The most important issue highlighted in this case is one of boundaries. Specifically, where do jurisdictional boundaries fall when dealing with such a universal tool as the internet. Melchert-Dinkel lives in Minnesota, but his victims were from Canada and England. His defense attorney tried to get the case dismissed on these grounds, arguing that the defendant couldn’t be charged under MN statutes since his alleged victims were from other countries.

The judge has rejected this argument. The result has strong implications for all internet foul play. From now on, it can be argued that activity on the internet transcends national borders and jurisdictions.

Avery Appelman, Criminal Trial Lawyer, Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN

Through what has been referred to as the most extensive media coverage of the William Melchert-Dinkel case anywhere, we have attempted to examine the complexities of what is without a doubt one of the most important trials to date in terms of establishing legal boundaries of conduct within the virtual realms of the Internet.

Despite the bench delivered verdict of guilty, the story is far from over as an appeal to the Appellate Court was a foregone conclusion the moment that Melchert-Dinkel defense lawyer Terry Watkins entered the Lothenbach Plea. This being said the judge’s decision is momentous in that it represents a bridge of accountability between two worlds that while running parallel to one another have been generally viewed as being distinctly unique and separate.

In yesterday’s post I wrote that at least for the moment, the Melchert-Dinkel verdict connects us with our humanity that has far too often been lost in the contentiousness of a world that seems to be at odds with itself. But one question that stands out is whether the ruling in the Serial Suicide Killer’s case heralds a new era in policing the Internet?

Joining me this Saturday evening at 9:00 PM EDT to discuss the guilty verdict as well as its far reaching consequences is a guest panel that includes TV’s Cop Doc, Dr. Richard Weinblatt and Nancy Grace regular, criminal profiler Pat Brown.

Click to Access Live and On-Demand Broadcast

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However, the law is not based solely on society’s moral sensibilities (although it should reflect them). Nor for that matter, has Melchert-Dinkel lawyer Watkin’s claimed that his client’s actions were morally honorable. The issue at hand is whether or not his client had the right to write what he did in the chat rooms, regardless of the consequences. It is upon this point of law that the Appellate Court will hear the case and ultimately decide Melchert-Dinkel’s future.

from the February 16th, 2011 PI Window on Business post Melchert-Dinkel Defense Attorney is Earning His Pay with Lothenbach Plea

From the moment I had first heard about this case, and throughout our extensive coverage (which has included exclusive stories and interviews), it has been a journey of contradictory extremes where moral sensibilities collided with legal technicalities in the uncharted realms of the virtual world.

Suffice to say, and while you strive hard to maintain a detached objectivity, you cannot help but be drawn into the maelstrom of emotions and moral debates that have for many, had a life-altering impact.

For the families of Melchert-Dinkel’s victims, whose heartache began long before this “thrill of the chase” predator stalked their loved ones, yesterday’s verdict must feel somewhat like a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. With suicide rates climbing – according to one U.S. report, suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers and the fourth leading cause of death in pre-teens, the challenges of loving and caring for someone in pain only to see them take their lives at the prompting of another will likely compound the angst and confusion as to why this had to happen.

When you also consider the fact that Melchert-Dinkel had previously intimated the existence of a predator network when he had made references to finding a way to commit “legal murder,” the possibility that other families may face a similar fate in the future is very disconcerting.

While we should have no illusions regarding yesterday’s verdict, even if it is upheld in the Appellate Courts, that this will necessarily deter those who share Melchert-Dinkel’s compulsions, it is nonetheless an important outcome as it reflects a moral value that transcends the legal wranglings relating to First Amendment Rights and the purported vagueness of the law upon which the criminal charges were based. At least for the moment, the verdict connects us with our humanity that has far to often been lost in the contentiousness of a world that seems to be at odds with itself.

Over the next few days we will be providing the reactions to this verdict from leading criminal justice, law enforcement and legislator experts. In the meantime, I would encourage you to visit our Quest for Justice Page which provides the most comprehensive coverage of this seminal case through the links to more than 30 articles, radio and TV interviews.

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The following are the official court documents with corresponding summarized positions by both the prosecution and the defense in the bench trial of Serial Suicide Killer William Melchert-Dinkel.

While you will not likely be inclined to review the documents in their entirety – especially the 100 page defense submission by Melchert-Dinkel lawyer Terry Watkins, the underlining focus is on assigning blame.

