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By September 20, 2010 106 Comments Read More →

If only the media added educational to the sensational

A Lovefraud reader frequently sends me links to stories in the Daily Mail, a tabloid based in the United Kingdom. Here are some recent articles:

Newlywed ‘murdered his wife of just five months after she discovered his affairs on Facebook’ (September 3, 2010)

Bigamist who claimed to be decorated Falklands hero to woo fifth wife then fleeced her of £50,000 (September 6, 2010)

Cheating husband bludgeoned wife to death before going Christmas shopping with mistress (September 9, 2010)

Internet Romeo conned dozens of women out of £500,000 pretending to be terminally ill (September 15, 2010)

Here at Lovefraud, we can recognize that the bad actors in all of these cases are likely sociopaths.

The signs are all there. One perp was called, “The man with the golden tongue.” About another perp, a cop said, “he targeted vulnerable women, gained their trust and then fraudulently obtained money for his own needs.” The man who murdered his wife conducted an elaborate charade for four days, using her phone to send texts to family and friends saying that she had left him.

A different story

Yes, I’d say these guys are sociopaths. But to the Daily Mail, they’re just sensational stories.

The Daily Mail has a circulation of nearly 2 million. That means every day, nearly 2 million people read these stories. Can you imagine how helpful it would be if the Daily Mail actually pointed out that there is a common denominator among all these cases? That they are, in fact, sociopaths?

For example, here’s the type of information I’d like to see added to the “Internet Romeo” story:

Good-looking, charming and apparently a successful professional, David Checkley seemed perfect to the women he courted on dating websites.

In reality, however, the 52-year-old was a serial fraudster who cheated his victims out of half a million pounds.

One lent him £10,000 after he claimed to need money for a vital operation to cure his fictional Parkinson’s disease.

Others gave him cash for invented business dealings as he posed variously as an architect, property developer, fighter pilot and Vietnam War veteran. One woman ended up losing her house.

Here’s where I’d elaborate:

How did this happen? How did so many smart, successful women fall for this bloke’s stories?

“In cases like this, the perpetrators often have a personality disorder,” explained one expert. “Often, people who charm others and then take advantage of them are sociopaths.”

The term “sociopath,” the expert explained, does not necessarily mean someone is a serial killer. Rather, a sociopath is someone with no conscience and no empathy for others. They can appear to be charming, glib and charismatic. They often seem to be a lot of fun. But they are social predators, whose aim is to exploit people to get what they want.

So why don’t the media explain what a sociopath is, or connect the dots so that people can start to see the pattern in the behavior described in these stories?

First of all, most reporters are clueless about this disorder, just as we were once all clueless. They went to the same schools and live in the same society as we do. If we never learned it, neither did they.

Secondly, even if the media realizes someone is a sociopath, actually saying it creates all kinds of legal problems. The media are in the publicity business, and publicity gone bad can turn into defamation. The Daily Mail has lost some big libel suits, and I’m sure would prefer to avoid them.

Media suggestions

So what could be done? Here are suggestions for the Daily Mail and other media:

  1. Publish informational stories about sociopathy, explaining how prevalent the disorder is, and what the symptoms are.
  2. Watch for stories in which someone has been diagnosed as a sociopath in court, because, in the U.S. at least, anything said in court can be published without fear of defamation.
  3. When someone is diagnosed as a sociopath, explain what it means, and what kind of behavior the person exhibited that is typical of a sociopath.

If the media could add education to the sensationalism, a lot of people may learn to recognize the behavior and avoid being victimized.

If I were a cynic, I’d say that the media might not want to do this, because then they’d have fewer sensational stories. But I don’t think they’d have to worry. Unfortunately, there are so many sociopaths, and they are so good, that  it will be a long time before the predators run out of victims.



106 Comments on "If only the media added educational to the sensational"

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  1. kim frederick says:

    Hi EB? How’s it shakin’?



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  2. Ox Drover says:

    Yea, right guys! Not my cuppa tea! BTW I think he’/s only 83 or so, can’t remember exactly. He’s a sweet old guy, but he’s got more imagination than he needs at his age I think. I felt bad kind of in depriving him of his GF, but you know if she hadn’t been DANGEROUS I wouldn’t have.

    I remember back when Anna Nicole Smith married that rich old guy, and his KIDS WERE LIVID and fought her about the $$–well, hell, it was HIS MONEY and you know if he wanted to buy/rent a bimbo with big hooters, SO WHAT!? I didn’t see it hurt anything except his kids’ greedy selves. The OLD man was happy.

