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Call Ed Hicks a bigamist, but not a sociopath

Ed Hicks pleaded guilty to bigamy in a Chesapeake, Virginia courtroom on March 2. He will sit in jail until his sentencing on May 8.

Ed Hicks was married seven times, and court records indicate that four of the unions were bigamous. As you might expect, the story is complicated—for details read the Ed Hicks case history on Lovefraud.com. Here’s the quick version:

Sandra Hicks, the seventh wife, filed bigamy charges against Ed Hicks last year. Worried that her “husband” would get away with a slap on the hand—bigamy is rarely prosecuted—Sandra went to the media. The Washington Post published a story about Hicks and his marrying ways on July 1, 2005, the date of his initial hearing on the bigamy charge.

Hicks was indicted for marrying Sandra while already married to Julie Flint, the sixth wife. But the case was not prosecuted due to a technicality of Virginia law. Julie then filed her own bigamy charge—Hicks had married her while still married to his fifth wife, Rose Marie Sewell. Hicks was indicted again.

In the meantime, Sandra and Julie told their story on the Dr. Phil Show. The program, called Conned by a Con Artist, profiled Hicks and another man who had defrauded women. Linda Hembree of North Carolina was watching the show, and realized that Hicks was dating her sister, Barbara Grant. In fact, he had recently proposed to Barbara. Ed Hicks, who at this point was a fugitive, was arrested that same day.

So what kind of man is Hicks? He is charming, charismatic, smooth-talking. While married to two women, he had six ads on the Internet searching for more companions and proposed to another woman. Hicks was totally irresponsible financially—Sandra had to refinance her home to cover $50,000 in his expenses, and Julie had to file for bankruptcy. He abandoned one of his three children. He lied profusely.

“In my opinion, Ed Hicks is a textbook sociopath,” Sandra says.

Don’t use that word

That’s exactly what Sandra told numerous reporters—both print and broadcast—who interviewed her. Usually, the comment never made it into the story, even though Sandra was careful to phrase it as her opinion. (Legally, opinions are “not actionable,” which means people can’t be sued for expressing an opinion.)

Sandra’s opinion that Hicks is a sociopath was in the original Washington Post article, but the newspaper’s lawyers cut it out before the story went to press.

A reporter for the Monterey Herald of California—Hicks was a former instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School located there—actually changed Sandra’s quote. Instead of writing that Sandra believes Hicks is a sociopath, the reporter quoted Sandra as saying, “This man is warped.”

Even the Dr. Phil Show wouldn’t use the term. When she was interviewed, Sandra said she believes Hicks is a sociopath. Then Dr. Phil said about the two men profiled on the show, “Whatever you call them—psychopath, sociopath, antisocial—they have no shame, no morality and no conscience.” Again, even though Dr. Phil is certainly qualified to give an expert opinion, the lawyers cut the statement.

Finally, on December 13—the day after the Dr. Phil Show aired—Sandra was interviewed by WTTG television in Washington, D.C. The station included her opinion that Hicks is a sociopath in its broadcast. Then the Richmond Times-Dispatch printed a story on December 14 which included Sandra’s quote, “I think he’s a psychopath.”

Explain the problem

When reporters asked Sandra why Ed Hicks did what he did, she explained, “He is a sociopath. This is what he does. He has no remorse. We’re nothing more to him than candy wrappers that he throws away.”

Sandra is angry and disgusted that the media would not describe Hicks as a sociopath. “They need to quit looking at the poor victims like they did something wrong and explain the problem,” she says. “I did get it in a few times, but it needs to be written every time.

“People don’t know what these creatures are,” she continues. “They don’t know what to look for.”

Take, for example, the story on March 3 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about Hicks’ guilty plea. Here are the last two paragraphs:

Hicks, who is being held without bond, appeared in court yesterday in a blue jail jumpsuit, represented by a deputy public defender, Eric Cronin.

Asked after court if he knew what had motivated his client to keep marrying, Cronin replied, “I don’t know. Human nature?”

Cycle of ignorance

So here we are. People don’t realize what a sociopath is, so they get conned. Journalists don’t know what a sociopath is, so they don’t recognize the disorder even as they’re writing about it. And then, when someone does recognize a sociopath, the lawyers won’t let the word be used.

The cycle of ignorance continues. In the meantime, sociopaths are free to ply their trade of manipulation, deceit and fraud.



