Regarding Serial Killer Jeff Dahmer – and Including the Three Part Dahmer Series on Dr. Phil

Regarding Serial Killer Jeff Dahmer – and Including the Three Part Dahmer Series on Dr. Phil

The parents of Jeff Dahmer say they always called him “Jeff,” not “Jeffrey,” as the media always did, so I’ll try to remember to call him “Jeff” too.

I was in college, a 20-something college student, when news of police having found human remains in Dahmer’s apartment first broke.

I watched days of unfolding TV news coverage about Dahmer, as well as read about the case daily in the printed news paper of the city I lived in at the time.

(I was a little kid when the John Wayne Gacy story broke – I was a kid watching daily news coverage of that story.)

dahmerMugshot

I’ve always been interested in psychology on and off over my life, and I took psychology courses when I was a college student (though I went on to get a degree and career in a totally different field).

I’m interested in learning why people behave as though they do, and with serial killers, that’s no exception.

When television shows and documentaries began airing again the last  several months about Dahmer, I watched a lot of them.

I also watched all of the Netflix dramatization about Dahmer starring Evan Peters. I watched it twice.

The NetFlix show either omitted a few details here or there, and conflated a few real life people into one or two fictional characters, but the show, the overall picture it painted of Jeff, was pretty accurate – I think the show maker was striving combine being factual with being entertaining, or using art to make a point, so maybe a few details here or there were wrong, but my sense is that the overall story was fairly accurate.

I am not claiming to be a Jeff Dahmer expert, but I’ve read enough about the guy (including first-hand, 1990s era police, psychiatry examination, or court documents in pdf format), and seen enough news coverage (both then and now) to get an idea.

I’m not an expert on the matter, but I am also not an un-educated dunce.

Some of the newer Dahmer documentaries I’ve seen via streaming services, many of which seem to be British-produced, contain errors, as do some recent American internet based articles.

A few days ago, Dr. Phil, of the Dr. Phil television program, did a three part series about Jeff Dahmer on his show, and clips of most of those are on Dr. Phil’s You Tube channel, such as (Link): here, Dr. Phil Interviews Jeffrey Dahmer’s Father – Full Interview (14 minutes long).

There are more video clips than that on Dr. Phil’s You Tube from his Dahmer series, but I don’t feel like linking to them all right now.

Steven Hicks, Dahmer’s First Victim, Was Not Homosexual

One falsehood I keep seeing repeated on these documentaries and some of the online articles is that Dahmer’s first victim, Steven Hicks, was either a homosexual or willingly participated in homosexual sex acts with Dahmer.

Both claims are false.

Hicks was not homosexual, and he did not engage in consensual sex acts with Dahmer.

Dahmer even said, during the interview process (with either one of his defense attorneys or the police detectives, I don’t recall which), that in the course of getting to know Hicks, he clearly learned that Hicks was a hetero guy, which Dahmer said disappointed him, but even though Hicks was hetero, he was going to get what he wanted from Hicks regardless.

In some other interview or line of questioning, I remember Dahmer saying his obsession got to the degree he no longer cared if a man he found physically attractive was hetero-sexual or homo-sexual.

Even if a man was hetero, Dahmer said he didn’t care, that he would still try to drug the guy, knock him out through drugs, and fondle him.

But I periodically see recent Dahmer documentaries or online articles state that Hicks was gay – Hicks was NOT gay.

The only “sex” Dahmer had with Hicks was after Dahmer murdered Hicks – Dahmer admits after killing Hicks that he stood over Hicks’ body and masturbated to the sight of the dead body.

I don’t recall after that if Dahmer committed more sex acts with Hicks’ corpse or not, but regardless, Hicks was DEAD after Dahmer did anything sexual to him.

You can read a little more about Hicks here, if you like.

I am not saying it is acceptable for Jeff Dahmer to have killed homosexual men (which he did in fact later go on to do), because quite obviously, that was not okay or moral behavior.

I just cringe at inaccurate reporting about this topic (or any other topic). Journalists and television producers should get their facts correct, even if it’s merely a schlocky, cheaply made documentary they’re contributing to.

No Animal Abuse or Animal Cruelty

Some documentaries, shows, or online articles incorrectly state that Dahmer abused or tortured animals, which is false.

Some shows – such as Dr. Phil’s recent three part Dahmer series – implied at one point that Jeff Dahmer killed a dog and put the dog’s head on a pike.

