Psychopathy and the Cinema: Fact or Fiction?

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J l"orcnsit Sr.i, January 2014, Vol.
59, No.
PAPER
Pctcrson
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Aviu lrìlrlc onl
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I I l/1556_4029. I2359
lrl : otrl irrclibt.ary.rvi lcy.conr
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PSYCHIATRY: BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
¿\. ct il|.
tlrc po.¡tX)5: | 53.
Stttntrcl
N¿rrl M,
J. Leisteclt,t M.D., Ph.D.; uncl Pcul Linkowski,t M.D., Ph.D.
tyritle to
,l
kctone
For.cltsic
Psychopathy and the Cinema: Fact or Fiction?
bclrreg¡
;. Frlrcn_
causc of
39.
tatio¡ i¡
yl¿rtc in
liocheln
nrultr T,
rliahcric
eg Med
rl
rlcnic f¿rcilitics. as "teaching Movies."
nìi tìilnt
KBYWORDS:
:h¿ulges.
I
st¿r'vil-
'xybUly-
.ion irntl
butyrittc
lotensic science. lìr¡ensic psychiatry, cincnla, ¡rsychopathy, cclucation in lì¡rensic ¡rsychiatry, art
Irilnl is particularly well suitecl to clepicting psychological
and rnental illness. Its influencc on thc public's pcrceptiorr
ol' mental illness is espccially notable because rnany people are
poorly informecl about rnental clisordcrs. Thc cornbination ol'
inrages, clialog, souncl cffects, ancl music in a l'ilm mimics our
strcanr of consciousness. Finally, psychology ancl psychopatholosy have a long ancl cleep history in cinema (l-4).
Oul principal intercst is the portr¿ryal ol'fìctional psychopatlrs
in Iìlnrs. Rathel than assessing theil commerci¿rl success rlr
"cslhetic effìciency" ancl appcal, wc ¿rsscss the degree to which
st¿ttes
thcir pot'tt'ayal was realistic fronr the clinical and psych<-r¡rathoIogical viewpoint <l1' psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and
rrental health plofèssionals. The authors pl'oposc an in-dcpth
lrtal¡,¡;l¡; ancl dcscription of fictional ¡rsychopaths over tirne. Furtltcrmore, by focusing on psycho¡tathy in thcsc fictional characlcls, we are ablc to cliscuss the portrayal of' nrental illness in
cinerna ancl propose a fìctional psychopathic character nosogra¡rhy fìrr
film histoly.
l\,Icthod
,\utrtple: Filut Daruhuse.y
The author usecl the filllowing intcrnational databases ancl
filrl
\()r,uccs: The American Film lnstitute (AFl), Acaclenry Awarrls,
;\rchive.org, Base cle Donnócs Flançaiscs clu Cinéma sur Internet
(BDFCI), British Film Institute (BFI), Cincbascintcrnational,
(linelìches.corn, Cine¡novies.f¡', Cinoche, CITWF, Les Gens clu
Cinénla, Gleatest Fihns, Il était une lbis lc cinórna, Intclnet
Movic Databasc (lMDb). Oh My Gore!, and Western Déclyptó.
All ol'thcse film clatabases were accessible on the Internet without requiling authorization.
Thc authors obtainecl as much information as possible about
each lìctional character, relying primarily on the films but also
using any other available sources ol docurnentation to nrake an
accurate psychiatlic diagnosis, specil'ically in tcrms ol' psychopathy. Because of the heterogeneous ancl abstract nature of our
r¡aterials, we were not ablc to pcrfblm either classic¿rl clinical
cvaluation or psychornetl'ic tests. That is, oul cliagnosis ancl classification were the sole results ol reviewing filnls ancl any aclclitional inlblrnation on a specil'ic character and our discr¡ssions
regarcling how thc clraractcr evolved in a specific context (e.9.,
interactions with others, pelsonal histoly). Movies were visualizctl and analyzccl by scniol fbl'cnsic psychiatrists anrl rnovic
critics.
P:;yclu¡pullty SubÍypa.s otvl NosoIraph\t
Currcntly, thcrc is a growing support for the heterogeneity ol
psychopnthy; however, as eviclencecl through nrany clil'l'ercnt
studies. thcrc is littlc agrecrnent on how to difïercntiate and irlentify subtypes. Although the cunent literature plinrarily supports
thc plimary-secondary distinction, it is too soon to conclttclc that
this is the optinral clistinction (-5,6). Howcvet', basecl ttn arr
exhar¡stive litelature levier¡,, the authors opted fbl two classificati<ns.
The fìrst classification is an expansion ol Kar¡ttnan's (1941)
original irlca ol' plirnary ancl secondary psychopathy (5-7).
Accolcling to Karpman, primaly ¡lsychopathy is charactelized by
a hcritablc afI'cctivc dcficit with the following
lForensic Psychiatly Unit,
Department
l
Lrspital. Université Librc
dc
of
Psychiatly, Iirasnrc Acatlcmic
Bruxcllcs. Iìoute clc l-cnnik, llOtl. 1070
llrusscls, Belgiunr.
lìcccivcd
1.5
Junc 2012: ancl
in leviscrl tbrnr 29 Scpt.20l2;
Oct. 20 l 2.
t
2013 Anrelic¡rn Acaderny of' [.ìlcnsic Scicnccs
accc¡.rtcrl
l3
charactcristics:
I
scoles on the PCL-R.
anrl higher levels of overt narcissisrn. Secondaly psychopathy is
characterized by an environmcntally acquiled affective disturbancc with consec¡renccs suclr as high environrnental etiology.
high lactor 2 sccllcs on thc PCL-R, a higher levcl of covert nar'cissisnr and anxiety as wcll as a constcllation of borderline traits.
Secontlary psychopaths have low levels of hcdtability etiology
high heritability etiology, high lactor
167
168
JOUBNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES
and low lìrctol I scores orì the PCl.-R (5-lì). Finally. acconling
to K¿ìrl)nran's thcoly, both plimary and secondäry psychopathics
ale phcnoty¡rically sirnilar', clif'fèring only in thc source of the
syntl)tolìls: a constitutional alfectivc clcficit or an alfectivc clistt¡rbance rcsulting fi'onr cally psychosocial learning (-5-tì).
The scconcl classifìcatiolt is lelatecl to thc stucly regarcling ¡rsychopathic subtypcs concluctecl by Helvó in 2003 (9 ll). Helvé
usecl thc thlcc-factol model of psychopathy (intcrpersonal, afïective. anrl liltstyle) proposed by Cooke ancl Michic in 2001
instearl of the llolc cotnmon two-factor modcl (12, l3). Thc
analysis was concluctecl on alchival clata fì.or¡ 202 Canaclian fleclelal prison inrnates with high scores (>27) on the pCL-lì. Four.
main clustcrs entergccl front Hel've's study: (i) classic/icliqtathic/
prototypical, (ii) nanipulative, (iii) macho ancl (iv) pseudopsychopath. The subty¡res differccl in the constellation ol the core
charactelistics ol' the portrayecl clisorclcr. The highest ovcrall
PCL-R scores ancl high scores on all three lìrcto¡.s characteriz.ecl
thc classic/idiopathic/prototypical subgt.oup. The rlacho grou¡t
hacl the scconcl highcst overall PCL-R scores and low scolcs on
the interpelsonal factor but scored highÌy on affectivc ancl lil.cstyle lactors. This gloup lackcd the glibness and charnr rcc¡uirecl
fbl a conficlencc garne but was capable ol' rnanipulating otlters
through f'orce and intimiclalion (e.g., robberies ancl assaults).
High scores <tn the inter'¡tcrsonal ancl affective factor.s br¡t lower
scores on thc lifestyle factor chal.acteriz.ed the rnanipulative subgroup. They arc "talkers," especially in crilrcs involving fi.aucl
ancl clece¡ttion. The I'inal group, the pscudopsychopaths (also
called sociopaths), had the lowest PCL-R total scoles and inter¡rclsonal ancl behaviolal but not affective charactcristics. Hcrvé
noted that, in general, this gr.oup clid not nleet thc PCL-R
rcsearch cutofÏ ol' a total score 30 that is typically r.cquir-ecl fbr a
cliagnosis ol' psycho¡rathy. I-lervé and Har.e also examinecl the
rclationship between gloup metnbershi¡t ancl past cr.irnes cornmittecl by paltici¡tants. Their finclings suggest thc following: pseuclr-lpsychopaths ¿ìnd prototypical psychopaths havc more past
ol'l'enses than the two other gloups; pseuclo and maclro
¡rsychopaths have ntore anger-related pasl. off'enses (c.g., vanclalism,
thrcats); nranipulative psychopaths have thc f'ewest past olfenscs.
the least serious interpelsonal violcnce, anct the ¡nost fr.aucl
ol'fcnses: ancl rnacho psychopaths have the greatcst nurnber of
clrug-rclatecl ofl'cnses (ll). These clata providc an altel.native to
thc prinrary scconclary clistinction and may sllggest that lower
levels of psychopathic tlaits rnay l.csult in aclclitional subtypes ol
psychopathy (9- I l).
