One of the things that repeatedly is being pointed out about psychopaths is our criminal versatility. When I made a search on the phrase criminal versatility, all the results but one had the word Psychopath in them, Wikipedia’s Psychopathy being number 4.
I wonder if this is a just reputation. Are psychopaths alone criminally versatile, whereas the neurotypical majority of people and the non-psychopath minorities are not?
Maybe I don’t really wonder. In fact, I have a personal experience that tells a different story…
Like all the traits this cannot stand alone, meaning: You can be versatile as a criminal and still not be a psychopath. But it is one of the recurring traits, at least in psychopaths who are (or have been) criminal. And it is true for me also.
But I would turn the question around and ask: If you have taken the step and have broken the law in one respect, then you’re a criminal.
If you do the same thing again, but with another type of crime, you do not become a ‘double-criminal’ or ‘twice as criminal’, you are still simply criminal.
I take it we all know this.
So my question is: Why do some people commit one type of Crime and not all the others? – No, I don’t mean: Why do you steal and not rape someone also! – I mean, why do you steal, but not commit fraud also? Both are crimes based on the same motive: To get money or other material value.
To me it seems so logical and natural, that if you break the law in order to get wealthy, you may as well break the law in every way you can that can get you more wealth.
Then there’re the other kinds of crime: Violent crime, Sexual crime. And they seem to be totally different from Material Value crime. But are they really different?
If we think about it, why do someone want more money, f.x.? A few may want money merely so that they can gather more things. But most people do not get pleasure only from having lots of things and money. Most of us have a wide variety of different kinds of pleasure, And the one thing almost all kinds of pleasure have in common is that they can be bought for, or easier accessed if you have, money!
Most thieves, con men, fraudsters, muggers, bank robbers, i.e., commit these crimes in order to get money – so that they can get more things, and more sex, and more power – which is linked with violence – or simply the ability to engage i violence in a less risky manner.
If someone wants to get money so that he can buy more and better sex, he might as well get more sex by criminal means. He’s already a criminal because he wants more and better sex, so why won’t he get more and better sex from crime?
In my experience most people who are not psychopaths, and who do one kind of crime, also do one or a more other kinds of crime, though only on a minor scale.
He who buys sex from under age girls is more likely to also ‘borrow’ money from the cash register, speed drive, and bet on dog fights.
He, who steals from the cash register is more likely to also speed drive, engage in copy piracy on the Internet and download pedophile porn.
He, who uses counterfeit money is more likely to also buy a stolen car, use cocaine and blackmail the neighbor’s teenage son to have sex with him.
All that said, it does indeed seem that we – the psychopaths – are more criminal versatile than other minorities, and certainly more versatile than the neurotypical majority. We do a larger variety of crimes and we do them in a more radical manner. In many ways we are more radical people. But I think it is too black and white when they say we are versatile as if everybody else stick with only one type of crime, because that is obviously not true!
Another thing worth noticing, is that psychopaths make up approximately 20% of any prison population, which means we get caught a lot! No, it’s not because we do all the crime, if we did, we would make up way more than 1% of the general population! We simply have certain issues in our personality structure that leads to us getting caught more often. It’s sad, but it’s true!
To me this indicates – as always – that it is a question not about what, but about how much.
Psychopaths are not alien, not a different species. We are merely human at one end of a scale where the majority sit in the middle.
… And this, in my opinion, is a very important factor to understand!