top of page


Articles published in Psychology Today

2019 bio picture.jpg


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

Latest Article
Articles - New Bacground.png

Murder and Mental Illness

A poker player, a predator,

and the odds of mental

illness leading to violence.

Articles - New Bacground.png

The Hidden Danger of

the Homicidal Narcissist

When ego threats, perceived slights, and romantic

rejections can lead to murder.

Articles - New Bacground.png

What Happens When a Staged Suicide is Missed

How serial killer Dellen

Millard got away with it and how he got caught.

Articles - New Bacground.png

Getting Pleasure From Someone Else's Pain

The dark mirror of everyday sadism.

Articles - New Bacground.png

How Many Chances Should a Serial Killer


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

Articles - New Bacground.png

What Kind of Son Would Murder His Mother?

When Love and Money aren't enough.

Articles - New Bacground.png

Sadistic California Serial Killer Captured Forty Years Later

The Recent Arrest of Billy Ray Richardson Shows Justice

Never Forgets

Articles - New Bacground.png

Pregnancy, Lies, Kidnapping and Murder

Who Would Steal a Baby

Just to Keep a Man?

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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


Articles - New Bacground.png

Some People Don't Believe a Loved One Committed Suicide

Few things are harder to

accept than a loved one's suicide.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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?

Articles - New Bacground.png

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? 

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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?

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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.

Articles - New Bacground.png

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?

Articles - New Bacground.png

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?

Articles - New Bacground.png

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?

Articles - New Bacground.png

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?

Predators Who Pretend to Be Victims

If you don't think there's such a thing as a wolf in sheep's clothing, check out these predators masquerading as victims.

Dying of Old Age

- or Murder?

Just because a senior citizen dies doesn't mean it's "natural". Here's how family members spotted a homicide-in-disguise.

Would You Want a Teenage Killer Locked Up for Life?

Should teen killers be given a break because of their developing brains or should the facts of the crime guide the punishment? The Supreme Court has spoken.

The Case of Accused French Serial Killer Nordahl Lelandais

Serial killers have a lot in common in how they think and what they do. Here's what we're learning from a recent case in France.

Lori Vallow Found Incompetent to Stand Trial

Just as Lori Vallow is finally facing murder charges, a psychologist says she is not competent to stand trial. But is she really similar to other incompetent defendants?

The Right to Life

In January 2021, 18 American children were killed in a murder-suicide. Here's why.

Serial Killer vs.

Serial Killer

Covid-19 has been called a serial killer, but what happens when a medical serial killer meats a real-life one?

The Volga Maniac has Been Arrested

In 2011 and 2012, a Russian serial killer murdered over 20 elderly women along the Volga river. Now that he's been caught, what can we learn from his confession?

The Deaths of Meg Purk and Natalie Jones

Does a victim's history of depression make it more likely that a murder will be staged as a suicide?

When 'Suicide' is Really Murder

What would you do if you thought someone you loved had been murdered but their killer had staged it to look like a suicide--and was getting away with it?

One is a Tragedy, Two is Suspicious, and Three is Murder

In 2019, Nancy Moronez was found guilty or murdering three infants over 30 years ago. All three deaths were initially attributed to SIDs. How could this happen?

Dark Connections

Sexual predators targeting children on the internet are all too common. But internet murderers are much more diverse than you might think

-- and so are their victims.

Hell on Wheels

Cars has long been used as weapons. But a recently arrested alleged serial murderer used his car to kill. Is he the first?

My Cult Made Me Do It

The ability to tell the difference between religious fanaticism and mental illness may determine a defendant's valid insanity plea or the death penalty.

Extreme Beliefs or Religious Delusions

Where is the line between delusions and extreme religious beliefs? The answer to that question may help investigators solve the mystery of three dead adults and two missing children.