Animals in the afterlife (Your pets love you from the other side)

November 29, 2013

If you fear that you will never see your beloved pet again, then let me assure you that your pet is still with you. Animals go to the other side, and they love nothing more than seeing you. Their spirits are right in front of you, but too many times you just can’t see them. Let your broken heart heal knowing that they are still with you.

Have you felt your dear car curl up on you lap after he passed? Maybe you have heard your dog’s bark or your bird’s chirp after they have crossed over. The truth is that they are still here looking after you. They loved you so much in life, so why would you ever believe that they would leave your side?

Animals can be some of the most pure, loving spirits. They bring us love and companionship when others have left us. They are always so happy to see us and want nothing more than our love in return. If you have loved a dear pet in your life, and you miss that pet, then realize that their love is with you. They look out for you from the other side.

What you might notice is that when you are going through a particularly bad time, you may feel your old pet rubbing against your leg or walking across your keyboard! One woman reported going through a terrible time when her husband died. She also had lost her dear Bessie, her cat. As she grieved for her husband and her furry friend, she experienced something miraculous. One day her grief was too much for her, and she was crying as she sat at her computer. With her hands shaking on the keyboard, she actually felt Bessie walk across her fingers like the cat always did in life! This happened several times and just this act by her beloved Bessie was enough to help the woman stop crying. That is how strong the connection is between loved pet and human.

As you miss your pet, you might even start seeing it. Sometimes if you are particularly sensitive, you may see your animal in your home. If you do, then know it is your pet coming to say hello. They want you to see them so that you won’t hurt so much. They love you.

Other times pets come back to play with their old friends. In one case, two dogs spent their entire lives together. One died, and the other went into a terrible depression. The family could not get her to eat or do anything. She was dying of grief. Then all of a sudden, she got up and ran around playing as if she was with her old dog friend. She ran around in circles, crouching and jumping, just like she always did with her partner. She’d bark at what seemed like nothing. It was then that the family began experiencing activity of their own. Their oldest son saw the dog that had passed away. Others heard his bark. The family then knew their dear dog was still with them and doing everything he could to help his old friend heal from his passing.

It shouldn’t surprise you that your pets are still with you. Love never dies, especially love for animals. And your pets know how you feel about them. They know more than people give them credit for. Have you ever noticed that your pet tries to comfort you when you feel down? They do the same thing from the other side. Their connection with you will not be cut.

If your pet has crossed over, and you feel sad, then take a deep breath and call your pet to you in your mind. I guarantee that your pet will come. You may not be able to see it, but your pet will be at your side or in your lap. They love you that much. Don’t be surprised if when you call them that you begin to see unusual things go on in your home. That will be your pet letting you know that he is there.

Furthermore, in every psychic reading I have done where an animal has come through, the dear pet has ALWAYS said thank you to his human pal for taking care of him. They know what you do for them and are grateful. They will repay your love forever. Let your heart heal by knowing that your pet will always be with you.

For more information please go to: spiritsmile.com

May all who come here have blessings and be joyful!

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Profiling Terrorist Leaders

November 6, 2013

[Excerpt from my book Disturbed: Terrorist Behavioral Profiles (2008)

Profiling works because human beings are creatures of habit. We tend to have a daily routine that we follow. We most likely drive the same way to work every day. We shop at the same grocery stores. We buy the same foods. One can do a quick profile by looking at the person in front of you at the grocery store. How does she put her items on the conveyer belt? Are the cold foods grouped together? Are soup cans organized neatly? Are the items simply tossed on? Those who are organizing things tend to live that way in their everyday lives. In contrast, those who are not paying attention to their items are more likely to be dealing with lots of things a once. One can also look at the state of a person’s car to read him as well. If the car is full of dents and has trash strewn about, that person is likely to be a more reckless individual.

Behavior reflects personality. A man who has one wife is different than the one who feels the need to have several to bolster his ego (i.e. I am successful to be able to have and take care of multiple women). A billionaire who still engages in cut throat business deals in order to get more money is different than a small business owner who lets sick workers take extra days off to get well. Their behaviors reflect who they are in their lives. Their behaviors reflect their personalities.

In the 1970s, the FBI undertook a massive study into the lives and crimes of sexual offenders. FBI agents went into prisons and interviewed 36 convicted sex offenders. Twenty nine were serial killers, and the remainder consisted of one time sex killers. From this research which focused on interviews with the offenders and examinations of their crimes and background, they created the Organized/Disorganized profiling dichotomy. Simply, organized offenders planned their offenses, took precautions not to leave evidence, stalked their victims, were employed, were educated beyond high school, and often had families. Disorganized offenders, on the other hand, were just that: disorganized. They did not plan their crimes. They were disheveled in their appearances. Most were high school drop outs that did not have wives or children (Ressler et al, 1988).

As it concerns terrorists, most tend to fall into the organized side of the dichotomy. By their very nature, terrorist organizations must plan their activities carefully. They must stalk, practice, study their victims, raise money, train recruits and carry out extensive and debilitating attacks. For this reason, they must be well kept in appearance. They cannot risk standing out or raising suspicion. Many of them have families and graduated high school. Followers are more likely to be high school drop outs, but one will find very well educated individuals at all levels of the organization. Like serial killers, they tend to have psychopathic tendencies. They have no compassion or sympathy for the suffering of their victims. They objectify the enemy, making human beings into things. Success is seen in terms of how many bodies pile up because large casualties are likely to bring change. And there is no remorse. Furthermore, much like the organized serial killer, the terror leader is a very charming talker who has an ability to electrify an audience.

When looking at those who rise to leadership positions in terror organizations, one sees that they are naturally charismatic. People are drawn to them. After interviewing Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev, writer Richard Beeston stated “it was easy to be charmed by the man who is suspected of masterminding this week’s bloody hostage siege,” (2004). Those who met al-Zarqawi in prison said he was regal and drew people to him. Prisoners would call Allahu Akbar when they saw him, their ‘prince.’ A fellow inmate stated “He had an uncanny ability to control, almost hypnotize; he could order his followers to do things just by moving his eyes,” (Weaver, 2006).

Leaders can be soft spoken in private life, but they light up in front of a group. Their passion is their belief system, and it shows when they speak. As children, the future leaders think they have a call go greatness. There is something about them that is special, and even family may fawn over them with such statements. This is a sign of megalomania, where self perceived superiority is ingrained. As such, they search out others who have been ‘special’ or great. Accordingly, they spend a lot of time alone and are drawn to revolutionary figures who they try to emulate. Timothy McVeigh was interested in Hitler as was Aum Shinrikyo’s Shoko Asahara. Vellupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Tamil LTTE, was known to be enthralled with Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Shubhash Chandra Bose, and Bhagat Singh (Lawson, 2000). Bose and Singh were revolutionary figures and Indian leaders who engaged in violence against Britain for independence.

Successful revolutionary figures have such dramatic impacts that there are those who will always want to be just like them. Islamic terrorists are drawn to Sayyid Qutb. So they read everything they can find about their preferred hero. Books. Magazines. Manuals. When you add in a radical friend or relative, this reinforces a revolutionary influence.

Because they spend so much time alone, they enjoy intricate fantasy lives. Though they usually come from larger families, they are aloof from brothers and sisters. They choose solitude over socializing, and this is something that seems to work for them within the family unit. Since they come from very traditional and conservative families (almost militaristic), being a quiet, withdrawn, and cooperative child pays off. They learn to have a controlled anger because if they show emotion, they are either punished or do not get their way. Vellupillai Prabhakaran was described as “shy” and “bookish.” Al-Zawahiri was said to be quiet and conscientious. Bin Laden and Shamil Basayev were described as being soft spoken. Martin McGuinness of the IRA is described as being calm, straight forward, and even toned in his responses.

These are very observant individuals who learn to watch human behavior. They tend to carry this reserved nature into adulthood and it becomes more pronounced as they become more serious about their causes. Those who knew Timothy McVeigh said those around him questioned why he was not a ‘partier.’ He kept to himself, especially as he got older (Stickney, 1996). Imad Mugniyah was very in control of himself and during a heated argument among fellow terrorists, he actually laid down on a couch and went to sleep. Martin McGuinness does not drink, smoke, or engage in unprincipled social behavior. The leaders are driven to reach their goals, and being distracted by drinking, doing drugs, or having parties is just not in the plan. It would take away from what they have spent their lives trying to achieve.

