Link to Part 2 - https://www.davidicke.com/article/520162/ranking-killers-using-scale-evil-part-2
By Jamie Busby - Staff Author
As we all know, the world is full of bad people. I'm not talking about politicians this time. We're going to be looking at criminals and where they place on a scale from 1 to 22 on the "Scale of Evil" developed by Dr. Michael Stone, 22 being the very "worst". In this article, we will cover levels 1 to 11.
Michael Stone is a forensic psychiatrist who developed this scale. His work resulted in a series on the Discovery Channel called "Most Evil". The series ran from 2006 to 2008 and was then resurrected for a further series from 2014 to 2015. I consider this essential viewing if you have any interest in the inner workings of some of the worst murderers, serial killers and psychopaths from the 20th century up to the present day.
Dr. Stone himself is no joke. Watch him expertly probe the mind of Arthur Shawcross, one of the most depraved serial killers in American history. Shawcross is hard work but Stone takes no shit; Link below. Skip to 17 minutes to see for yourself.
What follows will be a countdown of the scale in ascending order from good to worst. I say "good", is there such a thing as a good killer?! Probably not, but as the scale will show you, there are distinct categories that different people fall into. Some are MUCH worse than others in the grand scheme of things. Real life examples will be provided for each rating on the scale.
So let's get cracking with the first 11 categories, the best of an ALMOST unanimously bad lot.
1 - Justified Murder
The pick of the litter, these people kill in self-defence and exhibit no psychopathy.
After her mother died, Cheryl Pierson's father began to sexually abuse her. He was a despicable creature; an example of which was making her eat her dinner off the plate clockwise, one type of food at a time. He would batter her if she didn't comply.
At the age of 17, she finally reached breaking point and paid a school friend $400 to kill her father. For this, she only received 6 months in jail. I believe she was the victim here but murder is murder I suppose. Dr. Stone described this as a clear case of self-defence. I agree, her Daddy had to go and in my opinion, she should have been spared jail.
Another example is Donald West Wilder who shot and killed a drunken 16 year old who had accidentally staggered into the wrong house; Wilder's house. Wilder shot the teenager dead and again, this was ruled as self-defence and no charges were brought. Rightly so perhaps, especially in America where everyone constantly carries at least 3 guns at a time... I'd take no chances with an intruder either. Nonetheless, it's a classic case of a misunderstanding with the most tragic of endings.
2 - Jealous Lovers, no psychopathy
Dr. Stone describes this group as ordinary people who get caught in a terrible situation. This implies that any of us could end up here and may well be true.
The crimes here tend to be impulsive, committed in the heat of passion. Jean Harris was a school director without a blemish to her name, then she became romantically involved with Dr. Herman Tarnower. This relationship awoke a dormant but incredible level of jealousy within Harris and she knew Tarnower had affairs.
When she found another woman's underwear in Tarnower's wardrobe, he had finally crossed the line... She shot him dead and received 10 years in prison. A light sentence in my opinion, don't you agree?
3 - Killer Companions
Though we still haven't got into psychopath territory, these people exhibit personality disorders and are extremely impulsive.
Leslie Van Houten was a member of the "Manson Family" headed by the notorious Charles Manson. She is serving life in prison for various murders, though she was not present at the infamous murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others in 1969.
She was however present the very next night at the double-murder of husband and wife Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, inflicting at least 14 of Mrs. LaBianca's 41 stab wounds. She then smeared messages on the walls using the victim's blood. This bitch even confessed to a murder she didn't commit to help Manson and turned lawyers away who wanted to prove to the courts that she was a victim of brainwashing by Charles Manson.
Victim? She's no victim, she's a feeble excuse for a human being and knew what she was doing. Life in prison? Should have been the death penalty for the whole "family" in my opinion. In recent days news has emerged that she has been recommended for parole after almost 50 years in prison and there's a good chance she may be finally freed.
4 - Provocative/Provoked self-defence
People in this category kill in self-defence but only after extreme provocation of their victim.
Susan Cummings, the daughter of a billionaire arms-dealer, fell in love with Roberto Villegas, an Argentinian polo player. For 2 years, life was a bed of roses. But at this point, for whatever reason, Cummings began to repeatedly refuse sex which created problems. Villegas would reportedly become verbally abusive towards her.
