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Wicked WomenA JOURNEY OF SUPER PREDATORS
By DENNIS J. STEVENS
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Dennis J. Stevens, PhD
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAn Explanation of Crime and Predators
Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. —Friedrich Nietzsche
Brutal attacks by a single predator, depicting barbaric torture and children snatched from the comfort of their beds are sensationalized at local theaters, on television, and in the news. "If it bleeds, it leads," a magazine editor told me early in my career. "It doesn't matter if it's true or not," she added. We think in terms of a single awesome event with lots of blood and gore and a single perpetrator. When we watch the opening segments of our favorite crime drama on television, we see a lot of blood, a naked female dangling from a chandelier or hidden in sewer pipes deep below the bowels of the city. We assure ourselves that our own intelligence, experience, and defense strategies will help fight off attackers. We think the set of keys in our hand is enough to win as we walk to our automobile in the shadow of a new moon. Our sense of safety comes from believing we know what violators look like and where they live, thanks to the false illusions provided by sex offender registries. But massive attacks by super predators are rarely reported. Super predator descriptions rarely conform to the traditional or established stereotypes of their photographs, behavior, and cruelty. This book describes the life stories of fifteen incredibly wicked predators that were imprisoned and under my care and supervision for a short period of time. Because the twisted accounts of twelve female predators were rivaled by three males, I have included their stories, too. Neither predators nor their victims can be stereotyped as male or female - that's Hollywood. What isn't Hollywood is that most predators are rarely identified, apprehended, and convicted. If they are convicted, it is often for less an offense than expected. In this sophisticated, technologically advanced century, Joe—or in this case, Joanna—Bogyman can easily possess the technology and professionalism of a CIA operative, a Wall Street entrepreneur, or a Disney executive and yet remain a fairy tale, unless Nancy Grace attempts to boost her Neilson ratings with a flood of incompetent sorcerers' apprentices and a mouse named Mickey.
I spent several years among high-risk felons in some of the most heavily researched penitentiaries in America, while teaching at universities. At the core of Wicked Women are the essays and journals of prisoners I encountered in prison classrooms, group sessions, and counseling meetings, and their official records. Many of their ruthless accounts have never been made public, nor have these offenders been identified as the perpetrators of bizarre crimes. In their youth, not one of them had ever experienced abuse, poverty, or parental violence, other than the violence each of them administered to parents and grandparents, siblings and friends, teachers and neighbors. Each wicked predator possessed the incredible opportunities, privilege, and political power common to children of their families' socioeconomic class. Yet they rejected those amazing opportunities for a life of cruelty and destruction.
I lecture on the behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, and human development) and criminal justice (police, courts, and corrections) at universities (currently the University of North Carolina– Charlotte and formerly at UMass Boston) and law academies such as the North Carolina Justice Academy. I lecture about predators who escaped detection and were subsequently released from custody or confinement. Often the most intellectual students, many of whom are in the justice profession, are horrified at the justice system's revolving door for dangerous violators. At times, the legal efforts of politically correct liberals result in the release of dangerous predators because of technical violations (think about O. J. Simpson). Yet at the same time, those liberals neglect to afford the opportunity of reform and recovery to nonviolent prisoners, who have little promise once incarcerated in America's violent penitentiaries.
I have published numerous textbooks adapted by various universities and law academies, and have written over ninety empirical studies about predatory dispositions, as well as about sophisticated techniques for lowering recidivism (future violence and crime) rates among nonviolent offenders. For instance, in studies among female prisoners, I found that women prisoners who completed university studies while incarcerated rarely return to a life of crime once released. Unfortunately, state legislators eliminated those budgets for university studies. Yet, on the other hand, those same legislators worked hard to release wicked pedophiles from prison, because of the legislators' naïve misperceptions of dangerous predators. For instance, then Governor Mitt Romney of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved the parole of a convicted pedophile who had hit the national limelight because of his place of employment—a day care establishment. The convicted pedophile had sexually assaulted numerous children, including children who were handicapped. He submitted numerous legal appeals to the courts, aided by Harvard-type supporters. Today, this pedophile freely roams the streets of Boston without concern of apprehension or supervision.
