Some stalkers present with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder

One of the many mental disorders we encounter with stalkers is that of NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Once again we like to lay out all of the conditions this disorder my present; therefore we will quote the Diagnostic Criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder out of the DSM-IV-TR:

“A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements) 

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.”

Well, I think we all know someone who exhibits all or at least five of these personality traits; fortunately for us they are not all stalkers. I know of a few politicians and/or supervisors that I have had over the years that fit into this category. I had one stalker who couldn’t ever seem to pass a mirror without admiring himself. For most of us a mirror is really not our best friend. This same stalker had his son dye not only his head and facial hair, but his pubic and chest hair due to the gray that was creeping in. Most of persons with narcissism, do not take any kind of criticism well at all. Some of the stalkers that have later been diagnosed by our mental health elevator are completely incredulous when a female target basically blows them off. They cannot fathom how any women or man for that matter could not find them the most wonderful creature on the planet. Many of the mental health experts that were interviewed concerning the recent Santa Barbara mass murder stated that he exhibited “severe” signs of this condition. 

It should be noted that mental health professionals advise that those with the NPD exhibit many of the traits of someone with a Histrionic, Antisocial, or Borderline Personality Disorder. However the thing that stands out about NPD is how wonderful or grandiose someone with this condition thinks they are. 

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Private photos a tool used by stalkers

Fox news was recently talking about estranged spouses putting naked or other compromised photos on the Internet of their estranged partners. One of the things I discuss when I lecture is to think hard about allowing those that you are having an intimate relationship with to take shall I say compromising photos of you and even them together. I realize in the heat of passion, or when not thinking too straight these things can happen, but when one or more pops up on the Internet because of a stalking scenario, or just someone in a bad relationship looking for revenge, it will be too late. When I first started working stalkers back in the early 1990’s stalkers used to post these photos with the name of the target and his or her phone number on same in that target’s neighborhood, oftentimes on telephone polls or grocery store public posting boards. I had one stalker who had been an intimate partner with a firefighter, who sent nude photos of him to the elementary and high schools in the area where he was stationed. (That was a real problem. Would not have been that firefighter trying to explain that to his chief.)Now of course these things are finding their way into the Internet in a variety of ways. So if you have some of those kind of photos or videos, get rid of them, or put bury them in a place you are POSITIVE no one will find them. 

Threat of suicide, a tool used by some stalkers

Remember, we advised you that there are all types of stalkers. They have a variety of tools in their arsenals to promote their cause. One of which is the threat of suicide. Most often we see this in your domestic violence/intimate partner stalking. Now just as a little background as a detective with over thirty-three years on the job, thirteen years in homicide I have worked a variety of death cases, I have seen a great deal of completed as well as attempt suicides. These range from hangings, (my partner and I have had guys hang themselves from a basketball hoop, use an electrical chord that they wrapped around a rafter beam, used a belt in a jail cell) self-inflected gunshot (too many to describe, however we have seen people use rifles, handguns, and a variety of shotguns, even homemade devices to get the job done), poisoning, asphyxiation, wrist cutting, etc. In fact, the first death I ever handled as a rookie was a woman who dressed herself to the nines, went into her garage, shut her garage door, plugged in her vacuum hose to her VW’s exhaust, closed all the windows in her car after running the hose into same, put on her favorite radio station, turned on the ignition and went on her last sleep on this earth.

We understand that many troubled people including those that are young and perhaps bullied, abused, or have other extreme stresses in their lives resort to taking that life because they see no end in sight to their pain. (As you are probably aware, an inordinate amount of teens do take their own lives many because for reasons I just described, but also because they lack or have not developed the coping mechanisms necessary to survive their overwhelming feelings of despair.) That is always tragic; however, what those people tend to forget is that once they are gone, they are gone. Those that are left behind then must bear the burden pain and sorrow.

