Author of Killer Instinct: Having a Mind for Murder Dr Donald Grant calls for transparency in the QLD justice system and stands with victims of crime
'If we are to gain a better understanding of the risk factors that lead to murder, and prevent more murders, we need to be informed by expert analysis,' says Dr Donald Grant.
This is an authorial statement from Dr Donald Grant:
As a forensic psychiatrist for the past 40 years, my life’s work has been devoted to increasing our understanding of why violence and murder happens. I have examined more than 200 people who have been charged with murder to gain insights into why they killed.
My professional role has been to present reports on their mental state. In writing Killer Instinct: Having a Mind for Murder (MUP) my focus was also on understanding what motivates those who murder.
Killer Instinct includes previously published details of offenders’ mental state, police material and media reports on ten complex murder cases. If we are to gain a better understanding of the risk factors that lead to murder, and prevent more murders, we need to be informed by expert analysis.
Since the publication of Killer Instinct, I have been disappointed to discover that some of the information that was presented as evidence in court has not been readily available to the families of the victims either during the court process or over the many years that have since passed.
Families of victims deserve insight into why their loved ones were killed. They should not have to battle to access key information which formed part of the findings in a murder case.
Agencies such as the Victim Support Service are vital in assisting the understanding of often complex medico-legal material. The difficult and sensitive work carried out by agencies like this deserve recognition at this time.
I have devoted my career to understanding why murder happens. My usual medico-legal role ends on delivering my report to the court and giving evidence for the record.
Now, I’d like to contribute my knowledge and experience to help create a roadmap for victims of serious crime to access expert information from trials and judgements.
I will also donate a proportion of my author royalties from Killer Instinct to help support victims’ families navigate this roadmap. I hope my modest contribution can be of some assistance.