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  #1  
Old 08-21-2010, 04:29 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Who are some famous psychopaths/sociopaths

Looking online, most people seem to equate 'sociopath' with 'asshole', when the two are not necessarily the same.

Ted Bundy and Adolf Hitler constantly come up as famous sociopaths, but I don't know if either qualifies. Sociopaths don't feel emotions like compassion, empathy or anxiety, and there is evidence that Hitler felt all of them.

Hitler loved his mom, his dogs, his girlfriend, arguably his childhood friend Kubizek, etc. Also as the war became unwinnable, Hitler started having severe anxiety issues.

As far as Bundy, I really don't know. He might be, might not.

The only famous political sociopath I can think of would be Joseph Stalin. Once the Nazis offered to exchange prisoners, Hitler's nephew would be traded for Stalin's son. Stalin refused. If Hitler were a sociopath, I don't think he would've done that to help his sisters kid. But Stalin didn't care about his own childrens lives. He drove his spouses and kids to suicide. I don't think he ever did anything to imply he was capable of empathy or compassion.

The documentary 'deliver us from evil' has a priest who was likely a sociopath.

The BTK killer was a sociopath. Part of me wonders if John Edwards (the politician) is one too, or just a narcissist. Probably the latter.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 08-21-2010 at 04:32 PM..
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2010, 04:46 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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That guy in "Deliver Us From Evil", as you said, seemed to be a textbook case.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:58 PM
palacheck palacheck is offline
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Richard Kuklinski.

Tortured animals, severely abused, arsonist, etc. etc. Oh and he was a prolific serial killer and contract killer.

He's a pathological liar so it's hard to know for sure how many people he killed but it's for sure a lot. The kind of guy that would kill a random pedestrian just to try out a new gun.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2010, 05:09 PM
Superhal Superhal is offline
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www.crimelibrary.com

Pretty much all male serial killers are sociopaths (female serial killers tend to be motivated by personal gain.) Jeffery Dahmer is fascinating simply because he's been studied more than others. Yoo Young-Chul is also interesting because he didn't have sex with his victims.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:32 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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This article describes 3% of males as being sociopaths. This makes me think that the average sociopath is closer to insensitive jerk than serial killer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisoc...r#Epidemiology

I think a more recent example of psychopathic behavior might be Saddam Hussein and his son Uday. I think they might actually have Hitler beat in terms of psychopathic behavior they did personally. Idi Amin also comes to mind.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:43 PM
Malienation Malienation is offline
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Try reading this
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:57 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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I happen to respect the sheer simple honesty of Carl Panzram's philosophy: to openly and outspokenly embrace evil. His only enemies, he claimed, were those who stood in the way of evil. He went to the chair in 1930 wishing he could have murdered humanity itself.

Quote:
In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry...I wish all mankind had one neck so I could choke it.

Last edited by Beware of Doug; 08-21-2010 at 06:59 PM..
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:00 PM
Fried Dough Ho Fried Dough Ho is offline
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My personal favs...

Gilles de Rais

and

Countess Bárthory
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:07 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Most serial killers are psychopaths, but the opposite is not true - most psychopaths are not serial killers.

Ted Bundy was a textbook example of a psychopath in every way except one - he was also a sexually motivated serial killer and necrophiliac, which is fortunately rare. Dr. Hare estimates that there are an estimated 2 million psychopaths in the U.S. (and as many as 100,000 in New York City), but only a fraction of those are serial killers. Psychopaths who kill tend to be the headline grabbers, but the crimes psychopaths commit run the gamut. Criminal psychopaths may be bank robbers, swindlers, drug dealers, thieves, rapists, con artists, all of the above, or any other combination of career criminal; psychopaths tend to be "criminally versatile," jacks of all trades. Only when their psychopathy is comorbid with severe sexual sadism do they turn out like Bundy. Among psychopaths who do kill, expediency or poor impulse control is much more likely to be the reason rather than sexual gratification. Charles Sobraj is a good example of a psychopathic serial killer who killed out of expediency.

