We know that psychopaths lack remorse, empathy, ethics, and a conscience.  They lie with absolute clarity for whatever appeases them and their lifestyle. They are almost like an unscrupulous chameleon showing their mask of normalcy for most of the world to see, but wait for the opportunity to strike out against unsuspecting victims.   

Crime seems to be a logical choice for many of these types of individuals.  I think it’s extremely important to study the habits and signatures of psychopaths in relation to crimes being committed.  That means all types of crimes, not just the violent ones.  There is much more to learn about this “subculture” of our society.  If we pay close attention, psychopaths will allow us glimpses into their personality and impulses.

  • The recidivism rate of psychopaths is approximately double compared to other offenders. 
  • The violent recidivism rate of psychopaths is approximately triple compared to other offenders.  
  • Psychopaths are responsible for more than 50% of the serious crimes committed. 
  • According to the 1992 study by the FBI, 44% of offenders who killed police officers were psychopaths.
  • Psychopaths are more likely to commit violent crimes both in and out of prison.

It seems for the most part, criminals have some type of code among themselves, but psychopaths don’t show any loyalty to groups, codes, or principles.  

How can this type of individual that lacks impulse control that has an egocentric view of the world be successful at committing crimes? 

Many of them commit crimes ranging in a broad spectrum of embezzlement, theft, assault, extortion, armed robbery, murder, and crimes against the state such as espionage, treason, and terrorism.    

Psychopaths have an uncanny readiness to take advantage of any situation.  They have a combination of lack of internal control, namely a conscience, and living for the moment that makes for a perfect formula of crime. 

Why you ask, do I prefer to study and write about such individuals? 

I find it fascinating that a group of people can cause so much distress among all levels of society.  I believe that there’s more to learn and that we’ve just scratched the surface into their motivations and impulsive nature.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of psychopaths for study.   

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

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Comment by Burl Barer on August 16, 2011 at 11:34am

It is easy to lump sociopaths with psychopaths, but there is a difference in severity. I've met plenty of sociopaths, but very few psychopaths. There is actually a web site by sociopaths for sociopaths! Sociopaths can choose not to be criminals...their reasons, of course, are purely selfish (they don't want miserable lives as prisoners, etc) but their self awareness is remarkable. If a sociopath is identified before the age of 14 they can be taught to live a life that is as rewarding as possible for those without an emotion chip, it is much more difficult after that age.


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