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Friday, October 23, 2015

Michelle Carter, classic sociopath

Commenter Steven recently mentioned Michelle Carter. You may have heard of her: she's the high school girl in Massachusetts who cajoled and pressured her friend Conrad Roy into committing suicide.

There's no need to label this post as an alert because Carter's sociopathy is so obvious. But she's worth talking about because she illustrates several facets of sociopathy so perfectly.

Listen to these texts between Carter and Conrad the day of his suicide:

CARTER: You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.

CONRAD: I don’t get it either. I don’t know.

CARTER: So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then. All that for nothing. I’m just confused.

CONRAD: I am gonna eventually. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for but I have everything lined up.

CARTER: No you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You kept pushing it off and you say you’ll do it, but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. You just have to do it. Do you want to do it now?

CONRAD: Is it too late? I don’t know. It’s already light outside. I’m gonna go back too sleep. Love you. I’ll text you tomorrow.

CARTER: No. It’s probably the best time now because everyone is sleeping . . . If you don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it, and you can say you’ll do it tomorrow, but you probably won’t. Tonight? . . . Love you.

Later that morning:

CONRAD: I do want to but I’m like freaking for my family.

CARTER: I told you I’ll take care of them. Everyone will take care of them to make sure they won’t be alone and people will help them get through it. We talked about this and they will be okay and accept it. People who commit suicide don’t think this much. They just do it.

CONRAD: I know. I know. LOL. Thinking just drives me more crazy.

CARTER: You just need to do it, Conrad, or I’m gonna get you help. You can’t keep doing this everyday.

CONRAD: Okay. I’m gonna do it today.

CARTER: You promise?

CONRAD: I promise, babe. I have to now.

CARTER: Like right now?

CONRAD: Where do I go?

CARTER: And you can’t break a promise.

That afternoon:

CONRAD: Like, I don’t want to kill anyone else with me.

CARTER: You won’t.

CONRAD: When they open the door they won’t know it’s odorless and colorless.

CARTER: You’re over thinking. They will see the generator and realize you breathed in CO too.

CONRAD: So should I keep it in the back seat or front?

CARTER: In the front. You could write on a piece of paper and tape it on saying carbon monoxide if you’re scared.

CONRAD: I was thinking that but someone might see it before it happens.

CARTER: Well, wait, the generator is gonna be on because you’ll be passed out, so they’ll know you used carbon monoxide. Dead.

In the early evening:

CARTER: So it’s time?

CONRAD: Oh, it’s been time.

CARTER: Are you gonna do it now?

CONRAD: I just don’t know how to leave them (his family), you know.

CARTER: Say you’re gonna go the store or something.

CONRAD: Like, I want them to know that I love them.

CARTER: They know. That’s one thing they definitely know. You’re over thinking.

CONRAD: I know I’m over thinking. I’ve been over thinking for a while now.

CARTER: I know. You just have to do it like you said. Are you gonna do it now?

CONRAD: I still haven’t left yet, ha ha.


CONRAD: Leaving now.

CARTER: Okay. You can do this.

CONRAD: Okay. I’m almost there.

You can hear the impatience and lust to kill in Carter's texts. (Sociopaths are impulsive, and patience is not a sociopathic virtue.) 

Carter is manipulative (as are all sociopaths). She continually tells Roy that his troubles will be over, and that he will finally be at peace. Then, when he delays, she gets angry at him and accuses him of breaking a promise, playing on his guilt -- a guilt she would never feel.

Note the "Love you" at the end of one of Carter's tests. False emotionality is another sociopathic hallmark. 

Carter is also, like all sociopaths, utterly without shame. According to CBS News:

[Carter] allegedly sent text messages to her friends and to Roy's mother expressing concern about Roy's whereabouts on the day he committed suicide, despite having been in constant contact with him and encouraging him to take his own life.

The police documents indicate authorities believe she was putting together "a plan to get sympathy." They also allege that after Roy's death, Carter organized a softball tournament to raise money for mental health awareness in honor of Roy and posted several messages on social media about suicide prevention and how much she missed Roy.

In a message to Roy's mother dated July 25, 2014 -- twelve days after his death -- Carter wrote, "...There was nothing anyone could do to save him no matter how hard they tried. I never tried harder at something in my life."

So, like many sociopaths, Carter not only wanted the satisfaction of seeing another destroy himself, she also wanted credit for being a helpful, caring person. 

Carter was one of the worst people in the world, pretending to be one of the best. Which is exactly what many sociopaths are.

One final point always worth making: sociopaths come in all shapes and sizes, genders and colors. Look at this picture of Michelle:

What would you think, at first glance, if you saw her walking down the street?

You'd figure she is just another sweet, innocent, naive young high school girl who still has a lot to learn about life. You certainly wouldn't cross to the other side of the street to avoid her.

