The crocodile’s tears
Lalumière, Martin L.
University of Lethbridge
People are fascinated by criminals, especially clever criminals who have the ability to con others. The most vicious offenders are often the subjects of movies and true-crime books. Canadian Paul Bernardo, for example, kidnapped, raped, killed, and mutilated two teenage girls, was involved in the rape and death of his sister-in-law, and raped dozens of women in the late 1980's and early 1990's. His story has already been written in several books, and a movie about him and his wife was released in the spring of 2006. During his trial he received numerous love letters and marriage proposals from complete strangers. Famous criminals are often the inspiration for great literature. Robert Louis Stevenson, for example, is said to have based his story of Jekyll and Hyde on William Brodie. Brodie was a well-respected Deacon by day and a gambler, womanizer, and burglar by night. Our ready fascination for these offenders demands an explanation, but in this chapter I will focus on discussing a group of men who are often considered to be the worst criminals, psychopaths. I begin by describing the concept of psychopathy and showing how unique psychopaths are. Then I discuss the question of whether psychopathy is a mental disorder, and describe an alternative view of psychopathy.
Lalumière, M. L. (2006). The crocodile’s tears (pp. 115-120). In J. R. Vokey & S. W. Allen (Eds.), Psychological Sketches (7th edition-revised). University of Lethbridge, Alberta.