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THE HUMAN EQUATION

Articles published in Psychology Today

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AMERICAN MAGAZINE

The Human Equation, looks at the dark side of human nature, with a special emphasis on women and crime.

Topics include female serial killers, Munchausen by proxy, cult leaders, and the psychology of evil.

Serial Killers, Self-Reliance, and Everything in Between

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Deceived & Manipulated by a Fake Mental Illness

The story of sexual predator and "Split" movie fan Joseph Head.

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Murder and Mental Illness

A poker player, a predator,

and the odds of mental

illness leading to violence.

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The Hidden Danger of

the Homicidal Narcissist

When ego threats, perceived slights, and romantic

rejections can lead to murder.

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What Happens When a Staged Suicide is Missed

How serial killer Dellen

Millard got away with it and how he got caught.

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Getting Pleasure From Someone Else's Pain

The dark mirror of everyday sadism.

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Strangulation, Sadism, & Closing in on the Alphabet Killer

What we know about sexual homicide offenders who target children.

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How Many Chances Should a Serial Killer

Get?

The parole of Colin Pitchfork shows just how har it is to predict future risk.

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What Kind of Son Would Murder His Mother?

When Love and Money aren't enough.

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Sadistic California Serial Killer Captured Forty Years Later

The Recent Arrest of Billy Ray Richardson Shows Justice

Never Forgets

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Pregnancy, Lies, Kidnapping and Murder

Who Would Steal a Baby

Just to Keep a Man?

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Anger, Depression, Violence, and Lost Children

There's a saying that those

who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.

The story of a 1920s murder-suicide shows just how true that is.

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What Kind of Son Kills

His Dad?

It's rare for a child to kill a parent, no matter what has happened between them. When he does, it's likely to be for one of three reasons.

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How Much Influence

Can One Person Have?

No one outside of a cult understands what it's like to

be in one. Perhaps this woman's story can change

that.

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Some People Don't Believe a Loved One Committed Suicide

Few things are harder to

accept than a loved one's suicide.

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Cheerleaders, College Students and Call Girls

Of the 65 percent of serial killers' victims who are

women, 76 percent are sex workers. But is that who they are or what they've done?

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How do Killers find Their Targets, and Why They Often Get Away with it

Why do so many predators target the homeless, sex workers, or others on the margins of society? 

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Linking Serial Killers, Mass Murderers, and Child Abusers

Think domestic violence can never touch your life? Neither did nightclub goers, church worshippers, or serial killer victims.

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What If a Serial Killer Murdered Your Grandma?

It can be all to easy to attribute the death of an older person to natural causes. Sometimes, frighteningly so.

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Did You Know a Crime Victim May Have Saved Your Life?

What would you do if the worst tragedy imaginable happened to you? I'd love to think I'd be half as brave as these people were.

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Wrongful Convictions, Memory, and Eyewitness Testamony

A number of wrongful convictions have suggested we view eyewitness memory with a healthy dose of skepticism. But is it our memory that's the problem?

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Think You Couldnt Be Duped By a Con Artist? Think Again.

The Netflix documentary "Rhe Tinder Swindler" has captivated audiences with its boldness, manipulation, and deception.

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A Real-World View of Incompetence to Stand Trial

Accused murderer Lori Vallow has been found incompetent to stand trial and sent to treatment. Is she faking it? Will she ever stand trial? Here's a forensic psychologist's take.

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The Psychology of "Copycat Killers"

People often discuss copycat killers after a mass shooting or serial murder. But if the media inspires murder, why aren't true crime fans more violent?

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Precious Commodities

Most of us think of life insurance as a way to protect our children from an uncertain future. But what if it's a way to use our child to finance our own?

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Should It Matter if a Perpetrator Was Once a Victim

Why would a grown woman burn her father alive? She says it was payback for sexual abuse. But even if that's true, should it matter?

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When the Child You've Raised Is a Batterer

We don't usually think about the family who raised a domestic violence perpetrator. What should we do if we do?

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