Crime of Passion Essay

A crime of passion is violence committed against someone due to an intense impulse such as rage. The offense is mostly due to an aforethought, and thus, happens in the heat of passion. A classic example of such crime is when dating and a third party is involved, and the third party is killed out of jealousy.

The article by Minyvonne Burke evidences a man who is accused of killing his girlfriend and two other members of her family. The man, Jesse Dobbs who was 23, pleaded guilty to killing his 16-year-old girlfriend but not to killing her two relatives. He was then charged with first-degree murder when the body of the girl, Kirsten Fritch was found duped and stabbed nearly 60 times. Dobbs was also a suspect in the murders of the other two relatives of his girlfriend, who were later found shot dead in their home. The case was treated as a crime by passion by the court. The suspect also said that he had killed the fake version of his girlfriend and not the real one. He also admitted that he had been scared of being accused of the other two murders and that is the reason he had fled the town. Since he had left with his girlfriend, he admitted to killing her since he thought that he would be accused of killing her other two relatives.

The other case is that of a cook Albert Joseph Berry, 46 years old that killed his 20-year-old wife, Rachel. There were reports of his being violent towards her severally, and he later choked her to death. The wife was found dead on the bathroom floor after being choked with a cord. He confessed to the killing and was arrested. It was found that the wife had had an affair, and which had led to her murder by her husband. Rachel had not been discreet about her affair with another man, for whom she had gotten pregnant (“People v. Berry,” n.d.). This case also qualifies as a crime of passion as there was no previous planning of the crime. Due to jealousy, Berry killed his wife’s lover, Yoko in a rage after his wife admitted to being pregnant for him and being in love with him.

Both articles attend to cases of crimes of passion that have occurred in the USA in the last few years. Cases like such are rife since many cases are not reported to the authorities. Other consequences are that people that evidence such crimes are disturbed by the events and are likely to be traumatized or even become criminals themselves. According to Lester & Lester (1975), crimes of passion are triggered by strong emotions as elicited in the given cases. In the United States, crimes of passion are usually related to defenses of insanity as in the case of Dobbs who seemed insane. Insanity is later reduced to manslaughter in many cases.

In relation to the class course, the type of offender in this case is crime by passion as the crime is not premeditated unlike the Atavists and Criminaloids. In light of these cases, the offender is directed by emotion and thus defense is usually clear cut, more so if the defendant pleads guilty.

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Burke, M. (2018, September 12). Texas man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend in ‘crime of passion’. Retrieved October 2, 2019, from
Lester, D., & Lester, G. (1975). Crime of passion: Murder and the murderer. Chicago: Nelson Hall.
People v. Berry. (n.d.). Retrieved from