Thursday, December 13, 2018

Psychopaths at the Holidays


This short video gives insight into what to expect if you come in contact with a psychopathic relative during the holidays.  While it is always best practice to avoid the psychopath, sometimes you're in a family situation where that may just be impossible. 

For more information and the lowest price for Winifred Rule's Born to Destroy, see  Order through the PayPal link only. Price includes shipping and taxes.

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Nobel-prize Winner's Opinion about Psychopathy Causation

While researching theories of psychopathy for my book, Born to Destroy, I connected with Professor Eric Kandel, Nobel-prize winning neuroscientist from Columbia University to discuss possible causes of this character disorder.  I was especially interested in his opinion about research suggesting that there were anatomic correlations with psychopathic characteristics in the brain's frontal cortex and paralimbic system.  He thought that was certainly possible, as recent fMRI data have suggested. However, when questioned about the likely causes of these anatomic differences, he demurred, stopping short of suggesting they were innate.  When asked: "Is it likely that these anatomical correlates are inborn, developed in utero, or changes in structure that develop over time, perhaps through disuse?," he responded simply: "No one knows."

For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Friday, November 9, 2018

Winifred Rule discusses PSYCHOPATHIC TACTICS

For more information and the lowest price for Winifred Rule's Born to Destroy, see  Order through the PayPal link only. Price includes shipping and taxes.

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Meet Winifred Rule and learn how to spot and protect yourself from a psychopath.  Two library presentations on Thursday, November 1 and Sunday, November 4 in northeast Ohio. No charge for admission.

Winifred Rule is a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, and is author of Born to Destroy, the first instructional work on the female psychopath, based on her experiences and lessons learned from living with two psychopaths--her mother and her sister.  Her work has been featured in libraries and curriculums of major universities in the United States and abroad.  Born to Destroy was accepted into the collections of Columbia University and the Leninka Library, Russia’s Library of Congress, to assist psychiatrists, researchers and lay people to better understand the impact of psychopaths in everyday life. Ms. Rule has received certification in using the principal diagnostic instrument for evaluating psychopathic characteristics (Dr. Robert D. Hare’s PCL-R) from the Darkstone Group, the only organization authorized to issue this certification in the world.

Thursday, November 1 - Rocky River Public Library - 7:00 p.m.
                                        1600 Hampton Road
                                         Rocky River, Ohio 
For more information, please click here to be taken to the Library's program listing

Sunday, November 4 - Shaker Heights Public Library - 2:00 p.m
                                     16500 Van Aken Blvd.
                                     Shaker Heights, Ohio
For more information, please click here to be taken to the Library's program listing

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


                                              “Am I dealing with a Narcissist or a Psychopath?”
                                    Professor Craig Neumann sheds light on a difficult question

 Psychopathy is a pathological personality disorder that reflects interpersonal deceptiveness, manipulation, callous and remorseless use of others, along with impulsive behavioral style and overt antisocial behavior (ranging from aggression to violent criminal acts). Only a few features of psychopathy (glib, grandiose interpersonal style) overlap with narcissism… the psychopath is about taking advantage of people for their own selfish interests, or sometimes just to hurt people because they find that amuses them.

 A grandiose (or malignant) narcissist may end up hurting others, but not because they find it enjoyable but more as a byproduct of thinking they are so great and whatever path they may choose, even if it involves rolling over people, so to speak, is OK given their ‘greatness’

 DSM-based narcissistic personality disorder (which mostly refers to grandiose narcissism and is somewhat limited in capturing vulnerable narcissism), also involves personality pathology but involves an interpersonal style and way of thinking that revolves around maintaining an elevated sense of self-esteem and getting attention from others to keep their self-esteem afloat, so to speak… paradoxically, the narcissist is fundamentally dependent on others attention for self-esteem maintenance, while they also think they are far better than everyone else.  While most people develop a healthy sense of self-worth, the narcissist requires other peoples’ admiration to have a sense of self-esteem (and thus the pathology and essence of their disturbed way of relating to others).  The (vulnerable primarily) narcissist most definitely has a grandiose sense of self, like the psychopath, and they can have shallow empathy for others (because everything revolves around them), but they are not generally impulsive and aggressive like the psychopath.

