Power, Anger, and.pdf

August 22, 2017 | Author: Viorel | Category: Psychopathy, Rape, Offender Profiling, Anger, Child Sexual Abuse
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Download Power, Anger, and.pdf...


International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology http://ijo.sagepub.com

Power, Anger, and Sadistic Rapists: Toward a Differentiated Model of Offender Personality Angela Pardue and Bruce A. Arrigo Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol 2008; 52; 378 originally published online Aug 7, 2007; DOI: 10.1177/0306624X07303915 The online version of this article can be found at: http://ijo.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/52/4/378

Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com

Additional services and information for International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology can be found at: Email Alerts: http://ijo.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://ijo.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations (this article cites 30 articles hosted on the SAGE Journals Online and HighWire Press platforms): http://ijo.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/52/4/378

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Power, Anger, and Sadistic Rapists

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume 52 Number 4 August 2008 378-400 © 2008 Sage Publications 10.1177/0306624X07303915 http://ijo.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com

Toward a Differentiated Model of Offender Personality Angela Pardue Bruce A. Arrigo The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The extant research on rapists repeatedly indicates that particular offender types can be specified. These include the power, anger, and sadistic assailants. Despite such classifications, limited empirical or anecdotal efforts have undertaken the task of exploring the personality features of each rapist type. This article endeavors to fill this gap in the literature. Using the heuristic analytical lens and the case study method, the high-profile crimes of Gilbert Escobedo (power type), Paul Bernardo (anger type), and Jeffrey Dahmer (sadistic type) are reviewed. As the article discloses, unique personality features were exhibited. Moreover, each rapist type displayed a number of convergent as well as divergent character traits. Given these findings, the article concludes with a series of summary observations relevant for future research on rape and personality as well as prospects for clinical diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Keywords: anger rapist; power rapist; sadistic rapist; offender personality; differentiated model


ape is an enormous social problem that is devastating to victims, their families, and ultimately society as a whole. Generally speaking, rape is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse with an individual who does not provide consent or, when consent is obtained, occurs through threats of violence, duress, or the use of deception (Macdonald, 1995; Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). Physically, rape can be defined as the forced penetration of the vagina, mouth, or anus of the victim with a penis, finger, or other object by the perpetrator (Douglas, Burgess, Burgess, & Ressler, 2006; Holmes & Holmes, 2001; Smith, 2004). Psychologically, rape is sexualized violence in which the perpetrator desires to dominate or control the injured party rather than to

Authors’ Note: Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Bruce A. Arrigo, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Department of Criminal Justice, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001; e-mail: [email protected] 378 Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 379

experience ultimate erotic fulfillment (Graney & Arrigo, 2002). In a legal context, rape also can involve the type of sexual act committed, the issue of consent, and age (Palermo & Farkas, 2001).1 Reformed definitions of rape recognize forced sexual acts directed toward either women or men by either male or female perpetrators (MacKinnon, 2001). Sexualized violence can vary along several dimensions, and therefore it is important for researchers to describe thoroughly the sexual acts of perpetrators, instead of simply labeling them as rape (Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). However, throughout this article, the terms sexual assault and rape are used interchangeably, and all references to sexual offenses refer specifically to the crime of rape. Cultural beliefs have a major impact on definitions of rape, attitudes surrounding it, and how the issue is addressed within a society (Heise, Moore, & Toubia, 1995). Throughout history, a number of myths have obscured the reality of rape, resulting in victim responsibility. For example, the Puritans believed that it was impossible for a woman to become pregnant from a rape, and during the 17th century, many women who were sexually assaulted were believed to have been involved in extramarital affairs (Smith, 2001). Recent research shows that rape is often misread as a crime of sexual passion occurring between strangers in unsafe places that entails physical force and evidence of victim resistance (Douglas & Olshaker, 1998; Ward, 1995). Not until the 20th century did rape start to be the subject of scientific inquiry, and typologies of rapists emerged as early as the 1950s (Burgess, 1991; Graney & Arrigo, 2002). According to Koss (2005), this form of sexual assault was rarely studied until around 1974, and, moreover, the majority of academic articles discussing this crime have been published only within the past 20 years. Indeed, the women’s movement of the 1970s led many researchers and policy makers to focus on the issue of rape (Bevacqua, 2000). Among the earliest taxonomies of rapists was Kopp’s (1962) model, which included two types and was based on personality characteristics. One group of offenders expressed feelings of guilt following their offenses, and their behavior was considered to be inconsistent with their personalities. In contrast, the second group possessed more antisocial personality characteristics and had little or no guilt after committing rape. Although an in-depth review of rapist typologies is beyond the scope of this study, observations of the literature on rape classification systems reveal that most often, factors such as offense motive and behavior establish the basis for differentiating among attackers (Douglas et al., 2006; Palermo & Farkas, 2001). Contrastingly, according to Burgess, Hartman, Ressler, Douglas, and McCormack (1986), personality functions as part of an integral process that produces violent sexual behavior (see also Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). Several studies have inquired about the personalities of rapists, but the absence of any character trait analysis designed to address overlap and/or idiosyncrasies of different rapist types as identified by various offender classification systems is conspicuous. Accordingly, the present article investigates the similarities, differences, and unique personality features of three different rapist types, specifically, the power, anger,

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

380 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

and sadistic varieties. These offender types are described in the first section of this article, followed by commentary on existing personality studies about rapists. The second section discusses the use of heuristics and the case study method as a basis of research inquiry. These observations are followed by an overview of three cases of high-profile offenders, each of whom represents one principal rapist type. Next, an analysis of 14 personality characteristics concerning these three rapist types is presented. In this section, the trait-based properties that represent points of convergence, divergence, and distinctiveness as found among the power–reassurance, anger–retaliatory, and sadistic rapists are discussed. Several provisional implications stemming from the proposed differentiated model of rape personality are speculatively outlined. In this context, implications for future research and clinical treatment, diagnosis, and prevention are considered.

Power, Anger, and Sadistic Rapist Types: An Overview A number of classification schemas have emerged from the literature on rape (Cohen, Seghorn, & Calmas, 1969; Gebhard, Gagnon, Pomeroy, & Christenson, 1965; Guttmacher & Weihofen, 1952; Kopp, 1962; Prentky, Cohen, & Seghorn, 1985; Warren, Reboussin, Hazelwood, & Wright, 1991). These typologies illustrate that there are significant variations among sexual assault assailants (Knight, Rosenberg, & Schneider, 1985), who nonetheless are often studied as a homogeneous group (McCabe & Wauchope, 2005). Among the existing models is the one developed by Groth, Burgess, and Holmstrom (1977). This typology included subtypes and focused on the factors of power, anger, and sexuality. On the basis of this schema, Hazelwood and Burgess (1987) then conceived of a classification system that included four rapist types: power–reassurance, power–assertive, anger–retaliatory, and anger–excitation. Knight and Prentky (2001) subsequently constructed the Massachusetts Treatment Center: Rapist Typology 3, relying on these earlier models for guidance. This typology consists of four rapist types (opportunistic, pervasively angry, sexual, and vindictive) and nine subtypes. Derived from these early conceptual taxonomies, the power, anger, and sadistic sexual assault types are discussed in the following subsections.

