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Without Conscience

Before I left the prison for the university, I was still making payments on a Ford that I could not really afford. One of the officers there, later to become warden, offered to trade his Morris Minor for my Ford and to take over my payments. I agreed, and because the Morris wasn't in very good shape I took advantage of the prison policy of letting staff have their cars repaired in the institution's auto shop—where Ray still worked, thanks he would have said no thanks to me. The car received a beautiful paint job and the motor and drivetrain were reconditioned.

With all our possessions on top of the car and our baby in a plywood bed in the backseat, my wife and I headed for Ontario. The first problems appeared soon after we left Vancouver, when the motor seemed a bit rough. Later, when we encountered some moderate inclines, the radiator boiled over. A garage mechanic discovered ball bearings in the carburetor's float chamber; he also pointed out where one of the hoses to the radiator had clearly been tampered with. These problems were repaired easily enough, but the next one, which arose while we were going down a long hill, was more serious.

Robert D. Hare

The brake pedal became very spongy and then simply dropped to the floor—no brakes, and it was a long hill. Fortunately, we made it to a service station, where we found that the brake line had been cut so that a slow leak would occur. Perhaps it was a coincidence that Ray was working in the auto shop when the car was being tuned up, but I had no doubt that the prison "telegraph" had informed him of the new owner of the car.

At the university, I prepared to write my dissertation on the effects of punishment on human learning and performance. In my research for the project I encountered for the first time the literature on psychopathy. I'm not sure I thought of Ray at the time, but circumstances conspired to bring him to mind.

My first job after receiving my Ph. During registration week in that precomputer age, I sat behind a table with several colleagues to register long lines of students for their fall classes. As I was dealing with a student my ears pricked up at the mention of my name.

Hare's assistant at the penitentiary the whole time he was there, a year or so, I would say it was. Did all his paperwork for him, filled him in on prison life.


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Sure, he used to talk over hard cases with me. We worked great together. My assistant! I broke into the easy flow of his remarks with, "Oh, really? Then he simply jumped back into his conversation and took off in another direction.

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Later, when I checked his application forms, it became apparent that his transcript of previous university courses was fraudulent. To his credit, he had not attempted to register in one of my courses. Perhaps what fascinated me most was that Ray remained absolutely unflappable even after his deceit was revealed—and that my colleague was clearly going along for the ride.

What, in his psychological makeup, gave Ray the power to override reality, apparently without compunction or concern? As it turned out, I would spend the next twenty-five years doing empirical research to answer that question. The story of Ray has its amusing side now, after so many years.

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Less amusing are the case studies of the hundreds of psychopaths that I have studied since then. I had been at the prison for a few months when the administration sent an inmate to me for psychological testing prior to a parole hearing. He was serving a six-year sentence for manslaughter.

When I realized that the complete report of the offense was missing from my files, I asked him to fill me in on the details.

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The inmate said that his girlfriend's infant daughter had been crying nonstop for hours and because she smelted he reluctantly decided to change her diapers. I was stunned by the casual description of his appalling behavior, and, thinking about my own infant daughter, I unprofessionally kicked him out of my office and refused to see him again.

Curious about what subsequently happened to this man, I recently tracked down his prison files.


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I learned that he had received parole a year after I had left the prison, and that he had been killed during a high-speed police chase following a bungled bank robbery. The prison psychiatrist had diagnosed this man as a psychopath and had recommended against pa role. The parole board could not really be faulted for having ignored this professional advice. At the time, the procedures for the diagnosis of psychopathy were vague and unreliable, and the implications of such a diagnosis for the prediction of behavior were not yet known. As we will see, the situation is quite different now, and any parole board whose decision does not take into account current knowledge about psychopathy and recidivism runs the risk of making a potentially disastrous mistake.

She met him in a laundromat in London, where she was taking a year off from teaching after a stormy and exhausting divorce. She'd seen him around the neighborhood, and when they finally started to talk she felt as if she knew him. He was open and friendly and they hit it off right away. From the start she thought he was hilarious. She'd been lonely. The weather was grim and sleety, she'd already seen every movie and play in the city, and she didn't know a soul east of the Atlantic. After dessert he was embarrassed to discover he'd come out without his wallet.

Elsa was more than happy to pay for dinner, more than happy to sit through the double feature she had seen earlier in the week. At the pub, over drinks, he told her he was a translator for the United Nations. He traveled the globe. He was, at the moment, between assignments. They saw each other four times that week, five the week after.

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Dan lived in a flat at the top of a house somewhere in Hampstead, he told her, but it wasn't long before he had all but moved in with Elsa. To her amazement, she loved the arrangement. It was against her nature, she wasn't even sure how it had happened, but after her long stint of loneliness she was having the time of her life.

Hare makes a strong case for the view that psychopaths are born, not made. Interested general readers; mental health and legal professionals. As a supplemental text in psychopathology courses, the book will be read with interest by students at the undergraduate or graduate level. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Textbooks. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Temporarily Out of Stock Online Please check back later for updated availability.

Overview Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath.

Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong, yet they are terrifyingly self-centered, remorseless, and unable to care about the feelings of others. Perhaps most frightening, they often seem completely normal to unsuspecting targets--and they do not always ply their trade by killing. Presenting a compelling portrait of these dangerous men and women based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D.

Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognized?

objectifcoaching.com/components/dakota/rencontre-toulon-doctissimo.php And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition. About the Author Robert D. Hare is the developer of one of the most widely used tools for assessing psychopathy and the author of over scientific articles and several books. He has received numerous awards for his distinguished contributions to psychology and criminology. Ray After I received my master's degree in psychology in the early s, I looked for a job to help support my wife and infant daughter and to pay for the next stage of my education.

Elsa and Dan She met him in a laundromat in London, where she was taking a year off from teaching after a stormy and exhausting divorce. Continues… Excerpted from "Without Conscience" by.


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  • Without conscience: the disturbing world of the psychopaths among us.
  • Hare, PhD. Excerpted by permission of The Guilford Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. Show More. Table of Contents Introduction 1. Focusing the Picture 3. The Profile: Feelings and Relationships 4.