But, you should. She's far less innocent and sweet and naive than you are.

And if you take a closer look at that picture, you'll see that expression is in fact a calculated, practiced look of innocence.

There's a monster lurking in there, just as there is inside every sociopath. 


Anonymous said...

I remember reading about this girl, feeling badly for the guy who took his own life. The evidence that law enforcement had on this evil creature shows how sociopaths think, operate. I hope this girl is locked away for life. She is a scary individual.


Taylor Leland Smith said...

When I looked at the picture you posted I did not see an innocent teen girl. I was actually reminded of some of the teen girls I knew to actually be bullies. On the surface, her face certainly looks of sorrow, but I can't help but sense her phoniness in how she kind of overdoes it.

At that point I wondered, am I actually just biased from having read those disturbing texts? or could I have actually sensed the false innocence? I think it is a little bit of both, as I have always been particularly annoyed by (and acutely aware of) the fake-innocent types. And part of that might also be from reading this blog and in particular your posts about sociopathy. With that said, what's almost stranger to me is the gullibility of Conrad. Are people really conned that easily? Rereading those texts, how could he possibly think that she *loved* him?

Quartermain said...

That no-life should have taken her own advice, a lot of people would be better off. I'm afraid she will fabricate some cock and bull story about abuse and get what is called on the net, the pussy pass. Yes she doesn't look like a monster but she doesn't look innocent just manipulative. There is something to the quote about the devil masquerading as an angel of light. "People" don't deserve to be called human but inhuman. Inhuman garbage like her makes me ill.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Yes, I'd like to see her get a long sentence too. I doubt she will though.

John Craig said...

Taylor --
You've had more recent experience with high school girls than I have. I agree about her look, which is why I said "at first glance" in the post. At my age, all I get from high school girls is the fake-sweet routine, so it would be a little harder to see through them. Unless, I suppose, one of them was encouraging me to kill myself.

John Craig said...

Allan --
Yes, taking her own advice, that's what she deserves. In a just world.....

But you're right, she'll get the pussy pass.

Anonymous said...

I agree - this girl is non-human, lacking true human qualities. Reading about her raises my blood pressure.


Anonymous said...

The photo is telling. The simulacrum of remorse is there but no shame. None.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Simulacrum, I like that word (had took it up, though I was fairly sure what it meant).

The most gratifying thing about this blog is that people who are smarter than me read it.

Quartermain said...

"The most gratifying thing about this blog is that people who are smarter than me read it."

I wouldn't put it that way, because you're the one who finds the stories in the first place and finding the truth is usually a team effort. The truth is too big for one person alone.

John Craig said...

Allan --
Thank you, though (a) I actually didn't find this story, it was pointed out to me by someone else, and (b) who knows how smart various people are. I wasn't being entirely serious in the context of the use of one word as above, but I do sometimes get the sense from commenters of more "g" factor than I possess.

Runner Katy said...

Wow, looking at her photo, I shudder. She does look manipulative and fake. I had not heard of this story, likely because I mostly stay away from daily news. Good for the world to be aware of such a dangerous person. Thank you for sharing this story, although it certainly is tragic.

John Craig said...

Runner Katy --
Thank you….Imagine how that poor boy's parents feel towards her. They must want to kill her. It also makes you wonder about what kind of dysfunctional background she came from.

Runner Katy said...

You're so right. There really isn't justice for that boy's family. Hopefully they can discover this blog and know that they are not alone in dealing with these types of people. Hopefully she will at least spend a good amount of time behind bars, and at least that record should help a number of people avoid her.

John Craig said...

Runner Katy --
I'm afraid she was only charged with involuntary manslaughter, so she's probably not going to get that long of a sentence. Morally speaking, she should be charged with murder, but technically, she did not commit murder, so…...

Becki said...

Thank your posting this. I am a family member and there are so many unanswered questions... Why would she do this to someone she 'loved'? Why didn't she call his parents, a counselor, or the police? Why did she pretend to be concerned where he was and call his sister after she had already listened to him take his last breaths? Why would she raise money for suicide prevention just two months after his death? What did she have to gain? It is unfathomable to most of us why she would do this. I think you have the answer, she is a sociopath, a devil in sheeps clothing. The picture in your post shows a contrived innocent look, pictures taken at previous court hearings show a twisted pout like she is being inconvenienced by the whole case against her. The only thing she is sorry for is that she got caught. She told him to erase the texts...she tried to cover her tracks...she admitted to friends if the police read the texts I'm done, I could go to jail and his family will hate me. I hope she will be "done", and have to give up a piece of her life. As far as his family hating her...words cannot describe how I feel about this woman. Thank you again for your thoughtful commentary, all we can hope for is awareness for suicide prevention and that people like this exist and should be avoided at all costs because they literally will suck the life out of you.