Power Rapists According to Groth and Birnbaum (1979), power rapists are categorized by exercising strength, authority, and control over their victims as a means to accommodate their feelings of inadequacy and as a strategy to affirm their masculinity. The amount of force used by power rapists is minimal. These rapists have no intention of injuring their victims and exercise only that violence necessary to carry out their assaults (Shipley & Arrigo, in press). For example, verbal threats are often sufficient to gain victim compliance. An assailant’s attacks may be premeditated or opportunistic,

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 381

repeated over a period of time, and often increase in aggression. Power rapists may experience anxiety, excitement, and anticipated pleasure prior to assaults; however, they often are disappointed following their attacks because the attacks do not meet their expectations or fulfill their needs (Groth & Birbaum, 1979). There are two subtypes of power rapists: power–reassurance and power–assertive. Power–reassurance rapists. Power–reassurance attackers are often referred to as “gentlemen rapists” because of their false display of concern and care for their victims (Hazelwood, 2001). These assailants use minimal force, often compliment those whom they harm, ask for evaluations of their performance, and even apologize after their assaults (Graney & Arrigo, 2002). They attempt to overcome self-dissatisfaction by exerting physical control and strength over their victims (Groth et al., 1977). Therefore, their sexual assaults serve as a way to reassure them of their masculinity and to compensate for their perceived lack of a positive self-image. Power–assertive rapists. Power–assertive rapists, however, do not engage in sexual assault to compensate for their feelings of low or absent self-worth. Instead, their attacks serve as a basis to assert their masculinity (Douglas et al., 2006; Hazelwood & Burgess, 1987). More violent than power–reassurance rapists, power–assertive assailants use a moderate amount of force and may attack their victims repeatedly during the duration of an assault. Unlike power–reassurance rapists, these sexual assault assailants show little concern for those whom they injure, exercising physical and verbal abuse (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979; Groth et al., 1977; Hazelwood & Burgess, 1987).

Anger Rapists In contrast to power rapists, anger rapists are characterized by their intent to physically harm, humiliate, and degrade their victims (Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). The purpose of their assaults is to express rage, release anger, or obtain revenge. Because their attacks are often precipitated by a buildup of frustration or induced by life circumstances, their offenses are often spontaneous and unplanned (Groth et al., 1977; Groth & Hobson, 1997). Anger rapists use excessive amounts of violence and force, more than what would be essential in gaining control over their victims (Palermo, 2003). The act of sex is actually viewed with disgust by anger rapists and is used as a way to punish their victims. This offender usually attacks for a short period of time and then flees the scene of the crime (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979). Two subtypes of anger rapist include the anger–retaliatory and anger–excitation assailants (Douglas et al., 2006). Anger–retaliatory rapists. Anger–retaliatory rapists rape out of vengeance and view their assaults as a form of retribution. Their attacks are often triggered by events that evoke strong emotion, and their victims are symbolic of whomever they are seeking

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

382 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

to avenge (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979; Palermo & Farkas, 2001). The use of unnecessary violence against victims frequently results in hospitalization following these attacks. Because of their unorganized manner and uncontrollable rage, these types of rapists may accidentally murder their victims during the frenzy of what they only intended to be sexual assaults (Groth & Hobson, 1997; Shipley & Arrigo, in press). Anger–excitation rapists. In comparison, anger–excitation rapists are sexually aroused by the physical and psychological suffering of their victims (Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). Therefore, their assaults are committed to achieve pleasure from observing physical and emotional torture. Anger–excitation rapists carry out extensive planning and preparation prior to their assaults. However, the victims of anger– excitation rape are not preselected and are instead chosen at random (Douglas et al., 2006). These assaults usually last for a number of hours or over the course of several days (Hazelwood & Burgess, 1987).

Sadistic Rapists Sadistic rapists are very similar to their anger–excitation rapist counterparts in that both are sexually aroused by the physical and psychological suffering of their victims (Douglas et al., 2006). However, whereas anger rapists are viewed as being motivated primarily out of anger, sadistic assailants are motivated primarily by sexual satisfaction obtained through victim suffering (Groth et al., 1977; Hazelwood & Burgess, 1987). These offenders use excessive force, such as bondage, torture, rape with objects, sexual mutilation, and, in extreme cases, murder (Shipley & Arrigo, in press). In addition, they may perform other acts of degradation, such as cutting hair, burning with cigarettes, and sexual intercourse with a corpse following murder. The attacks of sadistic rapists are carefully planned and preventive against discovery (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979). Sadistic offenders are likely to engage in multiple paraphilias (Arrigo & Purcell, 2001; Dietz, Hazelwood, & Warren, 1990; Gratzer & Bradford, 1995), with onset typically occurring during adolescence (Bradford, 1999). In addition, these types of rapists engage in elaborate violent fantasies. This imagery plays a significant role in their offenses. According to Deitz et al. (1990), sadistic rapists recognize social constraints and are functional in society, but social norms and morals are overridden by narcissism and egocentric self-interest.

Research on Personality and Rapists Grouping sex offenders into broad categories, such as rapists and child molesters, may be necessary when conducting research (Palermo & Farkas, 2001). However, this approach disregards a number of differential characteristics when investigating rapists (Langton & Marshall, 2001). Fernandez and Marshall (2003) compared 27 incarcerated rapists with 27 incarcerated nonsexual offenders. The rapists’ scores

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 383

ranged from 6 to 30 on the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised. Although the authors of this study did not seek to investigate the personality differences of rapists, the wide range of scores indicates that sexual assailants do differ in their personalities. In a group of rapists and child molesters, Aromäki, Lindman, and Eriksson (2002) found that 7 of 10 rapists met the diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Although this small sample of rapists did not seem to demonstrate any variability in the personalities of sexual assault assailants, other studies of larger samples have found wide ranges of differences in rapists’ personalities. For example, a study using a larger sample of rapists (n = 120) resulted in five Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) subgroups (Kalichman, Szymanowski, McKee, Taylor, & Craig, 1989). The first subgroup was characterized by a secondary motivation to rape, a tendency to sexually assault while carrying out another crime, and little reporting of deviant sexual arousal. The second subgroup was classified by a primary motivation to rape, extremely antisocial and aggressive tendencies, and stranger victims. Rapists in the third subgroup were less sexually deviant, with high antisocial and hypervigilant characteristics, but did not demonstrate any obvious psychological disturbances. The fourth subgroup was characterized by the likelihood of knowing their victims, substance abuse, sexual paraphilias, personality and behavioral deviancies, and gender role conflicts. Rapists in the fifth subgroup displayed a strong inclination toward substance abuse, sexual arousal through rape fantasies, and devious sexual thoughts and behaviors. Eher, Neuwirth, Fruehwald, and Rottier (2003) did a comparison of 22 nonparaphilic and nonsexualized rapists, 30 paraphilic and sexualized rapists, and 45 child molesters. In comparing the two groups of rapists, the nonparaphilic and nonsexualized rapists scored higher on measures of spontaneous aggression, trait anxiety, and depression. The group of paraphilic and sexualized rapists rated higher on measures of anger, anger control, aggressive inhibition, and social phobia. According to Anderson, Kunce, and Rich (1979), sex offenders engage in sexual crimes for different reasons and therefore perhaps have different personality profiles. These authors derived three different personality types from 88 sex offenders, including rapists and child molesters. Those of the first type were characterized by social maladjustment, degradation of victims, the belief that victims wanted sex, and poor employment histories at laborer-level jobs. In addition, those in this group were mostly likely to have anxiety and depression and to be discharged from military service. Those of the second type had more stable employment histories and were better socially adjusted but more likely to receive psychiatric diagnoses related to sexual deviance. Those of the third type often made good impressions during interviews but were most likely to have histories of alcohol abuse and high neuroticism. Notwithstanding the contributions from these and similar investigators, missing from the literature on rape offenders is any coherent classification schema that describes the personality structure and operation (i.e., profile) of these different, although related, forms of sexual offending (Douglas et al., 2006). Thus, although

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

384 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

researchers agree that the tactics and behaviors of rapist types differ, no single taxonomy has been developed that adequately accounts for personality properties. The lack of such a model fails to provide the sort of discrete information that would enable researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to discern the personality characteristics exhibited by different sexual offender types. The absence of such a typology limits the psychological community’s efforts to promote effective diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Moreover, the failure to develop such a classification schema compromises the law enforcement system’s interest in ensuring that profiling, tracking, and apprehension goals are appropriately pursued and effectively administered.

