A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
From Beyond the Grave
Inside the Mind of a Murderer with Naomi Ryan

Sunday 17th October 2021 at 3:30 pm

The definition of murder often sounds deceptively simple – a person kills another with the intent to cause serious harm or death. But when you scratch the surface, the issue of intent can throw up some strange and complex questions. What does it mean to intend to kill or harm someone? Is it still murder to kill someone if you believe you are ridding the world of a demon? Does the red mist of anger really absolve you from responsibility? Are you a murderer if you kill someone in the mistaken belief that you are strangling a snake?

These questions really boil down to one simple question, is there a difference between being bad and being mad, and if so, what is it? Over the centuries, barristers, judges and juries have been forced to confront this question in some of the strangest and most macabre cases in legal history. In doing so, they have explored issues at the very limits of psychology, science and sociology and their decisions provide a fascinating insight into how the society of the time treated mental health.

Join Naomi Ryan for a discussion about the legal history of murder and the mind, and explore cases involving a haunted theatre, England’s only assassinated Prime Minister and fairy changelings.

Tickets £12 including a 20% donation toward a host of restoration projects at Kensal Green Cemetery.

Naomi Ryan
Naomi Ryan is a criminal lawyer. After qualifying with a Masters in Law from St Catherine’s College, Oxford, she taught criminal law to undergraduates at St Hilda’s College Oxford and University College London before embarking on her career as a criminal barrister, where she both prosecuted and defended. She now works as an advisory lawyer on criminal matters within the civil service.

Image credit - Dissections of the brain and blood vessels: three figures. Colour mezzotint by J.F. Gautier d'Agoty, 1748. Public domain courtesy of Wellcome Collection.

Kensal Green Cemetery