© 2017

Criminology of Homicidal Poisoning

Offenders, Victims and Detection

  • Reviews theories of crime and homicide in relation to poison

  • Explores the characteristics of poisoners and their victims

  • Provides insights on detection and prevention of poisoning


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Michael Farrell
    Pages 1-9
  3. Michael Farrell
    Pages 11-25
  4. Michael Farrell
    Pages 27-46
  5. Michael Farrell
    Pages 47-61
  6. Michael Farrell
    Pages 79-94
  7. Michael Farrell
    Pages 95-112
  8. Michael Farrell
    Pages 113-130
  9. Michael Farrell
    Pages 131-146
  10. Michael Farrell
    Pages 147-161
  11. Michael Farrell
    Pages 163-172
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 173-209

About this book


This book provides an overview of historical and contemporary cases of homicidal poisoning.  While homicidal poisoning is sometimes thought of as a thing of the past, it continues to be a contemporary problem, and in fact the unknown offender rate for poisoning cases is 20-30 times that of other homicide types in contemporary research, and many poisoners commit serial homicides while going undetected.

The author of this important and timely work explores the theoretical bases for understanding homicidal poisoning, the nature of poisons used in homicidal cases, the characteristics of poisoners and their victims, and techniques for detection and prevention.

This unique book will be of particular interest to: students of criminology (classes dealing with criminal psychology, and murder investigation); students of the history of crime; criminal justice professionals: attorneys, homicide detectives, forensic pathologists, forensic and clinical toxicologists, and other forensic investigators; and all interested in poisons, poisoners and the detection of poisoning. It has relevance to criminology, law and policing, toxicology and forensic science, the history of crime and detection, and criminal psychology.


Poison Types Homicide Prevention Toxicology Victiminology Forensic Toxicology Poison Detection Homicide Offenders Homicidal Poisoning

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HerefordshireUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Dr. Michael Farrell was educated in the UK. After training as a teacher at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln, and obtaining an honours degree from Nottingham University, he gained a M.A. in Education and Psychology from the Institute of Education, London University. Subsequently, he carried out research for an M.Phil. at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, and for a Ph.D. under the auspices of the Medical Research Council Cognitive Development Unit and London University.

Professionally, Michael Farrell held senior posts in schools and units for people with various mental disorders. He managed a UK-wide psychometric project for City University, London and directed a national initial teacher-training project for the UK Government Department of Education. For over a decade, he led teams inspecting mainstream and special schools and units (boarding, day, hospital, psychiatric). Currently, he works as a private consultant with a range of clients and has lectured or provided consultancy services in various countries including China, Japan, the Seychelles, Australia, Peru, Sweden, and the UK.

He has broadcast on the BBC World Service and on UK national radio and has written articles on crime and poisoning in a range of medical, police and legal journals. His many books are translated into European and Asian languages.

Bibliographic information