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A torture murder is a murder where death was preceded by the torture of the victim. In many legal jurisdictions, a murder involving "exceptional brutality or cruelty" will attract a harsher sentence.


Murder laws worldwide vary a great deal, but a murder involving torture will generally attract a harsher penalty than a murder alone. Legal mechanisms of penalty enhancement vary between jurisdictions. In the laws of Italy, Germany, Norway and many parts of the United States, there are two or more "degrees" of murder, with wording such as: "...inflicting torture upon the victim prior to the victim's death"[1] typically used to rule that the highest degree should apply. In other jurisdictions, it may be that even if there was just one crime of murder, the sentencing practices and guidelines are such that the aggravating circumstance of any torture will nevertheless allow for a harsher than normal penalty.[2][3]

List of torture murders[edit]

Some notable perpetrators and victims include the following. The dates indicate the time of the crime or crimes. This list includes people in positions of power.

Torture murderers[edit]

Torture murder victims[edit]

See also[edit]

Lethal methods of torture[edit]


  1. ^ Law § 235.20 PEN Part 3 Title H
  2. ^ "Sentencing - Mandatory life sentences in Murder cases". CPS. Crown Prosecution Service. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 
  3. ^ "the offence involved gratuitous cruelty". Sentencing Bench Book. Judicial Commission of New South Wales. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 


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