Dr. Hervey Cleckley, who probably advanced the study of psychopathy more than anyone else in the 20th other than Dr. Robert Hare, felt that Hitler, Mussolini, and many of history's other monsters may have had psychopathic traits, but he didn't consider them full blown psychopaths (others disagree to varying degrees). One figure stood out to Cleckley as likely having embodied the prototypical psychopath: Alcibiades, the great general and traitor of the Peloponnesian war.

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Hitler, despite all the unusual, unpleasant, and abnormal features reported to be characteristic of him, could not, in my opinion, be identified with the picture I am trying to present. Many people whose conduct has been permanently recorded in history are described as extremely abnormal in various ways. Good examples familiar to all include Nero and Heliogabalus, Gilles de Rais, the Countess Elizabeth Báthory and, of course, the Marquis de Sade. I cannot find in these characters a truly convincing resemblance that identifies them with the picture that emerges from the actual patients I have studied and regarded as true psychopaths.

In the lives of many painters, sculptors, poets and other writers who have gained a place in history we find reports of inconsistency and irresponsibility that sometimes do suggest the typical psychopath. Benvenuto Cellini, whose story has been recorded in such detail by his own hand, seems in more respects, perhaps, than any other creative artist who gained lasting renown to have followed a pattern similar to that of my patients. Nevertheless he worked consistently enough to produce masterpieces that centuries later are still cherished.

Let us turn now to a much earlier historical figure, a military leader and statesman who is not likely to be forgotten while civilization as we know it remains on earth. I first encountered him during a course in ancient history when I was in high school. I had not at that time heard of a psychopath. The teacher did not try to classify him medically or explain his paradoxical career in psychological terms. I felt, however, that this gifted teacher shared my interest and some of my bewilderment as the brilliant, charming, capricious, and irresponsible figure of Alcibiades unfolded in the classroom against the background of Periclean Athens.
The full passage is too long to quote here, but is worth a read.

The psychopath in history, from "The Mask of Sanity" by Hervey M. Cleckley

Last edited by pravnik; 08-21-2010 at 07:10 PM..
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:15 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Perhaps Cleckley's teacher didn't classify Alcibiades as a psychopath because certain kinds of psychopathology were once considered to be beneficial in warriors, politicians, or leaders of men.

In fact he seems to hint at a greater good in Alcibiades, ie: perhaps a civilization is not truly great until it can produce such supremely ungovernable men.

Last edited by Beware of Doug; 08-21-2010 at 07:19 PM..
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  #11  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:40 PM
Canadjun Canadjun is online now
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It seems that psychopaths can also be businessmen. Is your boss a psychopath?
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  #12  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:43 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug View Post
Perhaps Cleckley's teacher didn't classify Alcibiades as a psychopath because certain kinds of psychopathology were once considered to be beneficial in warriors, politicians, or leaders of men.

In fact he seems to hint at a greater good in Alcibiades, ie: perhaps a civilization is not truly great until it can produce such supremely ungovernable men.
He's being somewhat inscrutable is that passage - if you read further, the "teacher" he's talking about was Alcibiades' teacher, Socrates.

It's impossible to know for certain, of course, but Cleckley's argument is interesting. Part of the reason Cleckley thought Alcibiades a possible psychopath was that exactly those gifts that could have led Athens or Alcibiades himself to greatness ultimately led to their destruction of both - much like the self destructive psychopaths Cleckley saw in his practice, Alcibiades was arguably his own worst enemy and sowed the seed of his own destruction. Alcibiades whipped Athens into a frenzy and convinced the populace to invade Syracuse with disastrous consequences, switched sides midstream and conned the Spartans into taking him in, had to flee and join up with the Persians after impregnating the King of Sparta's wife, etc. etc. He was undeniably brilliant, but also seemed to act without conscience or with regard to consequence, and ultimately he brought about the decline of Athens and his own demise.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:46 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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But maybe civilizations only become truly great when they gain the power and the capacity to destroy themselves.
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  #14  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:54 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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But maybe civilizations only become truly great when they gain the power and the capacity to destroy themselves.
Perhaps so - if so, I hope we're a few centuries away from true greatness.

Dr. Stout's book mentioned above is excellent (as is Canadjun's article); I also highly recommend Dr. Hare's book Without Conscience: the Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Amongs Us.