It is also important that leaders live ‘pure’ lives so that they do not put the group at risk. If they were to drink or carouse with women, this could lead to information being leaked and jeopardize follower support. While in prison al-Zarqawi physically covered the televisions sets so other prisoners could not see uncovered women (Weaver, 2006).

Leaders must keep plans and organizational structure closely guarded. To be effectively guarded, one must be in control. Better to stay sober and lead by example than to be careless and risk one’s life work. If a leader has a past which could jade the group, members work hard to hide it and portray the leader as pious. The Tamil Tigers LTTE had a female leader who followed this pattern. Lieutenant Colonel Selvy was a female college student at Jaffina University when she joined the LTTE. She was adamant that those around her follow the rules of the Tamil Tigers. In fact she was feared for her fervent commitment to the cause. Like other leaders, she was known to weave stories and speak of ancient Tamil traditions along with war legends to inspire fighters (Tamil Guardian, 2008). Even men listened to her because she was so passionate and dedicated to the LTTE cause.

Those close to terror leaders will say that they are true to the cause, and if their word is given, they will honor it. There is an old saying that there is no honor among thieves, but this is not so true within terror organizations. One of the things that make these groups so effective is that there is a trust among high level, lifelong members. There has to be. Thus, when the leader gives his word, it is his bond. He wants to keep his promises in order to show followers and other members that he can do what the group needs done. If it involves the group’s success, he will keep his word.

But just because the high level leaders seem quiet and often unassuming does not mean that they are not filled with rage and very familiar with death and pain. There is usually some form of domestic violence within the families when they are growing up, and those who rise to terror leader positions are adept at avoiding the danger. They are silent when it is beneficial, and when they speak, their words become powerful. In essence, they study violence at home and in their communities and through ‘reading’ people, they become skilled at avoiding abuse/violence by hiding and/or using words. This theme is prevalent throughout their lives.

It appears as if the family unit from which they come is strained. The parents tend to be unequal in the marriage, and the males wield more control. Males are treated better than females, and this makes them feel as if they are entitled. They can believe that they are unique and therefore meant to do something big with their lives. But boys will not completely escape familial abuse. In fact, many times, when the adult males are away, the female head of house can take out her anger on her sons. If they are unable to run or verbalize their way out of the abuse, this becomes terribly traumatizing for them. It produces an unshakable hatred for women due to the fact that the boys have been taught that they are superior to females. If a female is abusing him, what does that say about him? This is particularly true in Islamic cultures.

Table 13 : Terrorist Leaders Ingredients

Rage

+ Speaking Skills

+ Cunning

= Potential Leader

As they grow, they become better at choosing their words. When younger, they are more apt to speak without thinking, and radical statements come charging out. But with age comes wisdom, and they learn that running the mouth is not always the best course of action. When looking at the families of those who become terror leaders, one often finds a serious illness or accident within the family. The future leader himself may become sick, or he may lose a close relative. What one sees is that the pain produced from this incident is channeled. Whereas followers who suffer a setback in life are more likely to fall apart, the future leaders use it to become strong. Shoko Asahara’s partial blindness drove him to become a skilled manipulator. Ayman al-Zawahiri had such poor eyesight that he could not do much in a battle field except provide medical help. But he overcame this obstacle with his feisty enthusiasm and dedication to his cause (Williams, 2005). Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was paralyzed as a teenager and spent most of his time at mosque learning and inspiring (Levitt, 2006).

Those who dedicate their lives to inflicting violence on an ‘enemy’ most assuredly have been hurt. That drive to ‘get even’ comes from somewhere. It does not just happen.  For the terror leader, everything from child abuse, bullying, and having an illness/injury put him into a vulnerable position. Whatever his personal injury, he is humiliated by it and does not want people to know. It is secret for him.

Having such a strong personality, he does not like having been a victim. In fact, he makes a decision that he never wants to be put into that position again. Anger builds, and at some point, he begins trying to manipulate others to see how it feels. Small animals, other children, and even objects become targets as he tries to release his rage. But he is usually very good at keeping this proclivity quiet as he has learned the value in being invisible to threats (parents, uncles, adults, other children). He masters the art of disappearing when he needs to and capturing attention when necessary.

When they reach this point, future leaders come across a mentor, someone who is radical and well entrenched in the terror group. Very often, this mentor is a relative who has radical tendencies. The mentor is vocal about his beliefs, and often, his ‘eccentricity’ is downplayed by the family. Though many times, those who are related to terror leaders know more than they tell. Most often, the families have to live and work in society, and if they openly state their support for a ‘terrorist’ it puts them at risk. It is much safer to remain quiet or say that such behavior is not condoned. However, there is at least one family member who is supportive of extremist actions. This gives him a sense of being right.

The mentor recognizes the charisma which emanates from the future leader. The child has something special. He is different. He is well read and understands the terror group’s struggle. He asks a lot of questions and is never satisfied with a ‘brush off’ answer. He wants more and is angry about the group’s plight. This anger is transference of the deep seated rage that leaders feel because of low self esteem. Though they appear as if they are in charge and have no self doubts, terror leaders suffer emotionally. Remember that they can believe that they are supposed to do something of note in their lives because they can be spoiled. But if they are not achieving, they feel like failures. They question themselves ad nauseum, but always strive to accomplish more to build their egos. This emotional turmoil helps propel them to be more aggressive and to keep searching for answers. This impresses those who meet him, even when he is young. An apt word to describe the terror leader is driven.

With his background and strict family upbringing, the future terror leader becomes very interested in the Military. He likes the power associated with a force that can bend people to its will. For some, there is an interest in the government military, and future leaders may try to enlist, like Timothy McVeigh. He enlisted for the U.S. Military with the hopes of becoming an Army Ranger. He was a sharp shooter and was considered good at his job. He ended up in the Persian Gulf fighting Iraqis, and his anger and paranoia increased after his tour of duty. (Stickney, 1996). His life was wrapped up in being a soldier, and that was how he saw himself.

This is similar to Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev who came from Dyshne-Vedeno which is a small village in south Chechnya. His family was conservative and had a strong belief in rebellion. In fact, the family named their son Shamil out of respect and honor for Imam Shamil who led Chechen troops in war against Russia. Like other leaders, he had a mentor/hero in his grandfather who was a warrior himself. It was devastating for Shamil to learn that his own family had been deported during WWII like so many Chechens. With his long family history of fighting, he was drawn to law enforcement, and after school, he joined the military of the Soviet Union. He was used as a firefighter and seemingly relished his role (Beeston, 2004).

The Military symbolizes power, and that is what a terror leader craves. Being in a position of having awesome weapons and the ability to decimate is fascinating to such individuals. Future leaders enjoy the chain of command in such an environment. This gives them ideas as to how best to run their own groups and which recruits to pick. Timothy McVeigh met Terry Nichols in the U.S. Military. McVeigh saw a man he could influence and dominate. Very often, terror leaders meet future followers in these settings.

If the future leader does not want or cannot join the government military, he turns to either the preferred terror group, a fringe group, or he may even start his own cell/group.

Being daring is what gets the attention of those in high level positions. Future leaders are self starters who will ‘go it alone’ if necessary. Anyone willing to risk himself for a cause is a force with which to be reckoned. At this point, people take notice and may give them nicknames that describe their persistence or bullish tendencies.

The mentor who has watched this quickly guides the youngster and introduces him to others who are radical. These mentors instigate trouble by feeding the future leader even more inflammatory rhetoric which serves to entrench the child/teen in the group mentality. Remember, this socialization helps, but it is not the best predictor of terror involvement. The individual’s personality has so much more to do with the desire to kill than group think. Stable people generally do not plan or execute mass murder.

Once accepted into the fold, militancy grows. The future leader wants to attend schools to be with others like him. Or he wants to drop out of school to spend time with the group. Either way, he is searching for ways to insulate himself from moderates and other influences. He becomes more intolerant and very traditional. If he is a Muslim, he may give up alcohol or music and become very ritualistic. If he is Tamil, he may begin intense physical training. If he is Christian, he might begin quoting scripture and chastising those who do think the same way he does. If IRA, he may also give up drinking and avoid bars. Whatever the belief system, those who become terror leaders become increasingly strict in their beliefs and behaviors. They will even begin criticizing others of the same belief who are not as ‘loyal’ because they do not follow rules to the letter.

The leader sees himself as the police and is perfectly comfortable sitting in judgment. Because of his adamant militancy and his charismatic ways, others in the group, as well as people who meet him, are drawn to him. As people gather to him, he begins asserting new ideas for the group. Whether it is a new plan of attack, or ways to infiltrate the enemy, he brings something different to the terrorist organization. Because of his personality, people are willing to try his idea, and usually, it works. This serves to solidify his position and raise him even higher. He moves rather quickly up the ranks.

