Monday, July 2, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Chris Benoit and Bobby Cutts: Did They just Snap?

Once again we have stunned and confused friends and relatives of a killer swearing that he was a great guy. We heard this story when Bobby Cutts was arrested for murdering his girlfriend and unborn baby and we are hearing it again in the case of wrestler Chris Benoit who killed his wife, son, and then himself. There is a sense of disbelief among these folks who cannot match the person they thought they knew as friendly, fun, kind, and sweet to a cold blooded killer who would brutally slay his significant other and an innocent child to boot. They claim there must have been drugs that radically changed brain chemistry or some bizarre circumstance that sent a decent man over the edge.

What most of these truly well-meaning people aren't understanding is the nature of abusive men. Abusive men often take out all their insecurities and feelings of failure inside the home while they keep up their pretense on the outside. In the world, usually the world of men, abusers want to appear manly, one of the guys, a great buddy, etc. They work overtime at being a stellar person in the public eye. Often this is the type of man who will leave his wife alone on the Saturday he promised to spend with her to go help a friend move. He will fix his brother’s car while his wife’s car still has the bad brakes he promised to fix one month ago. He will complain about his wife spending ten dollars and then turn around and give a relative one thousand dollars to pay off a gambling debt. He won’t raise his voice in public but he will beat his wife so badly she won’t leave the house for weeks.

Bobby Cutts murdered (allegedly) Jessie and the baby because he wanted to party with other women and he didn’t want to support another child. Although he made good jokes at work and coached kids’ sports, he was also a liar, a cheat, an abuser, and likely a psychopathic murderer. Chris Benoit, Mr. Good Buddy to the outside world, was also likely a role-playing psychopath who found when he couldn’t control his wife and child the way he wanted, preferred to strangle them and have done with it. He only likely killed himself because he realized he was going to spend the rest of his life in prison (and since he took so long to get around to it I am guessing he wasn’t all that suicidal to start with).

Not all people toward the end of the psychopathic continuum are serial killers or even murderers. They may be successful lawyers, politicians or preachers! They may be con men or abusive husbands or womanizers. Some may be violent and some might not be. Some of those who aren’t quite so far down the continuum to obtain the full psychopathic label may get a lesser designation because they don’t lie, cheat and manipulate quite as much; they may be labeled as borderline personality disorders or narcissists. These men and women might actually be fairly decent citizens (because they get kudos for doing so) and, at times seem quite normal. Still they will have difficulty with remorse and empathy because they cannot understand or care about another person’s needs or rights. There are a lot more of these in the world than there are those at the very end of the spectrum and we deal with them quite often in business and family. We may never even realize that they have that much of a problem because they function so well within society. Often, we think we are the ones with the problem: that we are being unreasonable or too demanding or too critical. They make sure we feel that way.

It is very difficult to recognize exactly how far down the psychopath continuum our friend or mate is lurking. Some human beings slide further down the scale as they lose more power and control in their lives. Perhaps Chris Benoit could be labeled borderline personality disorder, one who is always seeking attention and validation and as long as he got enough of it, he wouldn’t go off the deep end. But when age starts threatening one’s career, the wife is not the babe she used to be that made you feel good as a man (and you now wants some younger one), the wife is not the doting young thing she was when she married you (and now is older, wiser, and more demanding), and your son is an embarrassment (because it is hard to brag over your special needs kid as your creation), then maybe you get angry that everyone is doing you wrong. Maybe Bobby Cutts would have continued as the narcissistic/psychopathic womanizer for years if he had learned the meaning of birth control but, since he kept the babies coming and money problems were increasing, he decided these women and babies were messing up the life he deserved.

As the weeks go on, the truth about the private lives of Cutts and Benoit will come out bit by bit. I can guarantee you we won’t be hearing about domestic bliss. Never have I found a case where, in spite of the fact the man was truly a wonderful husband in all his behaviors and a fine dad as well, he suddenly murders his family. It simply doesn’t happen. A pussycat doesn’t suddenly become a pit bull just because he drank too much one night or took some steroids. The personality and concerning behaviors were always there before the drugs or alcohol came along and, for that matter, may be the exact reason why he uses them to begin with. Nothing comes from nothing anywhere in nature and this includes homicide.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Rodrigo said...

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Levi said...

Thank GOD some common sense for once about the Benoit murder case! I've heard enough about trying to blame his demanding job, the steroids & everything else under the son for these murders EXCEPT the killer!

Some people cannot get their mind around, someone who was so well liked in the wrestling community would kill his wife & child.

But his wife, did file for divorce a couple of years ago & did cite domestic violence, but then dropped it.

I find myself thinking after watching the newscasts/commentary on the case, that he is a grown man, NOBODY forced him to take steroids, NOBODY forced him to be in the WWE.

Ronni said...

Too many people making too many excuses for too many psychos.

preraph said...

You'd think with the constant litany of news stories showing victims being murdered by men they were trying to end a relationship with, that eventually one of the news stories would bother to offer the public some of the real reasons why these things take place rather than speculating whether someone "snapped," which is just one step up from calling them lovesick.

The truth is some of the psychological reasons that drive violence of this type are very hard to understand even for people within the field, much less laypeople. For example, low self-esteem contributes to a lot of this sort of crime. It's a term that has become cliche, but I only know a handful of people who even begin to understand what it really means and how it can create an avenue for murder. It's really a very difficult concept to grasp. And one that I believe the schools should be attempting to teach our children as early as high school, because to understand the mechanics of it, even elementarily, would, in some instances, give people the tools to prevent a disaster.

The other concept that should be taught is the ramifications of antisocial personality or sociopathy, its causes and effects. It's time we started arming our citizens with insight instead of sensationalism.