While Rice County prosecutor Paul Beaumaster clearly points to Melchert-Dinkel’s predatory pursuit of vulnerable victims in the suicide chat rooms of the virtual world in what by the defendant’s own admission was a “thrill of the chase” exercise to satisfy his macabre interest in suicides and hangings, the defense has taken the position that these people were lost causes in that they already had the inclination towards taking their lives.

While asking the judge to ignore the sleazily odoriferous dialogue perpetrated by Melchert-Dinkle during his exchanges with his victims, such as with Nadia Kajouji in which he posed as a young female nurse (a troubling issue that still bothers me in that had he thought what he was doing was right, why resort to subterfuge?), Watkins referenced the fact that Kajouji was bisexual, possibly pregnant and obviously troubled, as a means of lessening the impact of his client’s involvement. In short, and if you take the defense’s argument at face value, she was a suicide waiting to happen. Or to put it another way, Melchert-Dinkel’s actions had no bearing on the outcome in either the Kajouji or Drybrough suicides, or the purported suicides of at least three other people.

In contemplating his actions, I think that it is important at this point that we not forget about his interaction with minors such as the 16 year old girl from the Netherlands whom he encouraged to repeatedly cut herself while he watched via his webcam (PI News Special: Melchert-Dinkel Counseled and then Watched via Webcam as 16 Year Old Girl Cut Herself), as a means of illustrating just how far he was willing to go to satiate his sickening desires.

As indicated, the likelihood that most people who review either the prosecutor’s case or defense’s arguments in their entirety is understandably remote. However, and beyond the summary for each document that is provided below the corresponding SlideShare Viewers, I would suggest that what you do read are the online exchanges between Melchert-Dinkel and both Kajouji and Drybrough from the submission by the prosecutor, before you look at the defense’s provision of witness testimony as to the accusatory fragile state of the victims’ mindset.

While this case will inevitably be decided based on the interpretation of the law, and likely by the Appellate Court, I cannot help but think of the following analogy that if a person is walking precariously close to the edge of a cliff do you reach out to keep them from falling or, do you push them over the edge. Melchert-Dinkel chose the latter and did so for nothing more than perverse, self-serving gratification. While the legal liability of his actions are up for debate, I do not think that anyone would argue with the moral reprehensibility of his conduct.

Furthermore, and citing the following statement from Thomas Jefferson which has been attributed to the observation that “The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” perhaps the courts should remember that the law is here to serve the people, versus the people serving the law:

“a strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.”

Melchert-Dinkel: Prosecution’s Case

Summary Conclusion Reference: Pages 21 – 22

 

G. Paul Beaumaster

Melchert-Dinkel: Defense’s Argument

Summary Conclusion Reference: Pages 5 – 6

 

Melchert-Dinkel Lawyer Terry Watkins

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 24 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 19th with 128 views. The most popular post that day was Is Closing the Case More Important Than Catching the Actual Killer?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, stumbleupon.com, twitter.com, linkedin.com, and findmorgan.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for red john smiley face, red john smiley, copycat serial killers, smiley face killings, and red john.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Is Closing the Case More Important Than Catching the Actual Killer? September 2010
10 comments

2

Did Halloween produce one of the most notorious killers of all time? October 2010

3

Criminal Mind: When The Hunter Becomes The Hunted! September 2010
1 Like on WordPress.com,

4

About True Profiler September 2010

5

Insanity Pleas and the Serial Killer November 2010
1 Like on WordPress.com,

Note: Use the following link to read about the history of this animation of Santa and his Reindeer singing White Christmas!

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Thank you for putting into words what I believe to be so true. He lives in the town I live in and it is a disgrace. My children went to school with his kids and they are paying for it. I hope the best for the kids. He needs to be in prison. He is a danger to society.

Lisa (RE Nov. 9th post PI News Special: Melchert-Dinkel Counseled and then Watched via Webcam as 16 Year Old Girl Cut Herself)

By all indications, both Mari and Molly Melchert-Dinkel appear to be typical teenagers growing up in small town U.S.A.

From being active in sports such as baseball and volleyball, making the local high school’s Grade 9 Honor Roll and sharing the normal angst-filled musings associated with the awkward years between childhood and adulthood on a favored social networking site, one would be hard pressed to distinguish William Melchert-Dinkel’s daughters from any other Faribault, Minnesota teenager.

