Probably the most important subject which I am called on to notice in this brief summary, is sadism— the association of sexual lust with active cruelly, and the infliction of bodily suffering upon the victim. This category does not include, of course, those persons of highly excitable sexual temperament, in whom there is, normally, a tendency to very furibund expressions of passion; such as biting, scratching, pinching and bruising the partners of their intercourse; yet all within strictly physiological lines. I allude to that deeper paresthesia of sexual feeling where the two involved factors—cruelty and lust—are in a measure interdependent, the lustful emotion awakening the impulse to cruelty, and the exercise of cruelty heightening and intensifying the sexual lust.
Thus, in the case of the man, Brady, a waiter, arrested in St. Louis, Feb.
9, 1906, for stabbing women with a penknife while passing them in the streets, a somewhat remarkable sadistic condition was developed at the examination; in which sexual pleasure resulted from the cruelty atone, without any attempt at Bexual contact. 1 quote from the records of the police examination:
" I just took that little knife, and stuck it into them," he said, in a high, effeminate voice, and with no show of emotion or excitement. "I stabbed most of them in the hip as they were passing; but when they were coming toward me, I stabbed them in front. When I stabbed these women -it made me feel good. I didn't pick out pretty women, particularly. Most of the time I didn't look at their faces at all. It didn't make any difference so long as they were women."
Despite the rigid questioning of Chief Desmond, and Circuit Attorney Sager, Brady would not, or could not, give any lucid or logical explanation of his action in attacking the women with a knife.
"I am not a heavy drinker," he went on, "but on Monday night" (Jan. 22,1906) "I had drunk a good deal of beer,1 and was suddenly seized with a desire to stab women, I did not want to kill them; just to stab them slightly. Something within me just drove me to it. 1 couldn't help it. I always held the knife so" (putting his thumb over the blade) "so it couldn't go in too deep."1
5 It is interesting to note, as showing a large congenital element in all these perversions, that Brady's mother had, long previously, separated from her husband on account of the hitter's sexual irregularities.
While there is no doubt of the sadistic impulse In the case, there is an apparent, or, more probably, pretended lack of sexual lust; this weakness of the psycho-sexual element, possibly, accounting for the expressed desire to "just stab them a little;" it being quite the reverse in the true hyper-bulia of sadism, which prompts the individual to exert the most intense effect possible upon the person, or thing, evoking the impulse. As love and anger are not only the most intense but the most active emotions of the mind, it is equally easy for both to pass into the sphere of furibund destructive sees; and whether sadism be, as hinted in the text, an atavistic return to the primitive "force-principle" of courtship, or a teratological and pathological intensification of phenomena conditioned by normal nidimentary sex-life, it remains, so far as its legal aspects are concerned, one to be dealt with precisely as cere similar crimes of a nonsexual nature.
And the correctness of this position will be readily apparent to the jurist. The fact that the vita sexualis only is involved, either pathologically or psychically, and that the abnormal instinct to violence and cruelty may coexist with the very keenest powers of intellect—as in the case of the Marquis de Sade, himself—robs the perversion at once of those claims to legal indulgence which belong, of right, to the allied psychopathic conditions in which the inhibiting powers of the mind are more or less impaired.