A Rare Rational Voice on Crime and Psychology

Dr. Hurd’s review of Dr. Stanton Samenow’s latest book, The Myth of the “Out of Character” Crime:

People love to make excuses for, and rationalize, their own erroneous actions. Unfortunately this applies to criminals at least as much as ordinary people. In his latest book, “The Myth of the ‘Out of Character’ Crime,” Dr. Stanton Samenow exposes this myth for what it is. Criminals don’t suddenly become that way, no matter how much you thought you knew the person before his criminal actions. Reality trumps perception, and when a criminal reveals (via action) his true personality, you have to face the hard and honest truth. Dr. Samenow is the author of the now classic “Inside the Criminal Mind” and has interviewed, studied and psychologically assessed criminal offenders for years. He bases his assertions on actual case histories, including but not limited to the infamous D.C. sniper, young Lee Malvo. This latest book delivers on its promise to “look over the shoulder” of Dr. Samenow as he interviews offenders and establishes some understanding of what leads them to do what they do. In case after case, you’re able to see why people who know the offenders perceive the crimes as out of character, and yet why everything else discovered about the person in the months or years leading up to the crime make it utterly believable (if not inevitable). Don’t think this is a rehash of Dr. Samenow’s prior works on the criminal mind. He adds to and builds on his prior works in this book, reinforcing the truth of his previous theories and assertions. For anyone who seeks to understand not only the criminal mind, but human psychology more generally, it’s not to be missed.

Some quotes from the book:

“The conventional wisdom is that if a person grows up in a poor, gang infested neighborhood where the American dream seems out of reach, turning to crime is an adaptive response (a sociological term). This thinking remains alive and well in some quarters. However, it is just plain wrong and has served as a distraction to understanding and combating crime.”

“The way that this [criminal] mentality operates, just thinking something makes it so. Because I am who I am, I deserve x, y, or z. The criminal is angry at anyone who impedes his obtaining the high regard to which he thinks he’s entitled.”

“During forensic evaluations, I have found that if I were to focus on feelings, I would land in a bed of quicksand from which it would be difficult to extricate myself. Offenders use their feelings to justify and explain everything and everything.”

Check Amazon.com or your local bookseller for Dr. Samenow’s book, or his website at www.samenow.com.

Also, don’t miss out on Dr. Hurd’s interview of Stanton Samenow in the forthcoming Living Resources Newsletter (to be released in a few days). Click on NEWSLETTER at the top of this page to subscribe.