This essay looks at somnambulistic crimes (Crimes commited during sleep). Examples and bibliography included.

Essay by thelastwonkabarUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2002

download word file, 6 pages 4.4

Downloaded 56 times

Courts of Law, all over the world, have returned "not guilty" verdicts

on men and women accused of a wide variety of crimes, although the people

concerned either admitted the act or were seen committing it. These people

have been involved with acts of reckless driving, shop-lifting, money thefts,

and even first degree murder. Charges have been dismissed because the

accused have convinced judges and juries that, at the time of the offense,

they were fast asleep.

I would like to start off by taking a look at nightmares and sleep

walking crimes, also known as somnambulistic crimes. When a man is

asleep, defenses of his mind are relaxed. All the rage, fear, and violent

emotions he surpressed during the day, or might not even know exist, are

now free to roam out of their dark corners. The subconscience, which is still

plagued with the primitive urges of our ancestors, takes control, and the

shackles of inhibition and convention are torn away.

This is why so many sleep walkers display such startlingly

uncharacteristic behavior. Why a shy and respectable woman will walk

down a busy street naked and why a gentle and compassionate man can

become a brutal killer.

Page 2

Sleep walking, which normally starts an hour or two after falling

asleep, is far more common then people realize. Britain has half a million

sufferers and America has two million. Children are far more prone to it

than adults. Five out of every hundred children will suffer from sleep

walking at one point in their life, as opposed to two out of every hundred


Two year old Craig Walsh was found blocks from his home, walking

in and out of cars during rush hour. He was found wearing only pajamas and

rubber pants. Analysis of the...