Steve Sailer, as usual, had the best take on it, A Rape Hoax for Book Lovers. He did an excellent job of analyzing in detail how the purported rape victim's story didn't add up. He also touched on the essential dishonesty of a media all too willing to suspend disbelief in the service of political theater.
But Sailer also referred to "Jackie," as the self-styled victim wanted to be known, as "unsettled," a vague word which misses the key point about her personality. She is a pathological liar, ergo, a sociopath. (The only surer sign of sociopathy is serial killing.) And while sociopaths may unsettle other people, they rarely suffer from nerves themselves. (It actually takes a lot of nerve to run with a huge lie the way Jackie did.)
Jackie was described in other accounts as "troubled" and "unhappy," which also miss the point. Sociopaths trouble others, but generally don't suffer from self-doubt. And "unsatisfied" is a better description of a sociopath than "unhappy." A sociopath always wants more: more fame, more admiration, and more sympathy.
It was this last desire which motivated this entire charade. Jackie has Munchausen's Syndrome, whose "sufferers" (sociopaths all) invent various maladies in order to quench their bottomless need for sympathy and affection. But instead of inventing an illness in order to gain attention and sympathy from doctors and nurses and friends, Jackie invented a rape in order to gain attention and sympathy from her friends and the UVA dean and even real rape victims in the campus support group she joined.
She even tried to get sympathy from Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and by extension, her readership. It was that national exposure which ultimately proved her undoing.
A non-sociopath would never try to perpetrate such a hoax. Try to imagine yourself doing what Jackie did. First, you tell your friends that you were raped by nine guys. Then, you go to the dean of the university and report your "rape" to her. Then, you tell a reporter from a national newsmagazine about it.
These actions require a level of shamelessness that goes far beyond what a nonsociopath is capable of. They also require the confidence that you can always fool other people with your lies, a confidence only sociopaths seem to have.
The only other alternative here is that Jackie is psychotic. But her actions reek of dishonesty, not insanity. She can't even be that dumb, either: it's hard to get into the University of Virginia. (Of course, as a sociopath, Jackie must have gamed the system as much as possible: cunning often trumps IQ.)
Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the original Rolling Stone article, is probably not sociopath. (If she were, she'd have seen through Jackie.) But she is dumb, and also somewhat dishonest, in that peculiar way that so many liberals are. She wanted so badly to believe that this rape took place, and she wanted so badly to believe that all those WASPy frat boys were capable of such evil, that she never looked critically at the "victim." And, she never bothered to let the accused speak.
When the Rolling Stone article first appeared, the usual people saw this as a great opportunity to "raise awareness" of campus rape. But the only thing this sordid episode should raise awareness of is sociopathy. Unfortunately, that angle will undoubtedly be lost amid all back and forth about feminism, politics, and the media.
So far Jackie's real name hasn't been given, a courtesy traditionally extended by the press to all rape victims. But should that courtesy be extended to those who make false rape accusations?
I'm curious to find out more about Jackie. What were her parents like? Was she adopted? What was her childhood like? How did her siblings turn out? What other lies has she told?
I'm not sure what the appropriate penalty should be for Jackie. She never tried to get those fraternity brothers sent to jail (she never filed charges with the police), so it's probably not a jail sentence. But she should be expelled from UVA for the ruckus she caused. And, she did name some of her "rapists," to the dean and others. So her real name should be made public.
And, if justice is truly served, this story will hound her for the rest of her life.