Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crazy People

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.


  1. I completely agree. And the outward normalcy is usually so perfect...for a while. Chilling that someone we could be close to could have the ultimate secret side...they may be our friends NOW, but what about TONIGHT?

  2. I had trouble sleeping last night thinking about this. Taking it to the next level, what's to stop a sociopath from killing someone if there is no sense of morality? No guilt? Then all sociopaths could become murders. I suppose the only deterent would be the possibility of getting caught, thus the sociopath would have to decide if it was worth it to go to all the trouble of committing a murder and getting away with it.

  3. Those lifetime movies are frightening! They always have a woman alone and a maniac going after her. Freaky.

  4. I am currently working my way past something that's been troubling my sleep - and it involves one of these type people. I'm not going to say what it is unless you ask though - because it just might affect your sleep as well. (Or maybe not - I might just be a namby pamby wuss.)