Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: How to Get Labeled a Psychopath

Sometimes when I am doing crime commentary on one of the network news shows, the host will toss out, “So you are a criminal profiler, Pat Brown, what kind of guy do you think this is?” I am being asked to label a person of interest in psychological terms based on his behaviors and at times I have identified that individual as a psychopath. In fact, I have been accused by some of tossing this label out awfully quickly without the benefit of doing a clinical analysis. These critics would be right. I have made a determination in a matter of minutes. But, truthfully folks, sometimes it doesn’t take that long to figure out what kind of character we are dealing with. Take the case of missing Michigan wife, Tara Lynn Grant, who disappeared on February 9, 2007. Her husband, Steven Grant, claims his wife returned from a business trip that day and then around 11 PM that evening, he overheard her talk to someone on the telephone and then he sees her walk out of the house and get in a dark-colored sedan. She hasn't been heard from since.

Steve Grant doesn’t bother to report his beloved wife and mother of his two young children missing for five days. He claims he wasn’t worried. He figured she would show back up. Meanwhile, he has been spending time emailing an ex-girlfriend and saying how he would like her to give him a sponge bath and do a naked modeling session with him. During those emails he notes how he “doesn’t care about being married” probably due to “that no conscience thing” he has and how marriage is like speed limits; meant to be broken and the only issue is to not get caught.

The police check into that phone call his wife supposedly made and to no one’s surprise neither her cell phone or home phone records have any phone call made at the time hubby claims he overheard her conversation. Since Tara disappeared, her cell phone and credit cards remain unused. Meanwhile, Grant refuses to turn over the home computer because he probably has a lot of incriminating behavioral evidence (I am guessing lots of pornography and emails as he was likely trolling the net for sex - the stuff he wrote to the ex-girlfriend is predator language).

So, while this criminal profiler cannot say Steve Grant is a psychopath, I will copy the language style of the Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel who said Grant isn’t a suspect but his behavior is “suspect.” Steven Grant may not be a psychopath but he sure behaves like a psychopath. He claims he has no conscious which is a hallmark of psychopathy, he doesn’t care if he breaks rules, he lies, he manipulates, and he has a lack of affect and a lack of empathy, all more signs of being a psychopath. So, if Steve Grant isn’t a psychopath, he is doing a fine job imitating the behaviors of one. Grant is whining that he is being over focused on as a suspect in his wife’s disappearance. Well, tough luck, Steve. If you don’t want to be a suspect in a crime, don’t act so suspicious. Oh, wait, I forgot. Blaming others is yet another behavior of a psychopath. Keep racking ‘em up, Steven!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"So, if Steve Grant isn’t a psychopath, he is doing a fine job imitating the behaviors of one."

Doesn't choosing to imitate the behaviors of a psychopath only provide further support for that diagnosis?