Psychopathy Awareness and The Jodie Arias Verdict

I became aware of the Jodie Arias case a few years ago and have followed the trial closely.  And during the early phases of the trial I wrote some articles on concerns I had about the ability of jurors to set aside any biases and reservations they might have with regard to accepting the reality of serious character disturbance, especially in women (see, for example, When Evil Wears a Feminine Face).  But the jury’s verdict in the Arias case demonstrates that public awareness of serious character disturbance, especially psychopathy and it’s hallmark features, has finally reached the point that despite how hard it is for normal, rational folks to fully understand why or how severely disturbed characters behave as they do, they have certainly accepted the realities about such characters and are willing to hold them to account.

I’ve written extensively on the nature of lying (especially in Character Disturbance) when it comes to seriously disturbed characters.  But no illustration I might give could possibly compare to the dissertation on lying Arias gave to the jurors.  And it was more than just all the many different stories and versions of events that she gave to police and others before finally admitting she killed her boyfriend.  It was the fact that even as she was making a case to save her very life, she couldn’t (or should I say wouldn’t) stop lying – even when to tell the truth might have served her in much better stead.  Fortunately, the jury not only didn’t buy her lies but also keyed in on her characteristic glibness, arrogance, and unwavering confidence in her ability to control.  I’ve written about this also (see: The Feminine Face of Evil Part Two:  The Arias Verdict).

After her conviction, Arias was still all about the game of manipulation and control, as evidenced by her statements regarding the sentence she prefers.  Knowing how such seriously impaired characters operate, I suspect that Arias’ statements about preferring death to a lifetime of punishment might represent the first time she is telling some semblance of the truth (Arias complained that knowing how long she’s likely to live, she couldn’t bear the discomfort (boredom) of being in one place for so many years). And her gaminess puts the jury in a bit of a bind.  If they vote for death, Arias won’t have to spend a lifetime experiencing the consequences her heinous acts and lack of expressed remorse have earned her.  But if she is spared the death penalty, she evades the price anyone committing such a heinous crime rightfully deserves.   Remember, there’s only one thing that matters to such characters, and that’s being in the driver’s seat.  And not merely because she’s made the threats before, but for the aforementioned reason, I think it’s a fair bet that should the jury spare her life, Arias herself might find a way to take it, especially if she finds herself overwhelmingly bored.  Anything but submitting to the will of someone else.  After all, what kind of life would that be? Just recently, of course, she told the jury contemplating her fate that she’s changed her mind and doesn’t want to die.   According to her, that’s because “in all good conscience” she couldn’t let her family experience the pain of her giving up any hope of freedom.  But to buy into this notion, the jury would first have to believe that she indeed possesses the kind of conscience and concern for others she’s never before displayed.  

I’ll have another comment on this trial once the jury has decided Arias’ sentence.  For now, I continue to be impressed with the jury, the members of which seem to have simply had it with folks who display no conscience or remorse and seem to be so unfathomably self-absorbed.  And while the professionals involved in this case have a lot of explaining to do (one determined without any corroborating evidence or direct involvement with Arias that she was an abuse victim, and another diagnosed her with Borderline Personality Disorder – the all-too-common course for those who simply can’t see or refuse to accept psychopathic features in females and therefore continue to pollute the prevalence statistics which afford the diagnosis of BPD overwhelmingly to women), the jury, unencumbered by professional bias, appears to have rightly assessed her character.  So it’s with some eagerness that I await their final judgment and rationale for it.

15 thoughts on “Psychopathy Awareness and The Jodie Arias Verdict

  1. I hope she carries it out. The only people who are truly punished when persons like that spend a lifetime in prison are the taxpayers.

    1. I have not followed this at all but did do a little reading about it after Dr. Simon mentioned it last week or so. Was her BF not abusing her? I was under the impression that she was being physically abused. Maybe I’m mistaken.

      1. That was her umpteenth “story” and her eventual defense. But there was absolutely no evidence to support it. And the jury certainly didn’t buy it, thank goodness. But after so many stories, she probably figured: “When all else fails, try the abuse excuse!”

  2. I really don’t have a clue. Maybe she was being abused though. Emotionally or mentally. I can tell you this….if you were to ask Spathx’s circle of friends if he was a great guy,,,,,,his narcissistic primary supply sources, they would all go to bat for him. They never see him as I experience him. I’m sure the families of his x wives and his x wives would disagree, as would I.
    Such a tangled web b

  3. Maybe he twisted her mind into oblivion. Of course she could have issues with or without him but he may have kicked it up to warp speed if he was abusing her mentally?

