Magazine article The Spectator

How to Live

Magazine article The Spectator

How to Live

Article excerpt

From Professor Robin Jacoby Sir: As a psychiatrist who has written reports in more than 30 homicide cases, I can wholeheartedly confirm Theodore Dalrymple's thesis that the majority of murderers are unfit for life ('Murder mystery', 7 January). But the picture he paints also illustrates their lack of self-restraint and predilection for instant gratification.

My experience led me to formulate my law of homicide which states that the victim nearly always 'asks for it'. In other words, the victim needs to show self-restraint, too.

A typical scenario is the following. A wife, often a bit smarter than her husband, has brought up the children and returns to work. She starts an affair with her manager.

The husband suspects her of infidelity but can't prove it and she denies it. Then one day he catches them in flagrante. When he confronts his wife, she says something like, 'He's better at it than you. …

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