That is false.

Unless Jeff was lying about the incident to police and later to his father, he did not kill the dog and then decapitate it;
he found the dog already dead and then decapitated it – which still is disturbing and disrespectful behavior, but he didn’t kill the dog in order to dissect the animal, which is the point.

Dahmer is the rare serial killer (similar to Dennis Nilsen) who apparently did not torture or hurt animals.

(I am open to new information on this topic, but again, from what I have read and seen over the years, Dahmer was not known to have engaged in torturing animals or killing them.)

However, Dr. Phil and his guest on the show, a lady (I forget her name) who is an ex psychiatric nurse and ex FBI profiler, kept incorrectly referring to Dahmer as having the Dark Triad (read more about that on Wikipedia) and as having the Macdonald triad.

Continue reading “Regarding Serial Killer Jeff Dahmer – and Including the Three Part Dahmer Series on Dr. Phil”

They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

Before I get to the links way below about a self-professing, devout Christian man who was allegedly swindling customers out of their very expensive purchases:

For any of you super trusting people out there – especially if you consider yourself kind, decent, empathetic and/or a Christian (though what I say below is also applicable to kind-hearted Non-Christians as well):

Please, please educate yourselves and accept reality.

There ARE people out there with what are called “Cluster B” personality disorders (such as NPD, malignant narcissism, or, they’re on the narcissism spectrum, or they are sociopathic or psychopathic) who cannot, or will not, have empathy (and on top of an empathy-deficit, sociopaths lack a conscience, too).

Not all of these Cluster B personality disordered persons are serial killers, as is often assumed(*) – but they all lack remorse and empathy and will use and abuse those in their paths, even their own spouses and family members! (*Some Cluster B personality disordered persons love to financially scam other people or financially exploit them, for instance.)

The primary drivers and motivations of Cluster B persons are control and dominance of other people.

These people can be your neighbor, sibling, parent, spouse, a friend, your boss, or a co-worker.

These dangerous persons can work as church pastors, doctors, school teachers, veterinarians, psychologists, therapists, plumbers, IT professionals, UPS delivery persons, mailmen, hair stylists – any and every occupation, even “care based,” charity based, or church ministry related ones!

These people have learned to “pass” as normal. They will pretend to be normal. Many will act as though they have compassion and empathy for others, but they do not.

Just because someone is working in a care-based occupation doesn’t mean they have empathy and are warm, nurturing, and have your best interest at heart.

Some narcissistic or sociopathic persons who work as therapists or as social workers INTENTIONALLY undermine their patients or others in their care. That’s one reason you must be careful when shopping around for a mental health professional, should you want to see one for treatment.

Some of these personality disordered persons will do things like say they are a “Jesus-follower,” a Christian, they will even volunteer for charity work, attend church regularly, and “play act the part” of loving, devoted Christ follower while simultaneously committing financial fraud (or other sins and crimes) against you or others.

And they do NOT CARE AT ALL how much it hurts your feelings or hurts you financially.

They are not sorry, and they never will be. They do not experience remorse or sorrow for how they hurt others.

Even the non-personality disordered abusive persons out there have very large entitlement attitudes, so their view on relationships is that being mean, lying, nasty, and controlling of or to you is getting THEIR needs met for them, their abusive behavior of you is working well for them, so why bother to care about you and your needs and how YOU are being hurt by them in the process?

They feel they have no reason to change for the better (this is from their perspective).

There is nothing you can do to fix, change, save, or help such persons (even most therapists agree such persons are beyond help or fixing), nor is it your responsibility to fix or change them.

Avoid them as much as possible. No amount of compassion, love, attention, pity, or empathy from you or someone else will change or fix such persons.

No amount of church attendance, Bible reading, or exposure to the Gospel or the teachings of Jesus will heal, change, or fix them.

This includes the marriage context: a wife being “more submissive” or “loving” towards a narcissistic or sociopathic husband will not “heal,” change, or fix the husband and cause him to stop hurting his wife.

Please do some research, and stop allowing people to take advantage of you! Look for the red flags.

