Online Resource for Victims of Psychopaths and Narcissists

The Psychopath Defined

by Dr Robert Hare

The work of Hare and his associates clarified a set of diagnostic criteria that offers a practical approach to both the assessment and treatment of psychopathy.  The PCL-R items are grouped around two basic factors, affective/interpersonal features and socially deviant lifestyle (both of which have been divided further into four facets, two each for the two factors).  Refocusing the idea of antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy is characterized by such traits as

  • lack of remorse or empathy
  • shallow emotions
  • manipulativeness
  • lying
  • egocentricity
  • glibness
  • low frustration tolerance
  • episodic relationships
  • parasitic lifestyle
  • persistent violation of social norms

It remained to translate the academic and professional work into a form that ordinary people could understand, so in 1993, Hare published Without Conscience.  His purpose was to warn people about those predators who walked among them, and to provide a way for those with shattered lives as the result of an encounter with a psychopath to deal with it.  He believes that, for their own protection, it's crucial that people learn to identify a psychopath who may be very close to them. 

Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts.  The general public hasn't been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison and who don't commit violent crimes.  However, they do often commit violations of another sort: They exploit people and leave them depleted and much the worse for the encounter.  They prove to be treacherous employees, conniving businessmen, or immoral officials who use their position to victimize people and enrich themselves.

Hare says that we know little about these individuals in terms of systematic study about how the disorder manifests in the public at large.  Nevertheless, there are indications that the personality structure and propensity for unethical treatment of others is common to both criminal and noncriminal psychopaths. 

What's missing in psychopaths are the qualities that people depend on for living in social harmony.  In this book, Hare estimated (conservatively) that there were more than two million psychopaths in North America.  "Psychopathy," he insisted, "touches virtually every one of us."

Yet while not all killers are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are killers, Hare does describe cases of conscienceless killers who appeared to show no human feeling for their victims.  Among them, Hare listed:

John Wayne Gacy, who murdered at least 33 young men and buried most of them in the crawl space beneath his house

Ted Bundy, who murdered more than two dozen young women in the 1970s, going into several different states to claim his victims.

Joe Hunt, who conned a gang of young men into a bogus money-making scheme that escalated into murder

Clifford Olson, who manipulated the Canadian government to pay him a substantial amount to show officials where he had buried his murder victims

Diane Downs, who shot her two children to attract a man who didn't want them, and then claimed that she was the victim

The type of violence in which they engage is qualitatively different from that of non-psychopathic offenders in that it is likely to be more predatory, motivated by identifiable goals, and carried out in a calculated manner without an emotional context.  They tend not to commit crimes of passion, such as during a domestic dispute or extreme arousal.  Some theorists believe that psychopaths may be motivated by weak emotions breaking through weaker restraints.  They may simply be reacting, showing off or exerting control as a means of proving themselves.  For the most part, their crimes are cold-blooded, and they felt excited by them rather than guilty.  In those who are serial killers, there appears to be a strong tendency toward sadism.

The point is, these offenders find victims easily because they were glib, charming, manipulative, and predatory, while their victims are generally naïve.  Psychopaths would realize less success if their targeted victims were savvier.


 


