Violent Psychopaths, Crime, & Society
© 2013 Neuroinstincts | All Rights Reserved
Most individuals with psychopathy never commit crimes and of those who do, only a portion will commit violent crimes. However, there are a subset of individuals with psychopathy that are violent. When they commit crimes, the acts tend to be extremely vile, callous, and cold with unimaginable cruelty. Sometimes society is quick to assume, “that person is absolutely crazy!” [‘psychotic’]
“These people don’t fit into prisons or into mental institutions. In prisons they’re seen as sick. In hospitals they are troublemakers who cause so many problems.”- Dr. Pierre Gagne, Canadian Psychiatric Association (Davis-Barron, 1995, p 1315)
Most of their crimes are considered ‘instrumental‘ – meaning they are committing the act for a specific reason. It tends to be planned, calculated, and purposeful. They are not typically the group who will mindlessly commit a crime in a blind disorganized rage. They plotted, planned, and perhaps even stalked their victim. Getting away with it, cleaning up, and setting up their alibi tends to be a part of such plans as well. Many of them will get away with their crimes. Quite a few can manipulate juries into believing their story and setting them free.
For instance, a violent psychopath would easily commit violent crimes for the purpose of punishing and demonstrating power over their non-psychopathic partner. There have been individuals with psychopathy that have killed their own children as a means of punishing their spouse. Her offense was filing for divorce and requesting sole custody. In his mind the lesson was necessary. He punished her for slighting him. He regained his power position and he hurt her in the process. You might wonder, “Where is his guilt for killing his own children?” There will be none. It was the lesson taught to his wife that was important. The children were tools to convey his message and teach a lesson.
This is the coldness associated with a psychopathic crime.
Violent Psychopaths & Crime
Given that individuals with strong psychopathic traits have no capacity for deep bonds, everyone is merely an object to be used in any way they see fit.
Even after taking the life of another, psychopathic individuals will not tolerate blame for their behavior. They engage in egregious deception to avoid responsibility (e.g., create people or scenarios that do not exist). They may even blame the non-psychopathic partner, innocent people, and/or claim that they are in fact the victim.
Damaging the reputation of another is of no concern to someone with psychopathy. It serves to put the fault on someone else, which they view as ‘successful‘ manipulation and reinforces that they are smarter than all involved (e.g., police, non-psychopathic partner, attorney). Additionally, the process of deception and duping is stimulating and pleasurable.
Many psychopaths like to be seen in a positive light, even after they have committed heinous acts and caused considerable harm to their victims. Impression management and image come before any consideration or concern is extended toward their antisocial behavior. Their victim is never given consideration.
Consider the case of Travis Forbes – a charming, manipulative man whose behavior suggests possible strong psychopathic traits.
Forbes murdered a 19 year old teen, Kenia Monge, after she became separated from her friends one night. The murdered teen’s family searched desperately for her when she did not return home from dancing. After murdering Kenia, Forbes stored her body in a restaurant freezer before burying her in a shallow grave. Read more about the case here | View the videos below.
Interview with Forbes:
Notice when asked, “Did you murder her?” – he responded with the word “No“, yet his body clearly indicated yes (he briefly nodded his head yes while saying no).
Like most psychopathic individuals who hurt others- they lie, try to control the situation (e.g., conduct news interviews), and slander or paint the innocent victim in a negative light:
“All of a sudden, I was no longer important. I … I mean. I was just one stranger and then off with another stranger.” “Everybody has their own choices … you know, and she chose to walk off with this guy” (a stranger Forbes invented). “I can’t … I can’t blame myself for that.“
That feigned emotional story was a lie. It clearly did not happen. A beautiful, loving, young woman, Kenia Monge, met her demise in Forbes’ van.
Interrogation Interview with detectives
“I wanted to bury her either next to some water or next to some trees.” [Investigator: “Why’s that?”] “Because that’s where I would like to be buried … if someone had killed me I would hope that they would bury me next to something nice and not just dump me in some f******g dumpster.”