 The psychopath is completely dissocial, whereas the narcissist(s) will be social, but for their own self-esteem ‘boost’. The psychopath will be ‘social’ to take advantage of others in many more ways than the narcissist would ever do
The critical difference could be said to involve their differing ‘world views’.  The psychopath doesn’t care what others think about them and operates solely to use people for whatever they please. The narcissist(s) is (are) solely focused on their elevated self-importance and demands (required for the vulnerable narcissist) people to pay attention to them.
The vulnerable narcissist (VN) has a fragile sense of self-esteem, and without the attention from others is prone to depression, suicide, and various erratic behaviors, even aggression, in an attempt to get admiration from others because without the attention from others they are empty inside, given they have no healthy means of positive self-evaluation… as you can see VN is not a good thing. Turns out, grandiose narcissism also has some considerable down sides, but these folks tend not to have negative emotion, and often are very extroverted.

Dr. Craig Neumann: Professor of Clinical Psychology, Associate Director of Clinical Training, University of North Texas; Member of the Board of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy
     For more information and the lowest price for Winifred Rule's Born to Destroy, see  Order through the PayPal link only. Price includes shipping and taxes.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Psychopaths: In all Lines of Work... Easily Fool Others

"Many psychopaths have little difficulty joining the ranks of business, politics, law enforcement, government, and academia. They exist in all lines of work, from executive to blue-collar professions. However, psychopathy often is misread, misdiagnosed, minimized, or explained away by professionals whose jobs require regular interaction with psychopaths, namely in the mental health, judicial, and law enforcement communities. When these professionals encounter psychopathy in the course of their work, their reaction and response to the psychopath may be too little and too late. Their lack of information can lead to serious consequences, ranging from mishandling the strategy for interviews and interrogations to believing a psychopath’s complete fabrications as seemingly plausible explanations."  FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, July, 2012, p.5.
For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Sunday, June 24, 2018

First Use of "Psychopath" was for a Woman!

Psychopathy in females was historically overlooked and often went unreported because society promoted the stereotype that women were innately incapable of displaying psychopathic behaviors.   Even today, it is likely that female psychopaths are underreported because many studies and statistics are drawn from predominantly male prison populations.  While researchers are somewhat confident that about 1 out of every 100 males is psychopathic, there is greater uncertainty as to the prevalence among women.  It is inherently more difficult to ferret out the female psychopath.  She is often less violent and physically destructive, and so is less apt to come to public attention.  Ironically, the earliest documented use of the term “psychopath” in a legal proceeding was in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1885 for a woman accused of murdering a child.  At the trial, Dr. Balinsky, a psychiatrist, captured the essence of psychopathic behavior when he said: “[The psychopath] thinks logically, distinguishes good and evil, and acts according to reason.  But of all moral notions he is entirely devoid.”

For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Monday, April 30, 2018

Female Psychopaths - Need for Adulation

"The female  psychopath's interest in others is not based on a desire for greater intimacy, but rather is motivated by a need to be the center of attention."
"[Her] pronounced needs for 'relatedness' and adulation from others form the cornerstone of her Histrionic character."
Carl Gacono and F. Barton Evans, The Handbook of Forensic Rorschach Assessment, (New York 2008) 373, 375.

For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Saturday, April 21, 2018

FEMALE PSYCHOPATHS - Bored and Unable to Feel Loneliness !

“Psychopathic individuals know well within themselves ... feelings of sadistic pleasure, contemptuous delight, sudden dysphoria, and, deep within, a profound disquieting boredom.”

"The psychopathic individual ... is most vulnerable to chronic feelings of boredom because he or she aggressively empties the world of meaningful relations to ward off feelings of envy and greed."
"Emotional relatedness is ... [absent in the psychopath] , and consequently psychopathic individuals are unable to experience loneliness, the longing for and awareness of the possibility of emotional closeness."

Meloy, J. Reid. The Psychopathic Mind. 110, 111, 114.

 For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Female Psychopaths - Devastating Impacts on Children

Female psychopaths that are mothers have a devastating impact on their children ... some may murder, maim, or expose them to recklessly endangering situations ... others, countless more, intentionally expose their children to psychologically and emotionally damaging circumstances.
Why? What motivates this behavior?  Psychopaths fundamentally devalue others so as to enrich their personal sense of self ... they gain at the expense of others ... including their own children.  Female psychopaths want to dominate, control and win ... and who better to win against than their own children, who are there all the time to exploit.  They are easy prey, and the impacts can reverberate for generations to come.