Heuristics and the Case Study Method Although the heterogeneity of rapists has been identified and their personality differences have been explored, this literature lacks any systematic attempt to define these differences in personality on the basis of a holistic classification system. Accordingly, the present study addressed this deficiency through an analytical process known as heuristics. Heuristics involves the examination of existing knowledge to uncover new information. This approach, as discussed by McGuire (1997), is used as a hypothesis-generating tool whose purpose is to organize and synthesize existing knowledge “into a single body” resulting in testable hypotheses. For the purposes of the present study, the cases of Gilbert Escobedo, Paul Bernardo, and Jeffrey Dahmer were evaluated in an effort to further discern the personality features of the power–reassurance, anger–retaliatory, and sexual sadistic rapist types, respectively. Escobedo was identified as a power–reassurance rapist by detectives during the investigative process of several sexual assaults that occurred in the Dallas, Texas, area from 1985 to 1990 (Graney & Arrigo, 2002; Swindle, 1996). Similarly, Paul Bernardo was identified by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personnel as an anger–retaliatory rapist during the 1988 investigation of a sexual assault in the Scarborough area, outside Toronto (McCrary, 2003).2 Jeffrey Dahmer has been identified as a sexually sadistic offender on the basis of the crimes he committed in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area before his arrest in 1991 (Nichols, 2006; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). In the instance of this inquiry, the focus is on Dahmer’s repeated rapes rather than his serial sexual homicides.3 Each case represents a prime example of a sexual offender who fits a different rapist type. Because these assailants and their crimes constituted well-publicized media spectacles, a considerable amount of information is available on each of them in both the academic and popular literature. In addition, because each of these attackers represents a serial sexual perpetrator (i.e., each committed multiple offenses), the depth of knowledge that exists regarding their criminal behavior is voluminous. As such, we were able to retrieve extensive data regarding the personalities of these offenders on the basis of previous scientific inquiries as well as biographical accounts. The goal, then, is to examine the relevant information on actual offenders whose

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 385

criminal actions are consistent with the power–reassurance, anger–retaliatory, and sexually sadistic rapist types and to derive useful insights on the personality composition of each of them given this behavior. Ultimately, the aim is to establish a clearer typological model of offender personality than presently exists, wherein points of divergence, convergence, and uniqueness are specified. Consistent with using the analytical tactic of heuristics is the methodological strategy of case study inquiry (McGuire, 1997). As defined by Creswell (1998), a case study is “an exploration of a ‘bounded system’ or a case [in this instance, several cases] over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information rich in context” (p. 62). Case study research occupies a long, prominent, and illustrious history across many fields of academic inquiry (Stake, 1995). Moreover, this method creates generalizations regarding the issue(s) to which a case itself is bound (Lowman, 2001). By using the case study method, researchers are able to identify and incorporate information that would otherwise be disregarded in quantitative-oriented research (McGrath & Johnson, 2003). According to Lowman (2001), the goal of research derived from the case study method is to summarize unique information that has not yet emerged in the scientific literature. Heuristics facilitates this strategy in that it provides an analytical framework for the investigation that follows. Although far from definitive, this framework emphasizes the consolidation and integration of extant information into a coherent body of knowledge. As such, showcasing three cases of high-profile sexual assailants in which each individual represents a type of rapist (i.e., anger, power, and sadistic) ideally can result in useful, testable data regarding their respective personality attributes. Several recent studies in criminal psychology and clinical criminology have incorporated heuristics and the case study method into their research. For example, in their assessment of Gilbert Escobedo, Graney and Arrigo (2002) used these very tactics. In doing so, these investigators explained how power serial rapists engage in the process of victim selection, mindful of such concerns as geographic location (e.g., proximity exposure, association), personal characteristics and micro-level factors (e.g., age, race, marital status, mobility), routine activities and lifestyle patterns (e.g., level of vulnerability, manageability, guardianship), and residential location (e.g., level of security or surveillance, accessibility, anonymity). Shipley and Arrigo (2004) similarly relied on these research strategies when reviewing the life of Aileen Wuornos. On the basis of their analysis, these investigators indicated how the presence of severe attachment disorder and psychopathy could result in predatory serial murder among women (see also Arrigo & Griffin, 2005). Claussen-Rogers and Arrigo (2005) used the case of Robert P. Hanson, a former FBI agent convicted of espionage, to illustrate the association between the personality constructs of conscientiousness and antisocial behavior and their underexamined link to police corruption. The authors proposed a preemployment screening model that could help explain and predict future integrity violations for law enforcement personnel (see

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

386 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

also Sanford & Arrigo, in press). And in their assessment of lust murder, Purcell and Arrigo (2006) focused on the story of Jeffrey Dahmer. In doing so, the researchers developed an integrative paraphilic typology that accounted for the emergence and maintenance of sexual serial homicide. Thus, we note that in each of these instances, reliance on heuristics as an analytical tool and case study as a method of inquiry enabled the investigators to access, in a consolidated and integrated way, important data on criminal offenders that could be the basis for subsequent theory testing and model making.

Background on Escobedo, Bernardo, and Dahmer To access the personality characteristics of the power–reassurance rapist, we present the case of Gilbert Escobedo. Information on Escobedo was obtained from Trespasses: Portrait of a Serial Rapist (Swindle, 1996). Although this book is considered a popular media resource rather than an academic reference, it provides a vivid biographical account of an actual power–reassurance rapist. In addition, The Power Serial Rapist: A Criminology-Victimology Typology of Female Victim Selection (Graney & Arrigo, 2002), a scientific examination of the victim selection process of power serial rapists, was used to gather information on Gilbert Escobedo. There are several reasons Escobedo was selected for purposes of this study. First, he was a notorious rapist who committed a large number of sexual assaults during a 5-year time period. Second, an extensive amount of information exists on Escobedo and his criminal behavior. Third, there are few biographical accounts of power–reassurance rapists; however, Swindle’s (1996) work provides an in-depth biographical account of Escobedo’s life and the events leading up to his arrest. Gilbert Escobedo was described by others close to him as a very sociable, friendly, and likable person. He was a meticulous dresser and owned a successful cardetailing service in downtown Dallas. At the time of his arrest in April 1990, Escobedo was 35 years old. He confessed to 48 sexual assaults. However, law enforcement officials estimated that the actual number of assaults ranged from 75 to over 100. He was a recidivist criminal, with about 22 prior charges at the time of his arrest. Among these charges were automobile theft, burglary, and disorderly conduct (i.e., indecent exposure). Escobedo was engaged to a woman 13 years younger than he during the course of his assaults. Prior to the 5-year course of his rapes, Escobedo had been married and divorced twice and had two teenage daughters. Escobedo committed a series of sexual assaults in Dallas from 1985 to 1990. Typically, Escobedo broke into the homes of his victims as they slept. He always wore a pair of black gloves and a ski mask while executing his attacks. According to Swindle (1996), detectives identified Escobedo as a power–reassurance rapist during the investigative process. As previously discussed, in Groth and Birnbaum’s (1979) clinical rapist typology, power–reassurance rapists exercise minimal force and have

