Shraddha Murder Case: Anatomy of Murder Explained By Clinical Psychologist

Shraddha Murder Case

Aftab murdered Shraddha Walker, chopped her body into 35 pieces, made a keema of Shraddha’s intestines, burnt her face, and for days stepped out disposing off her body parts in Mehrauli’s Jungle

New Delhi: Its been a week now that the heinous crime committed by Aftab Amin Poonawalla has been in the headlines. Aftab murdered Shraddha Walker, chopped her body into 35 pieces, made a keema of Shraddha’s intestines, burnt her face, and for days stepped out disposing off her body parts in Mehrauli’s Jungle. Many are calling this an incident of “love jihad.” The police is investigating the incident after Shraddha’s parents lodged a missing complaint. While probing the murder case police found a few body parts from the jungle and sent them for a DNA test. Meanwhile, many similar criminal activities have taken place across the country. For example, Prince Yadav killed his ex-girlfriend and chopped her into 6 pieces, and threw her body parts into a well and pond. To know about killer’s psychology HW News interviewed a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Prachi Vaish. Dr. Prachi is a Psychotherapist and consults people online. She is a mental health entrepreneur with 17+ years of experience in treating people. Here are the excerpts of the interview:

Question: What could’ve driven Aftab to commit such a grisly crime? What could be his mental state when he committed this crime?

Answer: It is hard to speculate what is going on in the killer’s mind. From what it looks like when Aftab killed Shraddha, it was probably a crime of passion. When you have a surge of emotions of a certain kind, then your emotional brain becomes super active, and the logical brain doesn’t really work at that moment. So you end up taking an impulsive decision and that’s how most crimes of action happen. When he killed Shraddha it was probably a crime of passion.

Question: After killing Shraddha, Aftab chopped her body into 35 pieces, made a keema of her intestine, and burnt her face. What makes one cross the threshold of cruelty?

Answer: The whole sequence of events followed by the murder, could have happened for two reasons:-

  • You are thinking like a criminal who wants to dispose off/erase all the evidences. Maybe the idea was to disfigure the body enough that no one can recognize the body.
  • Speaking of emotional mindset, sometimes crimes take place with a lot of crime and passion. Even after the victim is dead the rage does not dies, and anger keeps coming out, on the body.

Question: In such cases, oftentimes the mental state of the criminal is also examined. Does childhood trauma play any role in people turning criminals or taking extreme steps such as this?

Answer: Childhood trauma can really damage how you look at the world and how you interact with the world. On one hand, it can make someone vulnerable and extremely prone to falling into an abusive relationship, and these people then become victims later on. On the other hand, it can shut down emotions, and turn them into a cruel person who finds pleasure in other person’s pain. Also, this can happen to people who are born with psychic tendencies.

Also Read: Shraddha Murder Case: Delhi HC Rejects PIL Seeking Transfer Of Investigation From Police To CBI

Question: Shraddha’s chat with her work colleague revealed that she was a victim of domestic violence. Why do women find it difficult to come out of a toxic relationship like this?

Answer: This situation always puzzles people as they find it difficult that if someone was so unhappy or is being abused then why they do not leave and move on? But in reality, it is a very complex situation for the victim. What happens with the abuse is, it is purported by the abuser over a period of time in a very manipulative way. The abuser might hit the victim and say, “oh I do this because you make me so angry, if you won’t make me angry I won’t hit you,” and they blame the victim for hitting them. The act of violence shakes the victim and puts them in a shocking state. Hence, at that moment the victim’s mental state is quite vulnerable. So if the abuser is feeding you the idea that you are responsible for your own punishment, the victim tends to believe that the abuser is hitting them for their own good. At that time it is very difficult for the victim to think the other way. They start fixing rather than running away. They are not in the state to sense that it is not their fault and they do not deserve violence.

Also, because of constant manipulation, their self-esteem is damaged as well. The abuser constantly manipulates them and controls them so much that they won’t allow victim to make choices of their own, or to take any decisions for themself. The victim is so much in love with the abuser that he does not question the abuser and believes that he is doing so for their welfare.

Question: Shraddha’s murder case is in news for a few days now. After this incident, many crimes took place in a similar manner where one person murdered his partner. So what impact does excessive consumption of crime news stories, movies, or shows creates on a person’s mind?

Answer: What we read and consume, impacts how we process things. Especially when it comes to crime and violence, in a lot of cases people say they got ideas from what they have consumed. Once, a piece is out it is on air, you cannot control who is watching it. The one having criminal tendencies might get an idea from watching crime news, movies, etc. They might be thinking of a certain plan (wanting to kill someone), but do not know how to take it forward, so they might get an idea of taking it forward from news shows or movies.

The crime shows have creative representations, but the one who has psychic and criminal tendencies think that they can do it too. The idea of the show gives an extra nudge to somebody who is on the verge of criminality. It is difficult for them to take it just as a story especially when they relate themselves to the main character. It blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Also after consuming such content they have a desire of committing crimes in the same manner.


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