Leaders are never satisfied and could be considered emotional gluttons. Those who feed their egos go up the chain with them. They are very astute at surrounding themselves with those who are ‘taken’ with them. They want to be admired, and as they are increasingly asked for help by more powerful people, their actions become more reckless. Leaders want to prove themselves, and simply making one big splash is not enough for them. After the leader introduces and implements his new ideas, he is constantly looking for other ways to manifest his power. He expects complete submission and loyalty, and his ‘lieutenants” are usually his muscle. Though he is intelligent and careful, he wants protection. Therefore, he will enlist those who have pledged themselves to the cause to guard him. He never wants another leader at his side because such a person would try to usurp him. Instead, he surrounds himself with intelligent but less ambitious group members.

Are You Ghost Friendly?

October 31, 2013

Is there something about you that draws the supernatural to you? Are you the person who always seems to have weird things happen?  Do you experience unusual things no matter where you go? If so, you may be ghost friendly.

All over the world, people experience the paranormal, and all too often, they are laughed at. Lots of people act as beacons to the otherworldly. You may be psychic or you just simply act like a magnet for spirits. If you are ghost friendly, you certainly know it. You will experience one supernatural thing after the other. Seeing apparitions. Having strange things go on in your home. Poltergeist activity. Vivid dreams of people you don’t know. You may even experience ghostly touch. Sometimes that is good, but sometimes it is bad.

When you are at the center of spirit activity, it can cause you a lot of heartache. If you are a medium, talking to the dead can be overwhelming. It drains your energy and can take you over. Being able to communicate with those beyond the veil can be pretty strange. Worse yet, you can be labeled as a kook. All the while, ghost after ghost appears to you with messages and images. This can take its toll on your mind and body, for if you don’t take care of yourself, you can get run down and vulnerable. This is when being ghost friendly turns to ghost ugly. Lack of sleep and stress caused by dealing with spirits can overtake your life and make you miserable. As with anything else in life, you always have to draw boundaries and stick to them. Taking care of yourself is job number one.

For those who aren’t mediums but simply draw ghosts like bees to honey, you are in good company. There are people who just have it. They have that spark that draws spirits right to them. You’ll know if you are one of these ghost friendly people because you will have lived a life with spirit activity around you. You know what is there with you; the trouble is often getting others to believe. It may not be until those around you experience stuff for themselves that they actually understand. Maybe they see or hear something or actually get touched by spirit. Sometimes that touch can be frightening, resulting in scratches. That turns from ghost friendly to ghost scary. In those cases, you often need help in getting the situation straightened out.

But it isn’t all bad. Some who are ghost friendly just accept that they are surrounded by spirits and actually enjoy them. They can come to see the ghost as a family member who happens to live in the house with them. Nothing bad there. People who experience these things usually have some psychic ability themselves. They juggle their bond to the spirit world with the their everyday lives.  They see the two worlds and find happiness in knowing that there is more out there than meets the eye.

Here are some simple questions that can help you determine if you are ghost friendly:

  1. Have you seen more than one ghost?
  2. Have you had weird things happen in your homes?
  3. Have you experienced poltergeist activity?
  4. Have you ever dreamed something that came true?
  5. Did you ever know something about someone else that you shouldn’t have known?
  6. Are you drawn to the paranormal?
  7. Do you think about past lives?
  8. Have you ever felt touch when no one else was there?
  9. Do you see people who have crossed over?

 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you are probably ghost friendly. You are likely to have many paranormal experiences in your life, and really, you have psychic ability. You may not know it, but you do.

Being ghost friendly can be exciting or scary. It depends on what spirits you find and how you look at things. Some people report wonderful experiences, but others have the worst frights of their lives. With time you learn how to deal with these things and accept who you are. Value your skills and feel good about yourself because you have such a special gift.

What you will find is that with time, your abilities grow. And with that growth, you learn more about life and yourself.  Don’t be afraid if you happen to be ghost friendly. If you’ve been keeping a secret about your experiences because you are afraid of how people will see you, then you can feel upset. But that doesn’t have to be that way. More and more professionals like myself are opening up about their experiences with the paranormal. You don’t need to feel like you are weird or that something is wrong with you. You are fine and just act as a ghost detector.

As time goes on, more people report paranormal activity. It looks like there is an increase in ghostly activity worldwide. From the Middle East to China and countries in between, spirits seem to be ready to communicate. All we have to do is listen. Are you listening?

 

Autistic Kids Are Magnets for Ghosts

October 30, 2013

They are special, no doubt about that. They have their own ways of seeing the world and communicating. And though it can be trying at times, having an autistic child can make your heart grow.  These children have so many gifts and can teach us patience. But they have other abilities as well. Autistic children are magnets for spirits. It is like they are an open door that allows the unseen to come in.

If you have one of these special children, you may have noticed that things happen around your house. No, I’m not talking about the normal things in a child filled home. I’m talking about unusual things. Ghostly things.  Things that go bump in the night.

Unseen beings like autistic children. There is no escaping that fact. Because they process information and see the world differently, autistic children are more likely to see spirit activity. They often witness it way before anyone else in the home. They are more sensitive to such things, and they cannot lie. So when they look at the ceiling and react as if someone is talking to them, then you know you are dealing with truth. They really are seeing and hearing something. Naturally, you shouldn’t assume it is a ghost when such a thing happens. You must always consider the possibility of hallucination. Medications or mental illness certainly can have that effect. However, when others see and hear the same things, then you have to consider ghostly origins.

Take Melissa for example. Melissa is a single mom to 12 year old autistic Daniel. From the time he was little, Daniel would look up at the ceiling and react to some invisible being.  As he got older, Daniel would draw pictures of an old man in a cowboy hat and say things like ‘he here.’  He’d point to the picture, then at the ceiling. With time, Melissa became worried about her son’s mental health and took him to a neurologist who found nothing wrong but referred Daniel to a psychiatrist. Though Daniel showed no other signs of psychosis other than seemingly seeing something in the home, the psychiatrist said Daniel was psychotic. This was a real blow, and Melissa was devastated.

Yet, Daniel wasn’t the only family member to see the old cowboy. Even though Melissa hadn’t seen him, her mother had. And Daniel’s nine year old brother had seen and heard the man as well. It wasn’t until a neighbor saw the cowboy that Melissa began to believe there was more at work than a psychosis.

Living in Texas, it wasn’t a stretch that you might see an apparition of a cowboy. And Melissa began asking questions about the area where her family lived. She never did find out if anyone had died on the property, but after asking around, she found  there were other people in the neighborhood who had had strange things happening in their homes too. They talked about things moving on their own. Doors slamming when the windows were closed. Melissa is convinced that her family has contact with the paranormal. She is very angry that her son was labeled as psychotic when he clearly was not.  Since coming to terms with it, the activity has lessened.

Another case involved Billie and her husband Ray. Billie and Ray were at their wit’s end when their autistic daughter claimed to see people who weren’t there. Naturally they were terrified of bringing her to a mental health professional for fear of having their daughter hit with a label.  They took their concerns to their primary doctor who told them that it likely wasn’t schizophrenia and that they should not fear seeing a psychologist. Reluctantly they took Elle to the psychologist. Thankfully, this professional was not the type to jump to conclusions and didn’t find evidence of schizophrenia or psychosis. She did say that Elle was very imaginative and it was likely the product of an overactive imagination. Elle was given a clean bill of health, but the family was confused.  Elle really believed what she saw.

Maybe it was their apartment, they thought. Maybe being there was too noisy. There was constant traffic and construction. Their lease was coming due anyway, so they decided to move. A change of scenery could help, they thought. But it seems that the spirit wanted to hitch a ride along with them.

Elle didn’t let up in her behavior after the move, and neither did the spirit. In fact, now it wasn’t only Elle who experienced the vision of the Asian man. Billie began dreaming of him. Her husband Ray had the feeling of being touched when he was in bed. What was going on? Billie had a friend who knew someone who was psychic. She asked if the psychic could help, and the psychic agreed to do remote viewing of the home. Without telling the woman anything, Billie was shocked when the psychic talked about an Asian man who had been killed in a robbery. She said the man was named Ron and had followed Elle home when he saw her. She said the man meant no harm. He simply wanted to be seen and heard. The psychic told Billie that if she spoke to Ron and told him that he was scaring them that he would go away. Reluctantly, Billie took an afternoon when everyone was out of the home and had a ‘talk’ with Ron. She told him he was scaring them and that they wanted him to leave. Billie reported that she heard a loud bang after she told Ron to leave. Was it the neighbors? She wasn’t sure. However, after her ‘talk,’ the activity in the home decreased. Though Ron didn’t leave, he did tone it down, enough that the family could deal with him being there.