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 387

no intentions of inflicting physical injury on their victims. Attacks committed by power–reassurance rapists function as a means of compensation for feelings of inadequacy (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979; Groth et al., 1977). As such, these offenders often ask victims for evaluations of their performance. Consistent with the behavior of power–reassurance rapists, Escobedo used little physical force. Although he threatened those whom he harmed verbally or while brandishing a weapon, little evidence exists indicating that he used force beyond what was necessary to gain compliance. Most of his repeated assaults appear to have been premeditated. Usually, Escobedo’s attacks occurred within a two-mile radius of one another (Graney & Arrigo, 2002), and several of his rapes took place in the same apartment complex in which he lived. According to Graney and Arrigo (2002), this sort of geographical pattern of victim selection provides considerable insight into this offender’s personality. To identify the personality profile of the anger–retaliatory rapist, the case of Paul Bernardo is introduced. Information on Bernardo was gathered from The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us (McCrary, 2003). Although this book is a popular media source, it was coauthored by a profiler in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit who worked on the Bernardo case. In addition, Deadly Innocence (Burnside & Cairns, 1995) and Invisible Darkness: The Strange Case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Holmolka (Williams, 1998) were used to gather information on the personality of Bernardo. Each of these resources provides an in-depth biographical account of Bernardo’s life. Bernardo’s case is a representative example of an anger–retaliatory rapist type for two fundamental reasons. First, Bernardo was identified as such by profiler Greg McCrary during the investigative process (McCrary, 2003). Second, although a paucity of information exists concerning this offender type, Bernardo’s story is one of the most sensationalized and critically reported cases in Canadian history (Freedman & Burke, 1996). Although Bernardo’s criminal behavior eventually evolved into serial sexual homicide, the purpose of the present inquiry is to analyze the personality of different rape offenders. Consequently, the sexual assaults committed by Bernardo are considered exclusively. Bernardo was born as the result of an affair (Burnside & Cairns, 1995), and when he was a teenager, his mother revealed to him that the man he thought was his father actually was his stepfather (Stone, 2001). Bernardo attended college and worked as an accountant temporarily until turning to cigarette smuggling as a means to secure an income. In 1987, he met Karla Holmolka, and they married in 1991 (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). Bernardo was responsible for a series of sexual assaults in Scarborough, a suburb outside Toronto, from 1987 until his arrest in 1993. He began his career as a rapist by stalking young women at bus stops, attacking them from behind, and then pulling them in between houses or to other dark areas to sexually assault them. He either raped his victims from behind or ordered them to close their eyes so they would not see his face. The FBI predicted that Bernardo had the potential to escalate

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

388 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

from being a serial rapist to becoming a sexual serial killer. By the time of his arrest, Bernardo, with the aid of his wife, was responsible for the sexual assaults and deaths of three teenage girls, one of whom was his wife’s sister (McCrary, 2003). As previously described, anger–retaliatory rapists intentionally inflict physical harm and psychological humiliation on their victims (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979). They use excessive violence during their attacks and harbor uncontrollable rage and extensive anger. As such, their assaults function as a way for them to seek revenge, and their victims symbolize those who have angered them (Shipley & Arrigo, in press). Sex is viewed as a repulsive act by those who fit this offender profile, and it is used as a way to further humiliate those the assailants harm. Because their anger is often triggered or induced by an accumulation of frustration, their attacks are most often spontaneous. Anger–retaliatory rapists attack for a short period of time and then flee (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979; Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). Corresponding to the behavior of anger–retaliatory rapists, Bernardo used excessive force, physical brutality, and degradation during his assaults, even in the absence of victim resistance. He pushed his victims’ faces into the ground, used choking devices (e.g., belts, cables), and ordered those whom he harmed to say specific things (e.g., insulting themselves, saying “I love you” to him during the assaults). On many occasions, Bernardo continued to injure his victims after raping them. He bound, gagged, kicked, hit, and, in one instance, broke the collarbone and then rubbed dirt in the hair of one woman (McCrary, 2003). Typically, Bernardo raped his victims vaginally, then anally, and then had them perform oral sex on him. Consistent with the use of sex as a means to degrade those whom anger–retaliatory rapists attack, Bernardo relied on this sequence of sexual acts as a way to further punish, humiliate, and debase his victims (McCrary, 2003). His attacks, like those of most anger–retaliatory rapists, were sporadic and episodic. To explore the personality properties of the sadistic rapist, the case of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is briefly reviewed. Information on Dahmer’s case was gathered from a variety of academic sources, including peer-reviewed journal articles and the academic book The Psychology of Lust Murder: Paraphilia, Sexual Killing, and Serial Homicide (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). A number of justifications exist that help explain why his story was selected as a basis to further specify the personality composition of the sexually sadistic rapist. First, Dahmer is an infamous offender. Second, he is one of the most studied criminals ever, and as such, various forms of information, including scholarly research and popular media accounts, are readily available. Third, Dahmer was characterized as a sexual sadist by others (e.g., Martens & Palermo, 2005). Therefore, exploring what this means in terms of personality features for this rapist type seems as prudent as it is logical. During his childhood, Dahmer had a fascination with dead animals and often examined, dismembered, and disemboweled them using a chemistry set (Nichols, 2006; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). Dahmer was described by his teachers, friends, and acquaintances as a social outcast and as a prankster (Nichols, 2006). Following his high school graduation, Dahmer attended college at The Ohio State University and

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 389

had flunked out by the end of the first semester of his freshman year. He then joined the Army but was eventually discharged as a result of his alcohol abuse. Following his discharge, Dahmer held a variety of jobs and did a brief stint as a phlebotomist. He eventually worked as a third-shift mixer at the Ambrosia Chocolate Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He held this job for 7 years until he was terminated for excessive tardiness and absenteeism, given the events that led up to his arrest (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). Consistent with most sexual offenders, Dahmer was a recidivist criminal. He was charged with disorderly conduct, having an open alcohol container, and resisting arrest shortly after the end of his brief military career. In addition, he was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct (i.e., exhibitionism). Dahmer committed at least 17 murders in the Milwaukee area during a 13-year time frame before his final arrest in 1991 (Martens & Palermo, 2005). He targeted both adolescent and adult male victims. At the age of 18, Dahmer murdered, sexually assaulted, and then dismembered a teenage boy. Dahmer later frequented bathhouses, where he had both consensual and nonconsensual intercourse, although he preferred the latter (Nichols, 2006). Eventually, Dahmer began luring his victims back to his dwelling and then drugging them before sexually assaulting and killing them. Dahmer was identified as a sexual sadist on the basis of a series of crimes he committed before his final arrest in 1991. This type of offender develops a preference for forced sex over consensual intercourse (Knight & Prentky, 2001). Fantasy is a key component for such assailants, who engage in elaborate violent imagery (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). According to Groth and Birnbaum (1979), sexual sadistic rapists experience eroticized violence and aggression and take pleasure in the physical torture and psychological suffering they inflict on their victims. They use excessive amounts of force, including but not limited to bondage, rape with objects, and mutilation (Shipley & Arrigo, in press). Sadistic rapists are extremely likely to engage in multiple paraphilic sexual behaviors (Dietz et al., 1990; Gratzer & Bradford, 1995; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). In addition, sexual sadistic rapists hold their victims captive for extended durations of time (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979). Consistent with the behavior of the sexual sadistic rapist type, Dahmer’s fantasies played a significant role in his sexual crimes. During his adolescence, Dahmer fantasized about homosexual encounters and struggled with his sexual identity (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). His ultimate desire was a completely compliant, unconscious partner (Egger, 2002; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). According to Flaherty (1993), a common theme in Dahmer’s fantasies was that his lover would be killed, dismembered, and disemboweled. His fantasies became increasingly violent throughout his adolescence and into his adulthood. As an adult, Dahmer frequented bathhouses and gay bars, from which he lured men back to his home, drugged them with Halcion and various sleeping pills, and then strangled them (Nichols, 2006). He later began performing live lobotomies on his unconscious victims, using a syringe and turkey baster to inject acid into their brains (Flaherty, 1993). In addition, Dahmer engaged in multiple paraphilias, including exhibitionism, hebephilia, necrophilia and necrosadism, vampirism, pygmalionism, and eventually erotophonophilia (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006).

