John Marshall, The Scotsman
John Marshall, a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist, writing under the handle “The Scotsman,” wrote an article, Political correctness strikes again: Many social workers are in denial about child psychopaths dealing with a case in which a 16-year-old boy, Aaron Campbell, raped and killed six-year-old, Aleisha MacPhail. From this extraordinary case, Dr. Marshall goes on to make the case for diagnosing kids with psychopathy, something that is verboten in professional circles. Kids who show psychopathic traits can be called “callous unemotional” instead. The brain of a child is in such a volatile state of development that children can’t be called “psychopaths” according to psychiatry, psychology and other related fields. The article points out that one doesn’t “become” a psychopath on one’s 16th birthday. Actually, 16 is considered too young for the diagnosis. The brain is still developing.
The Scotsman argues,
It would be tempting to think that the type of sadistic homicide carried out by Campbell is so rare that there is little we need to do about people with psychopathic traits. It is estimated that less than one to three per cent in the population will be diagnosed with these traits over their lifetime and even among offenders only around eight per cent are psychopathic. However, psychopaths are responsible for overwhelming misery, disproportionate amounts of crime, more varied offending and they are far more likely to be responsible for homicide. They may even be responsible for more than half of all persistent, violent crimes.
As a psychopath who knows other psychopaths, none of us having raped and killed a child, I get bloody tired of seeing out kind characterized this way. Of course, society has a tendency to call a perp of any heinous crime “a psychopath.” And yet, “At a hearing after the trial ended it emerged the teenager had a history of self harm, anxiety and depression, and has been tested for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Self-harm, anxiety and depression are not symptoms of psychopathy. In fact, psychopaths have less of those symptoms than nons. This is a perfect example of equating a horrible crime with psychopathy. Has this boy been diagnosed with even callous unemotional disorder (the approved diagnosis for pre-psychopathic youth)?
This boy is a poor example to use if the Scotsman wants to argue for giving minors diagnoses of psychopathy. And it’s high time to stop all this loose talk about how psychopaths are “responsible for overwhelming misery…” when using such questionable data.
- Political correctness strikes again.
- Alesha MacPhail: Teenager jailed for at least 27 years for rape and murder of 6-year-old
- Sicko Shunned.
- Disturbing Signs Your Child May be a True Psychopath. Interestingly, most of the illustrations are of girls when psychopaths are mostly male. (shrug) I never peed on the sofa.
- The Bad Seed. Patty McCormick convincingly plays a child psychopath.