      1. Vera! Easy girl……I’m really not familiar with the whole story. I read one article.
        I am not making excuses for anyone!! I’m coming from a place of having been mind f’ed for two years and knowing what it has done to ME. I’m certainly not homicidal ( even tough I’m being falsely accused/ slandered in that regard) but felt pretty darn close to suicidal at a couple stages of this disengagement phase. And, I guess I know how much of an impact being gas lighted and mind f’ed can have. How much it can twist your brain, thoughts, perceptions, etc.
        OMG!! I even just figured out something the other day……all along he has been holding onto something I did in the beginning of the relationship. He conveniently throws this in the ring during a fight to get me off track and I’ve fallen for it every time. The other any I was looking at old emails from that period and I realized and remembered that it didn’t even happen the way he was portraying it. He has made such an issue of it, at just the right times, that I even ” believed” I had done something completely different than I had! It’s insane!
        I have no clue if this is applicable I this case. I guess I really need to be more informed before I comment further.

        1. Puddle, it has nothing to do with knowing the story in detail. What Dr Simon reports is enough.

          Abuse is NEVER ok.
          Even if he played mindgames on her, she is not entitled to abuse him and kill him.
          Even if he had gaslighted her, she is not justified to abuse and kill him.
          Even if he mindfked her, she is not justified to abuse and kill him.

          And to suggest all these things without real cause is besmirching the victim.

          1. Sorry, Puddle, about sounding so strident. I am embattled at the moment, and I think I am letting it taint other areas of my life. 🙁

          2. It’s ok Vera. Hugs to you. I just see how much Spathx affected my mental picture. I would never hurt him, damage his property ( that he doesn’t have LOL ). Or should I say, his mothers property. I do think I’ve been mind f’ed and heart f’ed and on some level tortured. I have a horrible background/ childhood issues galore yet I have never even considered harming him. I wouldn’t mind enlisting a couple male friends to verbally dress him down but hurt him? Never. So,,,,,,not knowing the details, I see what you are saying. What if he raped her? How would you feel about that? I do have my line in the sand. I don’t know if I would be able to be as non violent if someone raped me by force, injured my pet, did something to my father,,,,,, idk. I do see how crimes of passion happen. From the limited amount I read about this Jodi thing…… It did sound like there was quite a bit of prior planning.
            Alls well Vera 😉

    1. Whether or not we have a case of two individuals with psychopathic characteristics, one of whom was butchered by the slier, more ardent psychopath is still unclear. And I’ve seen some evidence suggesting that there might even have been some crafty “set-up” with respect to the recordings, etc. that shed a negative, sexually deranged light on the victim. But in any case, when it comes to female psychopaths, many of us can’t seem to get beyond our disbelief and biases. But the closer and more objectively we look, the more female psychopaths are absolutely identical to their male counterparts. And I’ve unfortunately met hundreds just like Jodie Arias. Gratefully, she couldn’t stop from revealing her nature to the jury, because she simply couldn’t or wouldn’t stop lying, even when it would have served her better to do so. And now she says blatantly that the reason she’ll off herself or gladly embrace death before life in prison is because she simply couldn’t bear to be in just one boring place for so many years. Classic!! Please listen!

  4. Dr. Simon,

    I think the Jodi Arias trial was another little nudge of awareness to the culture. I saw more mentions of conditions like psychopathy and NPD in relation to this trial among the public at large than I think I have in any previous case. The mixture of the 24-hour news cycle and the proliferation of social media along with Arias’ sometimes stunning displays might have helped us take another step toward the level of awareness these issues deserve.

  5. jodi is an attention whore and if she is allowed to live she will find ways of creating drama and drawing attention to herself. psychopaths have plenty of fellow inmates to “play” with and prey on in prison to alleviate their boredom.

    1. Yes and one of the first things that came to my mind that she will be in prison is other inmates and officers aren’t safe from someone as malicious and manipulative no conscience as her

  6. “You dream of your daughter becoming a mom, walking down the aisle as a bride – Jodi’s never going to see that. That’s very hard for me because I come from a big family, my husband comes from a big family and Jodi’s not going to have the chance to ever experience that.”

    Our lives have been forever changed. … We will stand by her always.”

    — Sandy Arias

    * * *

    Unbelievable! Even now, the psychopath’s mother rallies around and defends the psychopath. Who is the victim here?

    And here is an example of why one should not raise their children to be self-entitled and narcissistic – even if saying No to your children and disciplining them when they need to be disciplined means your children do not always get what they want. Not catering to your children’s every demand serves them and our society better in the long run.

    I fear the helicopter style of parenting, which seems to be in vogue, is creating a generation of narcissists and psychopaths. These days, many parents rarely (if ever) seem to say No to their children or punish their children when they should. Instead, they often lash out at others (e.g., teachers, school administrators) and make excuses when their children lie to or are abusive to others and misbehave. Psychopaths are both made and born. We all pay the price for bad parenting and bad genetics.

    Psychopaths do not follow orders in prison, in the military, or in the work place. They abuse their partners. They screw everything they touch. Worse, they always breed; women seem to be attracted to those who accumulate money and power, regardless of how they accumulate it. But how many women come out on top in the long run after they have become entangled by a psychopath? (Want to divorce a psychopath? Good luck with that; (s)he will drain your bank accounts without telling you and turn your family and erstwhile friends against you.)

    End of rant!

    Rest in peace, Travis Alexander.

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