Crime & Law Enforcement Issues & Death Penalty/Why am I like this?
Hello. I am a young woman who has been fascinated by serial killers from a very young age, and who is attracted to men who are in prison, usually for murder. I have been writing to inmates for years, and even became romantically involved with an inmate in the past who was involved in a notorious gang, and in prison for murder. I am a very empathetic, compassionate person by nature and he seemed to have an excuse for everything. His victim was someone who had abused him for years, he became involved with a white supremacist gang (but not because he was racist, but because he was young and very scared when he first went into prison and need protection) and so on and so on. Another time he strangled another inmate almost to death (causing long-term brain damage) but he was a pedophile who was about to be released and he was bragging about he was going to go after his victims(young girls) when he got out. So he made it seem like a valiant, even admirable thing to do! He was very good at that. And over the years I have met many attractive, well-educated, smart women who are also attracted to "bad boys" (the more dangerous the better) and many prison wives who seem like decent, genuinely kind people. Not all of them fit the stereotype of being lonely, pathetic, can't get any better etc. although I do admit to fitting some of them. For instance, I am a very lonely person, who wants desperately to be loved and wanted and desired. I just don't understand where my feelings come from. I am NOT (nor have I ever been) a violent person. My god, I won't even kill a mouse! I catch them and release them back outside And I can not imagine ever deliberately hurting or killing another human being. I cry when reading sad stories or watching sad movies, so I definitely am not lacking in the empathy department. I am a very giving, caring person although I do have some anger over abuse I suffered growing up. Do you have an opinion on why some women are drawn to men like this? I am from Canada, and recently it came to light that notorious rapist/murderer Paul Bernardo has a girlfriend, and that the two are planning to get married. It has caused a big uproar! Apparently, she is university educated and described as "brilliant but troubled". And this isn't uncommon, as I am sure you know. Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, Daniel Harold Rolling, Charles Manson, Scott Peterson etc. (all vicious cold blooded killers) receive lots of mail from women, including marriage proposals. I am desperate to understand this part of myself, and would appreciate any insight you might be able to offer. Also, I am wondering what is your opinion of writing to inmates in general? Not with the intent of seeking out a romantic relationship, but as an act of kindness? I always feel like maybe by showing them the love they never had growing up and giving them a little support and encouragement, perhaps I can inspire them to turn their lives around. I honestly find writing inmates to be quite rewarding, as they are always very appreciative of the fact that I took the time to write, and that I am willing to overlook their crimes and take the time to get to know them as people. I don't write to serial killers though or those who are well-known. I want to write to those unknowns who have no one, and are lonely and truly in need of friendship. They make me feel needed, valued and appreciated. And I make them feel special and cared for as well. So what is the harm? I hope that you will not judge me. I get enough of that. Thank you for your time. It is much appreciated.
Good morning from New York and I hope all is well with you in Canada. Regarding your questions, I’ve reviewed, read twice and have pasted your questions with my responses below. Please note that because AllExperts is a volunteer expert driven question/answer site, my responses are unfortunately brief. Combined with being a horrid typist, fully answering your questions via the written word would be impossible for me. Although I’m a terrible typist, you are always welcome to call me if you would like my full interpretation. I’m a New Yorker, in EST and can be reached anytime at 347-871-2416. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 1st thing to understand Ms. Annie is that I would never judge you, or anyone else for that matter, because you are seeking counsel regarding a life issue. lol…I’d be the last person to pass judgment on you because you are fascinated by the darkside of the human mind. Being a forensic psychologist who’s entire life is learning about the darkside and stopping those who seek to harm others, I fully understand your fascination and intrigue. If you Google “Dark Psychology” or “iPredator-Cybercriminal Minds”, you’ll quickly find out that you and I were made from the same mold.
I. Do you have an opinion on why some women are drawn to men like this? My opinion on this matter is directly dependent upon the woman’s modus operandi. Without sounding reductionist, if a woman is not engaging in destructive or self-destructive behaviors, is not isolative and truly cares about the inmate she likes, then I do not see it as a problem at all.
II. I am desperate to understand this part of myself, and would appreciate any insight you might be able to offer. Not having any other information about you, other than what you’ve written in your question, it is impossible for me to offer you cogent insight. Only you know what’s going on “in between your ears” and don’t let other people’s narrow judgments lead you to conclude there is something wrong. Yes, convicted felons and the incarcerated have higher rates of APD, psychopathy, alcohol/drug abuse, violence & deception, but not even close to 100%. There are plenty of good hearted men and women who sit in American prisons with good hearts and sound minds. The part you need to assess is whether you are confident or not at picking the good ones.
III. I am wondering what is your opinion of writing to inmates in general? lol…Aren’t inmates humans too Ms. Annie? Me being an awful writer and hating having to write, I would never think twice about sitting down and writing anyone. As stated above, there are plenty inmates who sit behind bars because they “really F’ked up”. In my book, just because someone screws up does not mean they are destined to proverbially burn in hell.
IV. Not with the intent of seeking out a romantic relationship, but as an act of kindness? Your modus operandi could be primarily fueled by acts of kindness, but I have to imagine there are other psychodynamic factors that play a role. And these factors do not have to be psychopathological in nature.
V. They make me feel needed, valued and appreciated. And I make them feel special and cared for as well. So what is the harm? As stated above, there is no harm so as long your purpose is not steeped in masochism and self-hatred.
Good luck Ms. Annie & you are always welcome to contact me directly. And who knows? Maybe your human consciousness is sending you messages encouraging you to consider Criminal Psychology & Profiling as a career.
PS: I did not know about Bernado & his marital plans. I will certainly set up a Google Alert so I can have ongoing information sent to me.