A Lovefraud reader recently sent me a link to an article on SBNation.com, a sports website. The article is an in-depth portrait of a psychopath, although that word is never used.
Here’s the article:
Mel Hall was a professional baseball player for 13 years. He retired and capitalized on his status as a former pro player to get jobs coaching youth basketball and baseball.
Hall only coached young girls.
Some of them he molested.
After 20 years, in June 2009, Hall was convicted of one of those assaults. Then, at the sentencing hearing, it was revealed that Hall had either abused or had improper relations with at least seven underage girls. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
The article is long, which gives the author, Greg Hanlon, an opportunity to describe in detail how Hall went about seducing his victims — and their families. It portrays Hall as a sexual predator and describes behaviors typical of child molesters.
But I see much more than that. Although this story makes no mention of any personality disorder, in my opinion, Mel Hall exhibits the behavior of a psychopath.
Play-by-play for psychopathic behavior
As I read the article, I realized that Mel Hall displayed many behaviors that Lovefraud readers have told me about in their descriptions of the disordered persons in their lives. So I went through the article and catalogued them.
Following are 21 typical psychopathic traits and behaviors, and how the author described them in the story.
1. Psychopaths promise but don’t deliver
Hall’s production would never match his potential, however. During his 13-year major league career, spent with the Cubs, Indians, Yankees, and, after a three-year stint in Japan, the Giants, he was mostly a tease, a talented but ultimately mediocre player for teams that weren’t very good.
2. Psychopaths believe in their own greatness
Hall became known for his flamboyant grandiosity and his belief in his own greatness despite statistical evidence to the contrary.
3. Psychopaths crave excitement and want to live in the fast lane
“Mel flirted with danger. He was always on the edge. He liked the action, he liked to instigate,” said former Yankee teammate Steve Sax.
4. Psychopaths get a thrill out of having their sex partners almost meet, or sometimes duke it out
In spring training of 1989, he put up both his wife and his girlfriend in the Indians team hotel and watched the two of them get into a fight near the pool, in full view of everyone.
5. Psychopaths are interested in three things: Power, control and sex
“Mel Hall loved sex. Sex is what drove him,” said McMillan.
6. Psychopaths enjoy the thrill of dangerous sex
The first time Hall had sex with Jennifer, her father was asleep on the sofa several feet away. After it was over, the 15-year-old cried.
7. Psychopaths try to make people feel sorry for them
He called the house and spoke to Jennifer’s mother. He told her that despite his fame and wealth, he felt overwhelmed and alone in New York, in need of a family.
8. Psychopaths figure out what people want to hear and tell it to them
Hall had a manipulator’s ability to tell people what they wanted to hear. The two [Hall and Jennifer’s mother] hit it off and talked for hours. By the end of the conversation, Hall was calling her “Mother.”
9. Psychopaths shower their targets with attention
He invited the family to Yankee Stadium the next day for the Saturday night game. He gave them box seats, Yankees jackets, and the signed baseball.
10. Psychopaths talk about “destiny.”
He said he would protect her, and that destiny had brought them into each other’s lives.
11. Psychopaths buy affection
Gifts came pouring in to her family as well. Tickets to every Yankees game for the whole clan — Jennifer’s attendance was mandatory — and transportation via limo.
12. Psychopaths co-opt the target’s support system
Jennifer’s family became just as visible at Yankee games as she was, which provided public cover for Hall: If her parents were OK with what was going on, who were his teammates to judge?
13. Psychopaths isolate their targets
He would pick her up from high school and insist that she make a beeline to the car, without looking up. He allowed a small circle of friends he perceived as non-threatening, but made her end friendships with others.
14. Psychopaths are bullies
“Mel was basically bullying Bernie and we put an end to it,” responded Buck Showalter, the current Baltimore Orioles manager who was then a Yankee coach.
15. Psychopaths sponge off of other people
Despite his apparent wealth, he always seemed to be crashing on people’s couches or asking to borrow money, and he had the elusive shadiness of someone who had bought his way through life until he had nothing left.
16. Psychopaths ingratiate themselves with others
Both of Courtney’s parents worked full-time, often at odd hours, so Hall began helping out with chores like mowing the lawn and picking up Courtney and her brother from school.
17. Psychopaths are great listeners, at least in the beginning
Hall was easy to talk to: He was an empathic listener with a good sense of humor and the kind of perfectly assured demeanor that appeals to adolescents.
18. Psychopaths lie
While online, she came across the prom picture of him and Jennifer from the 1991 Yankees yearbook. Hall told her it was a photo op set up by his agent.
19. Psychopaths prey on people’s trust
“What was his weapon? Trust,” said D’Avignon in her closing argument. “Over and over again, he shook the hand of a parent and said, ‘It’s OK. I’ll take care of them. I’ll make her a better person.'”
20. Psychopaths feel entitled to do what they want
“I know I’m innocent and I don’t believe I was proven guilty of the charge,” he said. “I believe I was proven guilty of my lifestyle.”
21. Psychopaths convince other people to defend them
Still, an Internet campaign to discredit the young women and to clear Hall’s name persists to this day in the comments of various blogs and articles that mention Hall’s conviction.
These 21 traits and behaviors are the highlights. I recommend that you read the entire article. Although it’s long, it’s very good.
This profile of Mel hall creates a cohesive picture of psychopathic seduction — and not just sexual seduction. Use it to clarify predation and exploitation in your own mind.