Last edited by pravnik; 08-21-2010 at 07:59 PM..
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  #15  
Old 08-21-2010, 08:18 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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An excellent article on Dr. Robert Hare, and on psychopathy in general:

Dr. Robert Hare: Expert on the Psychopath
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  #16  
Old 08-21-2010, 08:25 PM
Superhal Superhal is offline
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I thought psychopath and sociopath have different meanings?
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:52 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I thought psychopath and sociopath have different meanings?
Yes and no - it depends on how the speaker is using "sociopath."

Most people use the two terms interchangably - when Dr. Stout talks about "sociopaths," she's clearly talking about the Hare/Cleckley psychopathic model, and says as much in her book. "Psychopath" is currently favored in psychology and psychiatry (mostly because that's what Hare and Cleckley used), but some still use "sociopath" to refer to pretty much the same thing.

However, "sociopath" is also used to refer to individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is not exactly the same thing as psychopathy, although it was intended to be. When Antisocial Personality Disorder was first introduced into the DSM II in 1968, it was supposed to be a category for what Cleckley was then calling psychopathy and what was previously called sociopathy, but there were problems. The DSM criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder mostly categorize behaviors that violate the rights of other, which a large number of criminals will meet simply by being criminals, while the Hare/Cleckley psychopathy model is more about the mental characteristics such as lack of conscience, grandiosity, lack of empathy, etc. that underlie the criminal behavior of a psychopath. Somebody from a bad environment who grew up modeling criminal behavior can meet the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder, but not still not be full blown, cold blooded, conscienceless psychopaths. The end result is that about 80% of the prison population will meet the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder, but only about 20% are psychopaths. The next edition of the DSM is attempting to reconcile the current differences between the two models with an updated category, Antisocial/Psychopathic Personality Disorder.

Dr. Hare (again!) wrote an article attempting to explain the current difference between Antsocial Personality Disorder and psychopathy:

Quote:
The killers' characteristics referred to as antisocial personality in the FBI report were as follows: sense of entitlement, unremorseful, apathetic to others, unconscionable, blameful of others, manipulative and conning, affectively cold, disparate understanding of behavior and socially acceptable behavior, disregardful of social obligations, nonconforming to social norms, irresponsible. These killers were not simply persistently antisocial individuals who met DSM-IV criteria for ASPD; they were psychopaths- remorseless predators who use charm, intimidation and, if necessary, impulsive and cold-blooded violence to attain their ends.
....
Most psychopaths (with the exception of those who somehow manage to plow their way through life without coming into formal or prolonged contact with the criminal justice system) meet the criteria for ASPD, but most individuals with ASPD are not psychopaths. Further, ASPD is very common in criminal populations, and those with the disorder are heterogeneous with respect to personality, attitudes and motivations for engaging in criminal behavior.
Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Case of Diagnostic Confusion
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:40 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I happen to respect the sheer simple honesty of Carl Panzram's philosophy: to openly and outspokenly embrace evil. His only enemies, he claimed, were those who stood in the way of evil. He went to the chair in 1930 wishing he could have murdered humanity itself.
I read a lot about Panzram and a lot of that comes across as talk. Yes, he was a bad guy, really bad, but he clearly also hurt a lot inside. He was also aware how much he had been hurt and he was also clearly aware how much he hurt others and how that pain felt to them. He wasn't indifferent to any of it.

This doesn't change his viciousness one bit but it does show he did have many sides to his personality
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:12 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Richard Kuklinski.

Tortured animals, severely abused, arsonist, etc. etc. Oh and he was a prolific serial killer and contract killer.

He's a pathological liar so it's hard to know for sure how many people he killed but it's for sure a lot. The kind of guy that would kill a random pedestrian just to try out a new gun.
I don't know if Kuklinski was a sociopath. I once saw him express remorse for what he put his family through. And reading his wikipedia entry he seems to regret at least one murder. Also he once murdered a guy who tried to discuss mob business with him at a family event (which implies to me he felt protective towards his family).

