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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another sociopath acting true to form

The NY Post ran an article today, Prosecutor likens accused serial killer to 'Jaws' shark, which had a couple of good examples of sociopathic behavior (apart from the serial killing).

The relevant excerpts:

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A convicted sex offender charged with raping and killing four Southern California women while he wore an electronic monitor was a predator like the shark in the movie “Jaws,” the prosecution said on the trial’s opening day Wednesday.

In his opening statement, Orange County Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin said GPS and mobile phone data was used to track down Steven Dean Gordon and another man, comparing it to the hunt for the killer shark.

“‘Jaws’ is about a predator,” Yellin told jurors. “This case is about two. You are about to see the hunt.”

Gordon, 47, who is acting as his own attorney, declined to make an opening statement.

He and another sex offender, Franc Cano, 30, were wearing GPS tracking devices for prior offenses when they worked together to randomly target the women in 2013 and 2014, authorities said....

Gordon and Cano have pleaded not guilty to rape and murder with special circumstances. Cano’s separate trial hasn’t started. Both could face the death penalty if convicted....

Gordon confessed during grand jury proceedings, giving graphic details about picking up the women in his car with another registered sex offender, raping them behind an Anaheim paint and body shop where the men camped, and killing them, authorities said.

But the confession won’t be allowed at trial. The judge excluded it because Gordon told police he didn’t want to talk before launching into the elaborate account of the killings, Yellin has said....

DNA samples from Estepp’s body matched Cano’s and Gordon’s genetic material, authorities said....

Both men are registered sex offenders and were convicted in separate cases of lewd and lascivious acts on a child.

Okay, so Gordon (and undoubtedly Cano) are undoubtedly sociopaths, no dispute there. What's interesting is to see the other ways in which they show it. 

Gordon is acting as his own attorney. I keep seeing this time and again with sociopaths. Gordon is so incredibly arrogant he thinks, despite having had no legal training, that he would make a better lawyer than an actual lawyer.

There's a well known quote from Abraham Lincoln: "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." It might be more accurate to say, "....has a sociopath for a client." 

Note that Gordon confessed -- in great detail -- to the police immediately after he was caught, only to plead not guilty afterwards. He probably gave the police all those lurid details because he wanted to boast about his crimes, and, well, those guys just happened to be handy.

And consider, for a moment, how utterly shameless you'd have to be to actually brag about your sexually motivated murders. 

After confessing, Gordon subsequently pleaded not guilty. You have to be immune from embarrassment to give a complete confession, then plead innocent. Granted, a potential death sentence is enough motivation to do anything; but in the meantime, they have his DNA on the body.

If Gordon had an actual lawyer working for him, he would undoubtedly have been advised to try to work out a deal to avoid a death sentence simply by pleading guilty and offering to show where the other bodies could be found. 

Yet another way in which both Gordon and Cano demonstrate their sociopathy is that they have also been found guilty of child molesting. Sociopaths evidently have a much more wider-ranging, free-floating sexuality than do non sociopaths. Anyone who attacks both little girls and grown women is demonstrating polymorphous tastes. 

Finally, take another look at that picture of Gordon. He's not a particularly beastly-looking sort: he looks like a journalist worried about making a deadline. But he demonstrates, yet again, that sociopaths come in a full range of ethnicities, builds, and genders.  

Sociopaths never really go out of character. If you observe them closely, they'll give you all sorts of clues to that character. 


Runner Katy said...

Ugh, double creepy! As a woman, I wouldn't normally think that two guys acting together would hurt someone. Thank you again for another sociopath lesson!

John Craig said...

Runner Katy --
Thank you. Yeah, there have actually been a number of pairs of sociopathic killers in history. Usually one of them is dominant and the other one just goes along, but sometimes both are equally "alpha" and just pair up because they figure they can be more efficient with some teamwork.

Anonymous said...

1. Before I learned about sociopathy I used to think people committing crimes whilst wearing GPS trackers were simply stupid. Now I realise it's more likely impulsiveness combined with arrogance ("yes, I'm wearing a tracker but I'm still too clever to get caught"). You can only properly understand this sort of mentality if you've known a sociopath IRL. I've known one who wasn't stupid but made remarkably idiotic decisions due to impulsiveness and greed. Then, when those decisions had consequences, he'd invariably blame anyone but himself even after confessing to doing it.

2. "Sociopaths evidently have a much more wider-ranging, free-floating sexuality than do non sociopaths."

I was surprised to learn that Aspies also do, although they don't (usually) abuse people like sociopaths. Since Aspies tend to be stereotypically sensitive about touch, I assumed most of them would be asexual. Whilst they are indeed more likely to be asexual, I was surprised to find that lots of them are into kink/BDSM and seem to be more likely to enter the sex industry. I know of a surprisingly large number of female sex workers who say they're on the spectrum. I guess they don't think on the same wavelength as most people so are less likely to stick to what is considered 'normal', which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, these amorous Aspies are like low-hanging fruit to sociopath predators.

3. Regarding his appearance, have you ever read 'Snakes in Suits' by Robert Hare? It's on my list of books I want to read:

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
1. Agreed. I too have known a couple of smart sociopaths, and they would make remarkably dumb decisions. I think it was mostly based on arrogance, as you say: they think they're fooling people even when they're not.

2. I hadn't known that about Aspies. Interesting. Though, now that I think of it, I can think of two who were more "free-floating."

3. No, I haven't. I read Hare's first book, "Without conscience," way back when I was learning about sociopaths. He's probably been the foremost researcher in the field in the past 40 years.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with him. I also can't believe I slept with him. That was 30 years ago. He seemed very normal until he got fired for having sex with a child who I recently found out was his relative. What a creeper.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Wow, well at least you got a story out of it: "I slept with a serial killer." Though from the fact that you're saying this anonymously you're not proud of it. (I don't blame you.)

Here's another way to look at it: be happy you survived the experience; some women didn't.