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

390 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Personality and Rapist Types: Points of Convergence, Divergence, and Uniqueness Thus far, the academic literature lacks a coherent classification system that categorizes rapist types while controlling for personality variables. In what follows (see Table 1), the development of such a classification schema is proposed. Specifically, Table 1 delineates a list of key personality attributes and then rates the three different rapist types (i.e., power–reassurance, anger–retaliatory, and sadistic) on each of these personality dimensions. Ratings for these traits fall along a Likert-type continuum: not ratable, low, low/moderate, moderate, moderate/high, high, and high/severe. The ensuing personality ratings are based on the frequency, intensity, and duration of the reported behavior associated with each identified trait, given the particular offender under review (i.e., Escobedo, Bernardo, and Dahmer). In addition, although no personality instruments were used for the purposes of the foregoing analysis, reliance on the case study method enabled us to retrospectively determine points of convergence, divergence, and uniqueness among the three subjects of this heuristic inquiry. When each of the three different offender types is rated similarly on a personality dimension, this constitutes a point of convergence. When a personality dimension is applicable to only two rapist types, this represents a point of divergence. When only one offender type manifests a personality characteristic that is not comparable with the other two, this signifies a point of uniqueness. Stated differently, distinctive features specify what is inimitable to the personality of that individual offender type. The following assessment, then, establishes a framework for specifying commonalities, variations, and exclusive or significant aspects of personality that emerge from the three types of rape under consideration. Among the personality attributes that surfaced across all rapist types (in the same degree or to the same extent) are manipulation and a lack of remorse. Moreover, the three sexual assault types showed fluctuation on the personality dimensions of surgency/extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness/intellect, impulsivity, novelty/sensation seeking, narcissism, need for intimacy, aggression/hostility, and need for power. Need for intimacy was determined not to be ratable in the case of the sadistic rapist. Need for power and aggression/hostility were found to be significant in the case of the anger–retaliatory rapist.

Personality and Rapists: Points of Convergence Each of the three offenders consistently exhibited behaviors in which guilt or remorse were absent and conning or manipulative qualities were present. Thus, the rating in these two areas is high. Escobedo, the power–reassurance rapist, committed at least 75 sexual assaults. Bernardo, the anger–retaliatory rapist, committed a series of sexual assaults before abducting, sexually assaulting, and then murdering two teenage girls. Dahmer, the sadistic offender, killed at least 17 men, most of whom he

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008


Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Moderate/high (participated in various social activities, made friends easily High (perceived as kind, good natured)

Moderate/high (owned a successful business, attentive to clients, paid close attention to details in many areas of life) Moderate (was of average intelligence)

Low (prepared and followed plans)

Low/moderate (did not seem to participate in many risk-taking activities) High (was image conscious, materialistic)

High (had many social and romantic relationships)

Low (did not behave in an aggressive/ anger manner in everyday life)

High (committed at least 75 sexual assaults)

High (often tried to enter homes of potential victims prior to assaults in a nonaggressive manner

Surgency/ extroversion Agreeableness



Novelty/sensation seeking

Need for intimacy

Aggression/ hostility

Lack of guilt/ remorse

Conning/ manipulative



Power–Reassurance (Escobedo)

Personality Trait

High/excessive (behaved extremely aggressively toward family, friends, and romantic partners) High (committed several sexual assaults before kidnapping, assaulting, and murdering two teenage girls) High (often used charm and his physical appearance to attract others, lied about age to attract younger women)

High (preoccupied with physical appearance, materialistic and superficial) High (had many social/romantic relationships)

High (engaged in high-risk behaviors, reckless driving)

High (excelled in school, open to new experiences) High (often changed plans suddenly or did not plan ahead)

High (engaged in a wide variety of social activities, had many friends) Low (verbally abusive to family, friends, romantic partners) Moderate/high (attended college and pursued a career upon graduation, paid close attention to detail)

Anger–Retaliatory (Bernardo)

Rapist Type

High (frequented gay bars and bathhouses and then lured men back to his residence, convincing of police)

High (responsible for the death of at least 17 men)

Moderate (made constant attempts to draw attention to himself during adolescence) Not ratable (had a need for intimate relationships but never seemed to develop an intimate bond with anyone) Low/moderate (behaved aggressively toward authority figures)

Low/moderate (most or all crimes were premeditated, with the exception of first murder) High (engaged in several paraphilic behaviors)

High (open to new experiences)

Low (dropped out of college, discharged from the military, attended school and work under the influence of alcohol)

Low (had difficulties in social relationships)

Low (described as a loner, social outcast)

Sadistic (Dahmer)

Table 1 Personality Characteristics of Three Rapist Types: Toward a Differentiated Model

392 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

sexually assaulted following their deaths. The criminal activities of these rapists typically increased in severity, and the serial nature of their respective sexual offenses showed an obvious lack of guilt or remorse. In addition, each of these three different offenders displayed behaviors consistent with elevated levels of manipulation and deceit. To illustrate, investigators believe that on at least one occasion, Escobedo was able to influence the children of one victim in such a way that allowed him to enter the home and to create an unnoticed method of reentry, which involved placing a pencil in a window sill and then resetting the window in the locked position (Swindle, 1996). He even began a romantic relationship with a woman who unknowingly had been one of his victims (Graney & Arrigo, 2002). Bernardo often lied about his age to attract younger women and manipulated them with his appearance and charm (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). He deftly performed any role that he felt made him desirable to others (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). Dahmer used compliments when presenting himself to potential victims, sometimes offering to pay them for sex or to pose for photographs when luring them back to his home (Nichols, 2006). He ground sleeping pills into powder form and placed the powder in a glass before leaving home to search for potential victims (Nichols, 2006). He was able to remain in control under pressure, and on one occasion after neighbors had called 911, Dahmer was able to convince police to return a victim to him who had tried to escape (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006).

Personality and Rapist: Points of Divergence The information available on each of these three rapist types suggests that there is a considerable degree of variability along a number of personality dimensions. Both the power–reassurance and anger–retaliatory types displayed similar manifestations of the personality attributes of surgency/extroversion, conscientiousness, narcissism, and need for intimacy, with ratings ranging from moderate/high to high on each of these dimensions. In contrast, the sadistic type exhibited low to moderate scores on each of these personality traits, with the exception of need for intimacy. It was not possible to determine a descriptive score in this instance. The case of the power–reassurance rapist, Escobedo, indicates moderate to high levels of surgency/extroversion.4 According to Swindle (1996), Escobedo was described as a sociable person with an outgoing personality who befriended others easily. He participated in many social activities and had many acquaintances (Graney & Arrigo, 2002). Bernardo (the anger–retaliatory rapist) also was described as an individual with many friends who engaged in various social interactions (Burnside & Cairns, 1995; Williams, 1998). He spent a great deal of his free time socializing and seemed to prefer interacting with others as a group. Thus, he is rated high on surgency/extroversion, slightly higher, in fact, than Escobedo, who is ranked moderate/high. In contrast, the sadistic offender, Dahmer, was described by others as a loner and a social outcast (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). This suggests that a low rating