In general, thcsc stuclies pr.ovidc very inlportatìt and currcnt
support related to psychopathy and the heterogeneous character
ol'this syndrome.
Srat i,stícu
I
Artel¡,.¡s,¡
One way that wc clesclibccl our set ol'obser.vations was to calculatc the average value (rneasurc of centr.al tenctency) of caclr
grou¡r using the al'ithmetic rncan (14),
Results
Using the lìhr database cited above, the villains fr.om 400
films (one pcr filrn) wcre selectcd for analysis. All these tlovies
wcre visualizecl and analyzcd by senior. fbrensic psychiatt.ists ancl
filnr critics. From this sarnple, 274 charactets wcre exclucled
because they wclc too c¿rricaturcd and/or too fìctional (Fantasy
and Comics Movie Villains). Additional cxclusion criteria wcr.e
(i) invincibility. (ii) having nragical powers, (iii;
being
nonhuntan (ntonstels, spirits, ghosts) and other clerrents cvo(lqU
a (iv) nonrealistic context.
Thus, 126 films cornprised our basic sanrplc. These filrns iy.ro
international ancl rclcaserl betwccn lt)15 ('the Birth ol r, N,,,inii¡
to 2010 (The Lot,cl¡, Ilones). All fìlm gcnres werc rcplcscrìterl:
aclventule. cornccly, clranra, rneloclrarna, thrillcr.. blockbuste['
wcstern, f ilm noir', ancl war filnts.
The 126 fictional characters were cornpr.isecl of, 2l wor¡sa
(l7o/o) itnd 10.5 rncn (83olo), basecl upon their villain char.actqistics ancl psycho¡rathic-likc profiles ancl behavior.s.
ln Tatrlc l, the authors proposc a nosogr.aphy basecl on psychopathic charactcr variations in popular.fihr history.
Among thc rnale characters, -5 I were pr.intar.y (4()o/o) and J4
scconclary ¡tsychopaths (-5 l7o). Using the Hcrvé classilication, 36
rvele classic/icl iopath ic (3 4o/o), 2 I wer.e rnan ipu I ativ c (20o/o), 2g
rvcre rnacho (27o/a), and,20 were ¡rseuclopsychopaths (l9olo).
Arrong thc lèmaìe characters, six were primat.y (29o/o) trn<l 15
secontlaly (7lolo) psychopaths. Using the Hervó classilication,
three were classic/idiopathic (l4o/o), l0 wer.e rnanipulative (41Ì7o)
ancl cight were ¡rseuclopsychopaths (38olo). No macho psycho_
paths werc fbuncl arnclng oul fertralc sample.
Discussion
An
a I y.ç
i.s
t¡
Í'
P.s: t, c I t r
\¡ u tlt
i
c
C h ct ra ct
e
r.s
th
ro
u
g
h
F iI
n
H i s t r ¡ rv
Eally rcpreserltations ol'psychopaths in film wer.e often creatcd
with a poor or inconrplete uncler.standing ol'psychopathic per.sonalities or, as thcy are usually labelecl toclay, psychopathic synclrome. They were often caricatured as sadistic, unpreclictable,
sexually clepravcd, and emotionally unstable with a cornpulsion
to engagc in randorn violence, murders, ancl destructi<¡n, usually
presenting with a series of bizane mannerisnts, such as giggling,
laughing, or f¿rcial tics, often cleating färnous ancl unreal ch¿uacters. It was similar to a rnix of axis 2, especially cluster. B, with
clinical diagnoses with aclclitional char.acteristics, such as eflìcient
success (15). The public's overall unfamiliarity with rnental illness or psychological clisordcrs led ther¡ to accept this clepiction
and even pclceive it as almost "realistic." Until the late 1950s.
Anrclican cinenratic convcntions usually rclcgatccl the ¡lsychopath
to genre villains, such as gar¡gster.s, mad scientists, sr-rper villains,
serial killers, and rnany other types of gener.ic crir¡inals. Even
horroscxuality was portraycd as psychopathic behavior in fihns
such as Tltey Ottl¡, Kill Their Masters (1972) prior to thc rcmoval
of honrosexu¿rlity fì'onr the DSM in 1973.
Farnous cxatrples of c¿rricatured psychopaths of this type are
Tonrmy Udo in Kiss rl'Death, Cody Jarrett in White Hertt, and
Antonio "Tony" Calnonte in the 1932 version of Scu¡fttt:e . Orrc
of' thc fìrst, rarcst, ancl more realistic exceptions to this ilepiction
belbre thc 1960s is the character of chilcl murderer Hans Bcckert
in the l93l Fritz Lang ftln"t M. Lor-re portrays Becke¡t as an outwarclly unlernarkable lltan tormented by a compulsion to mut.der.
chililren ritualistically, which is a substantially mole realistic
depiction of' what would eventually be known toclay as a
sexually violent preclator (SVP) most likely sufÏer.ing fi.om
psychosis.
A vcly interesting change occun'ed in 1957 with the ar.rest ol
Ed Gein in Plainfìelcl, Wisconsin (16). Because of the attention it
receivecl in America, the portrayal ol psychopaths in film was l€routccl into an al¡nost separ¿ìte and exclusive l'iln-r genrc: horr.or.
The expÌoits ancl cletails of'thc Ecl Gein casc, inclucling grave robbing, cannibalism, ancl necl'ophilia, became a broacl tenrplate fbr
the characteristics and activities of what was consicler.ecl psycho-
LÊISTEDT AND LINKOWSKÌ
I'A,ltl,Ll.
ilr
ns
,,
U,,,ii,,rt1
I
Fictir
(-'fi
)rtìl
ivi¡J,r
wODìeri
atiìctcrir\:
rìmclci
l
Slrnllter
^fron
¡tjon, 36.
xa/t,),2s:
/\¡gcl
lùnis
Dycs
Irchlb¡kl
ya).
and
The Urìrorìchrtrtes ( t9B7)
A Clockwork Or'lìllgc (t 971)
1ìâining Drìy (2001)
Schindlcfs I-isr ( l99t)
Thc Good, Thc ll¡d, .ìììd
The Ug\, ( J966)
Iìol) lloy (1995)
Coklflrrger ( l9(r4)
C¡lvairc (2001)
Mîn Biles Dog ( t992)
/\lcx
^l Dcl,.ìrge
.\nrorr Goelh
54
CuD¡ì jnghruìr
ìl
(48tìL)
lsycho-
.
ìl
lnrl
lrill
ìlrll lhc Brìtcher
ßiily t.oorìris
llrllno Dûvcrt
)lockley
Crìrdin¡l dc IìichctieÙ
Câror Troy
Ch¡rlos Lcc Jìây
el.s0ll.
Charlìc VenÌcr
Christiiììr Szell, Ml)
Clarence Bod(lickcr
J Syn-
Clly,:le
)eatcd
rtable.
Lìlsio¡
sually
gling,
tatâc-
(ìdy
Br ow
J r reU
Cobre I Narhân
Cdorìel
Slu¡ìr1
wirh
Cyrìs GrissoDr
icient
Dînrci KiÌlì.rl
D¿rlc l\4âssic
clion
Denis Klcin
l)cDis Peck
)-50s,
Dic( Joncs
¡ius,
lven
ihs
oval
al-e
Jne
.iorl
(erl
ILrìrs Ìlcckcrt
â
,D
of
il
c)1.