He was an asshole, but I doubt a sociopath.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:18 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Some people in this thread seem to think that to be a psychopath you have to never have felt regret, never have cared about anybody. But is that truly the case, or just a matter of saying "oh, ok, let us not destroy Sodom so long as one good man can be found there"? Being someone who's cared for both number-one and number-two may make you less of a psychopath than being someone who's only ever cared for number-one, but it still makes you a psychopath.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:46 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Caligula
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  #22  
Old 08-22-2010, 08:05 AM
casdave casdave is offline
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I personally think that drug abuse can strip away all the usual boundaries that allow society to function.

The figures for personality defects and sociapathic faults in UK prisons are striking, with around 80% of male prisoners having 3 or more personality disorders. My own experience with them is that this seems to reduce over time, its as if they eventually learn to fit in to society in some way - but by then they are almost always going to be over 35 - though not all of them do learn.

The majority of offenders in prison are there for drug related offences, and the overwhelming majority of all offenders started their offending careers in their mid to late teens.

I think if you want to find a case for a famous psychopath/sociopath, there will be signs of it in these years, add some indulgence by society - through family ties and position or through some oppressive cause and you have the environment for them to thrive.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:35 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
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The only famous political sociopath I can think of would be Joseph Stalin. Once the Nazis offered to exchange prisoners, Hitler's nephew would be traded for Stalin's son. Stalin refused..

Stalin deeply dispised/hated this son. However, from what I read about his family, it wasn't exactly great to be related to Stalin anyway.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:43 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Kim Jong Il?
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:01 AM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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I see a lot of white collar sociopaths in my line of work. Guys like Bernie Madoff.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:16 AM
palacheck palacheck is offline
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I don't know if Kuklinski was a sociopath. I once saw him express remorse for what he put his family through. And reading his wikipedia entry he seems to regret at least one murder. Also he once murdered a guy who tried to discuss mob business with him at a family event (which implies to me he felt protective towards his family).

He was an asshole, but I doubt a sociopath.
I don't know. Surely feeling loyalty to his family doesn't discount the possibility of him being a sociopath. He severely abused his wife and while his wife says he never hit his children that may be because he didn't want to feel like his father.

Shit even this guy had a family.

Last edited by palacheck; 08-23-2010 at 01:16 AM..
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:10 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Sociopaths can express feelings of regret, loyalty, shame, whatever when it serves thir purpose. They just don't feel them.

Ted Bundy was definiately a sociopath.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 08-23-2010 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:22 AM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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I've know several 'Antisocial Personality Disorder'-type sociopaths. They weren't killers, but they definately didn't object to bending, breaking, or running roughshod over every rule that stood in their way, so long as they thought hey could get away with it. All were intensely charming, amoral, and effectively abusive, though none actually went quite far enough to do anything actionable. They gamed the systems they were in for all they were worth, and were rather impressively successful, because of that behavior. No one that worked with them for long liked them, but they got results, and they could charm superiors and outside contacts like no one's business, so long as those superioirs were only rarely in contact.

I conclude from those experiences that, at least in some envirnments, there is some functional benefit to being an Antisocial Personality Disorder-type of asshole.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:48 AM
Mr. Excellent Mr. Excellent is offline
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Sociopaths can express feelings of regret, loyalty, shame, whatever when it serves thir purpose. They just don't feel them.
You know, I always wonder about that. How can we know they don't feel these things? Oh, perhaps some will claim they don't, at least some of the time - but if a person consistently says "Yes, I feel ashamed of X,"isn't that a fairly difficult claim to disprove?
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:00 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Dick Cheney, Joseph McCarthy, George Armstrong Custer
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:22 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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I happen to respect the sheer simple honesty of Carl Panzram's philosophy: to openly and outspokenly embrace evil. His only enemies, he claimed, were those who stood in the way of evil. He went to the chair in 1930 wishing he could have murdered humanity itself.
I read a lot about Panzram and a lot of that comes across as talk. Yes, he was a bad guy, really bad, but he clearly also hurt a lot inside. He was also aware how much he had been hurt and he was also clearly aware how much he hurt others and how that pain felt to them. He wasn't indifferent to any of it.