    The thing is with this meth ho, I think she very well could and would have eventually HURT him, and he was AFRAID of her…so you know, I think the situation is different. He doesn’t have any money for her to get except a SMALL SS check, but this woman is MEAN’ERN’A SNAKE. I rest my case. Glad I did what I did, just hope it was/is enough.



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  3. kim frederick says:

    Oxy, I think you did the right thing. She’s probably an addict who is sucking up every dime he has to feed her addiction, and in the end she would just hurt him. He was being targeted.

    I only hope he understands and doesn’t hold it against you.



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  4. Ox Drover says:

    Dear Kim,

    I think he has more problems than the meth ho, I think he is losing it mentally as he loses his independence etc. His wife died a couple of years ago, and finances have become problematic years before that. He and his wife mortgaged their home and gave all the money to their grandson who blew it in “business” and they have given given given to their kids and grandkids who are not bad people but just not really bright/functional. So it left the old couple living in their home which they no longer owned and a neighbor who bought their land kindly let them live in the falling down house until they died. (Which is not as bad as it COULD have been)

    But the thing is the old man is LONELY, losing it mentally, DESPERATE to recover his finances, has fallen for a Nigerian scam and sent them his money that he did have—-and then this meth ho meet him in a Wal Mart Parking lot and latches on to him…and he’s gonna SAVE her in exchange for having someone to be with him. His kids and grandkids are working jobs, have families and would help him as much as they could if he’d let them but he is cranky—-reminds me of my own egg donor taking in the psychopaths because I couldn’t be with her 24/7 and jump to her command. Of course he doesn’t see this woman the way I do. I spent a long time talking to his daughter last night on the phone.

    He’s afraid of this woman, and yet tries to protect her (can we say TRAUMA BOND) and he is trying to “save” her at the same time. It’s a pitiful situation. And it is one he has put himself into, but now he is at the point that his mental capacity to care for himself is about gone, and his financial situaiton is so dire that he is literally almost homeless, helpless and friendless. I can’t do a lot for him, but I will do what I can. I think God would strike me with lightening if I didn’t do what I could. (even if it “is nun’ya ma bidnez”) LOL



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  5. tami says:

    I just now had the opportunity to read this post and I hope that I’m not repeating anything that someone else has already said but here’s my greatest media wish where sociopaths are concerned:

    I wish they’d educate and warn people more about the “average Joe” sociopath. I honestly think that the reason that so many people fall victim to sociopaths is because they associate sociopaths with serial rapists and killers ONLY. And, from time to time with people who have used WEALTHY people to gain large sums of money.

    But, what about most of us here? We were left just as damaged as the wealthy. Our self-esteem is ruined as are our bank accounts. Do we not count? I’m grateful to say that we ARE still alive but there are sociopaths running around everywhere who don’t do the extreme things that make it to the media.

    I had a very hard time accepting the fact that my ex-husband was a sociopath because he wasn’t a rapist or a killer and I was far from wealthy. Although, for someone like him who had absolutely NOTHING, I looked pretty good because I owned a home, had a decent income, excellent credit and drove a new car. Do I have any of that now? No! And, I assume that all of you know WHY I don’t have any of that as well as the confidence, trust and self-esteem that I once had. One person destroyed all of this.



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  6. zimzoomit says:

    When I think about films about sociopaths, one that comes to mind is “8MM” starring Nicholas Cage, that aired last night. My ex of 8.5 years, was, I think sociopathic to the nature/degree similar of two particular spaths in that film, first, the spath who wore the mask who killed a beautiful young girl (my ex’s mask was “invisible” but the spath, aka “machine” in that film, wore a leather mask)..I also compare him to another spath in same film, the husband of a wealthy woman, who, for years, was convinced she loved a man of high morals [I did not see the beginning of this film..it’s not clear if the WEALTH in this family came from her family or his..I suspect it might have come from HER’s, and that he used her as a cover, and possibly, that was why, in the end, she gave much of her wealth, before committing suicide, the family of the young girl who went missing and was “snuffed”], only for him to turn out to be someone who FUNDED projects for “snuff” porn films, and when she finally discovered this, she took her life. Though my ex was not smart enough to have “maestro-ed” any “snuff” projects, he, to me has injured, if not destroyed, the souls of several women with whom he lived (including two wives.), before me.



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  7. zimzoomit says:

    Though my ex of 8.5 years, was not, to my knowledge, as extreme or “violent” as those two spaths in the film, “8MM”.., he did have his violent moments. I am, to this day, afraid he might be MORE violent with the next woman who replaced me, than he was with me.



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