Through this sort of political dialogue, some of my books and studies were buried, along with the studies of my colleagues, which addressed both ends of the spectrum (predators and nonviolent offenders). This abyss of righteousness continues to reinforce the American liberal perspective that everyone should win a race and everyone is equal. The truth of the matter is that predators are winning, and none of those predators are equal to hard-working, law-abiding people who do the right thing for themselves, their families, and their country. At professional conferences, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology, and American Corrections Association—of which I have been a member—presentations about professional and efficient enforcement and custody management have been attended by curious new scholars trying to find their own way. However, because recommendations that arise from these conferences and from studies don't fit what is on the television, those recommendations are often dismissed.
For instance, similar to the above suggestion that education among prisoners can and does reduce recidivism rates among selected groups of offenders, other studies detail recommendations for nonviolent offenders. They have little hope once they are incarcerated in violent prisons. They conform to the violence level of prison, and when they're released, those nonviolent offenders engage in violent crime. Violence begets violence. Prison is not always the answer for first-time violators, nor does prison serve the greater good. It does not, as an institution, go to the root of the problem, nor does it deter violent crime or predators, scholars argue. But there's more! What is known about predators, aside from their cruelty and victimization, confirms Friedrich Nietzsche's advice: "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." What monsters seek through their gazes or observations are clues about the vulnerability of individuals and the justice systems that protects those individuals. Attacking the organization that provides individual rights weakens or discredits the organization. One way to better understand this perspective is to consider how America's enemies such as predators and terrorists use the US Constitution against the very people it is designed to protect.
Mastering Their Craft
This work departs from the antiseptic world of popular media dramas, which fictionalize the apprehension and legal conviction of heinous violators in less than sixty minutes (minus commercials). Instead, this book offers a frightening glimpse of the cross-eyed creatures that lurk on a different plane of existence; who accept their wickedness through a mask of sanity, as they evolve into masters of human devastation with the aid of redundant criminal policy. The foundation of each account or vignette in the chapters ahead reveals that official policy, linked to popular media dramas, is flawed. Yes, the media's version of enforcement and criminal activity produces moral panic and a huge flow of income. But neither enforcement nor the media have a real impact upon the twisted, wired-wrong creatures who commit most of the heinous crimes. Clearly, enforcement and conviction policy linked to the identification, apprehension, and criminal conviction of wicked offenders is frightfully misguided, because the justice system is plagued with political-correctness issues and filmmaker versions of crime, which stifles America's defenses.
Publishers, too, especially academic publishers, hold either a right-wing (conservative) or left-wing (liberal) orientation about super predators. Consequently, I published this work without their aid, which offers me the extraordinary opportunity to present the outrageous thoughts and gruesome destruction of super predators without the political police manipulating those descriptions.
This work doesn't offer blame or boost personal safety. The preponderance of evidence offered is as varied as it is disturbing about the long and destructive journeys of super predators. Finally, because of confidentiality and constitutional concerns for victims, justice personnel, and offenders, actual names, dates, events, and places have been changed. For all practical purposes, you might say that the following fifteen vignettes are a work of fiction.
Chapter 1 includes an explanation of crime and an introduction of the wicked offenders. Chapters 2-16 contain the individual life stories, experiences, and criminal violations of each wicked offender. Chapter 17, although brief, offers tentative conclusions about super predators. Chapter 18 contains fictional short stories about fourteen of the offenders. One last thought before moving on. The chapters ahead are jammed with bizarre accounts of incredible human cruelty of every variety, so caution is advised.
Particulars of This Case Study
Wicked Women is focused on the journeys of super predators, from their early life experiences and criminal activities, through the time when they interacted with me in prison. Then, too, this work reveals the fascinating relationship between legal reasoning and societal values. The story of crime and punishment does not always end when an offender has been apprehended or convicted. The real mystery is when justice will be served, because the super predators featured in this book have been released from prison or will be released in the near future. That includes the police officer on death row, thanks in part to bleeding-heart liberals who think her trial was prejudicial from the start. My thoughts echo with the actions by the perpetrators who committed fraud, prostituted themselves and their families, sexually assaulted or butchered their own children, as well as brothers, sisters, parents, and strangers. In this regard, I had one advantage over other personnel and correctional service providers. At the time I gathered this evidence, I was not a "mandatory" reporter. Justice personnel are often required to reveal anything they hear or observe if a reasonable person would believe that a crime has been committed, a crime is in process, or a crime will be committed. Few inmates were concerned with what they said to me or wrote to me, furthering the uniqueness and the importance of this work. Mandatory reporting requirements have changed. By today's standards, to gather similar information of a similar nature is virtually impossible and could encourage litigation.