Like many with psychopathy who commit heinous crimes – there is a tendency to minimize the act.
Despite pain and irreparable damage caused, they continue to maintain in their mind the ‘nice guy‘ ‘good person‘ image. Most of us fully understand that no one would be appreciative that their loved one’s rapist and murderer chose a serene setting to hide the body. Making such a reference demonstrates an extreme emotional disconnect and narcissism (i.e., see what a decent guy I am). In actuality it is clear the behavior demonstrated the presence of hate, obsession, compulsivity, domination, addiction, absence of morality or empathy, and a lack of impulse control.
“It was a mistake.”
“For the people that knew me, I have to say, remember me please. Remember me as I was, not the monster I became. I’m sorry.“ – Travis Forbes
(Credit: Huffington Post)
The claim of “mistake” allows a person with psychopathy distance themselves from their savage acts. It is not infrequent that they refer to their offenses or illegal behaviors as “mistakes.” Some perpetrators will even claim self defense as another strategy to distance themselves, “I had to do it!”
When psychopaths call horrific behavior mistakes or self defense they are also reinforcing their grandiosity and maintaining the self image that they are good, decent, human beings. In their eyes they maintain a clean/ unblemished image – because, ‘doesn’t everyone make mistakes’ (although they may be referring to the rape or slaughtering of an innocent human being).
Additionally, ‘getting away‘ with an immoral or illegal act is enjoyable/delightful and reinforces that they are indeed superior.
The ‘mistake’ angle is not uncommon among psychopaths. Regardless of the educational, intellectual, or success level of that individual.
1) tend not to be accountable for their behavior,
2) shift responsibility to someone else
Therefore, if they commit a bad act – it must have been accidentally.
If they must take ownership of an act (due to overwhelming evidence) – then the approach tends to be minimize it and distance self from it (e.g., “mistake”, “self defense”, “someone else” contributed to the act, “it is not my typical character”, “I’m really the victim here”, “you caused this”, “I don’t remember”).
If there is wiggle room regarding taking ownership of an act (no overwhelming evidence), then the approach tends to be deny, deny, deny, and lie.
All are examples of common manipulative strategies to get some control over the situation and reduce the consequences that would naturally accompany the act (e.g., significant jail time, a break up they are not yet prepared for – as the replacement partner has not been found/secured).
This pattern can be found from the psychopathic politician who engages in immoral, career damaging immature acts to the psychopathic criminal who murders a young mom. Quite a number of them will refer to their behavior (once caught) as a mistake.
Back to Travis Forbes. After the murder of Kenia, Forbes later attempted to murder another woman, Lydia Tillman. Ms. Tillman miraculously escaped with her life by jumping from her window after Forbes raped and brutalized her. Before leaving, Forbes set her apartment on fire in order to try to cover up his crime. Sadly, Lydia Tillman was left with significant physical and mental limitations (i.e., brain damage – head trauma/ stroke after the beating). However, she is an amazing survivor with a beautiful, strong spirit.
Both women were complete strangers to Forbes and were selected when he was trolling (hunting) to satisfy his fix.
Police suspect Forbes raped and killed several women, however he would not provide them any information regarding those victims.
“Something I need to do is find out what the definition of a sociopath is, because I’m pretty sure I fit it.” – Travis Forbes
We certainly agree with him there.
The systems of the brain responsible for morality, self regulation, reward, and bonding are severely dysfunctional in individuals with psychopathy – thereby making this population of individuals very dangerous to society. Particularly when one is unaware they have been targeted or on their radar.
Kenia Monge Foundation Memorial Walk (2012)
© 2013 Neuroinstincts | All Rights Reserved
• No Unauthorized Reproduction, derivative versions, or content use without permission. Please refer to our copyright infringement page.
• Written permission is required from NeuroInstincts to use our articles. Crediting and a link back to our original content will also be required.
• Best approach – Use one of the ‘Share’ options.