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 393

on the measures of surgency/extroversion is warranted. According to Nichols (2006), Dahmer’s employer described him as a quiet person who kept to himself. Despite their obvious lack of conscientiousness, both the power–reassurance and anger–retaliatory types in this study were found to be moderate/high along this dimension, as exemplified in the cases of Escobedo and Bernardo. Escobedo was considered a successful businessman who bought, restored, and sold older-model cars (Graney & Arrigo, 2002; Swindle, 1996). He also began a car-detailing service in which he was very attentive to his customers (Swindle, 1996). He paid great attention to particularities in many areas of life, including his physical appearance and that of his home (Graney & Arrigo, 2002). Similarly, Bernardo also paid close attention to his outward appearance and the appearance of his home (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). He was described as a good student (Burnside & Cairns, 1995), and upon graduating from college, he pursued a career as an accountant (Burnside & Cairns, 1995; Williams, 1998). According to Burnside and Cairns (1995), Bernardo’s landlords described him as a good tenant who always paid rent on time or in advance. In comparison, Dahmer deviates from his power–reassurance and anger–retaliatory counterparts on the dimension of conscientiousness. He receives a low rating because his behavior demonstrates a considerable lack of responsibility, dependability, and perseverance. For example, Dahmer attended college but had flunked out by the end of his first semester (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). He then joined the Army and was discharged within 2 years for alcohol abuse (Nichols, 2006; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006; Schwartz, 1992). The attention to detail and preoccupation with appearance held by both the power–reassurance and anger–retaliatory rapists indicate high levels of narcissism. Escobedo was a meticulous dresser with expensive taste who drove high-priced cars (Graney & Arrigo, 2002; Swindle, 1996). According to Swindle (1996, p. 270), a forensic psychiatrist identified the narcissistic elements of Escobedo’s personality following his arrest. Similarly, Bernardo was also highly image conscious (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). In addition, he seemed to gain self-satisfaction by belittling others (Burnside & Cairns, 1995) and sometimes acted as though he were superior to them (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). Dahmer is rated moderate/low on narcissism because he did not demonstrate the degree of self-image exhibited by the other two offenders. According to Nichols (2006), the results stemming from the administration of the MMPI indicated that Dahmer was not interested in money or business and that he had no concerns about his manner of dress. Admittedly, a number of bizarre, attentionseeking behaviors in which he engaged during his adolescence could be interpreted as a tendency toward narcissism (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). However, these behaviors (e.g., public intoxication) arguably stemmed from the lack of desired attention he sought out everywhere (Martens & Palermo, 2005). Additionally, both the power–reassurance and anger–retaliatory rapists scored high on the need for intimacy, given that both had many social and romantic relationships. Escobedo was married twice prior to committing his series of assaults and was engaged to a woman 13 years younger than he during these attacks (Graney &

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

394 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Arrigo, 2002; Swindle, 1996). He also married again while in prison (Swindle, 1996). Similarly, Bernardo “seemed to crave strong, intimate relationships” (Swindle, 1996) and did not “seem content without having a permanent girlfriend in his life” (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). He married a woman who was aware of his sexual assaults and later became his accomplice. In contrast, the need for intimacy was determined to be unidentifiable in the case of the sadistic offender and is discussed in the subsequent section. The anger–retaliatory and sadistic rapists displayed similar behaviors, consistent with low levels of agreeableness and high levels of openness/intellect and novelty/ sensation seeking. In contrast, the power–reassurance rapist indicated high agreeableness and low openness/intellect and novelty/sensation seeking. Both Bernardo and Dahmer displayed behaviors associated with low levels of agreeableness. Bernardo was frequently verbally and physically abusive to friends, family members, and romantic partners (Burnside & Cairns, 1995; Williams, 1998). Likewise, Dahmer had significant difficulties in relationships (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). During his adolescence, he was considered to be somewhat of a prankster or class clown by his fellow classmates. It was not uncommon for him to drink alcohol from a Styrofoam cup during class (Flaherty, 1993; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006) or to draw chalk outlines of bodies in the school hallways (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006; Tithecott, 1999). In comparison, because Escobedo was regarded as a good-natured and congenial person (Graney & Arrigo, 2002), he is rated high along the personality dimension of agreeableness. Although romantic partners described him as somewhat jealous, he was apologetic for his admitted character flaw (Swindle, 1996). Furthermore, he was able to maintain a friendship after the relationship with his fiancée ended (Swindle, 1996), and he ostensibly forgave and bonded with his mother, although she had abandoned him as a child (Swindle, 1996). The anger–retaliatory and sadistic rapists rated high on openness/intellect. Bernardo was described as “innovative” and “imaginative,” “intelligent,” and “analytical” (Burnside & Cairns, 1995, pp. 71-72). Although Dahmer was not described in such positive terms, he appeared open to new experiences, as reflected in his attendance at college, joining the military, and holding a wide array of occupations. However, Escobedo scored low on openness/intellect; there is little indication that he had a desire for, or even sought out, various experiences. Demonstrating an elevated score along the dimension of novelty/sensation seeking,5 Bernardo engaged in many high-risk behaviors. Despite the obvious chances he took during his criminal activities, Bernardo also engaged in reckless driving and speeding. This led to his being jailed on one occasion but then released (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). In addition, Bernardo drank heavily, smoked marijuana, and grew marijuana inside his home (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). In the case of the sadistic offender, Nichols (2006) reported that on the MMPI, Dahmer intimated that there was little in life that held his interests. Martens and Palermo (2005) pointed out his tendency toward boredom. Dahmer also used alcohol, marijuana, and stimulants (Purcell

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 395

& Arrigo, 2006). In addition, Dahmer engaged in a number of paraphilic behaviors, including exhibitionism, hebephilia, pygmalionism, vampirism, and erotophonophilia, and he relied on several partialisms, including anthropophagy, necrosadism, necrofetishism, and necrophilia (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). For these reasons, Dahmer is rated high on the dimension of novelty/sensation seeking. In contrast, Escobedo scores low/moderate because his thrill seeking did not cross various spans of life; rather, it was limited to his criminal activity. According to Swindle (1996), close encounters with police excited Escobedo. Absent this, no other indications in support of high-risk activities are noted. With respect to the personality characteristics of impulsivity and aggression/ hostility, the power–reassurance and sadistic rapists demonstrated similar levels. These rapists received low and low/moderate ratings along these respective dimensions. In contrast, the anger–retaliatory rapist was rated high/excessive along the personality dimensions of impulsivity and aggression/hostility. Escobedo was rated low on impulsivity because no data points exist suggesting that he acted spontaneously in his criminal behavior or other areas of his life. In fact, Escobedo used voyeurism and surveillance as part of a carefully executed process in which he determined victims and the location of attacks, mindful of his targets’ routine activities and lifestyle patterns (Graney & Arrigo, 2002). According to Swindle (1996), Escobedo admitted entering the homes of several victims to search for weapons and to have well-developed plans. In the case of Dahmer, most of his crimes were premeditated, with the exception of his first homicide, although prior to this, he reported daydreaming about killing and having sex with a jogger who passed by his home (Nichols, 2006). Although his victims were not predetermined, as were Escobedo’s, Dahmer frequented gay bars and bathhouses, luring young men back to his home with the intentions of drugging, killing, and then sexually assaulting them. According to Nichols (2006), he purchased 800 tablets of Halcion from 25 different pharmacies in 5 years. The medication was used to lace his victims’ drinks in preparation for strangulation. Bernardo was a highly impulsive individual with spontaneity exceeding his criminal conduct, behavior that initially involved minimal planning. Before progressing to sexual murder, he stalked women at bus stops, dragged them into dark or unlit areas outside, and then sexually assaulted them (McCrary, 2003). On one occasion, Bernardo decided to skip a friend’s scheduled wedding in South Carolina, opting to take a trip to Daytona Beach, Florida (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). Moreover, his anger seemed to fuel his spontaneity. For instance, during one vacation, he suddenly became enraged and pulled a knife on a girl (Burnside & Cairns, 1995); on another occasion, he became upset at his wife’s pet iguana, decapitated the animal, and then barbequed and ate it (Burnside & Cairns, 1995). On the dimension of aggression/hostility, Escobedo is rated low because there is no evidence that he regularly behaved in an aggressive manner toward others. Dahmer is rated moderate because his behavior is described as aggressive specifically toward authority figures (Egger, 2002; Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). In contrast, Bernardo acted aggressively toward friends, family members, and romantic partners.