Definition of a Super Predator
John J. Dilulio, Jr. defines super predators as a cohort of offenders who developed through lifestyles of moral poverty, in homes where unconditional love was absent. His definition has been discredited by uninformed academics, but his warnings are much more than crying wolf. Dilulio was an aide for President George W. Bush for eighteen months, until he was figuratively spanked in public for "baseless and groundless" commentary. That said, think of the "poor little rich girl" syndrome pervasive among Hollywood's bad girls, such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Bijou Phillips. If you or I behaved like Hilton, Lindsay, or Bijou, a criminal sanction of ninety days in jail would become ninety months of hard time in a state penitentiary. What about Barbara Hutton, whose parents were Edna Woolworth (of the five-and-ten store chain) and Franklin Laws Hutton, cofounder of the E.F. Hutton brokerage house? She inherited millions, her seven marriages included one to Cary Grant, but she died with less than $3,500. Or Doris Duke, who was once referred to as the richest girl in the world, with an estate estimated at $1.2 billion dollars. Her father was James Buchanan Duke, whose multi-million-dollar endowment gave rise to Duke University. At fourteen she sued her mother; her only child was born prematurely and died within twenty-four hours; she killed her best friend in a freak car accident; and she legally adopted a thirty-five-year-old former Hare Krishna, whom she believed to be the reincarnation of her dead daughter. Like many children whose parents could give them the world, a young life without unconditional love and supervision can set decadence and corruption in motion. I can only guess at the origins of homes where moral poverty and unconditional love never existed. Perhaps in 4000 BCE the archetypal poor little rich girl was the motherless Sumerian child of a father too busy inventing the wheel to pay her much attention.
Dilulio's definition is consistent with the characteristics of the Wicked Women participants. His description, however, must be expanded to include the evidence provided by the participants in this work: super predators inflict unmerciful violence incessantly upon their parents, siblings, neighbors, and anyone else who crosses their paths, including their own children and spouses. Without a moral compass, individuals who are also prone to violence, or what can be called biologically wired-wrong, can easily accept their destruction of any living creature, regardless of the creature's age (such as six months old to ninety years of age), conscious state (such as functional, intoxicated, or mentally ill), or physical condition (asleep, recovering from surgery, or physically handicapped). Once criminally violent activities become second nature or an ingrained habit, there's no turning back. No rehabilitation. No resolve. But some argue that because predators ability to adapt their appearance to their social environment, to blend in or camouflage themselves, they must have a moral compass of sorts. Yet this automatic change in appearance to blend in is explained by scholars—not predators—as similar to explaining why an octopus opens an empty jar of peanut butter.
The participants in this work were chosen because their violent criminal careers can be traced and documented throughout their early childhood. They could have been identified as such if they had been less clever or poor, or if the system was better prepared and adequately funded. Yet none of these predators was ever officially exposed or prosecuted as an unrelenting predatoral monster. The strange thing you will discover as you page through each vignette, is that when they were in grade school, everyone around these predators knew they were corrupt. Equally important, their socioeconomic privileged family environments were decisive factors, and each was highly verbal and physically aggressive in prison programs: hands waving, palms tapping the tables or desk, eyes flitting, feet or legs in motion while seated, comments and quick responses to those seated next to them or others across the room. And they talked and wrote volumes about themselves.
Gangbangers, members of organized crime, foreign nationals suspected of terrorism, and celebrity-type criminals are not among the participants of this book, although I encountered convicted felons fitting those descriptions, such as John Wayne Gacy and Richard Speak at Stateville near Chicago; Gerald Amirault at Bay State in Massachusetts; Pamela Smart and Kathy Boudin at Bedford Hills in New York; Donald Gaskins at CCI; and Susan Smith at Leath in South Carolina.
Excerpted from Wicked Women by DENNIS J. STEVENS Copyright © 2011 by Dennis J. Stevens, PhD. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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