In 1997, she ended up shooting Villegas dead in their kitchen. She claimed he had been physically abusive, Cummings had several superficial knife wounds. The Police were convinced these injuries were self-inflicted.
However, after being initially charged with murder, she was only convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The sentence? 60 days in jail! I wonder if Daddy, his money and his contacts had anything to do with this incredibly lenient jail term?...
5 - Traumatised Killers
People in this class murder abusive partners or family members. Deeply traumatised, they tend to show remorse and show no clear psychopathic traits.
Susan Wyche was a topless dancer who married and had 2 children with Jeff Wright. Jeff liked to party, using cocaine regularly and having several affairs, giving Susan herpes. He was also physically abusive towards her.
One night he came home after a cocaine and alcohol fuelled binge and beat up his son and Susan. This was her breaking point. So she tricked him into thinking they were going to have a kinky bondage session. Once she had an excited Jeff tied to the bed, she proceeded to stab him 193 times. You can't say she didn't make sure! She explained why in court;
"I couldn't stop stabbing him; I couldn't stop. I knew as soon as I stopped, he was going to get the knife back and he was going to kill me. I didn't want to die...”
She buried his body in their garden and despite the portrayal of an abused woman by her defence, the prosecution painted her as a vicious temptress. It appears the court sided with the latter as she was given a sentence of 25 years in jail. Regardless, she had been traumatised by her victim and her heavy punishment does not sit well with me, despite the extreme nature of her actions. I do not know the full picture though.
6 - Hotheads
These are killers who act upon an impulse, yet also display no distinct psychopathic traits.
Coy Wayne Wesbrook was looking to rebuild his relationship with his ex-wife and went to her home to visit. However, when he arrived she was holding a small "party" with 3 other men.
Shortly after this, Wesbrook noticed that his ex-wife and 2 of the men had slunk off... He found them in a bedroom engaged in a sexual threesome and flew into a rage. He went to his vehicle, fetched his rifle and ended up shooting his ex-wife, her roommate and all 3 men dead. FIVE dead in total, now THAT'S impulsive.
Issei Sagawa was born in Japan where he developed cannibal fantasies during his formative years. In 1981 he found himself in Paris, France, where he lured a female Dutch student back to his apartment.
He shot her dead, committed necrophilia with the body and then indulged in his long-held fantasy by eating parts of her flesh. Declared insane in France, he was deported to Japan and placed in a mental institution. After only 5 years, he was released and has since gone on to write about his gruesome experience.
Surely Sagawa should not be allowed to walk around free. What if he gets the munchies again, those same old urges?... I can relate more to Wesbrook but killing everyone was not the appropriate response by any stretch. For his crime, he was executed by lethal injection in 2016.
7 - Narcissistic Killers
This type of murderer is not exactly psychopathic but exhibit what Dr. Stone calls a "psychopathic core". They are extremely possessive and consumed by jealousy which is what leads them to kill.
Mark David Chapman is a classic case and infamous for the "assassination" of John Lennon on 8th December, 1980. I think the word assassination is far too "classy" for what was nothing more than a cold-blooded, cowardly murder.
Chapman was a huge fan of The Beatles and of Lennon in particular. He idolised him, which made him all the more angry when Lennon said things like "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus." Another case of religion causing a huge problem in someone's life...
The resentment grew over time and when Lennon said he didn't believe in God, Chapman started planning the murder. He shot Lennon 4 times in the back outside his New York apartment block after famously being photographed getting Lennon's autograph earlier that same day.
When asked by the authorities why he did it, Chapman simply replied "Attention. Bottom line." What an utter piece of shit. Narcissism to the extreme. He deserves to receive what he so brutally dished out, all due to his own petty, warped reasoning.
8 - Rage Killers
No psychopathic traits but these people harbour a deep, simmering rage that leads to murder when ignited.
Charles Whitman shot his mother and wife dead before climbing a tower at the University of Texas and shooting people indiscriminately in 1966. An ex-Marine, he ended up killing 14 people before being shot dead by Police.
During his childhood, Whitman was relentlessly abused physically by his father and a psychologist who spoke with him described him as "oozing with hostility." His autopsy also showed that he had a brain tumour which may or may not have been a factor in him snapping.