Perhaps start out by reading books such as “The Sociopath Next Door” by Stout

(though, caution: in an otherwise very good and educational work, I think she sugar coats her descriptions of narcissism in her book too much – narcissists, especially at the moderate to high end of the spectrum, are essentially watered-down sociopaths, so far as I am concerned,
but, in her book, Stout makes narcissists sound more lovable, redeemable, reachable, and friendly than they actually are,
which contrasts what I’ve read in a lot of research by other mental health professionals and accounts by narcissistic abuse survivors who all specialize in the topic of narcissism),

or “Husband, Liar, Sociopath – How He Lied, Why I Fell for It & the Painful Lessons Learned” by O. N. Ward,
or “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself” by Shahida Arabi.

There are many other books – and free online articles and videos – that describe all these issues.

Just because someone claims to be a Christian and acts really sweet, caring, and nice does NOT mean they will NOT abuse you financially, or will not abuse you physically, verbally, or sexually in private.

Because such people do exist, and they will abuse or exploit you.

Stop thinking the best of people, stop being so trusting, stop assuming that because someone talks favorably of Jesus that this must mean they are trust-worthy, and stop giving people third, fourth, and more chances if they’ve already hurt or lied to you twice!

Stop rationalizing their behavior, stop excusing it on the basis they told you they are having a bad day, they’re under stress, or they were abused as a child (whether they were or not still does not excuse their abusive or dishonest behavior).

Such attitudes and behaviors on your part, where you keep forgiving, pitying, trusting, and grant repeated chances and do-overs, is what enables alleged frauds like the guy in the article below to scam you in the first place.

I am not victim blaming anyone who has been abused or targeted by any of these abusers or scammers.

Here is where I am coming from:
I just want to pull my hair out in frustration in particular at how Christians, in their sermons, books, social media, blogs, and their attitudes, frequently encourage or pressure behaviors or attitudes in believers that encourage them to be very susceptible to attracting abusive people or con artists, or from eliminating them from their lives once they encounter them.

Christians are setting other Christians up to be attractive and easy targets and prey for sociopaths, narcissists, and other troubled and dangerous people.

Misguided Christian teachings about grace, forgiveness, compassion, helping one’s neighbor, turning the cheek, the “no divorce for any reason” teachings, and giving second chances, and Christian complementarians especially are really bad about this.

Christian gender complementarians promote “gender complementarianism,” where they strongly condition girls and women to adopt beliefs and actions that are indistinguishable from Codependency (ie, which includes things like lacking boundaries, being passive, etc), which makes girls and women reluctant to engage in perfectly healthy and normal actions, such as standing up to abusers or bullying behavior, and leaves them vulnerable from recognizing abusive behavior as being abusive in the first place.

Secular culture of course also re-enforces such harmful beliefs and behaviors in girls and women as well, via traditional gender stereotypes (see the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker for some examples; research by others has also been done in this area going back years with the same results being shown).

(Link): They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud

People around the country who have paid Matt Sowash thousands of dollars for the small dwellings after seeing him on TikTok say he never delivered on his promises.

by Sept 20, 2022

By Deon J. Hampton

DENVER — A man who had been convicted of bilking investors out of thousands of dollars and who professed his love for God while selling tiny homes online swindled homebuyers out of their life savings for dwellings that were never delivered, three alleged victims said in lawsuits filed in federal and state courts.

Developer Matt Sowash, founder of the Colorado-based nonprofit Holy Ground Tiny Homes, promoted the small residences on social media, including to his 80,000 TikTok followers, with short videos portraying an upbeat, God-fearing man selling the American Dream — affordable homes with financing and no credit checks.

“For people that can’t pay for a house all at once, we can finance you. Holy Ground Tiny Homes. Get yours today,” Sowash said in one TikTok video.

“Great house, available now, around $45,000 is what this goes for. Come in and take it away,” he said in another video, wearing a T-shirt adorned with “Faith Over Fear.”

Sowash said in an interview that he never set out to take advantage of homebuyers, but he’s not sure he’ll be able to build the 250 homes already paid for, in full or in part.

…A plaintiff in one of three lawsuits filed against Sowash said in an interview that the builder’s persuasiveness and Jesus-loving persona convinced her to part with her hard-earned cash.

“That’s part of what sold me. He’s charming, convincing and I believe in God,” said Clara Virginia Davis, 24, an elementary schoolteacher in upstate New York.

Continue reading “They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders”

Victim Blaming Codependents, or Victim Blaming People Who Exhibit Codependent Behaviors

Victim Blaming Codependents or Victim Blaming People Who Exhibit Codependent Behaviors

The concept of Codependency is not victim-blaming.

