Gary Palin: I see your points Robert, and your way more knowledgeable about these types of psychotic sociopaths than I am. When I saw the picture of Libby in the hat and how young and innocent she looked, this crime really struck a chord with me. When I was younger growing up in the 70’s this was relatively “uncommon,” but there were some (Charles Manson, etc) Also there were very few homosexuals, at least out in the open, and there were no transgender people ( not that I have disdain for them). This goes for where I grew up, but maybe in liberal California it was different for you.
I just wonder if this escalating type of violent crimes against women has anything to do with “feminism” and men feeling slighted and emasculated, and this is their way of rebelling against women. I think there may be a lot of truth to this.
I would bet in the 1950’s where divorce was uncommon, and families were mostly all the patriarchal type, when men were the head of the household, I think people and families were a lot happier than in today’s world, even though they didn’t have as much material wealth. Maybe you should do a blog on that subject, as you’re truly a student of human nature.
As far as being a student of human nature, I work in mental health. I have dealt with very few psychotic or psychopathic people, but I often have to rule out psychopathy or psychosis. In the group I am dealing with, I almost always rule it out. But to rule it out, you have to understand it.
Actually there were quite a few serials running around in the 1970’s. I like to think of the 1970’s as the Decade of the Serial Killer. There were an amazing number of them running around right here in California. We regularly had them running loose here in the LA area. Randy Kraft, the Hillside Strangler, the Toolbox Killers, the Sunset Strip Killers, Rodney Alcala, William Bonin, on and on. In California proper there was the Zodiac, the Hitchhiker Killer, and the Keddie Murders. Ted Bundy was running around the West.
My Mom thinks she saw Bonin and crew pick up a young male hitchhiker on a freeway entrance in Garden Grove. She thought that may have been the last ride that boy ever took.
A good friend of mine had an encounter with Randy Kraft and drank some beer and smoked some pot with him. The beer was one of Kraft’s specialty Valium-laced beers, but my friend caught on that something was wrong. Kraft tried to stop him from leaving the car, but my friend screamed at Kraft like a maniac, and Kraft was taken aback and let him go.
Back then we did not have DNA and advanced forensics, so most of these guys killed a number of times (4-10) before they were caught. It was so much easier to be a serial back then due to the more primitive forensics. Serials often targeted regular females or males, but now a lot of serials are targeting druggy street prostitutes, truck stop whores, and other marginal women whose disappearance is not even known because they are so far outside of society. It is quite hard to catch these killers because they are targeting such marginal women who hardly anyone even knows. When the serial starts targeting ordinary members of society, it’s a bit easier to catch them.
I do not think the rate of rapes or rape-murders of women has gone up since the 1970’s. I have heard that child killings have been at a flat rate of ~150/year since the 1970’s. If anything, I would assume the rate of rapes and rape-murders has gone down since the 1970’s. Sure, there has been a much-needed backlash against the sexist hate movement called Feminism, but it doesn’t seem like men’s rage over it is causing us to rape and kill women at any higher rate than we ever had. Instead a lot of men seem to be dropping out of dating and dealing with women altogether for fear of a sexual harassment, sexual assault or fake rape charge. See the Men Going Their Own Way Movement for more on this phenomenon.
The concepts of psychosis and psychopathy are often confused in the public mind. How many times have you heard about “psychotic killers?” Thing is, when someone says that, they are almost never referring to killers who are actually psychotic. Instead they are referring to psychopathic killers and confusing them with people who are psychotic. Most people do not understand the difference between these psychological states, and this is the reason for the mix-up. Also most people assume that any maniac running around like Jack the Ripper slaughtering other humans for no good reason has to be insane or psychotic. They say this because to them such an act seems to be so outside of normal behavior that only a crazy person would do such a thing.
Psychosis and psychopathy are too different things. I suppose there are some cases where the two conditions overlap. Some paranoid schizophrenics seem to have also been psychopaths, but this is not common.
These sociopaths are not psychotic. This is an important thing to note. Only 2% of serials are psychotic. It is fairly easy to catch a psychotic serial because they are completely insane. It’s hard for crazy people to organize a trip to the bathroom, much less a serial killing spree.
Sociopaths and psychopaths are not the tiniest bit crazy. If they were even 1% nuts, they would be easier to catch. They are almost too sane in that they don’t have to worry about emotions slipping them up. These humans are like machines. If they are serials, then they are killing machines.
I would agree though that outside of the former definition of craziness which tends to emphasize impairment, sociopaths/psychopaths are indeed crazy. They’re morally crazy. And in some ways, these are craziest humans of all because they simply lack a conscience.
Instead of being crazy, sociopaths and psychopaths are better seen as sick. Or even evil. We need to take our analysis of these folks outside of the sanity/insanity paradigm and over into the moral universe of good/evil. These people aren’t crazy. They’re just evil, that’s all. This is the only way to properly understand such people.