Many, many people with Autistic children seem to experience the paranormal. If you have had this happen, then you should know you are not alone. It is not unusual. But this can add so much stress to an already stressful situation. How can a family cope with strange happenings on top of dealing with a special child? First and foremost, if you have this happening, take a deep breath before doing anything. Don’t jump to conclusions.  If your child seems to be interacting with something that you cannot see, don’t automatically assume that it is paranormal. Always look for a physical or psychological cause for any unusual behavior. Check with doctors and check medicines. Always take care of your child’s physical and mental health.

At the same time, if you have ruled out other options and more than one person in your home is having strange experiences, you may want to consider the possibility that you have ghosts. This doesn’t have to be scary for you because you are in charge of your house. If you have an unwanted guest, tell him to leave. If you invited a friend over and he brought an obnoxious guest, then you would tell the guest to leave. Spirits are no different. If someone is unwelcome, then tell them. You are in control.

Finally, look at it this way. Once you realize that there is a spirit world, you can relax knowing that there is more than this life. This should bring you comfort, not fear. There are so many wonders in this world, and we will never know everything. Spirits are real. There are honest to goodness hauntings. Some may scare you, while others are helpful and comforting. Just know that your child is more special than you even knew! And if you are one of the parents living with a child who is different from others, please understand that you are special too. You must have a wonderful heart to have been given the chance to have a unique child.

Ghosts & Spirits Can Be Beneficial To Your Mental Health

October 26, 2013

 Have you ever heard  things go bump in the night? Perhaps you’ve seen a shadowy figure move across the room when you swear no one else was there. Maybe you moved into a house and had strange things happen from the moment you called it home . Then there is the chance that you have seen a full blown apparition, something that can scare the daylights out of you.

 If you are haunted, then you are not alone. So many people across the globe have had similar experiences.  Every culture has reported some sort of paranormal activity. The trouble is, the spirit world is considered to be a taboo subject in many circles. Therefore, people tend to keep their stories secret out of fear of how they will be treated.

Too often paranormal experiences are dismissed with a rolling of the eyes, especially in academia. Surely you were just imagining things, you are told. It is all in your head. There could be no possibility that what you experienced is real. Maybe you are simply crazy. If you are told this often enough, then you learn to keep silent about your experiences. Who wants to be labeled as a lunatic?

No doubt, there are many situations where the mentally ill believe they have seen ghosts or demons.  I worked many cases as a criminal profiler where schizophrenics committed murder because they believed their victims were demons or demon possessed. Hallucinations and delusions like that do occur. That is a very real concern when dealing with someone who claims to have paranormal experiences. Everything from depression, grief, trauma, and psychosis can be responsible for seemingly paranormal experiences.

However, many perfectly sane individuals have claimed to see spirits and believe in ghosts, and there are cases out there that simply cannot be explained away by grief, mental illness, or mistaken identity.

I have spoken with many parents of murdered children who have vivid dreams of their deceased loved ones just when they needed it. In some cases, the parent was ready to commit suicide and a departed loved one appeared to them to tell them not to do it. Some would argue it is a manifestation of their subconscious acting in self preservation. Yet, those who reported these experiences were profoundly touched by them and often had a complete turnaround in their depressions.

Other cases involve those who visited a medium and received information that only the deceased would know. This confirmed for them that there is life after death. These after death contacts have such an amazing impact, that very often, they not only lead to simple survival, but they acted as catalysts for big life changes. After seeing or hearing from a dead loved one, grieving family often make very positive turns in their lives. They become involved in activities that they never would have prior to being touched by spirit. They volunteer to do good things, such as form support groups and help victims of violent crimes. The spirit experience provided hope and gave them a joy that they had lost.

It would be easy to dismiss these claims as a product of a grieving mind. However, there are just as many cases where there has been no trauma in the life of the person who experienced spirit contact. I have talked to people who moved into new houses and all of a sudden experienced things moving on their own, strange dreams, spirit figures, and whispers that can’t be understood.

One woman I spoke with moved into an old house and kept seeing a little boy running around her living room. She wasn’t the only one who saw him either. Later she found out a little boy had died in that home. This is someone I have known for years that has a level head on her shoulders and is not prone to histrionics. She is a woman who was very practical. Prior to moving in that house, she had never experienced any paranormal activity. She was quite skeptical about such matters. After experiencing it first hand, she found herself drawn to doing volunteer work at a children’s charity where she met a new best friend. This brought a complete happy change in her life.

Another person I interviewed spoke about his experiences with the paranormal.  Phil had been an outright cynic to ghosts and spirits. He flat out never believed in any of it and referred to those who believed as ‘idiots.’  That was until he had his own paranormal contact. His little boy died in a freak accident, and he was sure that his son had ceased to exist.  This of course brought him into the depths of despair. This depression went on for over a year until a coworker at his construction site began talking about the unusual dreams he was having about a little boy. The man said he kept having a dream about a little boy who had been killed on his bicycle. He saw the accident in the dream. Then the boy would get up and say ‘tell him I’m all right.’  The dream repeated night after night, and it got to the point that this man was bothered by it.  He said it gave him ‘the creeps.’ One day Phil heard this man telling his story, and he froze in his tracks.  He asked the man more about the boy in the dream. What did he look like? What was he wearing? The man proceeded to recount the dream in detail and described Phil’s son down to the clothes he was wearing when he was buried.  Phil was stunned to say the least. It was after that when he began examining the afterlife and found happiness again with the thought of his son being close by.  Now you might say that the coworker was just saying these things to make Phil feel better. However, this coworker was new to the job and to the area. He had never seen the boy or even knew about the accident. He didn’t even know the boy’s name, and he certainly didn’t know what clothes he was buried in. No one at the jobsite attended the funeral.

I’ve known police officers who ‘ask’ the murder victim for help in solving a case, and I’ve been told that more than one was then visited in a dream and given information about the crime. There are many in law enforcement that experience the paranormal but are hesitant to come forward due to stigma. Having spirit contact can help police do their jobs. It can be so daunting and jading to work homicide cases. You see the worst in humanity on a daily basis which can grind you down. Getting confirmation of the spirit world can reinvigorate an officer who has had the wind taken out of his sails.

Just going through everyday life can be challenging. Belief in the paranormal can have a positive psychological effect by aiding the grieving process, providing a life coping mechanism and simply giving hope where there was none. It can be a key to living. Knowing that you never really lose the ones you love brings peace. Just the knowledge that we go on after we die is enough for people to make positive changes in their lives.

So yes, there are things that go bump in the night. Sometimes it is a house settling, but other times, it just may be a spirit coming to say ‘hello.’ There is more out there than meets the eye. Perhaps you may wonder if such a thing is possible. Could something like that really be true? You never know, tonight may be the night that you have your first ghostly encounter.

Immigrants Have Lower Crime Rate

February 26, 2013

Your average immigrant is not a threat to you. Whether legal or illegal, the fact is that immigrants commit fewer violent crimes than those born in the U.S. This issue has been lied about and fought over for years, but the reality is that immigrants are less likely to commit violent crime.

Several years ago I did a research project where I examined sex crimes committed by illegal immigrants. It simply examined the characteristics of those who committed such crimes and included a basic estimate of the number of sex crimes committed.  .  It became clear that few actually read the article I wrote.  If they had, they would have noticed the profiling characteristics were broken down the same way I had broken down these characteristics in my previous two books on male and female citizen serial killers.  Prior to research on illegal immigrant sex offenders, I had examined citizen serial killers in my two books: The New Predator: Women Who Kill, Profiles of Female Serial Killers and Vulture: Profiling Sadistic Serial Killers which came out in 2002 and 2005. Creating profiles was something I was famous for and was nothing new for those in the field of criminal profiling.

Sadly, my study of illegal immigrant sex offenders was maligned, misrepresented, and outright lied about. Some called me a racist even though the illegal immigrants in the study came from all around the world and were all colors, shapes, and sizes. The main purpose of my initial research was to create profiles of offenders. As any profiler does, I examined the characteristics of the sex crimes and murders to demonstrate the patterns.