Unfortunately, and in line with their mother Joyce Melchert-Dinkel’s tearful lament that upon being made aware of her husband’s actions “Our family was shattered that night,” the two young girls are existing in a world that is anything but normal.

While we cannot lose sight of the significant and lasting damage that Melchert-Dinkel’s quest to satiate his perverted obsession with death and suicide has inflicted on the families of Nadia Kajouji and Mark Drybrough, it is also important to recognize the fact that the consequences of his ruinous conduct were also reflected back on his own family, and in particular his daughters.

This was of course a sentiment expressed by Faribault resident Lisa Hullett in her comment regarding my November 9th post, and one that I am certain is shared by the majority of people who have been following this story.

Looking beyond the emotional impact, what can a child do under such unusual and trying circumstances? Especially when given the natural inclination to look to a parent for comfort and reassurance, only to discover that the parent is actually the source of their pain and embarrassment.

In the March 30th, 2007 article “Son of a Serial Killer: Exclusive Interview with John Gore, Son of Convicted Murderer David Gore” the son of the former sheriffs deputy in Indian River County, who was convicted for 6 murders (although authorities suspect that the number could be as high a 50), was asked “what kind of advice would you give to people or children who are going through what you have, who are dealing with either dads or moms who have committed these type of crimes, to help them get by?”

In a response that may be as much defiant posturing as it is a frank reflection of his true feelings, John Gore said that he “would tell them to listen to themselves, don’t listen to what others tell them. If someone is telling you to hate them; don’t, make your own judgment. Don’t just not hate them, don’t hate anyone when someone tells you to, or because someone else wants you to. I think you have to do what you want to do in this situation. That’s what makes a person unique is being able to have that choice.”

Without a doubt all children as they enter their teen years seek to carve out their own unique place in the world that is separate from that of their parents’ world, while still reconciling themselves to the values of life they witnessed and were taught during their formative years.

In the case of John Gore, the fact that he was by his own words very young when his father’s crimes came to public light may to a certain degree have helped to shelter him, but living in a small town nonetheless presented numerous challenges. “It was pretty hard every where I went when people found out my last name was Gore people knew exactly who I was and exactly what my family’s history was,” the younger Gore recounted to the interviewer. “It basically continued on with me,” making reference to the fact that local police kept a close watch on both he and his brother’s movements as the town was “hellbent that this would never happen again,” and that “they were willing to do almost anything to keep it from happening again.”

Even though the crimes committed by David Gore involved local victims, as opposed to the victims of Melchert-Dinkel who lived far way – in one case across the Atlantic, I would doubt that the trauma and subsequent scrutiny is any less invasive and hurtful. Perhaps in some ways, it is even more challenging in that this case is playing itself out on a global stage for many reasons including the fact that the ultimate verdict will have far reaching consequences in how we view crimes committed over the Internet.

In some instances , such as in the case of the daughter of Keith Hunter Jesperson who is known as the infamous “Happy Face” serial killer, separation by becoming “something other than my father’s daughter” meant focusing on how she could make herself “a better person.”

As told in the Melissa G. Moore book Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter,” Jesperson’s 15 year-old daughter was “consumed with guilt and shame for his horrific actions,” and for years, would “have nightmares of him showing up at her door.”

A big reason for her ability to finally escape the shadow of such a notorious father, is that she learned to move on by choosing instead to concentrate “on being a wife and mother.” This meant that she had to stop “wasting precious energy thinking about my father” as she realized that she “had no control over what he did,” and “that there was nothing she could do to change it.”

Even though she dreads the day “when I have to tell my children about their grandfather,” she is no longer haunted by her own past indicating that she has learned that we are not a product of our circumstances in life, but are instead free to decide our own future.

Besides knowing that they are not alone in their experience, these are perhaps valuable lessons through which both Mari and Molly Melchert-Dinkel can find some degree of immediate peace and eventually a longer term reconciliation with the unimaginable actions of a parent.

Remember to use the following link to access our complete coverage of the Melchert-Dinkel case.

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As we go to air tomorrow to discuss the infamous Smiley Face Killings in which it has been reported by various news agencies including CNN, that at the site of at least 40 supposed drowning victims that span 11 states, a smiley face has been left as a signature by either a single killer or band of killers, one could not help but wonder if this was the only time such a symbol has been used.