For more information ... see Born to Destroy at

Sunday, March 11, 2018

FEMALE v. MALE PSYCHOPATHS - a special post by Drs. Gacono and Smith


In studying psychopaths for several decades (see Gacono & Meloy, 1994; Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005, 2008; Cunliffe et al., 2016; Smith, Gacono & Cunliffe, in press; Smith et al., 2014), we have found both male and female psychopaths to be callous and lack empathy. They share a cognitive style, as evidenced by their verbalizations, that reflects their callousness, their entitlement, and their refusal to take responsibility for their actions.  One female psychopath who was charged with a sex offense against a young male stated “I hope he burns in hell” while another female psychopath reported she suffered more than the victim she killed because she was incarcerated (victim stance). Both males and females can be conning/manipulative although women may use the “damsel in distress” persona to gain the attention and support she craves (see the case of Karla Homolka).

 While both male and female psychopaths share a borderline or psychotic level of personality organization (see Gacono & Meloy, 1994; Smith et al., 2014), there are noted differences involving self-esteem, emotion regulation, aggression, and their relationships. Male psychopaths effectively utilize their grandiosity to maintain their self-esteem while warding off any internal or external threats to their self-image. They tend to have more aggressive acts.  Females have a pathological self-focus though it coexists with a sense of being damaged.  They also exhibit more painful emotions than their male counterpart.  Female psychopaths can engage the same type of violent acts as males, they tend to use more indirect aggression (verbally aggressive with gossip). Female psychopaths also want to be around others but for selfish reasons (attention) something that male psychopaths do not exhibit (their lack of attachment). These differences are important because one may encounter these females throughout their life as not all are incarcerated. Understanding the female presentation and identifying their patterns could make you less vulnerable to their deceptions and manipulations.
 Jason M. Smith Psy.D. & Carl Gacono, Ph.D., ABAP

 Cunliffe, T.B., & Gacono, C.B. (2005). A Rorschach investigation of incarcerated antisocial
                personality disordered female offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy
                and Comparative Criminology, 49, 530-547.
Cunliffe, T.B., & Gacono, C.B. (2008). A Rorschach understanding of antisocial and psychopathic women. In C. B. Gacono, F.B. Evans, N. Kaser-Boyd, & L.A. Gacono (Eds.). The handbook of forensic Rorschach assessment (pp. 361-378). New York, NY: Routledge.
Cunliffe, T.B., Gacono, C.B., Smith, J.M., Kivisto, A.J., Meloy, J.R., & Taylor, E.E. (2016).
Assessing psychopathy in women. In C.B. Gacono (Ed.), The clinical and forensic assessment of psychopathy: A practitioner’s guide (2nd ed., pp. 167-190). New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Gacono, C.B., & Meloy, J.R. (1994). The Rorschach assessment of aggressive and
             psychopathic personalities. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Smith, J.M., Gacono, C.B., & Cunliffe, T.B. (in press). Comparison of male and female
psychopaths on select CS Rorschach variables. Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health.
Smith, J.M., Gacono, C.B., Cunliffe, T.B., Kivisto, A.J., & Taylor, E.E. (2014). Psychodynamics
in the female psychopath: A PCL-R/Rorschach investigation. Violence and Gender, 1(4), 176-187.
For additional information about female psychopaths ... see Born to Destroy at



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Female Psychopaths - What the Opposite Looks Like!

Those of you who have come to my presentations know that at the very end, I mention Darlene, a woman I met while staying at a Vermont inn. She was our breakfast waitress and was so cheerful every morning that I asked her, "What makes you so happy?" She said, "I choose to be happy."

I recently reconnected with Darlene while traveling once again in Vermont. I wondered if Darlene would be as cheerful. She was. I heard happy laughter while she served others and her sincere "...You are most welcome" when others thanked her. Everyone who meets Darlene finds her to be happy, helpful and caring. "I choose to be happy," Darlene says.

According to psychopathy researcher, Lucy Foulkes, the psychopath enjoys being cruel and does not enjoy being kind. In addition, Dr. Robert Hare has said that the psychopath's defining traits, such as pathological lying, deception and manipulation, are clearly the result of choice freely exercised. They choose to be cruel, the opposite of Darlene, who chooses to be happy.

Life is all about the choices you make!