5-
)¡'
lì¿rns Cìubcr
Secorì(lâry
Mrìl]iprìLìlive
lìinìary
Iìinriìry
CÌ¡ssic/kìioplthìc
Clrìssic/tdìop.ìthic
N/^
N/^
Sccond¡ìy
Ptìnrary
Nrìrcissistic Personîlity
Disorrlcr
Cl¡ssic/ktiopûlhjc
N/A
Classic/ì(tiop¿ìrhic
P¡r.ìphilr
Chucly scries
Srrrw Dogs (197 t)
Mlìl¡lthon MàD (j976)
llobocop (1987)
Bonìric ¡ùd Ctydc ( t967)
Whire Heal (t949)
A lrew cood Mcn (1992)
Sccond ry
I)riDÌìty
SecoDdàry
lìinriùy
Secoìrdory
Iì imrry
M¡cho
N/A
MânipUhtì\,e
M¡cho
N/,{
Prinrary
Clrssic/ìdiopaLbìc
Clussic/trliopalhic
SccoDd¿Ù)
PscrìdopsychopÂrh
Ptinrary
Prinìîry
M.ìcho
Mâcho
N/A
N/A
ASPI)
N/A
N/A
Die lllìrl 2 ( t990)
Apocâlypsc Now (1979)
Gl¡djât(n (2000)
M¿rcho
Sccondary
M¡niputlrivc
N/A
Seoondary
Col] Air ( ì997)
Cold Creek M¿rnor (2003)
The lìuììnjng Maù (l9lì7)
Mânipulalive
Clâssjc/ktioplriric
SecoDc uy
A,iìiß
(1990)
llobocop (1987)
Pootie
g (2001)
K¡ìlifìnìi (1993)
Primary
Primîr)
PriDr¿uy
lìirnarl
PriDrary
Il
Prirnary
Cliil¡anger (1993)
of l\4oìrre Cristo
Clâssic/trliopûlhíc
M¡t¡ipul¿ltive
Chssic/kli(l)lrhic
MN¡ip lrrivc
Manitnrt¡live
M¡niful¿ìtivc
Iliùrary
I'rirrary
CLrssic/tdioprìrhjc
Macho
Secondâìy
Mûnilnrlltive
Psychosis
N/,A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N'\
N/^
N/^
N/^
N/A
N/A
N/A
Secorìdrlry
Pseù(lopsychop.ìrh
Secordar¡,
Iì inlâry
Prychosis
l)scudofslchopatlr
Classic/ldiopluhic
PriìÌlìry
ASPI)
N/A
Cl¡ssic/ldiq)¡rhic
Ir rìttrilìa
The IILrnchbâck OJ Norrr
D¿rììrc (t 939)
The I-ovely Boncs (20 t0)
Secondary
MîDipÙhrlive
Thc l(ock (l996)
Il iDl¡ry
Cl¿rssic/kliopirrhic
Secondary
M¡cho
N/A
W.ìll Slrcet (t98?)
( 193 r)
Die ll.rfd ( I98iì)
l)rjnr.rìy
Sccondtìry
N/A
Secondrìry
M¿ìnipulltlive
I'scu(ìopsychopalh
Mâcho
Prinr¿ìr)'
CLìssic¡dìot¡thic
Secorrd¡ry
I'rinrar),
Mâcho
Clîssic/ldi(D¿rrhic
M
ILìry l-irÌc
The
lÌatcher
ller)ry
The llundown (2003)
HeDry F. lbtter
Ilo\\4t1| P¡ync
Hughie W¡rliner
Lrspcct(n lììchard
Iväìr Koli\hùlov
The J¡ckrìl
N/A
N/A
N/A
Thc 'Ì hrec Musketeeß series
lìrìcc Oll ( t9971
Blre Velver (t98(,
'lhc l-¡sl House ol] {he Lcft
0972)
itic
rvlitcllrt
Ctìâssic/kììot)rìrhic
ASPI]
'l'ìiDspottìDg (199(,
rlel'
Irrinrary
l)r'in]luy
PscLrdopsychopllh
ìii¡ncis "Franco" Begbie
X. I[ìnrn]el
Cordon cckko
)Lrl-
N/A
l)scù(ìopsychop th
(200-5)
r-.r¡rìk IloolÌr
Ceorgc Iìruvey
GeDer¡l Fmncis
CLrssic/t(liq)îlhjc
Secondlul,
Second¡ry
I-c coupcrct
lìcd Drâl¡on (2002)
lrollo
N/,A
Prinrary
Tir¡nic (1997)
199(,
(
Iìrancis l)oLìrlìyde
.ludge Cl¿rlrdc
Manjpllì.ìrìvc
nrìtivc/^d(litìorìâl
^llcì Diî!lrosls
rll
Prinut ¡'
Sc,eûrìr
iDrcùrâl
¿r¡ld
:: l f:Ìl!11Ìtfv!lltr,f
^sPl)
N/A
N/A
N/A
iJ6 QLni des Orièvrcs (2004)
l-irìcotn
Mrt:lt9
Cìrssic/kìioplthic
M¡cho
Clâssic/kìioplthic
'l he Count
J
C'l¡ssic/lcliq)nlhic MrDipLrlatì\,c
Psychosis
Kilì Bill (2003 ând 2004)
ClDg ol New York (2002
Dick l-ectcr
E¡rìy Grìycc
Er'ìc Qualel
Jrerî¡nd Monrcgo
Irrcd
Psychopalhy
PserìdoJrsychopârh
Pscüdopsychoprìlh
R- Jcssep
Col()ìreÌ Wrlter tt. Kurrz
Clo¡ulo(ìus
phj,.
Sccoìd¡ry
(âkr GhosllÌìce)
C¿rl
IHE CINEI\4A 169
MAnipLrhtivc
cl
^LIic
Jl¡
15
s:llullttf lsl
ol
PSYCHOPATHY AND
P|jmrìry
Prinrary
Cddfingcr
¡ic¿tiol,
ltl:t!9ì
(20tJ7)
,\lonzo
and
Pinrûry (P)/
lr Mltie
Prinr¡l Fe¡r ( t99(,
No CorìDlr] lin Oìd Men
^rìr.()r Chigurh
(ltìpone
,rn p¡ìy-.
,Þîth
li(t¡otut p\\,(,hopathi( noþst.
Djrìgìrosìs
)r'uset)lcd.
¡l ìlt-
ia
rvo,.^
:kburle¡r,.
"
CIi
.
Thi
M¿rn (1949)
IlcDly Po rrir of r
Seriiìl
Kilìcr (1989)
ll's ¡ Worxlerlil Lile (194(,
Iìimîry
Speed (1994)
Mltnip l¡tjyc
Sccon(lrlly
Dcrìd C¡lìrì (1989)
Kiss ol lhe Dlìgon (200j)
,^ir lìrcc Oììc (1997)
'I'lre J.ìckal (l997)
Pseudopsychop¡th
Sccondar¡,
I)serìdopsychop¡{h
i\4rìcho
Second
ì)
N/A
l>¡râphilj¿r
N/A
N/A
N'\
N/A
N/A
ASPI)
Psychosìs
SccoDdriry
Mâcho
P¡iùrrìr}
N/A
N/A
Clrìssìc/kìjoDÂthic
N/^
j
I
170
JOUBNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES
'l'¡\lll.l:
(
(,ttt
ittftul.