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

396 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

He was abusive toward several of his girlfriends and his wife. In addition, he was frequently confrontational toward family members, other intimates, and acquaintances, and he verbally attacked them (Burnside & Cairns, 1995; Williams, 1998).

Unique Properties In the case of Dahmer, the sadistic offender, the need for intimacy was found to not be ratable. As defined by McAdams (1990), the need for intimacy is a preference for warmth, closeness, and communication with others. According to Nichols (2006), Dahmer was alienated from others and held a fatalistic, hopeless outlook toward the world; was without friends in high school; and had an inability to connect. Dahmer was also a loner by choice, unable to sustain and maintain relationships, and unable to experience enduring companionship (Purcell & Arrigo, 2006). Nichols suggested that Dahmer turned to fantasy as a result of being socially isolated. In explaining his first homicide, Dahmer told police, “The guy wanted to leave and I didn’t want him to leave” (Schwartz, 1992, p. 43). It seems that the lack of intimacy helps account for Dahmer’s deviant and criminal actions. In the case of Bernardo, the anger–retaliatory rapist, the extent of anger and hostility is unique, because he exhibited these aspects of personality in excess. The FBI predicted that he harbored a general hatred toward women and that he had probably had a problem with a woman prior to the onset of his attacks. It was also predicted that his romantic relationships would be violent and unstable, that he likely had battered women in the past, and that his anger toward them would be obvious to those who knew him (McCrary, 2003). Indeed, when Bernardo was 16, his mother called him a “bastard” and revealed to him that her husband, the man he had thought to be his father, was not his biological father (Burnside & Cairns, 1995; Stone, 2001). Following this event, he was verbally abusive to his mother and spoke disparagingly of her in general conversation. He later confided in a friend that he did not get along with his family and hated his mother. He developed the view that women were objects to be manipulated, used, and controlled. He had a history of abusive relationships, and in 1993, his accomplice and wife of 2 years was hospitalized following a beating with a flashlight (Burnside & Cairns, 1995; McCrary, 2003; Williams, 1998).

Implications and Conclusions To summarize, the power–reassurance rapist was characterized by moderate to high levels of surgency/extroversion and conscientiousness, high agreeableness, and low impulsivity. The anger–retaliatory offender was characterized by high levels of surgency/extroversion, impulsivity, and novelty/sensation seeking; low agreeableness; and excessive anger/hostility. The sadistic rapist was characterized by low levels of surgency/extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness and questionable need for intimacy.

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 397

Admittedly, the preceding analysis is limited in scope and is not generalizable to a larger sample of rapists. However, efforts to develop a differentiated model of rapist types are sorely needed (Douglas et al., 2006; Graney & Arrigo, 2002), especially if future research is to foster public policy that has an impact on the societal problem of sexual assault. The findings from this heuristically oriented case study inquiry suggest that rapists are a heterogeneous group who must be studied as such. Consequently, additional investigations on rapist types and personality composition should be undertaken. This includes the construction of theoretical frameworks and the development of classification taxonomies that lead to empirical analyses. Along these lines, it is recommended that reliance on qualitative and quantitative methodologies focused on specific rapist types be pursued separately. Aside from research that produces sensible policy, this is because the relationship between critical personality traits and sexual offending may have important clinical implications. In particular, the explanatory and predictive properties of such empirical inquiries may lead to new and much-needed practical insights regarding the diagnosis and treatment of individual sex offender types, as well as the prevention of potential victimization. Currently, there is considerable pessimism about the effectiveness of treatment modalities and rehabilitation responses to rapists (e.g., Lea, Auburn, & Kibblewhite, 1999; Polascheck & King, 2002). By understanding distinct personality features and by addressing the heterogeneity of rapists, treatment programs can become more specialized and, arguably, that much more successful (Palermo & Kocsis, 2005). Indeed, in the final analysis, this level of clinical examination may very well be the basis for assisting the criminal justice community, especially in its efforts to profile, track, and eventually apprehend specific types of sexual offenders.

Notes 1. Age is relevant especially in the context of statutory rape. This sexual act is considered rape regardless of whether consent is given or coercion is absent. Statutory rape laws exist to prevent adults from having sex with minors (typically under age 16), who are deemed incapable of executing informed consent (Macdonald, 1995; Palermo & Farkas, 2001). 2. Toronto police turned to the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI and requested a profile for what appeared to be a young serial rapist committing crimes in Scarborough. 3. A related issue, especially with regard to Bernardo and Dahmer, is the point at which their respective rapist personalities can be distinguished from their respective serial murderer personalities. In other words, ascertaining the mind-set and attitude of each sexual offender in the context of rape as distinct from murder is likely to yield additional profile information relative to these unique offense types. Although certainly worthwhile in its own right, this question is not examined within the scope of the present article. 4. In the Five-Factor Model of Personality, surgency/extroversion is a broad dimension, marked by traits such as talkativeness, forwardness, and outspokenness (Goldberg, 1990). Conscientiousness is characterized by traits such as organization, neatness, promptness, and meticulousness. Agreeableness is characterized by warmth, understanding, and kindness. Openness/intellect is associated with imagination, creativity, and openness to experiences. 5. According to Cloninger’s (1986) tridimensional model, novelty seeking is associated with low levels of dopamine, creating a drive to obtain stimuli through novelty, thrills, and excitement (Cloninger, Svrakic, & Przybeck, 1993).

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

398 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

References Anderson, W. P., Kunce, J. T., & Rich, B. (1979). Sex offenders: Three personality types. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 35, 671-676. Aromäki, A. S., Lindman, R. E., & Eriksson, C. J. P. (2002). Testosterone, sexuality and antisocial personality in rapists and child molesters: A pilot study. Psychiatry Research, 110, 239-247. Arrigo, B. A., & Griffin, A. (2005). Serial murder and the case of Aileen Wuoronos: Attachment theory, psychopathy, and predatory aggression. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 22, 375-393. Arrigo, B. A., & Purcell, C. E. (2001). Examining paraphilias and lust murder: Towards an integrated model. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 45, 6-31. Bevacqua, M. (2000). Rape on the public agenda: Feminism and the politics of sexual assault. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Bradford, J. M. W. (1999). The paraphilias, obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder, and the treatment of sexually deviant behavior. Psychiatric Quarterly, 70, 209-219. Burgess, A. W. (Ed). (1991). Rape and sexual assault III: A research handbook. New York: Garland. Burgess, A. W., Hartman, C. R., Ressler, R. K., Douglas, J. E., & McCormack, A. (1986). Sexual homicide: A motivational model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 13, 251-272. Burnside, S., & Cairns, A. (1995). Deadly innocence. New York: Time Warner. Claussen-Rogers, N. L., & Arrigo, B. A. (2005). Police corruption and psychological testing: A strategy for pre-employment screening. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Cloninger, C. R. (1986). A unified biosocial theory of personality and its role in the development of anxiety states. Psychiatric Developments, 3, 167-226. Cloninger, C. R., Svrakic, D. M., & Przybeck, T. R. (1993). A psychobiological model of temperament and character. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 975-990. Cohen, M. L., Seghorn, T. K., & Calmas, W. (1969). Sociometric study of the sex offender. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 74, 249-255. Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dietz, P. E., Hazelwood, R. R., & Warren, J. (1990). The sexually sadistic criminal and his offenses. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 18, 163-178. Douglas, J. E., Burgess, A. W., Burgess, A. G., & Ressler, R. K. (2006). Crime classification manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crimes (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Douglas, J. E., & Olshaker, M. (1998). Obsession: The FBI’s legendary profiler probes the psyches of killers, rapists, and stalkers and their victims and tells how to fight back. New York: Scribner. Egger, S. A. (2002). The killers among us: An examination of serial murder and its investigation (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Eher, R., Neuwirth, W., Fruehwald, S., & Rottier, P. (2003). Sexualization and lifestyle impulsivity: Clinically valid discriminators in sexual offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 47, 452-467. Fernandez, Y. M., & Marshall, W. L. (2003). Victim empathy, social self-esteem, and psychopathy in rapists. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 15, 11-26. Flaherty, T. H. (Ed.). (1993). Compulsion to kill. Alexandria, VA: Time Life. Freedman, J. L., & Burke, T. M. (1996). The effect of pretrial publicity: The Bernardo case. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 38, 253-270. Gebhard, P. H., Gagnon, J. H., Pomeroy, W. B., & Christenson, C. V. (1965). Sex offenders: An analysis of types. New York: Harper & Row. Goldberg, L. R. (1990). An alternative description of personality: The Big-Five factor structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1216-1229. Graney, D. J., & Arrigo, B. A. (2002). The power serial rapist: A criminology-victimology typology of female victim selection. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