Psychopathy News
 
The Acid Bath Killer
Former Powell aide says Bush, Cheney guilty of 'high crimes'
Suppressing critics of Israel: The campaign against Norman Finkelstein
Parting Shot: Blair Jails Two to Shield "Madman" Bush
No Conscience = No Shame
How psychopaths party! Sony's depraved promotion stunt creates uproar
Psychopathic Morals And The Fantasmagorical War On Terror
Into the mind of the psychopath: Girls 'just felt right' murdering friend
Psychopathy in Action: A Grisly Problem, "Grateful" Dead Iraqis and a Grim Outlook
Psychopath Training! Women laughed as they forced toddlers to take part in 'dog fight'
Psychopathic Georgia Dad Gets 5 Years for Poisoning Soup
Psychopathic New Zealand-raised man jailed for torturing son
Kurt Vonnegut on Psychopaths and the Pathocracy (Interview)
Psychopath in Action: Cheney Reasserts al-Qaida-Saddam Link Fabrication
Hallelujah! Gay Priest Says God Sounds Like a Psychopath and Cruci-fiction is Insane
Faced With Facts, Psychopath McCain Denies His Own Straight Talk
Psychopath: Mich. Mom Caught in Sex Sting - Offered 7 yr old daughter for sex
Another psychopath: Soldier pleads to role in rape, murders
Young Psychopaths: Teenagers committed 37 murders in Khabarovsk Territory last year
British research suggests 50% of business managers could be psychopaths
Psychopath Alan Dershowitz Bares Fangs on Finkelstein
Psychopathy Exposed: a literary liar and her phoney love
Psychopathic Pastor Steals from Church Then Tries to Cash in with Book
Surviving the office psychopath
Hannibal Lecter: An oddly appealing psychopath
Long-Dead Psychopath a Tourist Attraction
Psychopath Alan Dershowitz seeks to grill Jimmy Carter on Israel book
The Psychopath's Truth
Psychopaths' brains 'different'
Johnathan murderer a psychopathic volcano, sentencing hearing told
'Borderline psychopath' joins brother on long-term offender list
A Lesson In Essential Psychopathy
Study in Psychopathy: Detectives 'spent decades as killers for the Mafia', court is told
Abortion, Psychopaths and Mother Love
Madonna the Narcissist
Police: Man Killed Boy For Walking Across Yard
Ohio Priest to Be Tried for Nun's Slaying
Psychopath Ira Einhorn has a blog, through friend
Two Psychopathic Old Ladies - Killers
Scandal Rocks Human Tissue Industry
Animal Cruelty in Britain on the Rise
Police Say Serial Forger Scammed $250,000
Police: Couple Offered Hit Man $100 To Kill Grandkids
Doctor testifies Stephen Stanko is psychopath
Is Your Boss a Psychopath?
Police: Teen given to older man for sex
Murderer to families: ‘Get over it’
Ritter's one-man show is over. Prison awaits
Boy, 17, charged with 11 rapes in Montreal
Inside The Minds Of Psychopaths
Psychos Need a Little Sympathy
Motive still a question in Peterson case
Scott Peterson's sister speaks out
The Depressive and the PsychopathAt last we know why the Columbine killers did it.
Ten Ways To Tell If Someone Is Lying To You
Liars 'too self aware to twitch'
Rehab sought for psychopath
Criminal psychopathy a biological dysfunction
Lethal allure of 'ghost riding the whip' craze
Facing jail, 'dying millionairess' who cheated her lovers out of £100,000
WHAT EVIL LIES WITHIN?
Psychopaths hard to nab
Psychopaths Among Us
Beware the sociopath - No heart, no conscience, no remorse
Snakes in Suits - when psychopaths go to work!
Kurt Vonnegut vs. the !&#*!@
Psychopath Cheney urges exception to torture ban for CIA
Psychologist adds scientific insight to loaded label of ‘psychopath’
Inside the Psychopath
Scientists search for the seat of evil
Psychopath's Find Faces a Mystery
Functional Families, Dysfunctional Brains
Seeing Evil
USC Study Finds Faulty Wiring In Psychopaths
Ten minute test could spot killers
What is narcissistic personality disorder?
Brain Differences In Adolescents, Psychopaths
Mind of a Murderer
Second Thoughts About 'Bring 'em On'
Bush Says He Can't Think of Any Mistakes
Prominent DC Shrink Diagnoses Bush to be a Paranoid, Sadistic Meglomaniac
Bush's POW Porn
Bush isn't a moron, he's a cunning sociopath
Beyond Therapy: Some Evil Can't Be Cured
Bush is an Idiot . . . Right?
Bush's "Christian" Blood Cult: Concerns Raised by the Vatican
The Madness of George W. Bush
Predators, Psychology Today
Psychopathic C.E.O.s, NY Times
Death, Be Not Proud - George W. Bush The Executioner