Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Clinical Case Conference   |    
Infanticide in a Case of Folie à Deux
Tahir Rahman, M.D.; Karrisa A. Grellner, M.D.; Bruce Harry, M.D.; Niels Beck, Ph.D.; John Lauriello, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2013;170:1110-1112. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.13010027
View Author and Article Information

Dr. Lauriello has served on an event monitoring board for a clinical trial through a contract with Janssen Pharmaceutica and the University of Missouri and on a data management safety board for a clinical trial through a contract with Shire/PRA and the University of Missouri; he has also served as an adviser through a contract with Otsuka and the University of Missouri. The other authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

The authors thank Jeff Janofsky, M.D., for editorial comments.

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Missouri, Columbia.

Address correspondence to Dr. Rahman (rahmantahi@health.missouri.edu).

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

Received January 07, 2013; Revised February 21, 2013; Revised March 26, 2013; Accepted April 01, 2013.


We report a case of infanticide of a 4-month-old infant boy by starvation and dehydration. The parents were both charged with murder. The mother suffered from schizoaffective disorder, and the father was diagnosed with shared psychotic disorder (folie à deux) by forensic assessment (T.R.). We describe the couple’s history, including a summary of their delusional beliefs, based on police reports, interrogation videos, an autopsy report, psychological tests, and interviews with several family members.

Figures in this Article

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In to Access Full Content
Sign in via Athens (What is this?)
Athens is a service for single sign-on which enables access to all of an institution's subscriptions on- or off-site.
Not a subscriber?

Subscribe Now/Learn More

PsychiatryOnline subscription options offer access to the DSM-5 library, books, journals, CME, and patient resources. This all-in-one virtual library provides psychiatrists and mental health professionals with key resources for diagnosis, treatment, research, and professional development.

Need more help? PsychiatryOnline Customer Service may be reached by emailing PsychiatryOnline@psych.org or by calling 800-368-5777 (in the U.S.) or 703-907-7322 (outside the U.S.).

Anchor for Jump
TABLE 1.Comparison of Beliefs Held by The Couple and the Church They Attended


Giorgi-Guarnieri  D;  Janofsky  J;  Keram  E;  Lawsky  S;  Merideth  P;  Mossman  D;  Schwart-Watts  D;  Scott  C;  Thompson  J  Jr;  Zonana  H; American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law:  AAPL practice guideline for forensic psychiatric evaluation of defendants raising the insanity defense.  J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 2002; 30(suppl):S3–S40
Lasègue  C;  Falret  JP:  La folie à deux.  Ann Med Psychol (Paris) 1877; 18:321–355
Tandon  R:  Getting ready for DSM-5: psychotic disorders.  Current Psychiatry 2012; 11:E1–E4
Manschreck  TC:  Delusional disorder and shared psychotic disorder, in  Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 7th ed, vol 1. Edited by Kaplan  HI;  Sadock  BJ.  Baltimore,  Williams & Wilkins, 2000, pp 1243–1264
Kraya  NA;  Patrick  C:  Folie à deux in a forensic setting.  Aust NZ J Psychiatry 1997; 31:883–888
McHugh  PR:  The Mind Has Mountains .  Baltimore,  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006
References Container

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Related Content
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 50.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 50.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 50.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles
Infanticide in a case of folie à deux. Am J Psychiatry 2013;170(10):1110-2.