Dirrgrrrrsi:
The Movic
[:iclional ('hiÌi ilctcl
Thc Silcncc ol thc
.latrtic (ìtlnth
(lkl
lìtrllìrlo Ilill)
(
l99l
Prirnar'¡,(P¡/
Sccomliu¡, (S¡
((l¿rtc)
L¿rnlbs
( te77
ic
Cìlassic/ltlio¡lath
Man i¡lrlat ive
Macho Pscurkr¡rs¡,cho¡lrth
r\ ltcrnlrti vr./r\tLlit ir¡¡¡.,¡
L) liì1.l lì 0s
ls
Sccortrlar¡,
I)scuclopsycho¡rath
l)llir¡rh
Sccontluly
Pseutlt4rsychopath
AS I)I)
Sccontlar'1,
Pscurlo¡rsycho¡rath
[)scurlt¡.rsycho¡rath
ìVf acho
ÂSPI)
l'sl,clrosis
Plirnar'¡,
Scconrlary
Secontlary
I'r'i nrary
C'lassic/lcliopath ic
N/A
Macho
Manipulatir,c
N/A
N/A
Cìlassic/ltlio¡ratlr ic
N/^
I'ri nraly
(ì I ass i c/l tl i opat h i c
N/^
Pli nruly
Classic/ld io¡rathic
N/A
Sccontltrry
Sccontlary
l)scurlo¡.rsychopatlr
C)bscssi vc-conr¡rLr ls i r,c
l)scudo¡rsycho¡rath
Classic/kliopath ic
¡\SPD
N/A
N/A
iI
ia
)
Mystic Iìivcr'
.linltn)'IVlatktrllt
.lohrt l)oc
.lohn Ilcltlcl
l)s) clroprrth)
)
1'hc Spy Who l-ovccl Mc
.l;trls
trl
(201)3)
Scvcn (199-5)
'lhe
Quick antl thc Dcarl
Secorrrlar¡,
I)rinraly
N/^
( I99,s)
.lonitlltrlt ('tlrliss
.loshrr¡ lirss
A Kiss Belìrre Dying ( l99l
SLrklcn Dcath ( 199.5)
.lLtsticc lì.:tglttrrrat
l(rLrg Stilltr
Au,arr'¿r ( 19.5
)
l)
'['hc l-ast lkrr¡sc o¡r lhc l.clt
( l 972)
Chiltlren ol' Paraclisc ( lt)4.5)
Krnrl Hcarts anrl (Ìr'oncts
l-lccn¡r i lc
l.ouis Mrzzini
( I e49)
Fiction (lt)94¡
M¿rlsclìLrs Wrrllace
PLrlp
ñlaltin Iìulnc1,
Slccping rvith the Enenry
M¿rllhL'\\, Poncclcl
( t99l)
l)clrl M¡n Walking ( l9!)5)
Max ('lrl¡,
Max Zorilt
(ìa¡rc l-'car ( 1962.
Michlcl (iulconc
The Gotllìrthcr Part ll (1974)
Woll Crcck (2(X)5)
NutLllal Boln Killers ( lt)94¡
ln lhc l,ine of'Firc ( lt)t)J)
Rescrvoil Dogs ( 1992)
Mick 'l x¡,11¡¡
Mickcy Knox
Mitch [-car'¡,
Mr. lllontlc
Nicky Slntolo
)
Clasino ( 1995)
Noah (lnrss
Clhinato*,n (1974)
Psycho ( I 9(r0)
l.óo¡l (Thc' Plolessional)
Nolrn¿rn []alcs
Nonnan Stanslicltl
( I 994)
Arncric¿rn Psycho (2(XX))
Cll¿rss ol l 9l'ì4 ( I 9lì2 )
Scpt Morts sr¡r Oltlonnancc
( 1975)
Onc l-'lcrr' Ovcl the Cuckoo's
Nc'st (lt)75)
I)atrick Batcrnan
Pctel Stcgrnun
l)r'olL'ssor llr'úzé
ll¿rnrllc l)atrick
Vlc MLrrphl'
Iìcvclcntl Harr¡, llrs,cl
199 I
A \¡icu, to K¡ll (l9lì5)
I
'l'hc Night ol'the
Ifurnter'
N/A
Macho
¡rc'rsonll i t¡, tl isortlt'i
Secontlaly
l)rinraly
Plimary
M¿tclro
Scconrlar¡,
Plinrury
Machcr
C lass ic/ltlio¡ra
t
h
ic
N/A
N/r\
Sccontlar¡,
l)scLrrlo¡rs¡,c11ç¡1¡1¡
ASPL)
Prinrnly
Classic/ltliopath ic
N/^
[)r'inrary
Cllassic/l<liopalh ic
Plinraly
Sc'condaly
Macho
ManipLrlativc
N/A
N/A
N/A
Sccontlarl'
Pli rttaly
Pseutk4rsycho¡rath
Cla ss ic/ ld iopat h ic
SLrtrstirlce'lbuse
Prinrar'¡,
(llassic/ld iopath ic
N'\
rntry
Classic/lcliopath ic
N/A
Pri
I)sychosis
N'\
Scconrlary
Marri¡rulalivc
Scconrlury
I)scurlopsychopath
ASPT)
Prirlrry'
( I lassic/lcliopath ic
N'\
Prirnur'1,
(l lassic/kl iopath ic
N/^
Macho
N'\
M¡cho
N/A
N/A
(19-ss)
Iìogcr' "Vclbal" Kint
'l'hc
LJsual SLrspccts ( 1995)
Sunr "¡\cc ' Rothstc¡rì
Sclgc¿rnl ll¿rlncs
Casir¡o ( 1995)
Shcrill of Notthirì!hlnì
lìobin IItxxl: Princc ol'
Scconrlary
Sccorttlary
Sccorrdaly
Silus I-1,rrch
Sinron (ìr'ubcr
'l'hc llilrh of a Nation (191.5)
l)ic llarrl rvilh u Vengeancc
Sccontllrl,
Macho
Scrcanr ( I 99(r)
Scconrlar¡,
l'scrrtlopsycho¡rirtlr
ASPI)
l)honc Booth (2(X)2)
'l'rlcnrctl Mr Iìiplc¡,
( l9t)9)
(ìorxll'cll¿rs ( I990)
Sccrudar'¡,
Prirtrary
Marttpulativc
Classic/klitpath ic
N/A
Sccontluly
Scarlìrcc ( I 9lll
'l'hc Cìrou' (lt)t)4¡
Sharlorv ol'iì Dor¡bt (19-+l)
Sccontlar'¡,
Macho
Macho
I)iulsclotts [,iaisons ( l9l.itì)
Sccontlaly
l,l¡trxll
( I 9lJ(r)
'l'hicvcs (scric's)
l)rirnary
Macho
Cì
lassic/l dio¡rath ic
N/A
N/^
(199.s)
Stuitrt Milker
(irklr Ghostlirce)
'l hc cirìlcr'
1ìrrrt Ri¡rlcv
1ìrrnrly DcVito
'lirny i\4onttrna
To¡t Dollar'
linclc ('harlic
Vicornte tlc \/llnront
Vito ('ol lconc
Wultcr Finch
\\¡illiunr "llilly thc Kitl"
-[-hc
l'hc (io<llìrthcr ( lt)72)
l'syclrosis
N/r\
N'\
Sccontlar'1,
M¿rcho
Sccontlirr¡,
ManipLrlirtii,c
Manipulativc
N/^
N/A
N/A
Irtsor¡tnia ( |997)
'l'hc' (ìrccn Milc ( 1999)
Sccontlaly
rll¡cho
klanipulativc
l'r'irtttrr¡,
(llassic/ld iopath ic
Palaphilia
Alcr l-ollcsl
Iìatal Attr¿lction ( l9l{7
Sccorrclaly
Pseutlo¡rsycht4ratlr
llolrlerl inc I)r-r'sonnulil¡,
¡\nnic \\¡iikcs
Misely
Scconrlaly
Pseutkrpsycht4lath
Disortler'
[)sychosis
lìirh1' .larrc I Itrrlson
Whatever Iìappcrrcrl to Bub¡,
.frnc II962)
Secondiu y
Manipulativc
!\/ll¿r'lr
icrrrirlc
I
Pli rnar¡,
N/^
rrr
)
( l(.X.X))
N'\
LEISTED'I AND LINKOWSKI
f ABl.tj.,
t-
ii
t:
r ll:, Mu)19
lllrltì
ì
llorrìr.