John Craig said...

Becki --
You've answered your own questions: she is pure evil. I'm sure all your family members feel, naturally enough, exactly as you do about her.

By the way, just as Michelle Carter exuded sociopathy in all of her texts, Conrad exuded decency and naiveté. It's always the people who are the opposite of sociopaths who make the most likely victims of sociopaths, as they cannot imagine anyone being as evil as a sociopath. (Most of us start out in life imagining that others are more or less like us.)

I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Ramzpaul did a vid on the same subject:

John Craig said...

Anon --
Just watched it. I generally like Ramzpaul, but I was put off by this video. At first he makes a sort of joke out of the whole thing, then he tries to tie it into the nature of dogs and also feminism, neither of which the incident had anything to do with. He also called Carter "psychotic," which she isn't, at all; Carter wasn't crazy. She's a sociopath, sane but evil, all the way. But Ramzpaul doesn't seem to understand the nature of sociopathy, and how it makes people behave.

John Craig said...

Becki --
I just took another rook at my response to your comment and realized I should have explained my use of the word "naiveté." It's always the most decent people who are the least suspicious about sociopaths, since they themselves are the opposite of sociopaths. All decent people start out naive, and I only used the word to make that point. If you're naive about something you have no experience with, it does not mean you're stupid.

I started out quite naive about sociopaths myself, as I explained in this post:

Anonymous said...

Would you say that Michelle Carter is a higher functioning sociopath? Stupid sociopaths don't always realize (and/or consider) what the consequences of their actions might be. Michelle Carter knew that her behavior could be cause for arrest and that once she was found out, the victim's family would hate her. Still she carried out her evil, wicked scheme. Michelle Carter enjoyed the drama, the attention that she received being the girlfriend of the deceased victim.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
The idea of sociopathy is not that they can't realize what the consequences of their actions are, just that they don't care. But it doesn't take all that much intelligence to know what you are doing is wrong and will result in punishment of some sort. Sociopaths are more oriented to the present than most, and worry less about the future. But that doesn't mean they are unaware, simply that they worry less. Id hate to call Carter "high-functioning," because that would imply above average intelligence, and my guess is that she's of about average intelligence. What she does have is that sort of low animal cunning which all sociopaths have and use to trick others.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great if we could take all sociopaths and place them on an island together? For the rest of humanity, that would be equivalent to paradise.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Yes, that would be ideal. In fact, I've written about that on this blog,though I can't find the post now. A just world would also mean that all narcissists be segregated with each other, and all Aspies as well.

Trial of Michelle Carter said...

Understanding The Travesties of Unexpected Murder Trials has featured this article

Anonymous said...

This is a evil woman in the making. She should be sent to prison to protect other potential victims

John Craig said...

Anon --
I agree she should be in prison; I'd say she's already an evil woman.

GT said...

Looks like this case will go to a judge.

John Craig said...

GT --
Thank you for that. I guess she waived her right to a jury trial because she knew that any jury would convict her (or, at least, her lawyer realized that).

I figured something was going on because this post has been getting a lot of hits recently.

Anonymous said...

"A just world would also mean that all narcissists be segregated with each other, and all Aspies as well."

Why exactly should Aspies be isolated?

John Craig said...

Anon --
People deserve to be with other people who are like them. In a just world, sociopaths would live only with other sociopaths, so they could experience what it's like to be around people who feel zero affection for them, who are constantly trying to con them, who lie to them, etc. That's justice. Likewise for narcissists.

In my experience with Aspies, they are often completely unreasonable, have to have their way, never admit they're wrong, never say they're sorry (maybe "never is too strong a word, but it's close), have meltdowns for no discernible reason, and are very rigid in their thinking. In other words, they're impossible to deal with. People like that deserve to be with other people who act like that.

I shouldn't say ALL Aspies are like this; just the ones I've known personally. There have actually been a few Aspies who've written in on the blog who've been extremely intelligent, and extremely insightful. (Like "Ga," who's written a fair amount of comments on recent posts.) But they are the exception.

Don't you think that in a just world people would be exposed to others who are just like them?

Anonymous said...

There is no cure for sociopaths. They are another creature with absolutely no remorse, sentiment, empathy, compassion, conscience. The frightening thing about sociopaths/psychopaths is that many people are not aware these monsters are their best friends, spouse, neighbor, teacher, student, priest, doctor, government leaders (all parties), heads of nations, heads of corporations, business owners, the list is endless.

