Murders Committed While Dreaming

Can someone commit murder while in the dream state? There is a lot of back and forth about this topic, but generally if you commit murder, you will be punished for it whether you were awake for the event or not.

Interestingly enough, there was an article on murders committed while dreaming. I personally believe it is a crock of poop, but we are all welcome to our own thoughts on the subject.


Medical Science Has Long Record of Such Cases.

The recent remarkable case of Henry C. Krause, who strangled his mother, has served to recall other instances on record in the history of Medical jurisprudence where crimes have been connected with dreams and hallucinations.

One of the oldest cases of the kind is that of the English gamekeeper who was killed by his son. Both were guarding from poachers the preserves on which they were employed, when the son, wearied with the long vigil, fell asleep. Upon being suddenly awakened he seized his fowling piece and slew his father, evidently, in his half awake condition, acting under the delusion that he was attacking a poacher. He was tried and convicted, but later was pardoned on the ground that, because he did not know what he was doing, there was no criminal intent to the action.

Marc, the noted English alienist, tells of the famous case of a peddler who fell asleep on the highway, having by his side a sword cane which he carried as a protection against robbers. A traveler in stooped to arouse him, thinking he might be either ill or intoxicated. The peddler sprang up and stabbed him to death with the sword cane. He was convicted at his trial, although he pleaded that he did not know what he was about when he committed the act.

Another case cited by Marc is that of Bernard Schedmaizeg. Attacked by a phantom in a dream he struck at it with a hatchet and awake to find that he had murdered his wife, who was the reality of the phantom with which he had struggled. He was acquitted of the charge of murder, the jury in this case accepting the plea that he had done it unconsciously.

From Cleveland, O., comes an account of a well authenticated case, that of a prominent resident of that city. Out hunting and camping with a party of friends, he was suddenly awakened from sleep one morning and shot a member of the party in the back, inflicting a wound which caused paralysis. 

In 1878 Simon Frazer, a Scotchman, dreamed that he was attacked by a wild beast, which he killed in his vision. When he awoke he found that he had dashed out his child’s brains against the bedpost. [Source]