'C¡lhrì
Pârkcr
.l'hc
irì¿ì
. Crrlì('¡iììc'l'r.ìnrcll
.Iìùìr'c
llcrLLlì('r llvtrrrs
li'(1ft
IIctlY" Crrrlson
Mlil,rrY Ktrox
lVrìr'(luìsc (lo À4el1eùjl
Mofrr ì)crll rkov
Mrs. lsciin
Clrìssic/t(tiopllrhic
SccoDd¡ry
l)scüdot)sychoprìlh
Iìinrarl'
Bâsic Insriict (l992)
Burerlly Kiss (l995)
Il inr¡ry
M¿rniputr(i!c
MrnjpLrìrìtivc
Sccond¿lly
I)seLrdopsychot)r)th
Irinal Analysis ( 1992)
S'ngle White l,¡nÌrlc (1992)
Secontlaly
Secoììdl!),
I,\cudopsychopâth
N¡ìllr¿rl
Ph\ llis DìcLrichson
IìrLr¡cl I'helps
'l
hr P¡pin
Mrìni)ulrìlive
r Kìllcrs (1994)
D¡ngcrnrs l,ilisoùs (I988)
llo¡rco Is Illceding (t993)
'I'hc l\4.lnchLìr i¡n C.ìn(lidatc
'llìclnriì Dickinson &
Sccond¿uy
Mrìr)ipul¿rri!c
lì iolruy
a'J ssic/ldiopiìthic
MrìnipLrlrìri!e
l)rirrnry
CéróDronìe (t995)
'l'helìra & l-ouise (l991)
SPD
N/A
N/A
N/^
MlnipuLrll!c
PriDìrìr),
MNniprìÌrìtivc
ClÂssic/l(lÌoplthic
Sccorldruy
Pseudopsychopllh
Ps)'chosìs
PscU(loDsyc¡oDlllh
ASPI]
N/A
N/A
Prìì
ilphilil
N/
sjs). Next, hÀ,o Ùotablc divergences jD Lhe typical portray¿il ol. lhe
ps\'chopalh cDrergcd: (ì) úe socjally jìrìcliolrâl ììisfil with a
(iìsù¡lìy) sexually nrotiva(e(l comprìlsion tc¡ kiìl ancl (ii) lhe extre_
lllcly violent, cl'l¡otic tÌlass rnu¡.clerer with icliosynclatic belr¿rvjo¡.s
irrr.r irl)l)ci¡rj,lì(ù. Chlr¡¡.lc¡. sUch ¡rs V:¡lk Lcwi. ilt Mi..lr:rcl powc)l s Peeping 7'.rr7 ¿ncl utost llintously Not.llran Bates ()1'Al1ìcd
ìljtchcock's 1rÐ,r'fto are exa¡nplcs of tlìo iòrntct., while clraL.acter.s
sùch ûs Lcatlìerlirce o1''t'ha Texas Chaín Suv Mt,¡çIcre tttttl J¡sç.¡tt
\roorhees cf /l i¿l¿¡_y rhe l3l1
Michacl Meycrs jn the H¿llbw-
ecn seLies are clâssjc cxantpìes^Dd
of thc lâttet..
'1-hc exploits
01'rnâny rcâl Iijè psychoplìths an(l seÍlaì killers
tÌrring the I960s ancl 1970s led 10 an inctcasjus ¿ìlt)ouDt ol.
i'rL,IIIIjrtii,rI con(crnjIÄ lhc Lrch¡rriIls, rn,rstlv lhc ulillicrrl
rl.sclil'lion ul ll.yultoIrllrs willì ritLrirlistjc r¡lcllroLjs ¡,f r¡lulrlc¡..
(,'rìrin! itìr,, ¡rublic krr,rrvletlgc {17r. \4(,ti,,n
lìjùt r.(( lìclrrì
t,r
iDcorpo|atc the gtaphic arld wìclely misunclel.stoocl prâctì;es ol
thc-\c llehavjors i,tto sensationírlistic Îiìrn thclìles Lhai evcntLraJly
becarne known as slasher lilnts. Beat.ing a stl.ong t.eselltblance
t;
the Graud Guigt)ol the¿rtcr ol Eurcpe, slashcr ljhns ooDsjsted ol.
iì rcculing idjosyncratjc villait) witlÌ Íì sjgnature, I.nodus ope_
ald in ¡tar.Licujzu.. visual a ppear¡ nce_ llos t olìen
.' rlisrinr.lirc nl¡r:,k .. in ir \lnr) itìvolvirg tlrc serlrrcrrrirrl
râDdj, woapon,
slaughter of ln¡ìuy inDocenl adolcsoents in lnany spectitcujar dnd
grolcsque lì)anlìels. Tl]e âclvent of latcx ptosthetjc applilDccs iu
specirl ellects nrakeup alìowed l¡r Drorc gr.¡pllic on-icrcen kiìls
in a singlc sllol tatheì.thaD scparate shots splicocl togelhcr, aclcl_
ing to the sÞectaclc-dr.ivcD alhìrc of lhe fjllìts. M¿Dy lilms rhât
ùiür hc Lhillirrrcrircd .r, nrùtôt)l)icr¡l .lu:.hcI lilrns 0rigirrLrlly
beg¿ìn iìs st¿ìIlcl-âlolle lillns conllDeutillg on thc u¡ttìre ol nroraliLv
rrr)fl hur¡ìüì) n¡rtr¡lc r/7r, Ltv Il,u¡c ott rth,Ldj. ,r Hitl: H¿tlc
ol
Bor(lcrlinc I,ersonnrtil),
ScconLl¿ìry
p¡tlìic l,ìehavjor (whìch wrs actù¿rlly rnost ljkcly a type ol.psyoho-
Houcvc¡. tlrc sllrslrcl lilrrr suhgcrrrr
N/^
Sccondiìry
Derùr (1945)
c¡lic ro,l.,lrrinurc
thc
the psychopathic Dlodel Io.decaclcs, .rostìv
rlt¡c r.r thù \cnsitlidnlll üsl)cr'ls ¡rf IItc lil¡n\ i )rl lhc cxll.cnlc
¡¡arkctability ol' tlìe icoirjc villains (e.g., produoing lr.âdernarkcd
coslurÌÌes and r¡¿sks lor ì laìÌowee n). '1|.rc Hal[o|,cut, I,'t.iday the
tone ancl clesign
N/A
N/A
llordcrlinc Pcrlrorìnâtit),
ìlisor(ler
N4 nìpUìrìrive
ì-oLrise Sa\^'yer
frrrr.
N'\
l)seuilopsychopltìì
The IIind thrl Rocks the
Cllìdlc (l992)
Double Indcl]lDily (1944)
I-î
llrr,cr,".r"
I)isor(lcr
llo
Mrior l-crìsrìe (1989)
'l'hc l-rst llousc où rhe l..cil
(t972)
sisrers
171
Allcnâlivc/^(Ì(liti(nìal
t>scù(ìopsychop th
Prinì ìy
Blâck Widow (t987)
CINEMA
Psychop.ìth),
Macho
(1962)
pûlsi\c
oi
(lìrìssic/ktjopîlhic MrìnipuI ivr
lìinrrìr)'(PJ/
slllÌtll.tff !sl
'I hc l)c\,ìl's lìcjecrs (2005)
BoDDic rnd Clyde (1967)
l¡,rr,r'r'ircttY
PSYCHOPA-THY AND THE
Co t¡,ùnlt
Di¿rgrosis
Arktirio¡¡j
.
I Knott V/htt ¡vtu dkl ktl ,t¡./rtln¿l.scries ato a l-ew
ol lhc geulc. ln thcse sl|shel. Illlns, l)sychopiÌtlÌic chariìctcrs atc generiìlly r¡nrcalistic, lrccuDrululing n¿Lny tr¡its iììtd
châractct istics, srìch as sadisD.l, intelhgcnce, ûDd Llle ability to
l3th
L\t1d
exaurples
lnùdicl lhc nlrì] rlìirl lllù tltlr¡rù \ i( riDls \ ill Usc 1,, cri,,pc. ,l,ulrry.
these are ìtorc iconic po¡rular cvil tcprescnlalions ol. lictio¡al
killers than ol iDteresting psychoÞ¿Ìths. For th¿t tcitso¡. ntost ol.
these chalîcters wcle not includcd in oul T¡blc I
Whjìc the psychollrìth lcnl¿tined ¿1 sttì)lc oI Dl¿tny othcl. trâdi_
tio)¿Ìl fill]] genrcs, (hc DX)re scnsâtioD¿ilislic as¡tecLs ol thc
¡tîsl
werc toìed down ot itb¡|doDed cDtirely (o â\,oid ¡ìssocia{joD \\/iLh
slasher filns, üncl the popularity (t {he psychop¿ìthic ch¿ractcr.
wancd ir 1ìrvo ol ch¿1.¡ctcrs who ollcD reprcscDted Lhc ,,b¿ìDiìljty
o1'evil," Dli olìrìg lhc crìltural cVcDts ol'the Ig70s. Iror soDlc
tì¡Ìc, llsychollrÌthic lllodels were lyì)ically lcsh.ictc.l Lo cr¡lne
filns, psychoktgicaì thrilìcìs, hol.lor filors, ¿Ùril c|otjc lhrjìlc¡s.