Pardue, Arrigo / Offender Personality 399

Gratzer, T., & Bradford, J. M. W. (1995). Offender and offense characteristics of sexual sadists: A comparative study. Journal of Forensic Science, 40, 450-455. Groth, N., & Birnbaum, H. J. (1979). Men who rape: The psychology of the offender. New York: Plenum. Groth, N., Burgess, A., & Holmstrom, L. (1977). Rape: Power, anger, and sexuality. American Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 1239-1243. Groth, N. A., & Hobson, W. F. (1997). The dynamics of sexual assault. In L. B. Schlesinger & E. Revitch (Eds.), Sexual dynamics of anti-social behavior (2nd ed., pp. 158-170). Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas. Guttmacher, M., & Weihofen, H. (1952). Psychiatry and the law. New York: Norton. Hazelwood R. (2001). Analyzing the rape and profiling the offender. In R. R. Hazelwood & A. W. Burgess (Eds.), Practical aspects of rape investigation: A multidisciplinary approach (3rd ed., pp. 133-164). New York: Elsevier. Hazelwood, R., & Burgess, A. W. (1987). Practical aspects of rape investigation: A multidisciplinary approach. New York: Elsevier. Heise, L., Moore, K., & Toubia, N. (1995). Sexual coercion and reproductive health: A focus on research. New York: Population Council. Holmes, R. M., & Holmes, S. T. (2001). Sex crimes: Patterns and behavior (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kalichman, S. C., Szymanowski, D., McKee, G., Taylor, J., & Craig, M. E. (1989). Cluster analytically derived MMPI profile subgroups of incarcerated adult rapists. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45, 149-155. Knight, R. A., & Prentky, R. A. (2001). Classifying sexual offenders: The development and corroboration of taxonomic models. In W. L. Marshall, D. R. Laws, & H. E. Barbaree (Eds.), Handbook of sexual assault: Issues, theories, and treatment of the offender (pp. 23-52). New York: Springer-Verlag. Knight, R. A., Rosenburg, R., & Schneider, B. (1985). Classification of sexual offenders: Perspectives, methods, and validation. In A. W. Burgess (Ed.), Research handbook on rape and sexual assault (pp. 222-293). New York: Garland. Kopp, S. B. (1962). The character structure of sex offenders. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 16, 64-70. Koss, M. P. (2005). Empirically enhanced reflections on 20 years of rape research. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20, 100-107. Langton, C. M., & Marshall, W. L. (2001). Cognition in rapists: Theoretical patterns by typological breakdown. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 6, 499-518. Lea, S., Auburn, T., & Kibblewhite, K. (1999). Work with sex offenders: The perceptions and experiences of professionals and paraprofessionals. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 43, 103-119. Lowman, R. L. (2001). Constructing literature from case studies: Promise and limitations of the method. Consulting Psychology Journal, 53, 119-123. Macdonald, J. M. (1995). Rape: Controversial issues, criminal profiles, date rape, false reports, and false memories. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas. MacKinnon, C. A. (2001). Sex equality: Rape law. New York: Foundation. Martens, W. H. J., & Palermo, G. B. (2005). Loneliness and associated violent antisocial behavior: Analysis of the case reports of Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49, 297-307. McAdams, D. P. (1990). Motives. In V. Derlega, B. Winstead, & W. Jones (Eds.), Contemporary research in personality (pp. 48-56). Chicago: Nelson-Hall. McCabe, M. P., & Wauchope, M. (2005). Behavioral characteristics of men accused of rape: Evidence for different types of rapists. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 241-253. McCrary, G. O. (with Ramsland, K.). (2003). The unknown darkness: Profiling the predators among us. New York: HarperTorch. McGrath, J. E., & Johnson, B. A. (2003). Methodology makes meaning: How both qualitative and quantitative paradigms shape evidence and its interpretation. In P. Camic, J. Rhodes, & L. Yardly (Eds.),

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

400 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Qualitative research in psychology: Expanding perspective in methodology and design (pp. 146-167). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. McGuire, W. J. (1997). Creative hypothesis generating in psychology: Some useful heuristics. Annual Review Psychology, 48, 1-30. Nichols, D. S. (2006). Tell me a story: MMPI responses and personal biography in the case of a serial killer. Journal of Personality Assessment, 86(3), 242-262. Palermo, G. B. (2003). Faces of violence (2nd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas. Palermo, G. B., & Farkas, M. A. (2001). The dilemma of the sexual offender. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas. Palermo, G. B., & Kocsis, R. N. (2005). Offender profiling: An introduction to the sociopsychological analysis of violent crime. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas. Polascheck, D. L. L., & King, L. L. (2002). Rehabilitating rapists: Reconsidering the issues. Australian Psychologist, 37, 215-221. Prentky, R. A., Cohen, M., & Seghorn, T. (1985). Development of a rational taxonomy for the classification of rapists: The Massachusetts treatment control system. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 13, 39-70. Purcell, C. E., & Arrigo, B. A. (2006). The psychology of lust murder: Paraphilia, sexual killing, and serial homicide. New York: Elsevier. Sanford, S., & Arrigo, B. A. (in press). Policing and psychopathy: The case of Robert P. Hanssen. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice. Schwartz, A. E. (1992). The man who could not kill enough: The secret murders of Milwaukee’s Jeffrey Dahmer. New York: Carol. Shipley, S. L., & Arrigo, B. A. (2004). The female homicide offender: Serial murder and the case of Aileen Wuornos. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Shipley, S. L., & Arrigo, B. A. (in press). Serial killers and serial rapists: A preliminary comparison of violence typologies. In R. N. Kocsis (Ed.), The psychology of serial violent crimes and their criminal investigation. Totowa, NJ: Humana. Smith, M. D. (Ed.). (2001). Sex without consent: Rape and sexual coercion in America. New York: New York University Press. Smith, M. D. (Ed.). (2004). Encyclopedia of rape. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Stone, M. H. (2001). Serial sexual homicide: Biological, psychological, and sociological aspects. Journal of Personality Disorders, 15, 1-18. Swindle, H. (1996). Trespasses: Portrait of a serial rapist. New York: Penguin. Tithecott, R. (1999). Of men and monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the construction of the serial killer. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Ward, C. A. (1995). Attitudes towards rape: Feminist and social psychological perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Warren, J. I., Reboussin, R., Hazelwood, R. R., & Wright, J. A. (1991). Prediction of rapist type from verbal, physical, and sexual scales. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 6, 55-67. Williams, S. (1998). Invisible darkness: The strange case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Holmolka. New York: Bantam.

Downloaded from http://ijo.sagepub.com at Uni Transilvania Brasov on September 18, 2008

View more...


Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.