Purported Smiley Face Killer(s) Signature

Lo and behold, we did not have to look too far, as one of the top hits on television, The Mentalist, has a serial killer by the name of Red John who also likes to put on a happy face so to speak in terms of leaving a signature that is eerily reminiscent of the ones left at the site of real-life drowning victims according to Detectives Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte.

Gannon and Duarte are the detectives whose involvement in the “real” smiley face case started while investigating the mysterious drowning death of college student Patrick McNeill back in 1997.  Since 1997, what some consider to be a clear pattern of predatory behavior has emerged which appear to link these seemingly random deaths of 40 college age men.  To many in law enforcement however, such as the FBI, these purported patterns are as fictitious  as the Red John character.

The Mentalist's Red John Smiley Face

What do you think?  Are the Smiley Face Killings the act of a single or group of serial killers or, just the active imagination of two detectives looking for a book/movie deal?  Take our poll and tell us what you believe:

Also remember to tune into tomorrow’s True Profiler: Pat Brown Discusses The Smiley Face Murders segment on Blog Talk Radio at 3:00 PM EST.

Added Bonus: The Mentalist’s Red John Identified?

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“There have been an alarming number of deaths where young men of college age are found in a body of water with a smiley face drawn nearby them. The killings are completely unconnected in most ways aside from the fact that most are completely unsolved and listed simply as accidental drownings.  The thing connecting all of them is a sort of calling card that two investigators are suggesting is the link to all the drowned victims. The case is known widely as the smiley face killings.  Currently there are some 40 suspected victims over 11 states.”

When criminal profiler Pat Brown first approached me about airing a segment on the Smiley Face Killers, I must admit that I had not heard anything of any real consequence about the case.

Perhaps her breadth of knowledge and passion for her work is why Pat is without a doubt one of the top, if not the top criminal profilers in the world, and like other notorious unsolved cases, she wanted to tackle the subject head on.

Now for the uninitiated, the Smiley Face killings as they have come to be called has captured the imagination of the public, gaining mainstream media attention in 2009 when Detectives Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte talked with Larry King about their investigation into the mysterious drowning death of college student Patrick McNeill back in 1997.

Since 1997, a clear pattern of predatory behavior has emerged causing authorities to consider the possibility that the seemingly random drowning deaths of 40 (perhaps more) male college students is the work of a single killer or worse yet killers.

In the Monday, November 15th From Pat’s Gallery of Killers Radio Series “True Profiler: Pat Brown Discusses The Smiley Face Murders,” Pat will talk about the case in which which a happy or smiley face has been a consistent signature spanning many years and many states in a silent, yet terrifying embroidery of predatory opportunism.

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Defense counsel, Terry A. Watkins, moves this court, pursuant to Rule 20.02, subd. 1, of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, to appoint a medical examiner and order that a medical examination be conducted on the Defendent, William Francis Melchert-Dinkel, to determine if, because of mental illness or deficiency, the Defendant at the time of the commission of the offense charged was laboring under such a defect as not to know the nature of the act constituting the offense with which the Defendant is charged or that it was wrong.

Excerpt of Motion filed on behalf of William Melchert-Dinkel by attorney Terry A. Watkins relating to Rice County Court File No. 66-CR-10-1193

Given the litany of motions filed by attorney Terry A. Watkins relating to the case that is presently before the courts in Rice County, Minnesota in which his client, the Serial Suicide Killer, faces two counts of violating 609.215 subd. 1, Suicide – Aiding in relation to the deaths of Canadian Nadia Kajouji and Mark Drybrough – formerly of Coventry in the UK, receiving zealous representation is certainly not an issue.

Watkins of course has thrown everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at the Minnesota courts by way of motions which include;

  • Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Probable Cause
  • Motion to Suppress Confessions, Admissions, or Statements in the Nature of Confessions Made by Defendant
  • Motion to Suppress Evidence Discovered as a Result of Confessions, Admissions, or Statements in the Nature of Confessions Made by Defendant (you have to love the “fruit of the poisonous tree” concept)
  • Demand for Hearing Pursuant to Ruule 8.03 of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure
  • Motion to Dismiss for Vagueness and Overbreath of Minn. Stat. 609.215, as applied to Defendant’s conduct
  • Motion to Dismiss for Violations of Free Speech Protections
  • Affidavit of Service

At the end of the day, and despite all the posturing, it now appears that the case is going to come down to the following:

“Pursuant to Rule 9.02, subd. 1(3)(a), of Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, Defendant hereby notifies prosecuting attorney of his intention to assert a defense of mental illness or mental deficiency his intention to additionally rely upon the defense of not guilty.”

