Delusional jealousy may be the basis for violence and murder. It may be referred to as the Othello Syndrome based on Shakespeare’s play on the relationship between Othello and Desdemona.


When to suspect delusional jealousy in a murder:

(1) The victim is a spouse or significant other.

(2) The perpetrator is experiencing delusions, especially if mixed with paranoia. The perpetrator may have dementia, brain disorder or psychotic state.

(3) The mental illness of the perpetrator is related to alcohol abuse.

(4) There is evidence that the perpetrator was suffering delusional jealousy (statements from victim or perpetrator, eyewitness observations).

(5) The perpetrator had a history of hostility, violence or aggression triggered by jealousy.


Delusional jealousy may be associated with:

(1) murder-suicide

(2) stalking


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