5 Comments on "Call Ed Hicks a bigamist, but not a sociopath"

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  1. Fighter says:

    I had to laugh when I read that “human nature” comment. I know of NO REAL HUMANS who have it in their “nature” to compulsively lie, use other people like toys, and marry one person after another…. unless they are a sociopath. And I don’t think sociopaths are human, they are a carbon based life form but human? Nope.

    I am often accused of “diagnosing” cyberpaths as either narcissists or sociopaths. Frankly, the media and everyone else needs to CALL THESE PSYCHOPATHS BY THEIR NAME. This isn’t labeling – this is honesty and empowerment by information. Right now the media is DISEMPOWERING by DIS or LACK OF information.

    Thank goodness for you Donna and for Sandra continuing to call something /someone what it is – A SOCIOPATH!



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  2. Sandra says:

    Ironically, it is Ed Hicks’ human nature to marry and keep marrrying, for studies show that sociopathy is genetic. It was, however, an extremely poor choice of words for Mr. Cronin, Hicks’ Public Defender, to use. It would have been much better had the public defender called Mr. Hicks what he is–a sociopath–instead of confusing the situation even more by saying it was human nature; this is certainly not normal human nature! But it is Hicks’ human nature! Seven confirmed marriages in 40 years, four marriages that overlap, six found ads on the Internet after he had been kicked out of my home, and Ed Hicks had already proposed to another woman without a divorce or annulment from Sandra and he didn’t even know he had received an annulment from Wife #6 Julie. Hicks will never stop. The only thing that will stop him is a jail cell where he cannot be among women and where he has no access to the Internet.



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  3. donnalayne says:

    Sociopaths are very good at perpetuating a lie. They can create a whole different identity to fit the scenario that they are living at the moment. You see, I know from experience the persons that are sociopaths do not care about other people, and as far as they are concern their world evolves around them. As soon as someone that is involved with them starts to prick the delusions of grandiose idealistic world of theirs, they start finding another victim. In fact they will find another victim before they leave the other victim. Please everyone, be cautious, be aware, and understand these are the kind of people that are charming, charistmatic and will have you believing every word they speak. In fact some will go so far as to pretend to be a person in a wheelchair, someone with leukemia, or something that will tug at your heart strings.
    I know, for I fell for the Don Juan of Con’s lies, especially the fact that he was in a wheelchair. I know people have laughed at me for believing his lie that my love help bring about his miracle he did not have to be in the wheelchair again. I was a victim, may still be a victim for I get the threats even now. His time is short and he will be out of prison, but hopefully with all the blogs out there, mine including, everyone will understand the con he pulls. I feel for anyone who has ever been conned or victimized by a criminal. The scars remain for a very long time. We need to ban together to make the punishment bring fear into the con artist’s heart (I know they have no heart) so that the crimes are not perpetuated more. Over 30,000 people a day get conned in some fashion in the United States alone. That is a scary thought. We as victims or citizens need to let Congress know that we do not tolerate this any longer. We need to fight for our rights and not allow the criminals to have all the rights. Good luck. Know that you are not alone.



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  4. redorange3 says:

    Tied to the Whipping Post

    Changed my cell number, gave to to my children. They all live in other cities. They are not friends of my Sociopathic
    friend.
    My cell phone rang the other night, thinking it could only be one of my children I answered , only to find it was the Sociopath. How did she get my new number ,I do not know how she found it.
    I live in a small two College town, one would think of twelve thousand people one could be alone, but no way . I teach she works for the county. She seems to know all my moves.
    The only peace of mind I get is when I am in R.E.M sleep.As soon as I wake the dark side is right around the corner. Sometimes it is a day, other times it will be a month. I know for certain it never ends. This should not be for this worlds pain.
    I question “What does not kill you , makes you stronger.”

    Thanks Donna for your help.



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  5. OxDrover says:

    Silvermoon,

    I don’t know if you have seen this article, but thought you might find it interesting since your X had multiple wives at the same time as well. I’m glad you are finally free of your monster and that your monster is also in prison. As you can see you are not the only woman who has a problem with getting Bigamy prosecuted. As horrible as it is for the victims, somehow they seem to think it is a “victimless” crime—yet they will prosecute a woman who sells her sexual services, but seldom the man who buys them. Odd, don’t you think?



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