Every society has its sex offenders. This is sadly part of human nature. They are everywhere and their victim counts are high. Many don’t realize that child molesters average over fifty victims prior to being apprehended in the U.S.  Some researchers put this estimate much higher, in the hundreds. The average number of victims in my study of illegal immigrants was four. This is far less than statistics of U.S. perpetrators. The numbers of crimes committed by illegal immigrants in my study were never higher than those committed by native born. This is consistent with much research which shows that foreign born men are less likely to be incarcerated than U.S. born men. Though my article was plainly written, there were people who lied and said that I stated that immigrants had higher rates of sex offenses than native born. This is false. I never said that.

Then there were the bizarre attacks directed me. There seems to be a number of off center individuals who barked that I was a fraud because I study rapists and killers! Their writings were almost incoherent, and I could almost see them foaming at the mouth as they banged on their keyboards in a caveman type way. They didn’t like that these crimes were pointed out, and they were going to attack me any way they could. I was fighting for the victims. They were fighting for the rapists and killers. Enough said.

The reality is that very few people actually read my 2006 report, and even fewer read the follow up about how illegal immigrants are widely used in sex trafficking rings and thrown away after being destroyed. No one was interested in the innocent victims. That was clear.

Congress is finally getting ready to revisit immigration reform, and I didn’t want my work misrepresented again.  There are so many lies and distortions of my work on this subject that I simply cannot keep up with all of it. It may surprise some people to know that I actually support amnesty for those who have not committed violent crimes or felonies because most of these people honestly want to be a positive part of this country. They work hard and want a safe life. They are not here to harm anyone.

Many don’t understand that there are a lot of refugees amongst the illegal immigrant communities. Females and gays have fled from oppressive and violent countries in the hopes of living free in the U.S. They literally are running for their lives.  In some countries, homosexuals are hunted like wild game. If they are caught, they meet a grisly end. This isn’t something that is given much mainstream media coverage, but it is true and scary. If you lived in a country where you were targeted for torture or death, you’d run here too.

Often illegal immigrants are victimized in this country due to their status.  They are victims of prostitution rings, extortion, and a host of other crimes. There are situations where girls are forced to service up to ten men a day as prisoners.  Too many times they fear reporting, and the victimization continues. I don’t believe women deserve to be beaten and prostituted out simply because they came into this country illegally!

Immigrants are not all foaming at the mouth rapists looking to kill. The vast majority want to be here to work and raise families. Their rate of violent crime is less than that of native born. Immigrants are incarcerated at far less of a rate than those born in the U.S. It is a lie that they commit a higher rate of violent crime than citizens.

The innocent immigrants are unfairly lumped in with the predators, and they don’t deserve that. Many reading this would be surprised at how much immigrants are being abused and used.  In my career, I always fought for victims, and they have been woefully ignored. So it is not about politics. It is not about headlines. It is not about lies and distortions. My work was and always will be for victims who have no voice. And in this case, the immigrants who fear for their lives need a voice. Your average immigrant is not the boogeyman. Instead, your average immigrant is just like you. They want to live. They want to work. They want to love. They simply want a chance.

Lesbians in Trouble

February 26, 2013

They are the quiet victims who try to hide what happened.  They know that too often they won’t be believed.  They suffer in silence and just try to forget. Very few people talk about the victimization of lesbians and how that victimization is viewed by society. There is still a very strong prejudice against same sex relationships which manifests in discrimination and sometimes violence.

All victims face an uphill battle when they are sexually assaulted. However, bisexuals and lesbians have even more hurdles. Whether the perpetrator is a stranger or a partner, the barriers that face all rape victims are even more daunting for same sex victims. Because of the bigotry that still exists, there are those who sweep the attacks under the rug. You rarely hear of these attacks in primetime media  because they are not assigned an importance by society, which is a tragedy.

Lesbians who are raped, especially if the attack is committed by a partner, are less likely to report their victimization than almost any other victims. The CDC has found that bisexuals and lesbians have very high sexual victimization numbers. These innocent victims fear how they will be treated by the criminal justice system, the media, and the public.

There is a pervasive worry that they will not be believed, and sometimes there is pressure not to report if the attacker is a partner. Lesbians can be reluctant to report a domestic attack for the same reasons a heterosexual partner may not report an assault. Emotional attachment, fear, and feelings of shame all play a role. But even worse is the idea that they are somehow harming the image of fellow lesbians if they report attacks committed by other females.  There is a terror that bigots will snatch the cases for headlines to demonize gays as evil. What a sad position to be in.

But this is not all of it. Even when they manage to get past the hurdles and take action through law enforcement, social services are set up primarily to help heterosexuals. It is difficult to find services catered to gays which provide understanding and support. Where do they go? Can they trust that they will be treated fairly?

When they ask these questions, they realize they are in deep trouble

When they summon the courage to move forward, there are cases that simply get dropped. Leads are not followed. Cases grow cold. Victims point out that such cases are not pursued simply because the attacks are not viewed as being as serious as other crimes. In short, because they are gay, they face discrimination.

Then, when victims get past initial troubles, they must face juries who may harbor bigoted views. It is hard enough to go before a jury as a victim, but imagine the extra worry that goes along with knowing that hate is directed at same sex couples. What if you had to worry that a jury would not help you simply because of your sexual preference? Some people are so full of hate that they will not accept those who are different from them. This unequal treatment is unacceptable.

So many barriers are in place that the report numbers are quite low. This leads to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness which further the degradation of the sexual assault. Being the victim of a sex crime can be soul crushing. Confidence, comfort, and control are taken away in a moment. It can take a lifetime to rebuild one’s self confidence after such a trauma. Victims question themselves over and over, wondering what they did wrong, even though it is never the victim’s fault.

For lesbians, the pain and humiliation can be so much more complicated.  For many who struggled with coming out only to be attacked by a same sex partner, dealing with the shock and pain can be overwhelming. To have overcome all of the bullying and stigmas attached to being a lesbian and then having to deal with a rape often triggers emotional difficulties such as post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other problems.

In a step toward true equality, we need more social service resources to provide understanding and comfortable environments for gays who have been victimized. This, of course, applies for both male and female victims. Males struggle with the same obstacles and the same hate. The wall of bigotry must be removed.  Progress that has been made is simply the tip of the iceberg.  Long standing attitudes of hate must be rooted out.  We need policies and education so that victims can receive the help they need with the knowledge that they are respected.  Every victim deserves to be treated with dignity, and they must feel comfortable coming forward to report crimes.

 

The Fantasy Life of the Female Multiple Murderer

July 6, 2011

The Fantasy Life Of The Female Multiple Murderer
Copyright Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D. Violent Crimes Institute, Reprint

Abstract

Though there is ample research into the minds of male multiple murderers, researchers know very little about female multiple killers. This study is an examination of the fantasy life of female multiple murderers based on in-depth interviews conducted by this author. This research is an attempt to determine if female multiple killers, like their male counterparts, enjoy violent fantasies which drive their homicidal behavior. Fantasy life and premeditation issues are discussed.

Introduction

In the frightening world of serial and mass murder, there is an ever-increasing spotlight on the female multiple murderer. Whether she blasts her way through a crowded shopping mall on a lazy Sunday or presses a pillow over a helpless victim’s face, it would appear as if the number of female multiple murderers is growing (Holmes & Holmes, 1998). Their numbers have escalated in the last fifty years. For example, three-quarters of documented cases involving female serial killers occurred after 1950. Furthermore, over one-third of the total number of recorded female multiple murderers began killing after 1970 (Hickey, 1997). In the perspective of time, this is a large percentage of offenders in the locus of the late twentieth century.

Strangely, though this phenomenon is increasing, there is a paucity of research concerning the female multiple killer (Cluff et al., 1997). The media that thrives on high multicide body count has essentially forgotten the female (Kelleher, 1998). And even the Federal Bureau of Investigation initially ignored the female multiple murderer. For example, in the early 1980’s when the F.B.I. was doing research into the minds of multiple killers, the agency failed to include females in its studies. In fact, the book which discusses the F.B.I.’s research findings never mentions a female serial or mass murderer (Ressler et al., 1988). However, at the very time the F.B.I. was doing research in 1980, a female serial killer was asphyxiating six victims in a Southern state (author’s files).

With the increasing numbers of female perpetrators and the escalating violence, why have researchers relegated female multicide to a seemingly secondary and unimportant status? The most well known explanation suggests that the female typically uses a different method to kill than the male multiple murderer. That is, women don’t kill in a manly way (Hickey, 1997: 205). The male serial killer is often a sexual predator, and the male mass murderer uses ultra-commando type weapons (Kelleher, 1998; Kelleher; 1997). In this way, it appears as if multicide has been defined in terms of sexuality and weapons.

