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  1. #1
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    JLM: Psych Thread - Professional and Non-Professional Opinions/Theories

    Use this thread to speculate about the psychological factors motivating Jesse Leroy Matthew's behavior.

    Professional and non-professional opinions are welcome. Do, however, make an effort to include documented sources to support your views.

    Be courteous and show respect for opposing views. Remember that you have the option to keep scrolling (often the wisest choice), and to use the IGNORE feature when necessary.

    If excessive arguing ensues, the thread will be shut down tout de suite, and will remain closed.

    Last edited by bessie; 10-25-2014 at 12:12 PM.
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  2. #2
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    <modsnip>

    No one is to blame for this except the person who abducted and killed Hannah. No one.
    Last edited by bessie; 10-25-2014 at 12:12 PM. Reason: quoted a deleted post

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkHard View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with you but I feel as though you are not really seeing the point I was trying to make. Because my point does not really disagree with what you are saying. Perhaps that it my fault, and I did a poor job of explaining my thinking. Perhaps through an example I can better explain what I meant.

    When I lived in NYC I learned to take certain precautions. While I didn't live my life in fear that I would come across the path of someone out "hunting prey", and I enjoyed my mid 20's in the big city. I became acutely aware to be mindful of the very things that could make me far more vulnerable, should I come across the path of the wrong person at the wrong time...(not walking down side street that weren't well lit, late at night, instead taking longer routes to well lit, always populated streets, covering drinks, not separating from friends while "under the influence"). But you are absolutely right even reasonable caution cannot prevent every crime.

    This was only my attempt to explain myself because I felt misunderstood. If it is a disagreement of thought then lets just agree to disagree. No reason to argue. My apologies if I caused any offense.
    I get what you're saying. I think everyone should be careful in general in life. We live in a world of predators. We also live in a world of sharp objects, germs, bombs, etc.

    Bringing up a discussion on how women can protect themselves from predators in the wake of a girl being murdered by one puts some people on edge because it puts us on a slippery slope of laying responsibility of the crime on the person the crime was committed against, imo. The context loads it with implications because there's no shortage of people who really do think it's the victim's fault.

    In my opinion there are ongoing conversations on how women can protect themselves but there aren't enough conversations on how we can raise boys (and increasingly girls) to be less violent and self-entitled. Unfortunately is easier to figure out how to use a pepper spray can than to figure out how to (collectively) raise fewer rapists and murderers. But if people have the desire and wherewithall to kill and inflict pain then they'll find a way no matter what the victims are doing so I think it's more important to focus on the perpetrators (and potential perpetrators) rather than the victims.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawb93 View Post
    No one is to blame for this except the person who abducted and killed Hannah. No one.
    Of course no one is to blame but the criminal but it is the nature of human relationship to think in "what if" and "if only" terms and I feel for these kids as they struggle through a very adult exististential process and imagine how things could have been different. With freedom comes responsibility for your choices. Part of college development is learning that you can no longer live as if there is a benign protector always hovering. Please read Camille Paglia's recent piece on time.com. One great outcome of this could be a more complex examination of college behavior--we don't live in a perfect world and can't act as if we do.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piaget View Post
    Of course no one is to blame but the criminal but it is the nature of human relationship to think in "what if" and "if only" terms and I feel for these kids as they struggle through a very adult exististential process and imagine how things could have been different. With freedom comes responsibility for your choices. Part of college development is learning that you can no longer live as if there is a benign protector always hovering. Please read Camille Paglia's recent piece on time.com. One great outcome of this could be a more complex examination of college behavior--we don't live in a perfect world and can't act as if we do.
    I agree with you, and while I have often disagreed with Paglia's opinions, the essay you are talking about should be required reading for many young women, even if just for the sake of considering Paglia's point of view, whether they ultimately agree or disagree.

    Of course nobody is to blame except the killer, yet we would be very naive to think the world should operate the way WE want it to, so we should be able to live our lives blissfully without fear. My own daughters are irritated by my advice to be safe, not walking alone at night, not running on deserted trails, not walking around the city or campus oblivious to the world around them with ear buds blasting their private soundtrack. Still, I hope that while they're rolling their eyes at me or letting out an irritated teenage sigh, they'll at least store my advice somewhere in the self preservation depths of their brains.