This doesn't change his viciousness one bit but it does show he did have many sides to his personality
Sounds like not an (x)opath at all but a pure sadist - someone who feels and needs others' pain. Not even for a joke or thrills - which is (x)opathic indifference - but simply to go on living.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:23 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Sociopaths can express feelings of regret, loyalty, shame, whatever when it serves thir purpose. They just don't feel them.
You know, I always wonder about that. How can we know they don't feel these things? Oh, perhaps some will claim they don't, at least some of the time - but if a person consistently says "Yes, I feel ashamed of X,"isn't that a fairly difficult claim to disprove?
No. If you knew one, you'd know. My half-brother is my cite.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:47 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Read the tale of Kevin Coe. Better yet, read Jack Olsen's book "Son."

According to Coe, he is 100% innocent and everyone who testified against him is lying.

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  #34  
Old 08-23-2010, 03:46 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Sociopaths can express feelings of regret, loyalty, shame, whatever when it serves thir purpose. They just don't feel them.
You know, I always wonder about that. How can we know they don't feel these things? Oh, perhaps some will claim they don't, at least some of the time - but if a person consistently says "Yes, I feel ashamed of X,"isn't that a fairly difficult claim to disprove?
Psychopaths are generally very good mimics of human behavior and have often learned how to express remorse, but even the best mimics will break character once in a while. They've learned what responses are appropriate to show to certain questions or situations, but lack the insight to understand why those responses are the appropriate ones. A full blown psychopath not only dosen't feel guilt or empathy the same way you or I do, they don't even fully understand it abstractly, and eventually that lack of understanding will show itself. A psychopath may matter of factly describe a horrible crime until they see someone looking ill, which gives them the social cue to show some remorse: "Yeah, that was pretty bad, I feel horrible. I must have been temporarily insane." Ted Bundy admitted that he didn't really understand social cues or social interaction early on in his life when he said, "I didn't know what made things tick. I didn't know what made people want to be friends. I didn't know what made people attractive to one another. I didn't know what underlay social interactions." If you or I were to say this it would probably just be an indicator of normal adolescent awkwardness, but coming from him it's a possible sign that his understanding of social cues was warped by a fundamental lack of understanding.

Usually a psychopath (especially in a correctional setting) will have a pretty well rehearsed answer when asked if they feel remorse for something they've done: "Oh, certainly, I lie awake most nights racked with guilt for the things I've done, how those poor victims must have suffered, my poor mother, etc.", but that on further inquiry that expressed remorse will be indirectly or directly contradicted by other things he says, or by a failure to really appreciate the consequences of his actions, or by questioning involving remorse over things he's done in other areas of his life, or by examining his records to see if what he says is consistent with what he does, and so on. Sometimes this can be as simple as rephrasing the question to avoid buzzwords that the person has learned to repsond to. A person may say they feel a great deal of remorse and empathy, but later when asked if they feel bad for their victims respond "No, why should I? They shouldn't have screwed with me." As dumb as that sounds, that's a real example. Records may also show things like how the person has made the exact same expression of remorse every time they are caught committing the exact same crime.

A psychopath may describe themselves as a gentle, civic minded person and twenty minutes later laugh uncontrollably as they tell about the time they beat and hospitalized someone who owed them money, or may say that they stay out of trouble in prison by showing everybody respect and attending regular church services while forgetting that they just told you fifteen minutes ago about the time that they tried to kill a guard. A psychopath may say they feel sorry for a victim, then later say they did him a favor by killing him because his career was going nowhere. Bundy expressed sorrow for the families of the victims of his crimes even while he denied them - he'd tell the press that he felt terrible that any parent should have to go though that and that he hoped the real killer was caught soon, yet later when discussing the impact of serial murder in general with an interviewer he'd say something like "So what's one less? What's one less person on the face of the planet?" or do something like describe himself as "the coldest son of a bitch you'll ever meet" when asked about the possibility of him helping to locate the bodies of victims. Statements like that aren't the only indicators of psychopathy, but when they're coupled with other factors like early juvenile delinquency, lack of affect, impulsivity, manipulativeness, an exaggerated sensne of self worth, etc., a pretty clear picture can start to emerge.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:22 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Sociopaths can express feelings of regret, loyalty, shame, whatever when it serves thir purpose. They just don't feel them.
You know, I always wonder about that. How can we know they don't feel these things? Oh, perhaps some will claim they don't, at least some of the time - but if a person consistently says "Yes, I feel ashamed of X,"isn't that a fairly difficult claim to disprove?
My understanding is true blue sociopaths (not people with sociopathic tendencies or who fit on a continuum, but who are truly sociopathic.) have problems in their brain wiring, and as a result they cannot feel either empathy or anxiety. As a result all the emotions that stem from those 2 feelings (compassion, remorse, guilt, love, fear, terror) are totally foreign to them.