Unlike their male counterparts, women are more likely to use poison or suffocation to kill their victims (Cluff et al., 1997). Furthermore, females rarely rape or torture when they kill (Holmes & Holmes, 1998). Therefore, many researchers disregard the female multiple murderer because she, to their knowledge, lacks a sexually sadistic motivation (Seagrave, 1992). So it would appear that researchers and the media have been using a primarily sexual dynamic to define serial murder. But this dynamic defies the definition of the words themselves.

The word serial is defined as “forming a series,” (Patterson, 1989). The word murder is defined as “killing a human being with premeditated malice,” (Patterson, 1989). Therefore, the literal meaning of ‘serial murder’ is a series of killings (of human beings) with premeditated malice. Even though the method of murder seems to be a point of contention, the literal meaning of the words exclude this dynamic. Within the true definition of the words, females should have been examined side by side with their male counterparts from the beginning.

A second reason that females have been ignored centers on societal expectations. In summary, females are typically viewed as being non-violent (Kelleher, 1998). Thus it is difficult for many to accept the thought that females could commit serial acts of murder (Holmes et. al., 1991). Additionally, most females who commit murder do so within the confines of a domestic dispute (Hickey, 1997). That is, females typically kill those they know (Jurik & Winn, (1990). Add gender role expectation with statistical resources which point to female homicide in domestic situations, and it is not too surprising that many researchers have failed to recognize the female multiple murderer.

What little research has been done relies heavily on secondary sources of information, such as legal records and newspaper accounts. These efforts have been important and have provided an insight into how the female kills her victims and what types of victims she seeks (Keeney & Heide, 1994). Specifically, prior research has discovered that female serial killers tend to kill with poisons and asphyxia, are geographically stable, have menial jobs, and they always choose victims who are weak and defenseless (Kelleher, 1998). Furthermore, body disposal is not a problem for the female serial killer because authorities are usually unaware that a homicide has taken place. Using poisons and asphyxiating the helpless makes murder virtually undetectable (Cluff et al., 1997).

Though this prior research has provided valuable information regarding female killers, it does not provide an insight into the female multiple killers’ mind. Specifically, research into the minds of male multiple murderers has brought forth a plethora of information concerning the thoughts involved in repetitive homicide. It is known that males enjoy a rich and violent fantasy life that drives their horrific behavior (Ressler et. al., 1988). However, it has not been determined whether the female multiple murderess enjoys the same thought processes.

Does the female multiple murderess fantasize about hurting people? Does a fantasy life drive her murderous behavior? Discovering what lies within the female’s devious mind can aid those who work with children, police, parents of murdered children, and researchers alike. This research addresses these questions, and the hope is that an understanding of female multiple murderers’ fantasies will serve as a springboard for further research into this most least understood killer. This research is an attempt to create a snapshot of the workings within the minds of female multicide.

Prior Research

The concept of fantasy is well-known as it pertains to male serial killers. Fantasy is said to be “an elaborate thought with great preoccupation, anchored in emotion and having origins in daydreams” (Ressler et al., 1988). As they pertain to sexual predators, researchers are most concerned with fantasies that are interoceptive, intrusive and reiterative (Burgess et al., 1991: 242). That is, researchers must focus on those fantasies that are developed within the individual, persist, and finally reoccur within this person’s life to the point of distraction.

Within the realm of serial killers, it has been established that male offenders enjoy a rich and perverse fantasy life (Hazelwood & Douglas, 1980; Holmes & Holmes, 1998; Prentky et al., 1989; Ressler et. al., 1988). Violence and domination involving a helpless victim rule these fantasies, for in their fantasy worlds, the male serial killers are all-powerful creatures. The killer fantasizes about humiliating and dominating a victim because he feels powerless within his real life. In this fantasy world, they are powerful beings who dominate everyone, and this quells reality which is far too harsh for these narcissistic-like beings to accept. The fantasy serves as an escape from the powerlessness, which either in his mind or in reality, plagues the killer (Ressler et al., 1988: 71). In other words, the serial killer has such a low self-concept that he dreams of hurting and torturing another human, so he can feel better (Hickey, 1997).

Furthermore, these fantasies are incredibly vivid to the offender. Research has shown that the more vivid the fantasy, the more heightened the sexual response to the individual (Smither & Over, 1987). As time passes, the serial killer creates more vivid and more grotesque fantasies that become more and more like a narcotic. The tolerance increases thereby allowing the offender to create ever-more heinous acts within his mind (Holmes & Holmes, 1998). Thus it logically follows that the serial murderer will fantasize with graphic details to heighten his sexual stimulation.

This fantasy life of male multiple murderers develops in early childhood and can encompass a killer’s life (Hazelwood, R. and Douglas, J., 1980; Prentky et al., 1989: 890; Ressler et al., 1988: 35; Reinhardt, J.J., 1957; Schlesinger & Revictch, 1980). It is through this fantasy world that the serial killer incorporates and accepts his views about sexuality. At puberty, the serial killer becomes “entrenched” in a fantasy life in which sex is twisted until within the fantasy, there is no possibility that he could ever be rejected. The one way to ensure no rejection is to kill in the fantasy (Sears, 1991: 123).

In other words, male serial killers fantasize repeatedly about hurting others in order to reduce their high tension levels. When they do so, they feel more isolated with the knowledge that what they are feeling and thinking is so different and unacceptable to society. And so, the male serial killer becomes more entrenched in his fantasy life because he is more comfortable within that setting. He can control it. He owns it. And therefore, he is god-like.

Within the mind of the female who kills one time, a rich fantasy life has been established as well. Specifically, the female who kills her child or her husband in a one-time act of violence is often an isolated individual who is left with ‘bottled emotions.’ These internalized emotions then emerge in the forms of elaborate and violent fantasies (Pearson, 1946:10). Women who kill one time typically find themselves lonely and frustrated, so in order to compensate for the feelings of emptiness and withdraw, they begin to objectify their future victim by creating visions of destruction in their minds. In other words, the women fantasize about murdering their victim. These fantasies begin with different types of homicide and progress through post-murder actions. Typically, these fantasies only begin after the female has entered adulthood (Pearson, 1946:42).

So it has been established that male multiple murderers and females who kill one time both have a fantasy life that entails acts of domination and murder. Thus, it would follow that female multiple murderers enjoy the same types of violent fantasies, but such thought patterns had not been studied. Therefore researchers have been left to speculate as to whether the female multiple killer fantasizes about killing.

Objectives Of The Study

Seven females convicted of multiple murder were interviewed by this author for a study which examined homicide type as well as background behavior and thought patterns associated with multiple murder. The subjects consisted of 4 serial killers and 3 mass murderers who were located in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio. Serial murder as defined for this study is the killing of two or more individuals over a period of greater than thirty days. Mass murder is defined as the killing of 5 or more individuals in one process. That is, mass murder involves killing where there is no emotional ‘cooling off’ period between homicides. Together, these 7 women were responsible for 41 documented homicides. However, during the interviews, these murderers admitted to killing 67 victims. Thus, the impact of violence from these female predators is substantial.

Prison records, police records, trial transcripts, and other secondary sources were consulted prior to each interview. Each crime was examined for elements of planning or rehearsal which would indicate prior thought. Signs of planning included attempts to hide identity, elaborate body disposal, and preordained alibis. Single variable procedures were used to determine the significance of actions and thought patterns within this group of murderers.

Results

The interviews supported the a priori hypothesis that suggested an all-encompassing fantasy life beginning in early childhood. Of the seven women interviewed, all admitted to a high level of introversion which led to an intrusive and reiterative thought pattern culminating in murder. These violent fantasies begin in early adolescence and become all-consuming to the female offender who reacts to the grotesque cognitions by erecting barriers to the outside world. In other words, the female multiple murderer retreats into an elaborate fantasy life which is maintained by infrequent interactions with other human beings.

As she becomes more entrenched into a rich and violent fantasy life, the female multiple murderer reports increased stress levels brought about by her realization that her thought patterns are divergent from mainstream thought. In response, the female multiple killer becomes ever-more isolated. As such, a tornado effect erupts. The female multiple murderer fantasizes about killing, and when she has contact with others, she realizes that her thought pattern is unique. So, in order to avoid the feelings of dissonance created by human interaction, she isolates herself and begins retreating further into her own mind.