    But having said all of the above, I have to clarify that when I re-watch the security camera footage of Hannah, I see a girl who WAS taking some precautions. When captured across the street from the Shell station, she is running. Why? I'd like to believe it was because she knew she was in a sketchy area where she could be vulnerable, so she was running to reach a more populated area. And that's what just kills me. It's not until she reaches an area with lots of people, an area where she SHOULD be safe, that she falls victim to a predator, a wolf in sheep's (or teddy bear's) clothing. Why didn't somebody step in? So many people. Even a bouncer who had banned the predator from his bar due to the very behavior he was witnessing as he watched Hannah being supported by--practically carried by--this creep?

    Hannah may have helped save the next girl from JLM, but the price she and everybody who knew and loved her paid was far too great. If we truly want to help save the next girl, teaching girls to be realists and to be aware of their surroundings may be a step in the right direction, but it's still not enough. To help save the next girl, we need to step up and stop being bystanders, witnessing, but not stepping in to help or question when something doesn't look quite right. If we want to help save the next girl, we should put some of the responsibility for her safety on us.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Concerned Mama View Post
    I agree with you, and while I have often disagreed with Paglia's opinions, the essay you are talking about should be required reading for many young women, even if just for the sake of considering Paglia's point of view, whether they ultimately agree or disagree.

    Of course nobody is to blame except the killer, yet we would be very naive to think the world should operate the way WE want it to, so we should be able to live our lives blissfully without fear. My own daughters are irritated by my advice to be safe, not walking alone at night, not running on deserted trails, not walking around the city or campus oblivious to the world around them with ear buds blasting their private soundtrack. Still, I hope that while they're rolling their eyes at me or letting out an irritated teenage sigh, they'll at least store my advice somewhere in the self preservation depths of their brains.

    But having said all of the above, I have to clarify that when I re-watch the security camera footage of Hannah, I see a girl who WAS taking some precautions. When captured across the street from the Shell station, she is running. Why? I'd like to believe it was because she knew she was in a sketchy area where she could be vulnerable, so she was running to reach a more populated area. And that's what just kills me. It's not until she reaches an area with lots of people, an area where she SHOULD be safe, that she falls victim to a predator, a wolf in sheep's (or teddy bear's) clothing. Why didn't somebody step in? So many people. Even a bouncer who had banned the predator from his bar due to the very behavior he was witnessing as he watched Hannah being supported by--practically carried by--this creep?

    Hannah may have helped save the next girl from JLM, but the price she and everybody who knew and loved her was far too great. If we truly want to help save the next girl, teaching girls to be realists and to be aware of their surroundings may be a step in the right direction, but it's still not enough. To help save the next girl, we need to step up and stop being bystanders, witnessing, but not stepping in to help or question when something doesn't look quite right. If we want to help save the next girl, we should put some of the responsibility for her safety on us.
    I have always believed that, while girls are frequently told to not become victims, boys are not all often enough told not to be violent criminals. No one wants to look at their sweet baby boy and even pretend for five seconds that there's a possibility that he'll be the horrible monster that does something like this. It probably doesn't even cross a lot of parents' minds. An eight year old boy is so sweet and innocent. But I think the "Don't hurt people" talk should be as required - and started at as early an age - as the sex talk and the drugs talk.

  7. #7
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    I'd like to add that if parents see children be cruel to animals, start fires when young and wet the bed long past when that shouldn't happen, to get their children to a mental health facility...ASAP. It's called the homicidal triad and children that display these three things are most likely to offend and kill as adults.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kale View Post
    I have always believed that, while girls are frequently told to not become victims, boys are not all often enough told not to be violent criminals. No one wants to look at their sweet baby boy and even pretend for five seconds that there's a possibility that he'll be the horrible monster that does something like this. It probably doesn't even cross a lot of parents' minds. An eight year old boy is so sweet and innocent. But I think the "Don't hurt people" talk should be as required - and started at as early an age - as the sex talk and the drugs talk.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celtsleuth View Post
    I'd like to add that if parents see children be cruel to animals, start fires when young and wet the bed long past when that shouldn't happen, to get their children to a mental health facility...ASAP. It's called the homicidal triad and children that display these three things are most likely to offend and kill as adults.
    Interesting read, Celtsleuth..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/ma...agewanted=all&

    Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?
    Then last spring, the psychologist treating Michael referred his parents to Dan Waschbusch, a researcher at Florida International University. Following a battery of evaluations, Anne and Miguel were presented with another possible diagnosis: their son Michael might be a psychopath.

