The psychology of the psychopath

One of my recent reading kicks has been the various books by the primary creators of the FBI’s behavioral sciences unit (BSU). This is the group you watch working every week if you watch Criminal Minds. One of the things that is covered in every one of these books is some of the background on how criminal profiling is done, and how that work was built up. Psychpathic behavior plays in to some of the work these folks do. And since I’ve been reading so much about that, I figured when I saw this Science News article on the nature and roots of psychopathy. After with a brief section on Derry Mainwaring-Knight, the article has:

Mainwaring-Knight wasn’t just a con man. By all accounts, he had a psychopathic personality. Psychopaths lack a conscience and are incapable of experiencing empathy, guilt, or loyalty. Descriptions of psychopatchs callously manipulating, intimidating, or harming others go back hundreds of years.

I would like to use this article to point out that Martin Blank isn’t quite correct when he says “No, no. Psychopaths kill for no reason. I kill for *money*. It’s a *job*. That didn’t come out right.” In fact, psychopaths do kill for a reason. It’s just that reason is completely their own.

[tags]The psychology of psychopathy, Pychopaths kill for no reason – I kill for money[/tags]

One thought on “The psychology of the psychopath”

  1. I was a side kick to Derry Mainwaring Knight during the 6 month period immediately prior to his arrest. I lived with him and his girlfriend Angie in Nobles Cottage in Dormansland.

    I am writing because I can say quite categoriclaly that he had no physcopathic tendencies whatsoever. He recognised the fact that I was still very naive and, while posing a record producer, took me along for the ride.

    At no time did he try to involve me in what he was doing and even took steps to make sure that I didn’t become involved. Does that sound like a man without conscience.

    Derry was simply a fun loving criminal who managed to find extremely gullible victims.

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