Eventr¡¿llly, thc ârrcst ûnd popularity ol lhe notoriou¡j scrial
killcls John Waync Gacy, Jeflìcy Dahnrer., rncl Tccl Iìunciy ancl
the evcDtr¡¿l 1ì¡nr¡lion o1' the Violent Crintjniìl Al)prellensioìt
Progran (VìCAP) i¡ 1985 led to an ¿ìddition¿ìl inclease in the
descrÌption (ancl compr.elrcnsion) ol how ¡rsychopathy rncl cr.inti_
nitl invcstìgatioDs (such as crinrinlÌ Þrolilit)g) were petccived
iru(l ì)ortr'aycd iu 1ìlm (17.18). An incr.casìng iDtercst jn th(r rcalis{ic dcpictio¡r o1' ¡:rsycho¡raths lecl to Lhe fbrnrarjon of iì 0c$,
hybrid oi tr¿rditional psychol)¡ths l}om cally f,iIlì ând Irrc lgth
ceDtury liter'¡ìlurc, wilh highJinctioning behavior. and f he 1ìllsc_
selves Þlcsenled by psychopaths srìcll as BLlnl:ìy all(l D¿Ìhn.lct.
'l'his changc leâd lo the popularity ol the "elile
Þsychol)arh,', or
a psychopath cxhibiriìlg cx¡ggemted lcvels ol inrclligcncc,
sophislicated D]âDl)crs, and ouDnrrg, sotÌtelìDlos ull to supcl.hunran ancì supelrlediaLized leveìs. Doctol. Ilannibal Lectcl.is prob_
abìy one ol' the besr cxiìnì)les of this typc ol' unle¡lislic but
seusatioltal cltar¿ìclcr. Since cady 2000, thc clepìctìoll tììld
descliptioìì of licrior)al psychopatbs has changecl. ìn jìct. they
have bccome nlore huI¡¡n iud vrìlÌlcrrble. httving tluc q,e¡k_
ùcsscs.
172
JOUFìNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES
I:'r¡¡n Micl¡¿¿l M),.ts to lld¡ùtibtl LLtttt tlttou|4lt Tn¡vì.¡ Iltitk¿l;
P.t|dlop f lt\ in Polulû
l':ìt:liot1 '1ufu.\'
in fillns gcncralìy possess I Dulllbcr of slrìnd¿rcl
js{jcs th¡ìl iìrc not noccssalily âs corllllor) iìlroìlg
Psychollrlhs
chiìrac(cì
rc¿rl-lil¡ Psychol)¡rlhs, rcl'crred to the Cleckìey clitcrìa, studìccl by
ps)/cìriìtr'(L( ¡ncì cliDicaì psychologists (19). Thc lf¿rclitioDal
"Hoìì),rvoql psychol)¿rth," gcuclally lound bolòre 2000, ìs likcly
to exllibil sonrc ol all ol lhe lbllowing tlaits, which üâke lher'l
"ideal villains/superhLrrran"r (i) high ìntclligence .u(l ¿ì prel¡rence lbr intellec{Lrrìl slir))uliìtìolr (e.g.. nrusic, linc ârt); (ii) a
sonlewhat vaiD, stylish, alnrosl "cat-ìike" cle¡rc¿¡or'; (iiì) prcstige
or a -\ucccsslll cireer oì llositioD; (iv) a cal¡r, c¿ìlcr¡lîliDg ¿rnd
¿rìways ìn coulrol ¡ìttitLìdc; rnd (v) Lrnrcahslic, cxcep{iou¿rl skill at
hillrng people, especralìy wìth blacles or household objects
(sonrctirrres overPowering n)ulliÞle ¡ìsslilants with supelioI almanrcnl). |'lÌesc tr'nits, esl)cci¿ì1ly rn coDrbiu¿tion, ¿lre gel]crally uot
preseut in re¡l psychoD¡tìrs.
Psych(DrÌlhy in lilnr is oftcn l)ortllycd in a haphazard or exaggelatecl lÌrshion to cl]harce the drarr¡Lic PloÞerljes of iì ch¡r¡ctcr
or chârâclcrs lo rcndci lhenl nerÌrorîblc. l'ypically, a
psycho-
pîthrc chnrac(er ìD a filn ìs Lhc vilìaiìr, \\,hereas the gcDcÌ¡l ch¿u¡ctorjstics ol a psychoPllh, such s iL l¡Ìck ol'curpâlhy, lcnlorse,
iurd ollcllimcs impulse cortrrl. are usclul to ûìcilitate conl-ljcl
and danger', Llsrì¿lìly i¡vdvir)g (letÌlh rììrd dcstrLìction on va|ying
scâles. llec¡use thc clelinitions n¡cl cliterì¡ fbr psychopathy have
varied ovct tìlc ycil$ ¿ìnd contjr)uc to ohirìlge evcn now, m¿u]y
ch¡Ìmolers in rnany notablc frlms nray h¡ve been creatcd to lÌrll
runclel. the culegoly oi r ì)sychopalh ¡l the lìDrc of the filrr's PIodrìclìoD or relellse l]ut ¡rây be cl¡ssìlied in a0othcr w¿ly lccorcÌilg to nolc rccerl oritcria.
Moleove¡, solne ol' the nlost l:ùnous 'ltsychos" in lilns
arc nd l)sychopa(hs, bul l)sycholìcs. Well-known exan¡rles o1'
these âre lbu¡cl in tììc filììls 1'¡t,¿/¡o (Nollt¡n Bâtcs) dnd
I'a.ri l)river ('ì'r'avis Ilickcl). 'lhese char¿ìclers are, i¡ r,alying
ways, disconneclcd iionr reiì¡ily ¿Ìn(l sull¡r' 1ì'oDr dclLìsioD¿ìl
ido¿ìlion.
The crjn-ìin¡rl u ¿ìntisoci¿ìl ì)sychop¿llh is probably the lÌìosl
conlnlon loml to appeâr'ir lìlnrs. Ol'tc¡, lhe cllallcters are based
or) aclrìal Þsychol)îths, such iìs Jamcs Wood's char¿ctel in'l'he
O¡tion
l¡itld, Galy Gilnolc il 1'ltc Eseolioner',r Song, Pctcl'
L,ortc's ch¿ìmclcl- in M. a¡d Chflles Sta|kwe¡ther (the bâsis lor
Kit, played l)y Marlin Shccn in Badlottl|;). NotiÌble cxârÌples of
lìction¿tl clinrinal ¡)sychop¡ths ìn 1ìlns ¡rc Mìch¡el Colooììc in
lltc Gcv1ùther lìlns, Sc¿uÍìrcc in lhe l)e Palrna velsion ol that
gangster filrn, ancl Dennis Hoplter''s clraracfel it Illue Velvet.
Psychoprìlhs n)îy occLìr in a lìlm with a morâl heart 10 servc as
¿ conlr¿rst [o ¿rn uprighl ì]rolagurjst (lìichaLd Rich vs. SiI TIìonlas Morc il A Mtut.lòr All S¿lsoú¡^) ¿rn.ì ¡ppear in othel iììns
as ùr evil clouble oI ilnlîgorrìst 1() thc ln¿iD chalacter (llarvey
Keitel's chirrâclel it¡ The Ducli.¡ts- BtuDo AìlthoDy in Stungers
on l Truirt). Othcì ir)lcrosting ¡rsycho¡rlthic ¡roltrayals in fihrr ale
th¡( of lìobert Mitchurn as "Pleacher" it1 Night ú tl1e HLtt1t.t,
that ol llric lloLrcrls ¡ìs P¡ul Snicler'(L)olo(lry Sh¿tto 's l'[ìsb¡nd)
i¡ Sl¿¿¡ fio, Kerth Carr¿clìnc's chÙiìclcl in N¡¡sñr,lik¡. ¿rncl lìobe|t
Duvall's Bùll Mcechanr in 1'Ìte Grcut Su¡¡¡i¡ti.
As in leality, film Iòlralc ps¡,chc¡rrths ¿uc râre (îìrd not \\,eìl
knowr) ¿ìud stucliecl), ancl u,he usecl, they often serve ¡s schclll-
ing nr¿Ìnìpulîtols \\,hosc naìD
cl¡
\\¡c¿ìpons drc scxLral
(l'able l).
tibsci-vc. in ¡rrlallel, a cellain evolution lætween Îìclioual âr).1 reâl-lìfe psychopîths, docunrcDtcd ancl stucliecl through
crininal ¡ncl civil lriùls. Scve¡dl lilns h¿vc vcty intercstirlg psy
choDirthic ch¿tlaLcLcr's. \\]ho iìtc ntorc rcalistic ¡ìlrd Dlore <<social>>
We
âDd succcsslil, such xs Georgc Hrrvcy
rn lltc Lotr:\, Bt¡rii,
t2lf)ÙJ.