The concept of Codependency does not pathologize domestic abuse survivors,  targets of narcissistic abuse, or other victims of other types of abuse, contrary to a lot of online rhetoric I have seen, and I don’t care what psychiatrist with what degree behind his name has stated things like, “Codependency is victim blaming and pathologizing!” – that psychiatrist, despite his eight years in medical school, is wrong.

He is wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong.

I disagree with him entirely. And I do not have to have a medical degree to see where he’s wrong, and to know that he’s wrong.

I am a recovered codependent, and I remain astounded at people, especially therapists, psychologists, and abuse survivor advocates, who should know better, who never-the-less keep peddling this trope that the concept of Codependency is victim blaming, or it’s too broad in scope to be of much use.

(There are actually other mental health professionals out there who do not believe that Codependency is useless, too broad, or that it pathologizes anyone.)

A few months ago, when news stories about Anna Duggar were more prominent – she’s married to convicted child pornography user Josh Duggar, former reality television show star
– and then, a little later, when so-called abuse survivor advocates, such as Ashley Easter started commenting on that and victim blaming Anna Dugggar, and Amy Smith of Watchkeep began attacking journalist Julie Roys, I kept seeing these people, and others who follow them, showcase a very stunning misunderstanding of, or in some cases, a lack of awareness of, Codependency.

I may in the future do more posts – ones specific to Ashley Easter, Anna Duggar, and the Amy Smith – Julie Roys fiasco from months back – but for this post, I wanted to address this topic via at least two videos I saw on Dr. Ramani’s You Tube Channel.

Dr. Ramani is a psychologist who specializes in treating victims of narcissistic abuse.

I actually like Dr. Ramani quite a bit, and I’ve seen and listened to many of her videos. I like her on a personal level, and I think she’s quite astute.

I do  not feel comfortable being critical of someone who I usually agree with often, and who I find to be personable, but Dr. Ramani made a few comments in some of her videos here and there, pertaining to codependency, which I didn’t entirely agree with.

And no, I myself do not have to be a psychologist or have a mental health degree to form opinions or conclusions based upon what I hear and see!

While I do not have a mental health degree, I am college educated, and I did spend the past several years researching mental health topics. I did take psychology courses in college, but that is not what I earned my degree in.

So, I may not be an “expert” on mental health topics (in a degreed sense), but I am not an entirely uninformed person.

Continue reading “Victim Blaming Codependents, or Victim Blaming People Who Exhibit Codependent Behaviors”

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

(Link): A relationship expert reveals the best ways to get over someone

Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of “Anatomy of Love,” says heartbreak has physiological effects on our minds and bodies. There’s a scientific reason it hurts so much.

(Link): Why Breaking Up is So Hard, and How to Cope

Excerpts:

by Kelsey Chun
Feb 2020

There’s science behind a broken heart—but recovery is possible

…  Research has shown why our biology makes breaking up so hard for us, but thankfully it has also provided some helpful tips on what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

… one can better understand the unfortunate aftermath if a romantic relationship should end; it’s something akin to a drug withdrawal. Dr. Fisher and her colleague Lucy Brown also did research on people’s brains after they had just been broken up with, and their findings are in line with Dr. Fisher’s previous research.

While looking at images of their exes during MRIs, three brain regions light up in these heartbroken people: the first is the same brain region that lights up when someone is in love.

Dr. Fisher explains the meaning of this in her TED talk [(Link): The Brain In Love], “When you’ve been dumped, the one thing you want to do is forget about this human being and then go on with your life, but no, you just love them harder.” That brain system is the reward system, and it only becomes more active when you can’t get what you want—a loving partner.

[Self Care Tips After a Break Up]

…While manicures and shopping sprees are certainly nice, real self-care is about taking care of your own emotions, which often looks like being kinder rather than harsher with yourself, letting yourself cry, or saying “no” to activities that might overwhelm you more easily.

On the other hand, self-care might also include doing more, such as getting involved in more activities, hobbies, or projects.

Continue reading “Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher”

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Disclaimer: All names have been changed in the post below to keep people’s identities anonymous.


One of the things I’ve noticed in the last few years is that when I’ve accepted a situation, whether something current or something from years ago that once bothered me a lot, is that it speeds up the recovery process.

I used to hold on tightly to people or dreams or hopes. In the last few years, I’ve gotten better at Letting Go.

(I’ve not arrived at perfection at this, but I have improved a lot in the last couple of years.)