THERE are many. The ones caught are the exceptions. Why? Because they are brilliant at mimicry. They know how to emote to obtain their goal or to reach milestones toward their goal. Always, absolutely ALWAYS--a sociopath will only have you in their life if it benefits them, benefits their cause, benefits their mission. You will not be a part of any of their life unless it benefits that sociopath. Remember this. Ask yourself "why is so and so calling me now?". Ask yourself, "why is so and so spending time with me". Ask yourself, "HOW does it BENEFIT them?". You may not know outright what that benefit was--it's there. It may take some deep thinking--but you will know eventually. How? Because you will not get that call anymore. Or you will not get time spent with you anymore. Or you will finally realize that the only thing that sociopath wanted by having you in their life was for whatever made their life better in some way. But this is the light stuff.

The real hard stuff--the terror everyone should come to realize is that you may be dealing with a sociopath so deplete of civility that you might find yourself in a violent situation. I know I did. You see, a sociopath who has spent time with you EXPECTS success in receiving a benefit. If you decline, or you are not there for them, or you catch on and want to move away from that relationship--and they lose their CONTROL--they snap. They cannot accept the fact that they failed. They cannot take failure. They have brilliantly studied and learned the keys of manipulation. They are clever at mimicry and manipulation and when they learn from you that you are not buying their show anymore--or them--they do not feel PAIN or HURT for losing you. They frankly cannot relate to loss or mourn for the death of a relationship (in any type relationship). They are MAD at YOU for not being under their spell of manipulation. They are frustrated you are leaving them, not under their terms, but under yours. And they want that benefit that you provide. They believe they earned it for the time spent in conniving you into providing that benefit. For example, if in a relationship, if you want to leave and say no to relations, that NO means nothing to the sociopath. They will rape for the benefit of pleasure, and then murder for the benefit of you not talking to the police. To them it's nothing more than pulling a tissue from the tissue box, using it (you), and then tossing it. No feeling. No sense of loss. And they move on to another and start the BS manipulation all over again. No sense of love, commitment, loyalty, or bond. They CANNOT feel--they mimic.


Anonymous said...

(continued from prior)
As for Michelle Carter--is she a sociopath? To me, in my opinion, yes. The fact that she copied the dialogue from Glee when speaking of Conrad after he died (just like the Glee scene) speaks volumes. Mimicry is the only way sociopaths can figure out how to fit into the complex "true feeling world" of "true humans". To me, sociopaths are not even truly human. They are clever monsters who will use every trick in the book to get what they want.

They will cry if it makes them look better in a crowd, they will hold a baby tender in a loving embrace if a camera is around, they will limp if it means someone will open a door for them or carry their packages, they will make themselves the victim if being the victim will benefit them in some way, they will lie, cheat, steal, maim, destroy, and even kill, if it moves them toward a benefit.

The worst sociopath I knew tried to kill me, complete with a shovel to bury me. The benefit of me being "disappeared" was enormous, and I managed to get away. I thought I was in love, I thought he loved me. He was evaluated and I will never forget when I was called in by the director of an Ivy League teaching hospital for mental illness. I sat down and my (then) husband's doctor and the director told me: "You are in danger and we must tell you to find shelter before he is released from the hospital." I was floored. I had no idea what this meant. The explained to me that my (then) husband had no empathy and it could not be treated. The exact words were, about empathy: "IT DOES NOT EXIST." I didn't believe it. I didn't understand what a sociopath/psychopath really was.

So I tired God and Jesus. Found a church, Found a marriage counselor. Found a mediator. I tried everything. You name it--I tried everything. I loved my husband and I stayed by a sociopath (not knowing how absolutely dangerous this was to do).

He did it all. The church. The marriage counselor. The mediator. He did it all. I thought "wow! He's changed! The doctors were wrong!". But I didn't look at the calendar. I was looking through my heart. I thought our marriage was saved--I was wrong. You see, he had a court date. And all this, that he did do--was an act. It was for the court. And he used me so he would only get probation--which he did--because I had, as a stupid blind idiot wife, believed he was "cured".

There is so much more--and I have taken great liberty on this blog to share my thoughts.

But please--I warn you all--all who have any bit of empathy left in you--USE it. USE it ONLY for those who deserve it. Know there are sociopaths/psychopaths out there--and there are many. DO NOT USE EMPATHY on a single one of them. They will bleed you and shepherd you into believing they are their FOR YOU--but they are really using you for THEIR BENEFIT.

Those with empathy are easy prey. Think of sharks who must always move in the water to survive. Sociopaths swim easily in empathetic waters because they MOVE through the water to get ahead and thrive.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Thank you so much for sharing your story. You understand sociopaths perfectly now, but like me and a lot of the other commenters who've come to this blog, you had to learn the hard way. You can read about sociopaths or psychopaths in a textbook, but until you've actually experienced one it's hard to fathom exactly how inhuman they are.

I've written extensively about sociopaths on this blog, and you might find the following two posts of particular interest. The first is about my own learning experience with sociopathy (I was incredibly naive at first):

And the second s a sort of compendium I assembled of behavioral quirks they show:

Again, thanks for your story.