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Serial killers, self-reliance, and everything in between
Joni E Johnston Psy.D.
Why do revenge murderers often kill innocent victims? Perhaps it's not a person he's trying to kill.
Is Kelly Cochran a female psychopath or was she the victim of an abusive boyfriend? She'll have a long time to think about it.
Is it possible for a serial killer to be innocent? The case of the Lipstick Killer, William Heirens, shows how complicated a confession can be.
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime. Recently, some victims have lost more than money when they were targeted by a lookalike criminal looking to start a new life.
Few of us worry about being shot to death when we get behind the wheel of a car. But news headlines and recent statistics show road rage is happening more often and can be deadly.
Stereotypes about women and violence have allowed female serial killers to get away with murder far longer—and more often—than you might think.
What is it like to grow up in a destructive religious cult? Two children tell it like it was.
Violent female offenders often give us clues to their future during their childhood and teen years. So why do we miss them?
What happens when a person with multiple personalities kills? Pamela Moss claimed her alters were linked to two murders committed years apart but insisted she, the host, was not.
When a Japanese serial killer picked his victims on the internet by responding to suicidal posts, was he targeting people who really wanted to die?
In 2014, two social-media savvy 12 year old girls tried to kill a classmate to appease an imaginary internet horror figure. How typical is this of kids who kill?
Most mental health professionals have the best interest of their clients at heart. But, when they don't, the "cure" can be worse than the "disease."
How can we predict who will kill someone s/he once loved? Look at the dark clouds in the relationship to predict storms after a breakup.
Is it possible for someone to become addicted to killing? Here's what crime experts, soldiers, and serial killers say.
It's 2017, so why are we still talking about sexual harassment? Here's how to talk to the person who needs it the most.
The tragic story of Gypsy and Dee Blanchare is set to air as an HBO documentary on May 15. Here's a look at the law and psychology behind a case of medical child abuse and murder.
How does a forensic psychologist tease out the mind of a criminal defendant at the time he committed it? Debunking one myth - and investigating one source - at a time.
The movie Split has brought Dissociative Identity Disorder back into the spotlight. Here's how this controversial diagnosis plays out in the courtroom.
A recent rash of animal killings in Canada have raised new questions about a budding serial killer. Do serial killers target animals first? Here's what the research says.
What can we learn from an overview of serial killers in 2016? Let's take a look at the new faces of serial murder.
Can hate crimes be fueled by mental illness? Here's what the evidence says.
When a stalker is a former lover, the victim must be aware of the psychological blind spots that can increase her risk.
A serial killer is stalking senior citizens at a Japanese hospital. What kind of person would do this?
When does a fan become a foe? When the pseudo-intimacy of social media is mistaken for a real relationship.
The psychotic killer may make a great Halloween costume, but in real life, they're surprisingly rare.
A serial killer in San Diego is setting fire to homeless men. Why?
Many of us have wished someone would die or disappear when we're angry. But how common is it to actually fantasize about committing murder?
Are there some secrets worth killing for? For two men leading double lives, the answer was yes.
The psyche of parents who fake their child's illness
What exactly is the relationship between animal cruelty and violence towards humans? A look at serial animal abusers sheds light on this complex relationship.
Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D, is the author of Complete Idiot's Guide to Psychology.
The human equation looks at the dark side of human nature, with a special emphasis on women and crime. Topics include female serial killers, Munchausen by proxy, cult leaders, and the psychology of evil.