'l'he
"IlttIi.çtit Clinìtn! Py.l,t'hopath" Vtti(tIìon.t in PoIular'
Ití.tion
'':'..Ìì
...:il
d
V¿ìri¿ìlions
lhc
"noDm¿rDi¿Ìciì1"
brìt'lcrìlistic
PsychopaLt,,i:].:.-i
lr','lrr lr.lilrirlll ricwlr,rirrl lrcslll l,r cnrcrlc in 2tltlt'. .l|i'it]r, trutt
lhe sânle sources fìoD] (LIlèrcu1 gcD|es wiLh varying levels ¡¡iì.]ti
succcss (genelrlly less). Frcqucìrtly, thc sLrcccss of a particirlait
nro(lcl d psychollath clepencls on (he skill oI. iconìc qurlitic5 ¡i
thc ¡ctor's l)oltr'¡yitl iD ¿r pnticrìl¡ìr filrì. The v¿ri¿ìtions ol "clitèr
psyohoptlh" h¿tvc bcconre lcss ¡rannelccl arcl mo|c subdued oy61r
lime, lcading to chdmc(erizâ(ious lhat are ¡Ìore psycho¡rathologi:cr¡ì, cliDic0ì, aD(l n-ìolivllc(l by the corc ol'lhjs scvcrc ¡rc|soD¡lity
clisolclel oI syndroDre, such as Iack ol' elnpâlhy, colclìloorieci
¿rttrtrìdes, ancl occLlp¿rtìon¿rì recluirctrcnls. ratìlcr' (hiìn ¿ìn iìllutd¿ìn0c o1 dysflìlrctio¡ral a¡rd hollific l¡ehaviols.
the ìrost iûteresliug receût ând nosL re¡ljstic icli0^¡lxrng
palh,c
psychoÞ¿rtlric ch¿ììtìclers is Anlon ChÌguIh ir) thc 2(107
Coen blothers' fil['t, No Co Ì1!t.\, 1òr Oltl Men. Arìto C'hìglrrh is
a wcll-dcsignccl prolotypicrl i(liopathic/prìDr¿ìry psychopalh. Wc
l¿iok inlòr'm¿Ltion concelliug his chilclhoocl, but flìere âre sùlTicient a|gurrcnts and det¡iled inlinnlalion ibout his bchîvior iìt
tlÌe 1ìln] to obtâiD â .lirgnosis ol ¡ctive, prì¡r¡ry, idiop¡lhic psychopathy, incaÞacily lbr love, âbscìrcc 01-shdDlc or rcnrorse, liìck
01 l)sychological insight, inability to Iearn lìu pÍrsl cxperic¡cc,
cokl bìoo(lcd Íìllitrìdc, ¡uthìcssness, tolâì detelnlinalioD, and litck
oi eDlll¿ì(hy. Ìle seer¡s to be âliècLively i¡r,ulnclabìc ¡ncl ¡osìst¡nt to ¿rny ibu¡ of c¡rotitiD or llulù¿Ìrity. Ilâvir)g lcad ¿ùr(l stu(|,
iecl llicharcl Kuklinski's casc. Chigulh ald Kuklinsl(i have
in co¡rnlon (20). ln the case of Chigurh, Lhe
descriptioD rs exhenlo, Llut we coulcl re.ìlistic¿rlly ôllllost tiìlk
sevcral 1r¿rits
¿rboul
<<
rD iìDti-huur¿Ln l)crs(nralily clisolcier'>>.
Andller lcâlistic iutcrcsling cx¿l¡rplo is llc¡ry (inspirccl lìonr
Ilenry Lee Lttc¡s) (l'le¡tt),-Porltttit ol u Seriol Killer, 1991). ltt
this filDr, the ììl¿rin, iDtcrcstiìrg lhcrìc is thc cluos tllld insta[,.ilily
in the life of the psychopalh, Heuly's lack ol insight, a powcllìl
lack ol cnrp¿ìlhy, enotioùirl povclty, aDd a we]l-illuslr'¡1ed lìilLìrc
le pl¿Ìn ¡he¡cl. Geotge Harvcy is ano(hcr diJlercnt ¿lnd iDtcrestjD-s
ch¿iractcr lbund fi 7'1rc Lovel¡, Ik¡t¿}¡, 20119. Harvey is Drole .<
iì(lâpte(l >> th¿ìD Chigurh înd Henry. lle has ä lrouse, is sociâlly
compelent ând sce¡r'rs like << the ¡veragc rn¡t) on tllc sttcct >.
Thìor¡gh thc lìl¡)r, wc ìc¿rn thal hc is in lact ilr organized p¿Ìt.lìphilic SVP. Here. lhc fììlsc scll is wcll illustì¿ìtcd. ID tcrÌs ol'¡
<< srìcccsslìrl psychopath >>, Goldon Gekko lìon Wqll Stt-ect
(1987) rs ìrrobably oìrc ol lìrc nlost in{crcstiDg, rùiÌnipr¡l¿rtì\,e,
psychop¡llric licliou¡l chârrctcts to (hto. Maniprìl¡tivc psycho'
pirlllic chlr¿lclcrs are increiìsìDgly a¡rpeal.ing in lìl¡rs ancl selies.
Again, rve observe the s¿ìnre ptoccss, is observc(l ¿ìn(l cxpì¿ìined
bcfinc, with rntisoci¿ìl psychopaths. For the pâst lcw ye¡rs, wilh
the wolld econou]ic crises llrd sonrc high-prþlìlc tri¿ìls (srìch as
thc Ilcrnâr(l Ma&)Il'ttirìl), the attention ol lhe cli¡jcians is rìlorc
>, iìlso o¿rllcd corpor¿ìlc
lÌ)crìsed on
<<
l)syclropaths
by Babiak et al. (21). Films ancl selies plcsenting
sr¡cccssfirl psychop¿ìths
ch¡r'¡cters such âs brokers, disbo)cs{ lrrdcrs, vicìous lirwycls,
iÌnd thosc engâged in colporate espionâge ¿re erner'.ging (e.9.,
Motl Me¡t. I'he Wire) aDcì arc gcnclrlly rclâtecl to the globai
ecoDonry and inte|Dationaì busirress. A.gain, we see a stlollg p¿ll¿llelisur bctwecn whÍÌl h¡pper)s ir) our society îDd whîl hâppcìrs
i¡
1ììr¡.
ln the lìclional chîrdcter cx¿ìnì)lcs citcd abovc, nruc lh¿u scnsalionalistic patterns (srìch as physical stig¡Ì¿rtiì or exceptioniìl
LEISTEDT AND LINKOWSKI
Iùtt¡s.,
topath"
g fiorn
/els of
Iticu lar
tics of
f "elite
ahilities) as wcll as alïectivc ancl emotional clisturbances are prcscrttecl. Finally, at the oppositc encl of nrost ol'the l'ictional charirctefs pl'esentecl in l'ilms, thcy are vulnelable and havc linlits, as
thcy clo in the real world. These fictional charactcrs and a lèw
othcrs coulcl bc t¡sed as peclagogic exanrples because of their
¡rsychopathological plopelties.
lticrionul Psyr:11¿rn,¡¡r' Menttl Heulth PxtfÞssiottctls
Psychopathic psychiatrists (evil psychiatrists) ale lalc in ¡topufiction but do cxist (22).
