Medicine: The Case of the Mad Killer

You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight — with what dissimulation I went to work . . . Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in!

—The Tell-Tale Heart

Fictional characters like Poe's stealthy stabber have given many a whodunit fan the notion that an insane murderer is "fiendishly clever" in planning and executing his crimes. Poppycock, say two psychiatric authorities in a recent issue of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

Dr. Louis Cohen, who...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!