This week I had the privilege of tapping into the vast knowledge of Dr. Park Dietz, one of the world’s foremost authorities on criminal behavior. He has consulted and testified for the prosecution in many high-profile criminal cases such as Jeffrey Dahmer, John Hinckley, Jr., the O.J. Simpson civil suit, Andrea Yates, the Unabomber, the Menendez brothers, Jared Lee Loughner, and Susan Smith. Dr. Dietz was also brought on as a consultant after the Columbine shooting to investigate the motivation behind the attack.
Italian researchers in Sicily released a new study revealing that members of the Mafia are less likely to be psychopaths than other criminals. The study compared 30 Mafia members in a Palermo, Sicily jail convicted of crimes such as murder, trafficking, extortion, fraud, sexual exploitation and kidnapping, to a group of 39 non-Mafia prisoners, whose offenses included murder, rape, child sexual abuse and armed robbery.
The study concluded that, according to the Hare Psychopathy Checklist Revised, none of the Mafia scored in the psychopathic range, while 10% of the comparison prisoners did. The Mafia members were also found to be less ‘manipulative,’ ‘Machiavellian,’ ‘narcissistic,’ ‘unemotional,’ ‘parasitic’ and/or ‘impulsive’ than the other participants.
Editor’s note: Joyce M. Short is the author of a just released book, “Carnal Abuse by Deceit.” The book chronicles her life with a predator, the subsequent aftermath and her road to recovery. It also provides advice for victims and their supporters, and discusses the issues surrounding criminalization of rape-by-fraud.
By Joyce M. Short
A new case in New Jersey will soon test that concept.
Enforcers will determine whether rape law protects a person’s right to self determination over their personal sexual intimacy. They could decide that choice simply does not matter at all, or they could protect the victim’s entitlement to choice based on the same rights granted in every other human interaction.
Rayhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old Iranian woman has spent the last seven years in prison because she fought back against a man attempting to rape her and killed him. Soon, she is scheduled to be executed by hanging.
A Lovefraud reader has forwarded a link to a petition to save the young woman’s life, which will be delivered to international authorities.
Although the case has not received much coverage in English-speaking media, the Lovefraud reader, who speaks Persian, says it has been covered in Persian media not controlled by the Iranian government. In fact, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, an Iranian-Canadian model and human rights activist who is married to Canada’s Minister of Justice, tweeted a link to the petition.
By Donna Andersen
Lisa and Joe Sorrentino were happily married for 25 years. They worked together every day in Joe’s hair salon in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. They enjoyed their family. But life changed in October 2008, when Joe was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Lisa Sorrentino had been working part time in the business, but as Joe weakened, she put in more hours and covered more of his clients.
In March of this year, TV One premiered its new 60 minute docu-drama entitled “Deceived.” The series delves into the lives of victims who have fallen prey to con artists and thieves, telling the real-life stories of men and women who have been betrayed by someone they trusted. Each episode is a riveting narrative of abused trust and final justice revealed through the testimony of the victims, re-enactments, interviews with close family members and friends, and stock footage.
The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy says “a constellation of traits” defines the psychopath. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) measures 20 personality traits and behaviors to determine a person’s level of psychopathy.
But some common ideas about psychopaths are wrong, says Dean A. Haycock, author of Murderous Minds: Exploring the Criminal Psychopathic Brain: Neurological Imaging and the Manifestation of Evil.
He suggests six common misconceptions about psychopaths, the first being that all psychopaths are insane. Because psychopaths know the difference between right and wrong, legally, they are not insane.
Twenty years ago, a newspaper unknowingly helped conceal a sociopath’s secrets by painting the woman as a loving maternal figure. In an interview granted by the publication, she described her “heartbreak” over lack of adequate benefits for her mentally handicapped son. Attached to the article is a photo of the frail looking woman, packing a lunch for him as he looks on in the background. Frustrated with the state’s deficient programs, she is quoted as having “cried many, many tears” because there were such limited opportunities for her son. Little did the interviewer know it was all a ruse to cover the truth: this same mother mentally, verbally and physically abused her son, gaslighted him, neglected him, attempted to drug him, and used his social security benefits to help fund trips to the bar. And she never cried “many, many tears.” I know this because……they were my mother and my brother. And because she often used the “many, many tears” line to manipulate others.
If you’ve been romanced by a sociopath, you know how remarkable it can be. In the first moments—the courting phase. In the time when you felt more desirable and more perfectly matched than ever before in your life.
The time you fell in love.
I wrote about my own sociopathic romance in The Other Side of Charm. And it was really hard for me after fifteen years of bad to go back to the good. It was more than hard. I cried a lot while writing about my early days with my ex, holing myself up in my house during any spare moment to write and to cry into the loneliness.
In 1994, Malcolm Webster submitted an insurance claim for the tragic death of his bride of eight months, Claire Morris, who swerved off an Aberdeenshire road. Webster was awarded the insurance money, collecting more than £200,000.
In 1999, Webster married a native New Zealander named Felicity Drumm. She has a sizable bank account and insurance policies, which his name was added to. After clearing out her bank accounts, Morris put her in a car, intending to run it off the road and set it on fire, but his plot was interrupted.