As the female multiple murderer becomes more secluded, a unique change begins to take place. At first, her violent fantasies simply involve the act of murder. One woman reported fantasies involving killing with a gun, while five others stated that their fantasies entailed some form of asphyxia (suffocation or strangulation). Lastly, one woman abstained from this question.

Furthermore, the initial fantasy life of the female murderers is not directed at specific individuals. Six subjects stated that initially, their mental violence was directed at nameless bodies. Any person would be acceptable in the role of murder victim. Thus, the initial fantasies are directed at the elderly, men, women, and children. It was only after a period of several months that these women reported fixating their violent cognitions on a specific individual, usually someone they knew. Eerily, all but one of the subjects noted increasing violence within their fantasies.

The same six females reported that as they got closer to committing homicide, they experienced more intense and specific fantasies involving pre-crime, crime, and post-crime behaviors. Immediately prior to committing murder, the female multiple murderess experiences elaborate and obsessively detailed cognitions that invade every facet of her life. She becomes consumed with murderous intent and begins planning how she can kill without being detected. Every detail is thought out in her mind and incorporated into her fantasy. Once her cognitions become rote, she begins to prepare for murder.

Of the seven women interviewed, five admitted to reading materials to educate themselves about murder and forensic pathology. These five women reported going to their local libraries and reading books about poisons, autopsy procedures and police procedures. The admitted purpose was to learn how to kill without being detected. Simply, these women altered their fantasies to incorporate forensic knowledge into their fantasy lives. For instance, one serial killer who strangled one victim admitted to changing her murder method to suffocation upon learning that strangling leaves marks on the neck.

It is after the female multiple murderess begins educating herself that her murders begin. She is confident in her new-found expertise that she has infused into her mind. Since she has rehearsed this thought-pattern repeatedly and educated herself, she feels self-assured about her ability to carry out the violent acts which consume her mind. For the first time, she believes that she can do something that very few people can do, and she believes that she will be successful in eluding detection. Once she has attained this confidence, she chooses a victim who is close and defenseless, and she acts out her fantasy in precise detail.

Of the seven women involved in this research, two killed by using poison, two killed by asphyxiating their victims, one shot her victims, while the seventh stabbed her victims. Of the six women who admitted to a violent fantasy life, all used the murder method about which they had fantasized. For instance, the female mass murderer who enjoyed sadistic sex involving knives used a knife to stab her victims to death. Similarly, the female serial killer who fantasized about asphyxiating her victims actually smothered and strangled her six victims. The fantasy life did drive how these women committed their crimes.

For a brief time following the homicides, the females reported feelings of elation. They felt successful at making their dreams into reality, and six of the seven females stated that they felt all-powerful while committing the murders. However, this euphoria quickly dissipates leaving the female to feel lonely and isolated once more. And the violent fantasies continue in her mind and become ever-more incessant. She is faced with the prospect of getting caught for her action, yet she feels no remorse for her crime. Furthermore, she turns inward to seclude herself from the outside world, and the pattern of violence slowly establishes itself. Thus, the tornado begins again, and the path to murder becomes firmly entrenched.

Conclusions

In summary, the female multiple murderer begins experiencing violent fantasies in early adolescence. These fantasies are obtrusive and uncontrollable, and they interfere with the female’s daily functioning as she isolates herself in order to retreat to her mental comfort zone. With her unrealistic fantasy life, the female multiple murderer is more comfortable in her mind than with other people.

Her thoughts are violent, and the feelings of dissonance force her into a mental retreat. She erects mental barriers to keep those around her at a distance thus insulating herself from outside interference. Yet unlike her male counterpart, the female multiple murderess does not simply chose one victim-type in her initial fantasies. She is indiscriminate in her terror, killing children, adults, males, and females. In her fantasies, she kills whoever she desires. It is only after a period of several months that her fantasies begin to fixate on a certain person.

Method within the fantasy differs from woman to woman as some prefer guns, while the majority focused on using a hands-on murder method. Within their violent thoughts, the preferred technique to kill involved strangling a helpless victim, and initially, this helpless victim is not someone she knows. From their inception, her violent fantasies involve killing faceless bodies. It is only after several years of murderous mind-candy that the female multiple killer begins to incorporate specific individuals into her fantasy. But these individuals are not typically those who are causing the female stress. Instead she chooses to fantasize about killing a person who she can control.

But in order to truly act without getting caught, the female realizes that she must educate herself. She then acts to make her fantasy into reality by reading and making attempts to educate herself on police procedure, poisoning, and autopsy protocol. These efforts are aimed at eluding detection. And it does not take long for the female to move from education to annihilation as she uses her knowledge to plan and execute what she believes will be a perfect murder.

As she gains knowledge, she incorporates it into her fantasy world. In other words, she uses what she learned to plan a murder that minimizes her chances of being caught. And it is shortly thereafter that she actually kills. Though the murder brings initial happiness, the fantasies are strong and move the female serial killers forward into the cycle of violence once more, and their pattern of murder becomes established. For the mass murderer, the fantasies remain, but she is unable to act because she has likely been apprehended.

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Why Females Get Away With Murder

July 5, 2011

Why Females Get Away with Murder
Copyright Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.
President, Violent Crimes Institute

Everyone looks stunned when a female gets away with murder. It happens repeatedly, particularly in serial cases. I am a criminal profiler who is the expert on female serial killers. I am the only person to interview a large group of female serial killers, and I created their behavioral profiles. I am often approached in high profile cases involving female perpetrators because I have worked hundreds of cases for police around the U.S.

Though women have made great strides in breaking down barriers, to this day, there is a reluctance to believe that females can be dangerous. This is a grave mistake. Female killers can actually be more lethal than their male counterparts because they use covert murder methods. That is, often, there is little to no evidence that a homicide has been committed. Women purposely select victims who are helpless or disabled because they are easy to kill. Females would have more difficulty overpowering a capable victim, so they choose children, the sick, or the elderly. Then, they use asphyxiation or poisoning because it is more difficult to detect in such victims. Many times, there are no autopsies in these cases because no one knows a murder took place.

Personality wise, it is common for female killers to be vain and use their appearances to trick people into believing that they could not commit murder. They are often seductive and practiced liars. Using this combination, they manipulate people, especially those who are less intelligent. They enjoy fooling others. It is fun for them. In my interviews with female serial killers, they told me they made fun of those who they manipulated. It is all a big game to them.

With the lack of forensic evidence and the covert murder methods, dangerous women find that they can easily get away with killing. They cry fake tears and will turn on anyone who gets in their way. No one is safe around them because they are psychopaths.

Finally, female killers have an ace up their sleeves. Unlike many of their male counterparts, women who kill keep their mouths shut. They do not confess. They are so confident they can fool everyone, so they will not talk about their crimes. They figure, if they do not confess, there will be some people who will look at their crocodile tears and feminine appearance and refuse to accept that the women could be violent.

It is a sad fact, but even today, a clever female can get away with murder. Society needs to wake up and take a close look at cases involving female offenders. I have seen several female serial killers who are able to continue killing for years because no one believes that a pretty female could be a cold hearted killer. Until this changes, victims will die and the wicked will go free.

Dr. Schurman-Kauflin is a world renowned criminal profiler who has trained thousands of detectives and FBI agents, worked hundreds of cases for police, written 3 books, and interviewed 25 serial killers. You can find the Doc at http://www.drdsk.com

Sex Attacks Against Gays Underreported

June 29, 2011

Sex Attacks Against Gays Underreported
Copyright 2011 Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., President
Violent Crimes Institute, LLC
Release June 29, 2011

Despite the gay and lesbian community making inroads into the mainstream, homophobia seems to be increasing, not decreasing. It appears as there is more backlash as gays and lesbians make strides in breaking down barriers. This bigotry is well entrenched and makes it easier for predators to prey upon gay victims. Offenders know that there will be many who believe that attacking homosexuals is fine. They also know that the victims often fear reporting the crimes. Thus, sex attacks against the gay community are some of the most underreported of all crimes, and of all reported crimes, gays suffer more violent hate crimes than any other minority (SPLC, 2010).

Even when victims are brave enough to come forward, they are victimized a second time by the criminal justice system. They have to relive their attacks in courtrooms . They fear unsympathetic jurors. Then, even after getting through all of that, justice often falls flat. In 2009, Robert Hanna pled guilty to MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT for killing Tony Randolph Hunter. Hunter was on his way to a gay club when Hanna beat him. Hanna used the ‘gay panic’ defense, claiming Hunter touched his crotch and buttocks. However, another victim in the attack stated that Hunter did not make sexual advances to Hanna. (Geen, 2009).