    For the past 10 years, Waschbusch has been studying “callous-unemotional” children — those who exhibit a distinctive lack of affect, remorse or empathy — and who are considered at risk of becoming psychopaths as adults.

    Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5.

    <sniped - read more>

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClueingForLooks View Post
    I get what you're saying. I think everyone should be careful in general in life. We live in a world of predators. We also live in a world of sharp objects, germs, bombs, etc.

    Bringing up a discussion on how women can protect themselves from predators in the wake of a girl being murdered by one puts some people on edge because it puts us on a slippery slope of laying responsibility of the crime on the person the crime was committed against, imo. The context loads it with implications because there's no shortage of people who really do think it's the victim's fault.

    In my opinion there are ongoing conversations on how women can protect themselves but there aren't enough conversations on how we can raise boys (and increasingly girls) to be less violent and self-entitled. Unfortunately is easier to figure out how to use a pepper spray can than to figure out how to (collectively) raise fewer rapists and murderers. But if people have the desire and wherewithall to kill and inflict pain then they'll find a way no matter what the victims are doing so I think it's more important to focus on the perpetrators (and potential perpetrators) rather than the victims.
    And it's because some people simply desire to kill that there is no focus on them that will quell that impulse.

    I understand what you're saying, but I personally am disturbed by the direction much of the discourse about assaults on women is taking in our culture. There is a worldview being promoted on college campuses through events like 'Take Back the Night', where men march along side women with the message that only men can prevent assaults on women, and that is where the focus should be.

    If only violent perpetrators would get this through their heads, right?

    Is it reasonable that women leave their doors unlocked and their curtains open because we should be able to do so without fear of someone attacking us, and we need to talk to males more about their role in assault? No, we would not argue that.

    Is it reasonable that children play in the street because it's the drivers who are responsible for not running them over, and we need to focus more on educating drivers? No, we would not argue that.

    I don't blame Hannah for what a violent predator did to her. But neither do I think that violent predators care what you or I or anyone else thinks about violence.

    Sociopaths and psychopaths are still lying in wait for the next victim no matter how many healthy men reject violence and march with women, and these predators are hunting the woman who's walking alone.

    JMO
    “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Where is Heather?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxfire View Post
    Interesting read, Celtsleuth..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/ma...agewanted=all&

    Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?
    Then last spring, the psychologist treating Michael referred his parents to Dan Waschbusch, a researcher at Florida International University. Following a battery of evaluations, Anne and Miguel were presented with another possible diagnosis: their son Michael might be a psychopath.

    For the past 10 years, Waschbusch has been studying “callous-unemotional” children — those who exhibit a distinctive lack of affect, remorse or empathy — and who are considered at risk of becoming psychopaths as adults.

    Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5.

    <sniped - read more>
    As totally depressing as that is, wouldn't it be just great if we could really master this type of psychology so that we catch these things before they happen? And maybe even pioneer some new treatments and stuff? Perhaps a psychopath who hasn't yet harmed anyone could be viewed as a victim/patient, and could be compassionately cared for until they can be a functional member of society, just like people with autism spectrum disorders and so on. It doesn't really sound that far-fetched if you think of psychopathy as a neurological disorder instead of someone just having a horrible personality.

    ETA: Er, not that I'm likening psychopathy with any other neurological disorder of any kind or saying that people with any kind of disorder are "not functional members of society". Just thought I would clarify that ^_^;


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kale View Post
    As totally depressing as that is, wouldn't it be just great if we could really master this type of psychology so that we catch these things before they happen? And maybe even pioneer some new treatments and stuff? Perhaps a psychopath who hasn't yet harmed anyone could be viewed as a victim/patient, and could be compassionately cared for until they can be a functional member of society, just like people with autism spectrum disorders and so on. It doesn't really sound that far-fetched if you think of psychopathy as a neurological disorder instead of someone just having a horrible personality.

    ETA: Er, not that I'm likening psychopathy with any other neurological disorder of any kind or saying that people with any kind of disorder are "not functional members of society". Just thought I would clarify that ^_^;
    Actually this is a really interesting point:

    May I suggest a book to everyone....its called "the science of evil", fascinating read!

