While looking up Wesley Shermantine, the serial killer pictured in the previous post, I stumbled across this advertisement from him on a website which tries to get pen pals for Death Row inmates:
It's a wonderfully revealing look at the mentality and methods of a sociopath.
You often hear that when you go to jail, the first thing you find out is that everyone claims to be innocent. Shermantine is no exception. In the first part of his letter he states:
Death Row Inmate Shermantine declined (refused) Attorney General offer of Life-Without-Parole on March 14, 2011. I've not murdered anyone, so what would compel me to accept a deal of any kind which had a "life" sentence attached to it? My heart aches for the Herzog's victim's family members. I really would like to help them all, but the A.G. and D.A. MUST present a far-better offer.
Since writing this, Shermantine has drawn up maps showing the locations where additional bodies can be found. He did this not out of guilt or a desire to bring closure to the victims' families, but in exchange for money with which to buy a TV and other creature comforts for his cell.
Note how his "heart aches" for the bereaved family members. This type of false emotionality is typical of sociopaths, who are forever striking such poses.
The straightforward protestation of innocence is also typical. It's easy to imagine Shermantine saying this while looking you straight in the eye, without a catch in his voice.
This is what he says about his previous marriage:
I've been here on Death Row since May of 2001. I'm currently single but previously married to a wonderful woman who blessed me with two beautiful sons (now grown men). She has since remarried.
Shermantine's wife testified at his trial that he constantly beat her, even while she was pregnant or holding the children in her arms.
Prior to this tragedy occurring in my/our lives, I/we enjoyed simple things like fishing, hiking, hunting, horseback-riding, backing packing into the wilderness, water skiing, gold panning, playing in the winter snow, and just about anything to do with the great outdoors.
Shermantine reportedly boasted to his partner in crime, Loren Herzog, that he had killed a hunter in Utah. Evidently he used these wilderness jaunts to indulge his habit of killing strangers. (It's a lot easier to get away with murder when you're in a remote area far away from security cameras, etc.)
Never having been to prison before, I get by. There's a lot more to me than really meets the eye. I love music too, along with the unexplainable in life --- things we cannot see or even have a true understanding of.
Shermantine loves music and "the unexplainable in life" -- what a romantic!
Today, I seek genuine friendship from all walks of life, men and women whatever age, and people willing to tough out this rough patch in my life with me, those willing to take a chance on getting to know me while at the same time, learning how the justice system "really" functions, placing innocent people into prison while freeing the guilty.
A nonsociopath is much less likely to use the word "genuine," since he would just assume that any friendship is by its nature genuine. But a sociopath is forever spelling out his inner decency and goodness.
Next time you meet someone who sounds like this, make sure there are some security cameras around.