Jorge Steven Mercado was murdered, and like in the Hunter case, the perpetrator used the ‘gay panic’ defense. Twenty six year old Juan Martinez Matos went out to get a prostitute and found Mercado. He claimed he did not know Mercado was a man until they returned to Matos’s apartment. Matos killed Mercado, cut off his head, dismembered him, then burned his body. When this was discovered, the lead detective stated “Someone like that, who does those kind of things, and goes out in public, knows full well that this might happen to him,” (Ellen, 2009).

Two lesbians were attacked in an Oshawa school park in front of children by a man who hit and spit at them. He kept referring to them as “fucking dykes.” Their child saw the attack and had to go to therapy. The perpetrator received a four month sentence (Mitchell, 2011).

In 2010, nine men were accused of torturing and sodomizing three gay men, two of whom were teens. One victim was sodomized with a plunger and beaten with chains (Wilson & Baker, 2010). We can only hope that the justice system will react appropriately in this atrocious crime.

As a criminal and behavioral profiler, I noticed that I was seeing an increase in the number of sexual attacks against gay and lesbian victims. I was curious if the numbers were indeed going up. If one examines the FBI statistics, it is clear that hate crimes involving homosexual victims is escalating. Couple that with an intense anti-gay sentiment, and it is almost as if it has become open season on such victims. Many gays have warned that they continue to be bullied and harassed. Verbal taunts are haunting, and there is always the threat of physical violence. The cruelty is so hurtful that 5 teenagers who had been harassed or ‘outed’ as being gay went to the extreme of committing suicide. This happened in the span of a few weeks in the fall of 2010 (Hubbard, 2010). Other resources cite that 9 teens committed suicide in that timeframe. Even Canada had gay teens committing suicide in September 2010 (Xtra!, 2010). There is such a demeaning tone used against the gay and lesbian community worldwide, that it is dehumanizing. Homosexuals are turned into objects that can be bullied, raped, beaten, or even killed. As the gay and lesbian community achieves acceptance, those who harbor anti-gay sentiments escalate negative rhetoric. The bottom line is that there is a pattern showing the increase of violence against homosexuals. This must be addressed.

Just within the last few years, sexual assaults and rapes against lesbians have increased. It used to be that 1 out of every 4 lesbians had been the victim of rape and/or sexual assault. Today that number has grown to 1 out of every 3 lesbians. The numbers for male victims may actually be higher because males are even less likely to report an attack. In general, very few male rape victims will report an offense. They mistakenly believe that it makes them look weak or that they should be ashamed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I undertook a project whereby I interviewed a group of gays and lesbians who had been sexually victimized. This research took place in Phoenix Arizona and St. Petersburg, Florida. Requests for participants interested in discussing living as a gay or lesbian were distributed via fliers. It was a convenience sample. In the initial request, participants were not told that the research would examine sex crimes. The flier asked for gay and lesbian volunteers to discuss their relationships and obstacles in their lives.
The first one hundred respondents were included. Fifty came from each state. Initial contact was made by phone. Respondents were asked basic information about gender, ethnicity, age, income level, and residence. They were asked about sexual satisfaction, love relationships, and jobs. Then, participants were questioned as to whether they had experienced any sexual assault, rape, or molestation in their lives. Those who answered negatively had completed their part. Those who responded positively were asked to continue. The interviews ranged in length from 45 minutes to 2 hours each.

The group included 50 lesbians and 50 gay men. The average age in the sample was 25.3. The median age was 27. Ethnicity included 69% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, 8% Asian, 4% African American, and 2% Other .

Of the 100 respondents, 63 indicated that they had suffered some type of molestation, rape, or sexual assault. This subset included an average age of 29.4, with a median age of 23.

This broke down to 28 lesbians and 35 gay men.

1. Molestation:
All 63 stated that they had been sexually molested before age 14. Of those, almost all had been molested repeatedly (86%). The molesters included males and females of all ages. In the sample, 82% had been molested by an older male, while 18% had been molested by a female. One was victimized by both a male and a female. Almost exclusively, the males were molested by other males. However, one male was molested by an older female relative when he was 7 years old. The average age at which molestation began was 5 years old. Most indicate that they were not beaten during these sex crimes. However, they were threatened to keep quiet. They felt shame and were bullied. All victims knew their molesters prior to the assaults. Frequently, the offenders gained access to the victims by obtaining the position of caregiver (babysitter). Plus, many times, the perpetrators were family members.

2. Rape
Of the 63 respondents, 32 had suffered rape. In 60% of the cases, the victims knew their attackers. The attacks included oral, vaginal, or anal penetration. Women were victimized by other women 22% of the time, and in those attacks, the offenders were almost always their partners. Such cases were extremely sad as the women were loathe to report. They felt they would not be believed or receive help. Furthermore, there was a concern that it would taint the perception of lesbians if they did go to police. Thus, they suffered in silence. In cases where they were raped by men, they still knew their attackers over half of the time. Most were casual acquaintances. The women never reported these rapes either. Trauma, fear of stigma, and concern about the legal process kept the women from reporting. The only times women reported was when a rape was committed by a stranger.

Male victims were even less likely to report a rape than a female. Seven men in the sample stated that they had been raped. Most rapes occurred indoors in situations where the victims had been lured. Some met their attackers after meeting online, while 2 others were raped after meeting the perpetrators at a party. Two of the men were drugged and then assaulted. One victim was raped by two men. He was jumped outdoors and did not know his assailants. His attack was described as brutal. The offenders beat him, sodomized him, and twisted his testicles. The victim stated that he never had felt such pain in his life, but he wanted me to know that the emotional toll was the worst. He said that friends encouraged him NOT to report the crime. They said it would look bad for the gay community. In fact, only one victim reported his rape, and he said the investigation went nowhere. When I asked the others why they did not report the crimes, they replied:

“No one would believe me.”

“They (police) wouldn’t care.”

Clearly there is a disconnect between gay and lesbian victims and the Justice system. This leads me to believe that as others have suggested, sex crimes against gays and lesbians are woefully underreported. We need more research and education programs which help the gay lesbian community. Law enforcement needs to be aware of the difficulties such victims face when they are attacked. Anti-gay attitudes have had an impact in victim wiliness to report crimes. So it makes it easier for predators to prey on these types of victims. This must change or we will have more violence and silent suffering victims.

It is important to note that the group was non-random. The sampling method could have affected the results, but it may be that respondents felt more comfortable reporting attacks anonymously. Victimization numbers and characteristics were astounding and should not be ignored. This is an area that is underserved, and this must change. All victims deserve respect and help.

References:
Ellen, Rose (2009). “Hate Crime: Gay Puerto Rican Teen George Steven Lopez Mercado Brutally killed,” Associated Content, Yahoo, November 16, 2009, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2397832/hate_crime_gay_puerto_rican_teen_george.html

Geen, Jessica (2009). “DC Man Sentenced to 180 Days For Beating That Led to Gay man’s Death,” Pink News, Oct. 15, 2009, http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/10/15/dc-man-sentenced-to-180-days-for-beating-that-led-to-gay-mans-death/: UK.

Hubbard, Jeremy (2010). “Fifth Gay Teen Suicide in Three Weeks Sparks Debate,” ABC News/U.S., Oct. 3,2010: http://abcnews.go.com/US/gay-teen-suicide-sparks-debate/story?id=11788128: New York.

Mitchell, Jeff (2011). “Man Gets Four Months for Schoolyard Assault on Oshawa Women,” May 31, 2011, http://www.durhamregion.com/news/oshawa/article/178341: Canada.

Rose, Ellen (2009) “Hate Crime: Gay Puerto Rican Teen George Steven Lopez Mercado Brutally killed,” Associated Content, Yahoo, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2397832/hate_crime_gay_puerto_rican_teen_george.html?cat=17: CA.

Southern Poverty Law Center, (2010). SPLC’s Intelligence Report: Gays Targeted for Hate Crimes Far More Than Any Other Minority in America, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splcs-intelligence-report-gays-targeted-for-hate-crimes

Wilson, Michael & Baker, Al (2010). “Lured Into A Trap, Then Tortured For Being Gay,” New York Times, October 8, 2010: New York. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09bias.html

Xtra!: Canada’s Gay & Lesbian News, (2010). “Two Lesbian Youth Found Dead in Orangeville,” Monday October 4, 2010, Latest News Roundup, http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/10/04/Two-lesbian-youth-found-dead-in-Orangeville.aspx: Candada.