    Anyway so I know you may at first think autism and psychopathology have nothing in common. But they are both neurobiological deviation in the brain functioning itself. Functional MRI's have recently shed light on being able to identify autism in the future through these scans. Meaning Functional MRI's could be used as a diagnostic tool in the future for neurobiological conditions such as these.

    Furthermore: Even though its said in Autism that there is a lack of empathy, this is not quite the same thing as a lack of empathy seen in a psychopath. Based on outside observation empathy often seems to be missing in Autstics, because they don't show it. Or they don't communicate what they are thinking/feeling on the inside with how they are behaving on the outside. So they may look blank, but could be processing something intense, even for anther person inside. So in empathy it is two fold, their is feeling empathy for others, and then their is acting in a way that is socially interpreted as empathetic. In Autism they muddy up the second part, but do not lack the first. In a psychopath they lack both....however likely have the charism and are queued in socially (unlike the autistic) to "play" empathetic appropriately.

    It would be really fascinating in the future if such technology, could lead us to more accurate, and earlier intervention.

    Hope that wasn't too boring...

  12. #12
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    ThinkHard, No one is claiming a professional position here or stating emphatically that JLM has any disorder. The discussion was brought up under the aspect of nature or nurture and we are discussing the valid possibility that there are some genetic factors at play in psychopathy.

    We're entitled to discuss our opinions on this, no?

    Carry on.

    ETA this was a reply to this:

    <snipped by me>
    But a psychopath is a quite specific diagnosis, that is the result of lots of evaluation, and the ruling out of other factors. Since I'm guessing you have not evaluated him, lets ease up on pigeon holing him into a specific type...because it limits our scope of understanding this case, and his motivations.
    My opinion only. Disclaimer: results may vary. For best results, use as directed. Wash, rinse and repeat. No animals were harmed in the forming of this opinion.

  13. #13
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    Not to belabor the nature vs. nuture, genetics vs. environment, there's something I read awhile back that I think could explain a lot of it. It's of course a simplistic overview, but it was “Genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger.” Not necessarily true in all cases but it's my opinion that it's true in a majority of cases.

    http://blog.pathway.com/genetics-loa...ancis-collins/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyquestor View Post
    ThinkHard, No one is claiming a professional position here or stating emphatically that JLM has any disorder. The discussion was brought up under the aspect of nature or nurture and we are discussing the valid possibility that there are some genetic factors at play in psychopathy.

    We're entitled to discuss our opinions on this, no?

    Carry on.

    ETA this was a reply to this:
    Actually people had made statements regarding how no amount of nurture could have saved JLM because he was a psychopath, that's what I was referring too.

    Conversation about what a psychopath is etc, is understandable and open to discussion and opinion of course! Not disputing that. I was just asking that we lay off labeling JLM with a specific disorder because it may blind as to the larger picture.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dove28 View Post
    I feel like it would kind of rub salt in the wound to put Jesse in that statement
    If JLM is a sociopath, a psychopath or a combination thereof, he is incapable of sympathy and empathy or remorse for his compulsions and actions. I've read lots about the sexual abuser priests and other sexual offenders. They feel justified and rarely feel any guilt whatsoever.

    Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Ireland, who interviewed hundreds of sexual predator priests said he had only found one or two that had genuine remorse.

    Another expert on violent sexual predators said, (paraphrase) 'once sexual gratification/urge is joined to violence, it usually escalates into murder and cannot be treated/cured.'

    Such people are usually following a pattern they have observed or experienced in their earlier years.

    JMO and opinion of experts in criminology and psychology.

    The interview @ Inside C-ville with Dr. Jeffrey Farcher gives insight into the mind of a sexual predator - http://insidecville.com/city/dr-jeffrey-fracher/
    Also read the FBI study on Serial Killers - http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014...investigations
    ---
    As for my own feelings over this - as a parent of three daughters, three granddaughters (one a college freshman) - there is grief, tears, hurt for the family, anger, pity, all mixed up and alternating.

    This quote from a friend says it best for me:

    "I can assure you, Hannah Graham did not die abandoned and alone.
    She was surrounded by The LORD GOD’s unfailing, unflinching, eternal LOVE and LIGHT and multitudes of ministering angels. Heavenly arms reached out for her, lifted and held her close.
    Though her body was abducted and abused, her soul and spirit were kept and separated from evil and harm. ~ Psalm 121, Isaiah 55:1-2"

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