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By September 23, 2007 5 Comments Read More →

Experts disagree on what’s wrong with O.J. Simpson

Last Sunday, a few hours after I wrote on the Lovefraud Blog about how I recognized sociopathic traits in the behavior of O.J. Simpson, the former football star was arrested on charges of armed robbery in that Las Vegas hotel room. Television talking heads immediately ramped up their speculation on why he allegedly did it.

Each expert seemed to have his or her own theory. Some experts had multiple theories. Let’s take a look at some of them.

CNN, Friday, September 14

Here’s what transpired on CNN’s Nancy Grace Show before Simpson was arrested.

Jane Velez-Mitchell, an investigative reporter, said Simpson engaged in self-destructive behavior because he wanted to be caught. “Why would he risk and flirt with imprisonment unless, deep down inside, he has to try and purge this toxic secret?” she asked. “And all of America and all the world knows what that toxic secret is. It involves the murder of two people.” That’s the theory of a book she’s writing called Secrets Can Be Murder.

Pat Brown, a criminal profiler, totally disagreed with it. “Sociopaths don’t feel any remorse, so they can`t go back and want to get caught,” she said. “O.J. simply thinks he’s above the law. He’s beaten out the criminal courts. He’s beaten out the civil courts. He does whatever he wants.”

Then Brian Russell, a forensic psychologist, called Simpson a “classic malignant narcissist.” “You know, when somebody’s talent is identified as early in life as O.J.’s was, oftentimes what happens is people stop trying to develop anything else in that person but the talent,” he said. “And at the same time, they excuse them from responsibility. They don’t hold them accountable. They let them get away with things. And so what you end up with is somebody who’s a small-minded individual who thinks they’re a really big deal.”

Foxnews.com, Monday, September 17

Foxnews.com posted an article in its health section called, O.J. Simpson: Mentally Ill or Just Arrogant? The article quoted a series of experts, none of whom had actually diagnosed or treated Simpson.

Stuart Fischoff, professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, said Simpson probably believes he is “invulnerable” to the law and criticism. “Probably, he’s come to believe he can talk his way out of anything (because) he has.”

Dr. Charles Figley, a Fulbright Fellow and professor of psychology at Florida State University, suggested several explanations of Simpson’s behavior. “It’s the growing need of a star to maintain his level of fame — even infamy,” he said. “(There’s) a certain self-destructive and risk-taking behavior that may be associated not with personality, unless it’s borderline, but with stress caused by lack of money … or drug use, prescription or otherwise.”

The article also quoted Figley as saying, “Does O.J. have a personality disorder? Probably. But his risky actions can also be a bizarre example of O.J. reality testing. Maybe he can get away with everything.”

The Foxnews.com article concluded with the views of Dr. Keith Ablow, a Fox News contributor and psychiatrist. He suggested all of the following explanations of Simpson’s behavior: narcissistic personality disorder, drug and alcohol use, bipolar disorder and an underlying mental rage issue.

Fox News, Wednesday, September 19

When Simpson appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom for his bail hearing, the event was covered live on Fox News. While reporters were waiting for the hearing to begin, they asked Brian Russell about Simpson’s behavior. This is the same psychologist and lawyer who on Friday called Simpson a “malignant narcissist” the Nancy Grace Show.

“His behavior resembles what we typically see with sociopaths, which is they’ve got their two sides,” Russell said. “It’s about being two O.J. Simpsons. You’ve got the incredibly charming, the incredibly social and affable O.J. And you’ve got this enraged O.J.

“What typically happens with a psychopath or sociopath is underneath, there’s rage,” Russell continued. “But they cover it up with this affable, charming surface because they’re all about getting what they want … if they need the charm, they turn that on. But man, if somebody threatens them, that rage comes to the surface.”

15 explanations

The six experts mentioned above have given 15 possible reasons for the bizarre behavior of O.J. Simpson. If professionals can’t explain what is going on with such a high-profile individual, what hope is there for the rest of us dealing with everyday sociopaths?

I wish I could say it doesn’t matter, and that all we need to know is that there are really bad people that we must recognize and avoid, people that I’ve called “evil” in previous posts. They have no conscience, no remorse, feel no empathy for other human beings and cannot be rehabilitated.

Unfortunately, however, a diagnosis is important when dealing with these evil people in the legal system. Or it would be important, if the legal system understood, despite the testimony of paid psychological experts and the theatrics of defense lawyers, that there are people who have no conscience, no remorse, feel no empathy for other human beings and cannot be rehabilitated.

After all, it appears that our legal system let O.J. Simpson get away with murder.



5 Comments on "Experts disagree on what’s wrong with O.J. Simpson"

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  1. OxDrover says:

    It seems to me that the “politically correct” notion that “ALL” people have “good in them” and that ANYONE can be “rehabilitated” is bolderdash!