Perhaps the most famous anrl << caricaturccl >> exarnple of'this
l¿rl
of psychopath is that of the cannibalistic psychiatrist
llannibal Lccter, as portrayecl by Anthony Hopkins in
rl ovct
toklgi-
rype
.rnality
ircclaimed, Acaclerny Award-winning
looclcd
abt¡n-
tlte kuttbs. As portlâyed by Hopkins ancl imaginecl by Harlis
,
iclio2001
lullr is
h. We
sufli-
ior
r
in
ps)/-
:, lack
iencc,
I
lack
rcsisstu(lhavc
r, the
.
talk
lionl
l).
ln
bility
¡ellirl
Iure
:sting
ri
)tc
<<
:ially
ct
>>.
parï-
ol'a
'l
rceÍ
Ltive,
cho:ries.
inecl
with
has
l99l
Dr'.
the
filn't The Siltnce ol
(23), Lecter is an exceptionally intclligent sophisticatecl socialitc,
whose disarrning charisrna, eruclition, civility, ancl wit disguise
his truc nature as a psychopath who mu¡'ders people and makes
gounnet cuisine out of their flesh. HannibaÌ Lecter, while the
ernbodirncnt of evil, is also an extraol'clinarily astute clinician
who can cliagnose Jodie Foster''s psychological conf'licts by identifying her pelfurne ancl assessing hcl shoes and clothing with
Holmesian accuracy. Hc also seenls to be invulnerablc. Again,
Dr. Lcctcl accumulates rrany personal charactelistics that ale not
generally founcl in everyday clinical practice.
Prcdictably, << evil psychiartrists >> surface throughout the clecade. Patrick Stcwart plays a corrupt CIA psychiatlist in Con.rplrac), Tlleory (1997). Mel Gibson plays a cab clriver who has bccn
rnaniprrlatecl as Stewart's guinea pig in a selics r¡f Mcutclturian
Crnttlidute-like experiments in mind conh'ol. Rivaling Dr. Lecter
in his rnalevolence (but more realistic and psychotic as well) is
the psychiatrist portrayed by John Lithgow in Brian De Palma's
Roising Cain (l9L)2), which appealcd I year later'. Once again
borrowing heavily frorn Hitchcock, not to nrention his own fìhn
Dressed to Kill, De Palma depicts a psychiatlist as an ¿rbusive
father who tolturcd his son in an effort to cre¿ìtc a multiple personality disorder.
Con'upt and incompetent psychiatrists abouncl, especially in
the films of'the 1980s (22). At tirnes, they are comic, such as
John Waters' behaviorist who shocks his patients with a cattle
plocl in Hair.spra¡, (1988). In other filrns, the psychiatrist is rnorc
cornplicatecl, such as the chalacter pot'trayecl by Lindsay Ct'ousc
in Davicl Mamet's Hou.re o.f' Gcutte.r (1981). Mal¡et lonncls u¡r
the usual assortment of con artists ancl sleaze balls, only to
throw a psychiatrist in their miclst. The film's nat'rative suggests
that shc is ultirnately coll'upted by hcr contact with these shacly
psychopaths but was perhaps corrupt to begin with, given that
psychiatly is viewed as sirnply a variant ol a con game. Others
are nlole conventionally seedy, such as Michacl Higgins in Alan
Parker's Angcl Hcart (1987), who falsifies meclical recolds for
moncy (22).
nore
n'ate
rting
i
efs,
¡bal
par)ens
ienlnal
Conclusion and Pedagogical Perspectives
Although we are able to describc the psychopath fairly well.
we clo not undcrstancl hirn (24). What we know cloes not ledt¡ce
but expancls the wonder at thc beautifirl complexity ol'the brain
and behavior'. One of the values of literatulc (of' which fihn is a
palt) is the vicalions experience. We can expelience people and
situations that we would never experiencc otherwise. We can
absorb somc of the wisclom ol' clead men ancl vanishecl cultures.
For cxanrple, l'ilms such as Kubrick's, which seek to portlay
.
PSYCHOPATHY AND THE
CINEMA 173
lttan ancl his cx¡terience in some of its clal.kcr aspccts, itrc suflcrior to thosc that tend to clclivel. an obvious "tncsslrgc" ot. t()
prcach or moraliz.e. Onc can ncver. clel'initively cxplain a work ol'
literaturc or art because such an explanation woulcl not only
cnrbocly every thought put into it by its cleator lrut ever.y thought
which will be evokccl in every leacler, even thosc not yet ltonli
every wolk is infìnite.
In thc final analysis and in a rnore gcneral way, psychi¿rtry
ancl the cinema arc both capable ol' oflèr.ing a conrpelling
glirrpse into thc contplex huntan psyche. It is, ol' cour.se, this
point ol convergence that will keep these two unlikely contpanions inextlicably bouncl fbl years to colne. In our s¡tecilic
topic of interest, it appears that psychopathy in the ci¡renta,
despitc a real clinical evolution rcnrctin.ç .fictionul. Most of the
psychopathic villains in popular fìction reser¡ble intcr.national
and universal boogeyntan, alllost as << villain archctypes >>,
who ale related to the cxistcnce of univet'sal countless fbrms
that channel experiences ancl emotions, rcsulting in recognizable ancl typical pattet'ns ol' bchavior with celtain ¡rlobablc
outcomcs.
Finally, realistic fictional psychopathic characters clo cxist, but
they arc in the rninority. Despite this, they continuc to coutrast
with their very intetestiltg clinical clcscliptions, especially since
2000. These characters, which mil'rol' sorìle types ol' our society,
are very important lbr the cinema itself ancl alt in general but
rnostly for fitule generations of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists as peclagogic materials. In fact, sor¡e of thesc fictional
chalacters can bc considered valuable for teaching ancl illustrating several aspects of f'orensic psychiatry, such as pclsonality
clisordcrs, paraphilia, expert witness charactcristics, pot'tt'ayal of'
the legal system, behaviors of the lawyers, ancl cour'troonl proccdures. Morcover, these n-rovies can be sources of lcssons, c¡uestions about clinical cases ancl leacl to cliscussions bctrvccn
studcnts ancl facr.rlty members.
Refcrences
L
Cape GS. Addiction, stignra and nrovies. Acta Psychiutr Sc¡nd 2(X)3:107
(3):163 9.
2. Gabbarrl GO, Gahhard K. 'lypology. ntytholog¡', idcolog¡,, ¡rsychirtry
and the cincnra. In: Gabbaltl GO. Gabl¡artl K. eclitols. Psyclriatly tntl thc
cincnra.2ncl cdn. Washington. DC: Anrclican I)sychiatlic l)rcss Iltc.,
1999:3 35.
3. Gabbald CO, Gabbaril K. A f ihnoglaphy lìrl thc rlc¡riction of ¡rsychiltr'¡,
in the Anrelicirn cincnr¡. ln: Gabbaxl GO, Girbtrartl K, etlito¡s. Psychiatr'¡,
ancl the cinema, 2nrl ctln. Wtshington. DC: Anrcrican Psychiatric Press
Inc..19991315 53.
4. Wctlding D. Iìoyd MA. Nicnlicc RM. Filns ancl ¡rsycho¡rathokrgy. In:
Wetkling D, tloycl MA. Nicnricc IìM, cditors. Movies anrl rncn(rl illncss:
using lilrns to understand ¡rsycho¡ratholo_uy. 3ld crln. Oxl'ottl. U.K.: Ilugrcf'c Publishing, 2(X)9;l
12.
Karpman B. On the neecl of' separating psycho¡>athy ilìto t\\,o tlistincts
clinical sutrtypes: thc synlptonl¿ì(ic and thc icliopirthic. .l Cr.int l)s¡,chopathol l94l13:l l2-37.
6. Karprnan B. Conscicncc in the psychopath: iìnothcr vcl.siolt. Aln J Ol.thopsychiatry 1948a;18:45.5 91.
7. Karprnan B. The nryth. Ol'rhe psychopurhic pcrsonality. An J l)sychiatr.y
-5.
1948b;104:523 34.
tì. Harc RD. Thc harc psychopathy chccklist lcvisccl. 'lìlonkr.
Carrada:
Multi-Flealth Systcrns, lt)9 I
9. Hervé Hl.-. Yuille JC, eclitols. The psychopath: thcoly. rescarch, antl social
.
implications. I-lillsdale. NJ: l-awrcnce Erlbaum Associates Inc.. 2007.
10. Hclvó HI". l-lnle RD. Criminal psychopathy and its subtypcs: rcliability
ancl genclalizability. Plocccdings of flrc 2(X)2 Anrclican Psychokrgy
l-au, Society Conferencei 2002 Mar 7 lOt Austin. 'lX. Southprxr, NC:
Anrc¡'ican Psychology-l-arv Socicly, 2002.
l'lervé FlF. Hare RD. Psychopathic subtypes and thcil crirnes: a validation sturly. Prrrceerlings ofthe 2(X)4 Ârlcrican Psycholog¡, l.au,Society
ll.
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