Instead of constantly regretting, feeling sad or angry about a past incident, or that my life is not where I want it to be now, I’ve learned to accept my past and present, and that has definitely been good for my mental health – and I’m more able to enjoy each day as it is, instead of sitting around angry or upset that things aren’t how I had hoped or planned.

I don’t get as upset by set backs as I once did.

Continue reading “Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change”

Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap

Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap

If you are someone who is currently in the grieving process because someone you love died within the last five years, some of the tips below by Dr. Trunzo (article: “The Best Life Possible”) about acceptance in regards to chronic health conditions may be useful to you as well in regards to your grief, so please scroll down to read that.


Don’t forget to see my two previous posts about Covert Narcissism, as those posts explain that sometimes, people with Covert Narcissism will either exaggerate or lie about physical or mental health illness to garner sympathy and attention from others, and they often have a “victim mentality.”

In particular, in (Link): this post about Covert Narcissism, scroll down to find the section entitled “The Psychosomatic.” (That section is located about half-way down that page.)

You’ll notice that a lot of the tips and advice in the first article below, which was reviewed by a medical doctor, echo and repeat the same set of tips and advice I have given to (Link): people I’ve known before, people who insist these tips do not work (though some of it worked for me or for other people, in regards to clinical depression), or they dismiss this advice as being nothing but mere “platitudes” or “pep talks,”, or, (Link): some of these people dismiss this type of advice on other grounds.

Recap on my situation:
I was diagnosed with clinical depression by a psychiatrist at a young age, had it verified by three additional psychiatrists as I got into my 30s.
I lived with depression for over 35 years, and largely found my way out of it (on my own), and I can tell you that escaping depression involved doing some of the very things mentioned in the articles below.

Other than lower back pain I’ve dealt with since a teen, I’ve not had chronic physical pain.

Chronic Physical Pain & Mental Health

From my research into the topic of chronic pain and mental health, I’m finding articles by people (some doctors, some lay persons) who live with a chronic pain condition who do talk about the possible slide into self pity, how to avoid it, and how to manage any depression that results from, or accompanies, the pain.

So obviously, things can be done to change here – it’s not as though a person is doomed with no recourse if they live with a physical health problem to necessarily stay in a hopeless, despondent emotional or psychological state (this is also true for physically disabled persons who (Link): must use wheelchairs)

(Link):  The best life possible by Joseph Trunzo

Excerpts:

Living with chronic illness is hard. But there are psychological techniques that make it possible to thrive even when ill

‘Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.’
John Wooden (1910-2010), NCAA basketball coach

by Joseph Trunzo, professor of psychology at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and a clinical psychologist. He is the author of Living Beyond Lyme: Reclaim Your Life From Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness (2018).

—- — —-

Before Donna got her diagnosis, she thought of herself as a musician, a busy professional, a volunteer, a mother, a grandmother. After she got her diagnosis – Parkinson’s disease, at age 58 – she thought of herself as a patient.

The time she used to spend engaging in the things that gave her life meaning was eaten up by doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests and constant monitoring of her symptoms, her energy, her reactions to medication. Her sense of loss was profound and undeniable.

Unfortunately, Donna’s experience is all too common. Heart disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, depression, cancer, asthma, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease: the list goes on.

I would guess that most people know someone close to them who is suffering from one of these debilitating chronic conditions, if not struggling with a diagnosis themselves.

However, as a clinical psychologist, I see many people trying to navigate the daily vagaries of chronic afflictions. I’ve worked with people who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, Lyme disease, obesity, all manner of cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, paralysis and many other illnesses.

Naturally, I also see people on a regular basis who are dealing with chronic mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar disorder and so forth.

The causes of these conditions are varied and multifaceted. The underlying factor for all of them, however, is that, in the absence of a cure, people want to live the best life they possibly can, regardless of their affliction or disability.

While each person and each condition presents its own set of challenges, there are some unifying principles in helping people who are suffering from chronic illnesses to live better, more meaningful lives.

In my practice, I approach these issues from a therapeutic perspective known as acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT (said as the word, not the acronym). I encourage anyone dealing with similar issues to learn about this approach, as it has been helpful to my clients and countless others.

…Generally, living as rich and meaningful a life as possible when you are struggling with a chronic illness requires a great deal of psychological flexibility.

With chronic illness, rigidity in your thinking and behaviour is the greatest barrier to living well with your illness.

Continue reading “Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap”