Vicente Garrido: “I have no doubt, Vladimir Putin is a psychopath”

Vicente Garrido, Professor of Criminal Psychology, is one of the most internationally renowned researchers in the study of serial killers and psychopaths. Author of an abundant academic and informative work, he has served and continues to serve as an expert to describe the profile of numerous criminals, such as that of José Ignacio Palma, the murderer of Marta Calvo.

This interview was conducted last Wednesday remotely.

We know that as a judicial expert, you cannot speak about the investigation of the alleged murderer of Marta Calvo, who will shortly be sitting on the defendant’s bench. But in her expert report, she concludes that we are dealing with “a serial killer” and a “lethal predator.” Apart from this case, and knowing that you have analyzed the personality of many serial killers, what characteristics does a person have that can be described as such?

A serial killer kills three or more times with a time interval between crimes in which he resumes his normal life. The expression “lethal predator” was coined by the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit to mean that the subject acts out of a compulsion where the essential gratification is sadistic domination that seeks the death of its victim, without significant mental disturbances.

So what does a serial killer of women look for? What is their satisfaction, the murder, seeing them suffer, sexually abusing them?

In all of them there is a sexual component and another of domination that reach their climax in the murder. In them there is an evolution from the world of fantasy to its actual realization when mere imagination is no longer enough to contain the desires of the individual. However, there are important differences in the way in which this fantasy is realized, that is, in the modus operandi. While some of them need intense manipulation of the victim’s body before and after the murder (Ted Bundy), others (like Joaquín Ferrándiz) were satisfied with the sensations of control and pleasure that killing produced, without the need to sexually abuse the victim. the woman.

In all of them (serial killers) there is a sexual component and another of domination that reach their climax in the murder”

Is a criminal personality like this always associated with the use of addictive substances, drugs or the like?

Absolutely. There have been murderers who have used alcohol as a disinhibition factor, but it is not usual, let alone drug use.

Is machismo also an identifying element of these men when it comes to serializing their criminal obsession?

Machismo is an attitude of feeling superior to women, but this concept is very poor to explain the psychology of the lethal predator, where there is an emotional disconnection and an extreme objectification of women, but which reveals a profound lack of empathy not only towards women but towards human beings in general. This is why there are serial killers who are homosexual or who kill both sexes. Basic human emotions have been replaced by the compulsive desire to feel powerful managing death, which, incredible as it may seem, fills them with vitality.

You have faced the analysis of not a few serial killers. What does a professional like you face when you agree to examine a case? What is the most difficult thing to appreciate?

The most important challenge is to understand the “why” of the crime, that is, the function or purpose pursued by the murderer with his crimes. Through the analysis of the criminal act, which includes the elements prior to the crime, the interaction with the victim during the crime, and the conduct after the crime, we must be able to understand their motivation or fantasy, and thus understand what the criminal is looking for. killer by killing This is sometimes not easy, so it is essential to have all the information collected about the crime scene and victimology.

Alcohol is not common, let alone drug use among serial killers”

Vincent Garrido.

LVE

While I’m talking to you, I can’t help but ask if Vladimir Putin could be considered a psychopath.

I have no doubt. He is a perfect example of the narcissism, lack of empathy, deceitfulness and manipulation, and criminal will typical of the integrated psychopath, who is “discovered” when he ultimately becomes a mass murderer. The sufferings, already tangible, for his people, do not bother him in the least. He wants to feel the power that is his only reason for existing. Unfortunately, we have already seen several like him. And we already know what happens when nobody stops them.

On many occasions, citizens wonder if a profile of these characteristics can be cured. Do you have it?

This is a difficult question to answer. Some cancers are curable, others are not. Some are cured in certain patients and not in others. The same thing happens here: you have to consider case by case, because no two murderers are the same, no matter how superficially they may seem so.

You are a world authority in the investigation of psychopaths, how do you end up forming the mind of a person capable of committing such crimes? Are they born that way or are they made?

It is true that a large proportion of these murderers are psychopaths (incapable of feeling guilt or empathy, greedy for extreme sensations and little fearful of the threat of punishment), but most of them live in an integrated way, and we only discover them when they commit crimes. violent or reveal themselves as master con artists, leaders of coercive cults, or narcissistic and unscrupulous politicians. Among those who become serial killers, in general, a biology prone to the use of violence and deceit as a life strategy is combined with a parenting environment that was ineffective in containing that propensity.

Most of them live in an integrated way, and we only discover them when they commit violent crimes.”

I remember in the first interview I did with him many years ago for his book “The Psychopath” that he explained to me the ability of these people to integrate into society without us being able to perceive it. is it so?

That’s right, as I’ve said many psychopaths are embedded, and most of them, while a source of moral misery to those who deal with them, go through life without notable acts of violence. Others, however, exercise for years a very destructive underground violence: in their families (spouse and children), in their jobs and in those areas where they are related. Only when these acts are clearly criminal (fraud, mistreatment of women and children, sexual violence) do they come to light, or when holding positions of political power, they let the world see their true face with a destructive policy for their people and the humanity as a whole. Many of these master the art of feigning positive emotions, and are publicly well regarded.


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Can the current educational and health system detect these people? Is it difficult to detect psychopaths?

It is very difficult in the case of integrated psychopaths, especially if they are intelligent and have acquired a good culture, since this makes them better impostors before others. On the other hand, there is the fact that, despite the popularity of psychopaths in cultural products, most people do not really know what these people are like, and rarely stop to think about that possibility. When they are criminals from a young age, there is no such problem, since they accumulate a long history of crimes and assaults.

Why do these characters generate so much attraction among public opinion? You only need to watch the movies and television to verify it. There is even a series Dexterin which a serial killer appears as a good person because he only kills other killers.

Dexter —a series that I have enjoyed a lot— is a tricky series, because there is no such thing as a serial killer. He is a murderous psychopath who only kills bad guys, which doesn’t make him much different from other popular characters like the vigilante from the “I Am Justice” saga (Charles Bronson) or The Punisher. In any case, it is completely normal for people to be interested in those cultural products that reflect anxieties and weaknesses of our human nature and of society in general, because this interest is engraved in our DNA as a species: we pay great attention to everything that can destroy us Happily, the series or film provides us with a means to learn vicariously, without our having to run any real danger. And that is extremely exciting, like when we go on the roller coaster, where it “seems” that we are going to die, but in the end we come out unscathed.

In any case, it is completely normal for people to be interested in those cultural products that reflect anxieties and weaknesses of our human nature”

Vincent Garrido

Vincent Garrido.

LVE

Of the serial killers you have met and dealt with, which one, if you can count, has surprised you the most?

Gilberto Chamba, aka The Machala Monster. A serial killer and lethal predator who needed to feel the climax of rape alongside murder. He killed 12 women, and it is one of the happiest episodes in the work of the Mosos d’Esquadra in Lleida.

Why are there more male psychopaths than female?

All those personality traits that are associated with violence are more intense in the case of men. The difference between men and women in crimes is universal and occurs at all times. It is probably related to our evolutionary past: women who expose themselves to violence risk not conceiving or losing their children, while evolution rewarded the aggressiveness of men as a way to defeat the enemy and acquire resources for the tribe. . This also has its translation in biology and in the social roles that are learned. It is important to observe that the great advances in equality of the last half century have not translated into greater violence on the part of women. The psychopath is the extreme case of the violent subject: without empathy and remorse. It is logical that there are many more men than women.

The psychopath is the extreme case of the violent subject: without empathy and remorse. It is logical that there are many more men than women”

Vicente Garrido: “I have no doubt, Vladimir Putin is a psychopath”