George Hennard hated blacks, hispanics, women and gays. That covers a lot of people... On October 16th, 1991, Hennard smashed his vehicle into a Luby's restaurant in Texas. He then emerged, all guns blazing, screaming that it was revenge for all women being "vipers". He called 2 separate women "bitch" before shooting them dead.
Hennard was known to have extreme issues with anger and rage. Once his fuse was lit, it resulted in this massacre that cost the lives of 23 people plus himself via suicide. Good riddance.
9 - Jealous lovers; Psychopathic murderers
This is the first time in the scale where we venture into the territory of what Dr. Stone calls "semi-psychopaths". These people exhibit various psychopathic traits such as delusions of grandeur, superficial charm and lack of remorse or guilt.
Betty Broderick seemed to have the ideal, stereotypical American life in the suburbs. Her husband Dan was "perfect" and they had 4 children together. However, Betty discovered that Dan was having an affair which eventually led to their divorce. To make matters worse for Betty, Dan got custody of their 4 kids.
Betty was quickly falling apart mentally; one time she drove her car through the front door of a house where not only Dan but her own children were living. The final breaking point came when Dan decided to marry the new younger and more beautiful woman.
Betty's response? She broke into their home and shot them both dead. In court there was talk that Betty had various personality disorders that caused psychopathy but at the end of the day, that's no excuse for the cold-blooded murders she committed out of jealousy. She is currently serving 32 years to Life in jail.
10 - Egocentric Killers
These people use murder to get rid of people who are simply "in the way" and that can mean ANYONE...
In 1994, mother of two Susan Smith infamously pleaded on American National TV for help. Apparently, her vehicle had been car-jacked with her two sons still in it, aged 3 and 1.
Eventually, after a lengthy investigation the pressure finally told and Smith admitted to rolling her car into a lake, sons and all. The reason? She had fallen in love with a rich man who didn't want kids so she took the decision to dispose of her own flesh and blood in the worst way possible. All to get her "dream" life...
11 - Psychopathic Egocentric Killers
Similar to the previous group in that they get rid of those "in the way", but these murderers are true psychopaths in every sense of the word.
Jeffrey McDonald was an Army doctor and a special forces Green Beret. He had displayed violent tendencies and a hatred towards women in his youth, but by 1970 he had a beautiful wife and 2 kids with another baby on the way.
That year, his whole family was found murdered in what appeared to be a "home invasion". McDonald's pregnant wife Colette had been beaten, stabbed 16 times with a knife and 21 times with an ice pick. Their 5 year old daughter had been beaten and stabbed at least 8 times in the neck. Their 2 year old daughter was stabbed 33 times with a knife and 15 times with an ice pick. I can't even begin to imagine the scene or how it actually went down.
But there was a survivor... Jeffrey McDonald. He was injured but still very much alive and blamed the massacre on what he described as cult followers, like that of Charles Manson.
However, all the evidence pointed directly at McDonald himself. His motive? He was having an affair and seemingly reached a point where he decided that he needed to get rid of his own wife and children as they were "in the way"...
He could have simply separated, maybe got a divorce, still seen the kids and moved on. But no, this was the conscious, calculating choice he made. A psychopath to his rotten core. He was finally convicted of this horrific crime in 1979 and given a Life sentence; he is in jail to this day. He is 75 years old, a luxury I'm sure his victims would have appreciated.
The difference between this category and the previous one may not appear obvious. In the cases listed, they're the most unimaginably vile and cruel people. However, McDonald stands out as a clear-cut psychopath as opposed to Susan Smith being egocentric but not COMPLETELY psychopathic. It's a subtle difference but at the end of the day, they're both sick bastards.
So that's the first 11 on the Scale of Evil covered, just 11 more categories to go. I think you will have noticed the gradual descent as we've gone through the groups, from the unfortunate to the shocking to downright evil personified. And these were just the first 11.
Keep an eye out for Part 2, I'll be looking to get it out in the next few days. I will warn you that of course, the people become more diabolical and the grisly nature of the crimes escalate the further we climb up the scale.
The likes of Jeffrey McDonald's massacre of his wife and kids is about as horrendous as it gets. But there's a lot more to come for those of you who, like me, share a fascination of the evil that men and women are capable of.
Contact me by email: [email protected]
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