Ahh, the cherry on top of a cake of misdirection and avoidance of personal responsibility for his actions leading to the deaths of two people, one a young 18 year old university student with her whole life in front of her. When in doubt, pull an old standby out of the legal defense hat . . . I was crazy and did not know what I was doing.

Am I the only one experiencing a deja vu moment relating to Flip Wilson’s Geraldine character proclaiming that “the devil made me do it!”

As it stands, the intrepid Mr. Watkins faces what appears to be two daunting challenges or obstacles in relation to a defense of mental defect.

Right out of the gate is the fact that the State of Minnesota adheres to the M’Naghten rule in determining a defendant’s sanity.

For those who may not be familiar with the M’Naghten rule, it clearly states that, “Every man is to be presumed to be sane, and . . . that to establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party ACCUSED was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong. ”

In essence, the burden of proof relative to an insanity plea falls squarely on the shoulders of the defendant – in this case Melchert-Dinkel.

This leads directly into the second and likely most damning piece of evidence in terms of refuting a claim that Melchert-Dinkel “was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong” as it relates to satisfying the terms of legal insanity under the M’Naghten rule.

Specifically, pages 3 and 4 of the Criminal Complaint filed by the State of Minnesota in which the following is stated:

“Mr. Melchert-Dinkel did state that he thought assisting suicide was illegal, and that it was illegal in Minnesota. He agreed to allow officers to search his home and signed a waiver agreeing to the search of his computer. He admitted to entering into 10 to 11 suicide pacts online with individuals all over the world. He admitted he moved from advising suicides to encouraging suicide. He stated age and circumstances would determine whether or not he discussed suicide methods or encouraged suicide. He explained suicide pacts were made with those “most intense” on committing suicide. He noted others on line would catch on to the suicide encouragement and would post warnings. The warnings would be posted messages such as, Watch out, Li Dao is out to encourage people to die rather than help.” He again estimated he most likely encouraged dozens of persons to commit suicide and characterized it as the thrill of the chase. He could not be certain as to the numbers because the successful suicide was hard to verify and that there could be dozens, which he found to be a scary thought. He stated he only encouraged suicide and never told anyone to do it, but told them it was up to them. He admitted there have been cases where people he counseled to commit suicide have died and he encouraged them by telling them it was ok to let go, that they would be better in heaven, and that his caring nature went too far.”

No wonder his attorney Watkins has filed motions “to Suppress Confessions, Admissions, or Statements in the Nature of Confessions Made by Defendant” and “to Suppress Evidence Discovered as a Result of Confessions, Admissions, or Statements in the Nature of Confessions Made by Defendant (the “fruit of the poisonous tree” concept).”

Based on his own statements, it certainly seems to me that Melchert-Dinkel not only possessed the mental capacity to understand that his actions were illegal but, that he also understood the moral implications associated with his role in the “thrill of the chase” encouragement that he provided to his victims. This awakening was demonstrated by an earlier statement he gave to police that is referenced in the complaint in which he indicates that “he stopped the contacts and discussions after the holidays (referring to Christmas of 2008) due to moral, ethical and legal reasons.”

By the way, did you pick-up on his comment that “age and circumstances would determine whether or not he discussed suicide methods or encouraged suicide?” I have to admit that a chill ran up the back of my neck because whose to say that he did not come into contact with teenagers (children) who were under the age of majority. After all, didn’t he lie about his identity – which provides further proof that he clearly knew what he was doing was wrong.

The possibility alone that he engaged children on-line should at minimum spark debate as to whether or not Melchert-Dinkel is also a child predator, and thus should fall under the jurisdiction of the all-encompassing laws which exist to protect children. The fact that in the State’s complaint he admitted that “his (teenage) daughters had seen his discussions on the Internet and he had told them that his discussions were not right,” would seem to provide indisputable proof that he was interacting in some way either directly or indirectly with children.

