The Missing Link in Psychopaths

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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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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6 Responses to The Missing Link in Psychopaths

  1. Again, perfect timing on your post. I’m researching (again) to make sure I have my facts correct for my upcoming novel ELEVEN.


  2. Alan Gettis says:

    Quite an eye opener! Thanks for this excellent and very informative article.


  3. Really interesting post. I would be interested to know the difference in IQ between psychopathic criminals and non-psycopathic criminals and how that influences their crimes. I think that psychopaths are fascinating, but I think even more interesting is between good and evil where it is difficult to tell. A lot of our “heroes”, Batman is a good example, aren’t completely good. They share some traits with the villains they fight, which makes them more compelling. Thanks for the post.


  4. Thanks Mary Kate, great question 🙂 From everything I have read, most (at least 50%) “career” type criminals (violent and non-violent) in prison have a relatively low I.Q.


  5. Remember that the IQ test only measures a limited number of skills and is only useful to predict the chances of success in school. Some very good criminals were very poor students for reasons other than a lack of intelligence. That said, the chances of a psychopath like the fictional Hannibal Lector existing is very low because it would require two rare occurrences, psychopathy and genius intelligence, to occur in one individual.


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