Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Famous sociopaths: Amanda Knox?

It's a boom season for memoirs written by young female sociopaths, or is it? I did not follow the Amanda Knox trial while it was happening but after I heard about her book I was curious to see why why people think she's a coldblooded murderess. Mainly people's opinions of her guilt seem based on circumstantial evidence and the fact that she didn't respond the way that "normal" people (or at least normal, non guilty people) would react to being a murder suspect? But how would you react "normally"? Cry? Suffer some sort of emotional or nervous breakdown? Especially for someone who seems to not quite have a typical emotional palette (her memoir is described as being written with "brutal honesty, clarity, and conviction"), how was she expected to act?

Sometimes I imagine what it might be like to be a young, sociopathic Amanda Knox, who may not have killed her roommate (maybe it was a coincidence?), but now she is a suspect and she knows she's being watched. What sort of show should she put on? What sort of manual is there, or prior experiences to draw upon in knowing how to appropriately respond to be falsely accused of murder? A roommate that you hate and barely know gets killed in a foreign country while you are with some guy you just started dating. Even if she weren't a sociopath, I could see how she wouldn't be that broken up about the whole thing. It would be really hard to fake normal reactions in that situation, even if you were innocent.

In that same vein, "This American Life" features an odd story of an upstanding doctor in a rural town who brutally murdered his father -- Vince Gilmer. Even though he is serving a life sentence for the murder, everyone in the town had glowing stories to tell about him: "Generous to a fault." The show features many people trying to make their own determinations about what is the deal with Gilmer -- cold-blooded murderer? Or a man who finally snapped due to provocation from an incredibly abusive father. It was hard for people to tell because when questioned by the police, he was not manifesting authentic remorse or mental illness, but rather seemed to be "hamming it up." He would start crying, seemingly strategically: "either he was having tremendous mood swings, or he was trying to avoid the question." "So we set up a camera on the rec yard and invited the inmates to play . . . . And then we purposefully sent the officer . . . and Mr. Gilmer saw the officer he immediately began to shake his head and arm" as if he were suddenly sad. When the officer left the rec yard, Mr. Gilmer went back "It seemed as if the victim was exaggerating his symptoms" for the sake of the psychiatrist.

It's sort of odd hearing the people on "This American Life" discuss the Gilmer case or reading the followers of the Amanda Knox trial trying to suss out what is the truth based on what little anecdotal evidence they have to cling to. The judge in the Gilmer trial thought "it was clear" that the murder was premeditated and yet many still have doubts (it turned out that Gilmer had Huntington's disease, a neurological disease which his doctor said would explain his appearance of faking symptoms). Amanda Knox was acquitted, but the Italian appeals court reversed.

"I'm still confused about whether he was good or not."

Gilmer's doctor laments about his patient's poor treatment and why it took so long to get him properly diagnosed: "They have a pre-conceived idea about what's going on and that's it. They're inflexible. . . they have a stereotype . . . and they won't budge beyond that."

58 comments:

  1. First!

    I've worked extensively with people with Huntingtons disease and can't see it producing the kind of fake seeming symptoms decribed here.

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  2. So, the penultimate narcissist and the penultimate sociopath both walk into a bar, and she sits down to order a drink.

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    1. penultimate means "second to last". did you mean that in your comment?

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  3. Borderlines would be great at this display of changing from in charge to sad as necessary. I observed one during the funeral arrangements of her own father, it was scary. One minute she is crying on the phone and the minute she hangs up she is an ass giving orders around for the arrangements.

    About the issue of a borderline being a female sociopath. We debated that in the past and as I recall we agreed that between emotional outbursts female borderline can behave quite like a sociopath.

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    1. I thought my male partner was a sociopath at first, even though he had informed be of his borderline personality prior. He has spent a long time controlling his emotional outburts, so you rarely see them.

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    2. Borderlines though seem to have a "rational" motive behind what they do most of the time. They may want revenge. Higher functioning ones especially. They do not, at least not the ones I know, attack or hurt for the lolz. They can be vicious and have singlemindedness and intelligence and even destroy sociopaths with aplomb, but they do it for reasons. Not because they don't have empathy or conscious and felt like doing it for weird power reasons.

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    3. Jodi arias comes to mind after reading this comment.

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    4. I don't think Jodi Arias is a sociopath... I do think she is a high functioning Borderline, though. She's too emotional to be a sociopath.

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  4. Amanda Knox analysis above is very much from a sociopathic point of view. ME is definitely a sociopath, her having a narcissistic streak does not change that. NPD is when you act in the name of some heroic cause, that ain't happening to ME anytime soon.

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  5. My take-just gut level--is that she did it.

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    1. She has dead eyes -- she did it.

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  6. “I'm still confused about whether he was good or not."

    That’s because this person is asking the wrong question. None of us are all one thing, all the time. Sure, there are some personality traits that are expressed over a lifetime and our intellectual capacity is largely heritable and not likely to significantly change. But it does not follow that we do or even should fit snugly in one moral box. Research and history demonstrate that psychopaths are capable of altruistic behavior and neurotypicals are capable of genocidal behavior, given the right circumstances. Labeling can be very useful, but like the doctor said, once inflexibility sets in, labeling obscures rather than illuminates.

