the world of killers, forensic psychiatry and the legal system, including the difficulties of predicting dangerousness. Who hasn’t wondered if, given a particular set of circumstances or mental illness, they might be driven to kill another? Forensic psychiatrist Donald Grant, whose reports I read with confidence during my twenty-six years as a judge, explores that and other big questions, such as who is capable of rehabilitation, who has rehabilitated, and who is beyond redemption. Margaret McMurdo, immediate past President, Court of Appeal, Queensland Supreme Court