Then you have the class of individual that decides to kill others prior to committing suicide. We hate that. Our outlook is, if you are going to kill yourself and for whatever reason you can’t be talked out of it, then do it, but don’t take anyone else with you. Those of you who are reading my blog must understand that homicide detectives  tend to have a little different slant on life.  There was one period of time when we had a slew of murder/suicides, some done by stalkers, some done by others. I used to write programs for the office of the chief, due to my background in education and business along with my other duties. Therefore I decided to write a special training program for those (especially the criminal element) we believe might become the perpetrators of this type of scenario.  Most all my fellow coppers thought it was a great solution to the problem, but my commander stopped it from getting to the chief’s office. I can’t really describe it here, but it is discussed on page 492 of The Duck and The DCO by Damion Kane, (the book they wrote about our exploits). My partner and I were heavily involved in strange solutions to criminal activity; oftentimes they were heavily laced with a great deal of cop humor.

As for our title Suicide, a tool used by some stalkers. We have seen stalkers threaten their targets with, “if you don’t get back with me, I will kill myself.” Although there are those that think that might be a viable solution to the stalking victim’s problem, this does cause many stalking victims to actually return to their stalker. Then you have the stalker who goes into the garage, and turns on his car with the garage door shut; knowing full well that he will be found by his target just before he succumbs to the fumes. Some will make superficial wounds to their arms, just enough to draw blood, etc. Once again, this is another tool in the stalker’s arsenal. Something to be aware of when and if you are in a stalking scenario. Over the course of this blog we will discuss other tools of their trade.

The problem of clustering

You may be sitting there viewing this post asking what the hell is Proctor talking about, what is clustering and how is it pertinent to both stalking violence, murder, mass murder and the like. One of the things we unfortunately see when a Virginia Tech…the perpetrator of which was also a serial stalker (although that does not really matter for us to discuss this phenomenon), Santa Barbara…the perpetrator of which also was reportedly stalking at least one female, the thirty-two year old milk truck driver who killed young Amish girls in a school environment, (who by the way observed,and planned his crime over a period of time), etc. is a cause and effect action we refer to as clustering. In this day of the Internet, 24 hour news broadcasts, and commentary, any of these incidents that transpire, the press reports the crime over and over again. Their commentators describe everything the killer(s) did and why they believe they did it. The crime is described in minute detail. So what does that do to some disturbed individual who is sitting in front of his computer or television; continually watching this type of reporting over and over again. What we see is that these individuals have been thinking about doing something like killing multiple persons or one person for that matter for any reason; perhaps going out in a blaze of glory or because of some other delusional or perceived fantasy. Once they have absorbed all this information made available to them via constant coverage; they now can develop a plan utilizing what someone else has already in their mind “successfully” accomplished.  An example of this is when Cho Seung-Hui conducted his rampage at Virginia Tech, one of the things he did was to chain and lock the doors of the multi-story class building he then entered and began executing people. Even though Cho had issues he was  intelligent, do you think he thought about this maneuver himself, or did he see that our milk-man in Nickel Mines, Pa., had also chained the classroom doors of the Amish school he entered and took over a dozen girls hostage, killing at least three. The Amish incident took place and around Oct. of 2006, Virginia Tech., was April of 2007. Something to think about.

I am still waiting for a similar cluster to transpire from The Santa Barbara Killings; however I am aware of some multi-killing/suicides did take place within the state closely after the Santa Barbara incident, one of which was perpetrated by a male in his twenties against three family members. Unknown if the Santa Barbara incident figured into that case or not.

I doubt that heavy and detailed media coverage of these incidents will ebb anytime soon if ever. What I am saying is when one of these incidents take place those of you that have a close association with troubled persons, be on the look out, and if you see anything that you might feel is leading to aggression, please notify local law enforcement and try and get them up to speed. Or at the very least try and get those troubled individuals in your life to seek out some type of therapy. We don’t need more of these crimes to take place. Stay safe, and bless you and yours.