Also my understanding is it really doesn't matter how you raise someone, if your brain is miswired you are a sociopath. Kuklinski was an asshole, but had he been raised in a decent home I doubt he would've been as capable of evil. True sociopaths have no empathy or fear no matter if you abuse them or love them.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 08-23-2010 at 05:26 PM..
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:40 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Our office Ron, who was definitely wired wrong, had a favorite apology: "I'm sorry if you feel I've hurt you in some way." He said this to me in a meeting after he had told a bold faced lie about me, and three people backed me up that he was lying.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:55 PM
causticsubstance causticsubstance is offline
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Not historical famous, but an extremely interesting insight on psychopaths nonetheless:

http://raising-a-psychopath.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:12 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Originally Posted by pravnik View Post
Psychopaths are generally very good mimics of human behavior and have often learned how to express remorse, but even the best mimics will break character once in a while. They've learned what responses are appropriate to show to certain questions or situations, but lack the insight to understand why those responses are the appropriate ones.
They do the same thing the rest of us do if we're missing some abilities that normal people have, in other words. I can't read nonverbal communication. But I've learned to make eye contact with people when I'm conversing with them. I don't get any additional information from the eye contact, but I've learned that other people expect it.
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  #39  
Old 08-24-2010, 03:36 PM
InterestedObserver InterestedObserver is offline
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Aileen Wuornos.

http://www.chasingthefrog.com/reelfaces/monster.php

I've not seen the film "Monster", but have seen the distrubingly revealing documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) by Nick Bromfield.

IMO, judging by her own actions and words and general affect as seen in this presentation, she had all the characteristics of both a sociopath and a psychopath, including but not limited to:

Sense of entitlement
delusions of grandeur/extreme self-consciousness and centeredness and self-servingness
remorselessness
blaming others (society, parents, victims, police, etc..)
instumental violence
emotional disconnect and difficulty with "proper" affect
extreme anger towards society/humanity in general

The film is a case study in what to look for in such people, although not all with these characteristics are as obvious.
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  #40  
Old 08-24-2010, 06:34 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
According to Coe, he is 100% innocent and everyone who testified against him is lying.
And the fact that his DNA was found in the vagina of one his victims, well, well it must be a false positive. Or maybe it was planted. That's it! That SOB district attorney must have planted it there.

This guy is psychopathy personified (text link, video link)
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  #41  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:25 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Read the tale of Kevin Coe. Better yet, read Jack Olsen's book "Son."
As an aside, I work with a forensic psychologist who used to do psychological evaluations at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island in Washington State, where Kevin Coe is civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. It's out about three miles from the mainland and only reachable by boat or helicopter. Kind of strikes me as the closest thing to a real life Arkham Asylum or Shutter Island.
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  #42  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:37 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Neville View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pravnik View Post
Psychopaths are generally very good mimics of human behavior and have often learned how to express remorse, but even the best mimics will break character once in a while. They've learned what responses are appropriate to show to certain questions or situations, but lack the insight to understand why those responses are the appropriate ones.
They do the same thing the rest of us do if we're missing some abilities that normal people have, in other words. I can't read nonverbal communication. But I've learned to make eye contact with people when I'm conversing with them. I don't get any additional information from the eye contact, but I've learned that other people expect it.
Exactly. A common analogy compares psychopaths to the color blind - if I'm color blind I might be able to get along in the world by observing that everyone else refers to apples as red and grass as green, and with enough practice might be able to keep those around me from figuring out that I've never really seen the colors I'm talking about. A psychopath is the same way, but instead of color blindness, he has "moral blindness." He may learn what responses are appropriate in society, but doesn't really understand them.
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  #43  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:49 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterestedObserver View Post
Aileen Wuornos.
Very much so. Several forensic psychiatists evaluated her before her death and concluded she manifested prototypical psychopathy, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. You can even read their paper online:

The Role of Psychopathy and Sexuality in a Female Serial Killer

The PCL-R score that they they list is her Psychopathy Checklist Score. A score or around 30 and above is indicative of prototypical psychopathy. Wuornos scored a 32.
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  #44  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:03 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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Originally Posted by causticsubstance View Post
Not historical famous, but an extremely interesting insight on psychopaths nonetheless:

http://raising-a-psychopath.blogspot.com/
That is perhaps the most horrifying blog I've ever read, not because of the actions of the child described therein, but because it seems to me that that parent was convinced from the get-go that his son was broken, and then set out to prove him broken.
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  #45  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:10 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Okay, I guess it's totally impossible that the guy might know what he's talking about? More than, say, somebody who has never met the kid?
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  #46  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:20 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolga View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by causticsubstance View Post
Not historical famous, but an extremely interesting insight on psychopaths nonetheless:

http://raising-a-psychopath.blogspot.com/
That is perhaps the most horrifying blog I've ever read, not because of the actions of the child described therein, but because it seems to me that that parent was convinced from the get-go that his son was broken, and then set out to prove him broken.
Just started reading it. Do we know if it's real? It sort of reminds me of that case with the three boys who had reactive disorder (I think that's what it was called) and basically tried to murder their adoptive mother (not sure what they were doing to the father). And also killed all the horses in the stable...
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  #47  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:22 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Okay, I guess it's totally impossible that the guy might know what he's talking about? More than, say, somebody who has never met the kid?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolga View Post
That is perhaps the most horrifying blog I've ever read, not because of the actions of the child described therein, but because it seems to me that that parent was convinced from the get-go that his son was broken, and then set out to prove him broken.
(bolding added)

It also seems to me that there might be a middle ground there in between "totally impossible" and "completely 100% true."

The tone I inferred from the parent's post on that blog was...odd. I've read other accounts of parents with children diagnosed with RAD and/or Conduct Disorder/Oppositional Defiant Disorder, I've read the Hare books and the Stout book, and I took a 2-day training session with Dr. Hare and other experts in the field of child and adult psychopathy this past March. I say this not to brag but to establish that I do have a small amount of clinical information in this area.

In the readings I've done, interviews I've seen, and people I've talked to, I did not encounter the...dispassion...toward a child that this blogger seemed to display.

The first posts in that blog seemed to me to start with an assumption that the son was going to have problems. The descriptions of some of the "interventions" by the parents also struck me as extremely different from any of the other interventions that I've read about or that have been studied.
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  #48  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:25 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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The attitude of the father is pretty weird--that is, they didn't feel they'd have time for an infant so they adopted a child who'd probably been through more in his six years than most of us have in our entire lives? And yeah, he does seem very cold.
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  #49  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:27 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Just started reading it. Do we know if it's real? It sort of reminds me of that case with the three boys who had reactive disorder (I think that's what it was called) and basically tried to murder their adoptive mother (not sure what they were doing to the father). And also killed all the horses in the stable...
I remember reading that. And the emotional turmoil and struggle of the parents in that story was VERY different from the display of emotion (or lack thereof) in the blog posts on that blog. The blogger "feels" (for lack of a better word)...off...to me.
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  #50  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:35 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Yeah. This is getting creepier and creepier. The way "Harry" describes his son is as though the boy is some kind of broken object. I'm assuming (or hoping, really) that there is no Lucas. It might make for an interesting short story/novel--unreliable narrator turns out to be the true psychopath. The whole "I feel a lot like Harry in the TV Series Dexter" reads like this guy is hoping that his blog will get discovered and made into a book or movie.

Also, I noticed that the blogger says the punishments escalate to beating/spanking, but then later says that he and his wife never hit Lucas.
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