What if one of the uncertain numbers to which he referred who may have committed suicide at his prompting, was a child of 15 or 16? Doesn’t this change the case considerably. Maybe the prosecution should investigate this possibility more closely? Maybe Melchert-Dinkel should save the State and the people, including the families of his victims the pain of a trial and plea bargain? It might make a good deal of sense from the defense standpoint because if it can be proven that he directly engaged with children over the Internet and, in a worse case scenario one of these children committed suicide, then he would likely be facing a far stiffer penalty.

Just as a side note, I have always believed that one should give serious pause when an answer to a question that wasn’t specifically asked is offered. The police as far as I know did not ask Melchert-Dinkel about the ages of the people with whom he was engaged over the Internet, yet he chose to freely offer that “age and circumstances” were a factor in his actions?

All this being said, and focusing again of the submission of an insanity plea, I am of the same mind as criminal profiler Pat Brown who contends that “Serial killers premeditate their homicides and work to cover up their acts clearly showing an understanding that he knows his actions are illegal.”

Based on the evidence provided, William Melchert-Dinkel clearly knew what he was doing, enjoyed what he was doing re his “thrill of the chase” comment and, understood that it was wrong from both a legal and moral standpoint.

Case closed . . . maybe? Next week I will review in detail the motions filed by the defense to suppress the Serial Suicide Killer’s confession and resulting evidence. Is there in fact a legal loophole through which Melchert-Dinkel can escape justice and the consequences of his actions?

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There is one thing you can count on with a serial killer: an insanity plea rarely will be successful.

Serial killers premeditate their homicides and work to cover up their acts clearly showing an understanding that he knows his actions are illegal. He knows what he is doing and that negates the legal definition of insanity. The only occasion such an insanity plea can work is if you are a female who kills off her babies a la Andrea Yates. Interestingly, Yates got away with this defense in her second trial in spite of the fact she methodically killed each child (albeit not with a great deal of down time so her actions are more akin to mass murder) while her husband wasn’t at home. The fact she was depressed and had been in psychiatric care prior to the incident made “hearing voices” an acceptable defense to the jury.

Female serial killers get their power and control through attention and they often visit the doctor with fake illnesses (Munchausen’s Syndrome) or bring their children in and claim they have symptoms they don’t have. Quite often they go to psychiatrists to complain they are being stalked or their husband is abusing them or they are the victim of terrible children, unfair people, or bizarre nosy neighbors. They sometimes are willing to take drugs to get even more attention from their family and friends.  So, if they kill their babies after or while doing the rounds of doctors and psychiatrists, it is a fairly easy leap to think they are nuts.

Male serial killers, on the other hand, don’t get a feeling of power and control from people fawning over them. They want to win and win big. They want to hit society where it hurts by doing the worst thing imaginable. They love to see the terror in the eyes of their victims. They want to crush their victims. Because they are so proud of their hobby and their conquests, they would be insulted to be called crazy and out of control. They hunted their prey and they got their trophy deer. They are proud of their kills and they want to be seen as a conqueror.

Because of they need to feel superior to others, male serial killers don’t  go for any kind of counseling. They don’t see what they are doing is wrong; for that matter, they don’t think anything they do in life is wrong. It is always other people that are the cause of any problem they might have in their love life, their family,  or their employment. Serial killers usually only get psychiatric help when they are forced to do so by the system and then these psychopaths get a kick out of manipulating the therapist into thinking their quickly making progress and don’t need to come back. And because they tend not to seek psychiatric help, male serial killers don’t have a mental history the lawyer can use.

And, even if the male serial killer did rack up some time at a psychiatric facility,  serial killers tend to be arrogant and don’t want to be seen as insane. The few that decided to go that route, do so with a fairly flippant attitude: David Berkowitz, Son of Sam, said the devil dog next door made him do it; John Wayne Gacy sort of tried to play the nutso clown but that didn’t convince a jury he lured all those boys to their deaths and buried them in the crawl space under his house (until he ran out of room)  yet didn’t know what he was doing. Kenneth Bianchi of the Hillside Strangler duo tried to fake multiple personalities but failed quite miserably at convincing anyone that his “good” self didn’t know what his “bad” selves were doing. Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer failed in their attempts as well. The jury rejected all of these insanity pleas.

Serial killers are not insane and they know it.

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