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    1. He wasn't asking a question though, he was making a statement. He was talking about the overall nature of the man. Not a one off "altuistic" act. Or possible genocidal behavior.

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    2. People must label others, though. First impressions are important because in the first few moments of human interaction, both parties neatly place each other in pre-designed boxes to fit. Only once someone is boxed and labeled can they be compared to other people they've interacted with, which is vital in determining how to move forward in conversation.

      A person sensitive to social cues can see which box they're destined for, and by reading the other person can make sure they end up labeled in some favorable manner. Everyone else already has their own box labeled and ready to go, which they hand to the other person, and this constitutes most normal human social interactions.

      You go in the box I have set aside for well-spoken intellectuals. You may share company with Hannibal Lecter, but when he's not eating people I would find him pleasant company.

      You will label me, too, and I don't mind that so long as I don't end up in the box labeled "food".

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  7. Some people are just awkward, and when under such intense scrutiny, anything not normal will be perceived as guilt, when perhaps what you're seeing is fear. The ones who act as you suspect, a perfect show of sadness at the death of another, where is their fear? How many trials are just witchhunts?

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    1. I've heard Amanda Knox interviewed. It's not that she's awkward, it's that she's largely affectless. When she recounts what happened it's as if she is talking about something that happened to someone else - something from which she is emotionally removed. And when she talks about how the case affected her - points in the story where she is trying to express great emotion (like when she speaks of crying alone in her cell) it sounds unreal and hollow.

      Definitely something is not "normal" about her emotional display but sociopathy isn't the only thing that would account for that - for example, having Asperger's syndrome might.

      I don't think her strange emotional reactions are in and of indicative of guilt.

      I don't think she directly killed her roommate - though I will allow that if she is a sociopath that she may have been manipulating the situation (like the guy whose DNA was found in the apartment and in her roommate) and so in that way may be responsible for the death.

      But again, I don't think "dead eyes" or lack of affect can be legitimate indicators of guilt -- even if she is a sociopath.

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  8. I know that sometimes under scrutiny I just mentally take myself out of it or act aloof on purpose out of spite if I see the situation as a nuisance I shouldn't have to be dealing with in the first place.

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  9. What makes you think she hated her roommate? That was certainly not the case.

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    1. The friends and family of the victim all testified that Knox and the victim had a falling out just before the murder.

      The site truejustice details much of the evidence in this case, and why Knox is convicted. while her behavior is certainly odd, and she lies when talking about the case, that is not why she was convicted. She was convicted because of the overwhelming evidence.

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    2. This is nonsense. A falling out. Really. And what does this actually mean. Nothing is what it means. One thing guilters stumble over is the fact Amanda Knox never uttered one bad word to anyone about MK.

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  10. That bitch is guilty. You don't place yourself at the scene of the crime and frame another person unless you are guilty or you are such a tool that you falsely confess to please the interrogator (which happens).

    She said she admitted to being there because the police put her under a lot of pressure, meanwhile she's doing cartwheels outside the interrogation room and laughing it up. She even walked into the bloody crime scene and took a shower. Sure, you can explain away she is just a cold hearted cunt, but if that's the case under interrogation everything she said was not under pressure. if that's the case she has no other motive to frame someone else for the crime and admit to being there when the murder took place other than trying to cover up her involvement in it.

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    1. That is a great comment, UKan. Want to be friends?

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    2. lol - angry much...

      Yes, she did it. Somehow she seems to pull off the poor, innocent American White girl theme just enough for most Americans to just leave her alone and not really hang her by her toenails. If she were anything other than White, they would have extradited her fanny right back to the country she was accused in -- -- or they wouldn't have let her come home in the first place. lol

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    3. It's about time someone spelt it out. Agree totally with UKan Frame, and Christine. Knox is a nasty piece of work, and tries to manipulate perceptions and pits people against each other. Corrosive individual, a psychopath, and guilty for sure. Most legal cases are circumstantial evidence based, and in this case, there is a whole pile of it against her, and no credible or consistent account from her to explain the situation. She belongs in jail, and the certain media should stop trying to defend the indefensible.

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  11. at 1st glance i would think aspie or sociopath she did have a good social life so i'm gonne go with sociopath
    think she did it
    but i also think you cannot convict annyone with out evidence
    there was a case like this in Belgium
    a womman was suspected of killing here love rival
    they had motive but not a scrap of evidence
    (a parachute as tepered with but there was half a dozen ppl that had acces to it)
    she still was convited
    if ppl can get convited with out evidence it's a dangerous president and you get russian things where the precident wants your company and trouws you in jail or they are afraid they are gonne loos the ellections and you'll end up in jail
    power corruption etc

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    1. what's with you and belgium?

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    2. it's my motherland
      (and beer chocolat jenever good food etc)

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    3. Where are you from?

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    4. stad van de smaak

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  12. question on your book ME no one knows you so it can all be mad up right?

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  13. ME are you now sam vaknin2?