    There was a time not so long ago that when a baby was born it was considered to be a “blank slate” and if the child did not “turn out right” and become a good person, the parents were blamed, even if mental illness were involved. In fact, mental illness was “blamed” on the parents for not being good parents.

    As genetic testing and other things have advanced in medicine and metal illness is now linked to genetics as much or more than “environment” and the chemical nature of the brain is finally starting to be studied, it is becoming more clear that there are some things that cannot be “fixed” at this point in medicine.

    Though the newer drugs are allowing many people with Bi-polar and depression as well as a host of other metal illnesses to be treated successfully, there seems to be (to me at least) a BLIND spot about psychopaths (sociopaths, AntiSocial Personality Disorder) in the psychiatric as well as legal systems.

    There is a class of the criminal element that are psychopathic, and these people commit a great number of the violent crimes in our society. The states who have passed the “three strikes and you’re out” laws have somewhat addressed these people, though even that has its problems in administration.

    Our legal system is so overwhelmed with crime that most are “plea bargained” out one way or another, and people who have money for attorneys tend to “get off” lighter than those that have public defenders. Our prison systems are overwhelmed and over crowded with inmates, and at present unless your crime is VERY serious there may not even be room in the jail for you because there are so many VIOLENT criminals taking up spaces that a drunken driving charge may not even get you incarcerated unless you actually killed someone while you were driving drunk.

    I have a son who is a Psychopath, who is incarcerated for murder. Pre-meditated, cold blooded murder. He got “life” and that means that after 15 years he was elegible for parole. He didn’t get parole the first time, but can go back in another 4 years and ask for it again. I will do everything I can to see that he does NOT get parole. He is still a danger to society in general and to our family in particular. He has NO remorse.

    My son is a very talented man, he scored in the 99th percentile in IQ, and had everything in the world going for him except a conscience. His arrogance and sense of entitlement is fully as grand as O. J.’s My biological father was also in my opinion just as arrogant and just as violent as OJ but because he also was rich and talented and famous, he got away with as much or more than O J did, and in fact, was never tried for his crimes that I know he committed, which included at least two murders. He abused 7 wives, and 3 of his four children, and the one child he did not abuse is “just like his father.”

    I have no doubt that I passed on his genetics to my own son; the arrogance, the sense of entitlement, the tendency for violence and need for CONTROL, as well as the high IQ and other talents my son has. Why am I not a psychopath? Why is my other son not a Psychopath? I don’t know. Why are two out of three of my half siblings not psychopaths, but instead caring and successful people both personally and professionally. I was at least fortunate I was not raised by this man, but by my mother and stepfather. But even the three kids that he did raise, only one of them was like him.

    I agree that OJ is not “trying to get caught” because he can’t have a conscience, and neither did my son, but he was so arrogant he almost didn’t seem to try to prevent himself from being caught.

    I hope that the justice system in this and every country will come to the realization that Psychopaths cause most of the violent crime and take some action to incarcerate these people (whatever the cost) and focus funds and resources on rehabilitation for those people who can be rehabilitated and keep the psychopaths out of society permanently. Including my son.



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  2. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    It’s off topic of the current LF threads but I didn’t want to lose sight of this one.

    OJ is back in the news, having… as they phrased in the paper “won a small victory”. The phrase is important. I saw a photo of OJ. It captured that “look”, the self-satisfied look that reminded me of… my FIL. A smile that isn’t a smile. It’s a look of getting one over on others, and the “win” that comes with it. I can’t find that photo anymore. I think the editors recogized the implications and removed it. All that is left is OJ with his “victim/poor picked on me” look. If anyone sees OJ smiling, almost like he’s posing for a fan, please save it or send a link to it? It was such a revealing photo.

    Thank you.



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    • Redwald says:

      I’m not sure what picture that might be. Simpson is smiling in this photo, but it looks like a normal smile to me. How about this photo from the New York Daily News? That’s a weird smile all right!



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      • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

        Yes, your second one is a weird smile alright. The ones I’ve seen all yesterday were of him looking at someone else. The creepy one that I am seeking, he is looking directly fully into the camera, his face fills the shot, and he has dropped his “poor me” victim mask. It’a an intense expression. He is revealing the real him, that exaltation, that self satisfied “gotcha, see I win” look that is so familiar to me as the same on my FIL and my exhusband’s face. It’s that quick revealing mask-off that is so hard to capture (proof!), just moments long, right before they become aware of what they are showing and revert back to their mask.



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      • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

        Now I know the reason for OJ’s self satisfied look of GLEE. He won his parole request and THE REASON he WON…was his record of no prior convictions. I kid you not. (gaggggggggg.) No wonder he had that look of “getting one over on others”. &%$#@!



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