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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


My son couldn't contain his laughter two days ago as he told me the story of a German woman who had fallen for a Death Row inmate in Texas. He felt she represented everything that is wrong with the way some women think. When he told me she was beautiful, I was doubtful, but then he sent the following link:

Such a case would ordinarily leave one wondering about Romina Deeken's IQ and family history. But the article is actually quite informative, and attaches a name to the mystifying phenomenon of women who are attracted to notorious criminals: hybristophilia. (At least now we know it's considered an official mental illness.) The article goes on to explain that most of the women who suffer from this particular condition were abused themselves when young (although the women interviewed for the article all denied it).

Here is a picture and brief description of the crimes of Jose Martinez, the man Deeken has fallen for: 

There would certainly seem to be more deserving recipients of Romina Deeken's affections.

My son does have a point: you never hear of men flocking to notorious female criminals.


Anonymous said...

I think the reason some women are attracted to violent men is instinctual and the women in question may be totally unaware of the underlying logic: a violent psycho is apt to have very high testosterone levels, and so any child born with his DNA is arguably more likely to be strong, survive and reproduce than the child fathered by a sensitive, poetic type.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Good point. There are definitely a high percentage of alpha types in prison.

asherf said...

I do feel that we have only focussed on heterosexual orientation for this paraphilia.
Weirdly enough if you look at graphic novels you will find a number of real-life men being attracted to dangerous comic book females. Femme fatale - that is notoriously attractive. But it is most commonly found in women, but there is no way to claim outright exclusivity.

Marie Curie said...

Curious as to why she is/is not beautiful would even be of interest to you. Although it is possible that a favorable (more in traditional societal terms and less in "beauty in the eye of beholder" terms) physical appearance could lead one to become, shall we say, lazier, it seems incorrect to assume anything else solely based on appearance (imho).

(although laziness over time could have implications as well).

John Craig said...

Marie --
I found the fact that she was beautiful more surprising because it meant she could have her pick of men outside jail. It's a fact of life that everybody -- meaning, both men and women -- often settle for the best mate they can get. And, realistically, a woman's sexual market value is determined in large part by he looks. (This is why billionaires never marry unattractive women, at least after they become rich.) And given that a woman who looks like Romina Deeken could have her pick of men, it made it all the more surprising that she would focus her attentions on an inmate. Just shows how strong hybristophilia can be, I guess.

Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with what you call hybristophilia but simply with feelings and LOVE. Ever heard about love John Craig?

John Craig said...

Erica (I'll just assume it's you) --
As I recall Charlie Manson used to preach about love as well. I don't doubt that your feelings for Fredrick Baer involve some sort of love, affected as your emotions may be by hybristophilia. But Baer's feelings toward others don't involve that emotion, i assure you.