Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I watched this creepy move on Lifetime Movie Network the other day. "An Officer and a Murderer." It's about a well-respected Army colonel who stalks women, breaks into their homes, ties them up, photographs them and then video tapes himself with them. He makes them wear a blindfold so they don't see him. If they do see him, he kills them. He also takes their underwear with him and wears it under his military uniform.
The crazy thing is that this is based on a true story. When he was finally caught, his friends and neighbors said they couldn't believe it. He was such a "nice guy."
Last week I was hanging around the bargain section at Barnes and Noble and came across a book with an intriguing title: "The Sociopath Next Door." It was written by Martha Stout, a psychologist. In the book, she explains anti-social disorder and gives examples from actual cases (a composite of the people she has actually treated in therapy). The book is fascinating. I was especially intrigued because I have a gradute degree in psychology and have always been interested in human behavior, especially mental disorders.
ANYWAY...because of this book I've been attuned to sociopathy and have noticed it more and more in characters in films. It seems as though many villains are either psychopaths or sociopaths to some degree. As a screenwriter, I think that knowing about these mental disorders will make my characters more realistic. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.