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    1. not a pretty picture

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  14. Up From The SofaMay 8, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    To L.A whom I am proud to call a friend <3

    Coming up for air, after decades, centuries. I can't believe there is air like life on the fucking moon.

    How can it be? I should have felt a wisp of cool air on my cheek or seen SOMETHING out of the periphery of my eye, instead of a soundless and airless tomb prepared for my death.

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  15. Up From The SofaMay 8, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    OK It's a little trite. Give me a break~

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    1. Nah, keep this up and you've got a potential best seller on your hands ;)
      Could be a Dexter/Buffy type thing. Starring Jessi, the sociopath hunter. A fearless chihuahua that can tell a sociopath by their smell and then relentlessly investigates and exposes them.
      But I want in on the profits..

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    2. Up From The SofaMay 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Thank you GE and you can split the big money with me :D

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  16. Yes, killing someone would make your book that much more interesting.

    Blame it on the economic recession.

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    1. I really don't hope that M.E gets this serious over the success of the book.

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  17. "It's a boom season for memoirs written by young female sociopaths, or is it?"

    Which other young ones are writing memoirs other than possibly Amanda?

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  18. M.E. has said that "she" is not a good person.

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  19. guitar solo - there is a play triagnle on the left that you can click to play the music, you don't have to download anything

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  21. Amanda Knox was convicted but freed on appeal, she is to be retried.

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  22. Amanda knox definately apears to me to be a sociopath. And the reason she looks like a guilty sociopath is not only that she's a sociopath. In a recent interview, she said"what upset her most is that ppl say she wasn't the victems friend". Ok, so as a guilty person she is trying to challenge motive, and as a sociopath she is upset that ppl are challenging her acting skill.
    If she was friends with the girl, would she have behaved in the manner she did? Would she have then stated her greatest regret is that people don't believe her?
    What is also most striking to me is her lack of empathy for others in contrast to her genuine regard for herself.

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  23. Typical Psychopathic behaivour. Make out your the victim. Even to the extent of releasing a BOOK! That is the nail in the coffin for me. She is guilty. If not of the cout de grais she was a willing participant. I have reviewed all the evidence of the killing of my fellow English person. I have come to the conclusion that Rudy Guede DID NOT KILL ALONE. There were 2 different knives used. Also she had 47 wounds all over her body with minimal defence wounds on hands and arms. Also bruises on arms and body indicating she was held by one person standing up. While the other stabbed and slashed away. And maybe swapped and changed. Also Solecettios footprint was found on bathmat. A bloody bare footprint. Why would Rudy take shoes off. That obviously points to Knox and Solecitto. Because they wouldnt wear shoes around the house. They lived there! She is guilty. She knew about it. Americans are dumb because they think she is innocent. Well you would wouldnt you! Hope she rots

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  24. Amanda Knox couldn't possibly be guilty. She's a white American female.
    Haven't you heard? White American females are never guilty of anything.
    Fortunately, unlike the U.S., most other countries haven't been corrupted by radical feminism. this is what seems to be upsetting all the Amanda Knox apologists.

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    1. This is right on. It’s incredibly annoying that a lot of the mainstream media are failing to pay attention to the mountain of evidence against Knox. Rather, they are being influenced by their belief that as you say “White females are never guilty of anything”. They give copious screen time to Knox’s game of manipulation, and fail to ask serious questions. They allow her to create and wallow in victimhood, when that status is inappropriate and insulting. Please media, do your job of investigative reporting. Not peddling your favored societal themes. Rewarding behavior such as Knox’s degrades us all as a society.

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  25. I think she has Asperger's. It's consistent with accounts from her friends at home. She would talk to crazy people and not pick up on their craziness. She was extremely gullible. Her roommate had really not wanted to hang out with her because she was found to be somewhat off. Not like narcissistic soicopath off but awkward. All of the evidence against her is totally bogus. The footprint of hers was not in blood. The bra clasp had DNA from many people on it as it had been badly mishandled. Also in interviews she has a flat affect. That is Aspergers. She is a totally clueless gullible girl. That's why she didn't realize that she was a supsect. She thought she was helping the police. She thought she was being a good girl. The police hated her. They found her weird and they thought she was a slut. But she didn't even pick up on that. The poor girl was lacking that social sense.

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    1. I don't agree with the Aspergers. I find her language fine but her own and I also find her just dying to be more goofy and humorous but now holds it in. I have a nephew that is fairly high functioning Asperger and I don't see how she could be as successful academically and in terms of her high energy getting around independently. She is industrious and can be a go get it done type. She had just turned 20 and maybe naïve but she was also one funny girl in my opinion and maybe some think it off but I have met lots like her. She is shy on some level verbally and not overconfident and seems to feel great pressure under the camera but hey, how would anyone else do under those circumstances. She is certainly not guilty of any murder. This is a cock up frame job from hell. Italian men are sex heads and very opinionated about foreign women and Mignini is a certifiable Lunatic...

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  26. I don't think Amanda Knox is guilty of anything but she needs to stop talking; doesn't do herself any favors...

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