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Is Casey Anthony a sociopath? ARE YOU??

November 24, 2008

This condition was called “moral insanity in the 1830’s.  It was changed to “psychopathic personality” by the early 1900’s.  Today it’s called “antisocial personality disorder”.  Critics claim that  the definition of a sociopath has been broadened to include too many people. The “antisocial personality disorder” includes people who commit illegal, immoral or self-serving acts for a number of reasons and are not necessarily psychopaths.(information found on the R. scary-caseyPreston McAfee Research Center website*)

ted-bundyThere’s been a lot of discussion goin’ on about sociopaths, and whether or not Casey Anthony is one. (The unprofessional consensus is that she is), and I found some pretty interesting stuff when I was looking around on the internet yesterday. I’ve included links to a couple of sites.

The first one starts out with the checklist most of us have seen (I posted it on an earlier blog, myself (link: Casey Anthony sociopath? ) and I believe the agent that was interviewing Cindy in video #8 was asking specific questions that would help identify Casey as a sociopath.   If you scroll down the page a little there’s a lot of interesting stuff I hadn’t seen before.

The second site uses a lot of examples from people that have been diagnosed as sociopaths.  Some of their statements were just scary when you consider how many people are supposed to be one.

There’s a non-scientific test you can take at the site below.  It’s quick and easy to take, and you get instant results.  Take the test and let us know your results if you dare!  I’m considered “relatively normal”. Hmm. And here I always thought I was closer to “relatively insane”!

Very interesting read if you have the time.

Scroll down the page a little for the test.

Take the test at this link:


  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
  • Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
  • Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
  • Incapacity for Love
  • Need for Stimulation
    Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
  • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
    Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Other Related Qualities:

  1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
  2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
  3. Authoritarian
  4. Secretive
  5. Paranoid
  6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
  7. Conventional appearance
  8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
  9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
  10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
  11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
  12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
  13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
  14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
  15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)

link to this site (and also a very interesting read):

29 Comments leave one →
  1. ashley permalink
    November 24, 2008 7:50 am

    It would be easier to furnish a list of people that dont suffer from these synsptoms. Lol

  2. artgal16 permalink
    November 24, 2008 9:08 am

    Well, I passed the test! No, most of us are NOT sociopaths. Casey Anthony
    fits the catagories to a tee. I understand more than 1200 photos on her
    computer were erased by her and recovered by the police and some were considered quite shocking. I had my daugher when I was two years older than Casey and in no way was my behavior in any degree how Casey has led her life since having Caylee. George in the FBI interviews said when something was wrong Caylee turned to Cindy or himself first
    rather than Casey, as in his own words “we were always there for her”.
    How is it that they could have raised up Casey to become what she has?
    No one knows what makes a true sociopath. Ted Bundy was one,
    so was Susan Smith and Diane Downs. Andrea Yates was not – she
    was truly mentally ill. If Diane Downs aim had been better she might have gotten off for killing her children. One died and two lived to testify against her. Her little boy paralized below the waist. There are such
    people and no one knows if it is nature or “nurture” or maybe a combination of both. But there are a lot more people in the world and
    a lot more access to information on these disorders – so maybe thats
    why we are able to identify more people who have it. In any case, Casey’s
    actions which we know of (I shudder to think what we dont know)
    qualify her. She fits the classic descripton and its not just the amateurs
    that have called her one, many professionals I have heard also have
    diagnosed her as such. John Walsh from America’s most wanted said
    that she was a dangerous sociopath who needed to be locked up.
    He has spent more than 20 years going after criminals, as well as
    Mark Klass and others who have been crime victims themselves
    such as Nancy Grace. They all have seen what Casey is – as has most
    of us who have followed this case.

  3. pak31 permalink
    November 24, 2008 9:15 am

    I’m a selfless goodie two shoes. My question is, is a person always a sociopath or can they develop into one over time? It seems to me from the parents interviews and some friends that she was really only this bad since about the age of 19 or 20. Did Caylee’s birth change her psychologically? It seems as if her habits developed after Caylee came along. She is a total party girl, she loves it to death, Caylee was in the way of that, the thing is though, most people change for their children, while she refused to.

  4. Kari permalink
    November 24, 2008 10:19 am

    I thank God I am able to love and care about people. I am not a sociopath. I was once diagnosed borderline personality disorder, but I’m not sure I agree with that one. Also, I am cyclothymic, which is a sub-category of bipolar disorder.

    Casey is certainly a sociopath, whatever else she may be. All we have to know is that she was capable of partying while her daughter was either ‘missing’ or dead, and that qualifies her.

    The problem with discussing mental illnesses is that the terminology is so nebulous, particularly in the minds of the public. Some things that are mental illnesses may be readily cured by a simple dose of a natural substance, such as lithium. Lithium is a mineral, and there has been some debate about whether certain people just have a “lithium deficiency” or some more serious condition.

    Some mental illnesses result from traumatic life experience; abuse, war, rape, etc. These may be helped by meds, but generally require counseling to recover. Other mental illnesses are organic in nature, an inborn chemical imbalance or tendency. These may be helped by counseling, and meds, but sometimes just meds alone will resolve these conditions.

    Some very simple things, like a severe b-vitamin deficiency, or sleep deprivation, will produce mental symptoms like halucinations, delusions, etc., in otherwise perfectly healthy people.

    I am not familiar with the Andrea Yates case, but Artgal says she was not a sociopath, but was truly mentally ill. I would certainly call sociopathy a form of mentall illness, since I would prefer to think it is not a normal, common way of being. But sociopaths are generally functional in society to some extent. They don’t sit around spitting at pigeons, or howl at the moon. They walk around seeming like a regular human being–on the outside. On the inside they are missing some very important parts.

    We need more words for this, one word for drooling crazy and one word for dangerously aberrant and one word for just a bit off kilter.

    Pak31 says, can sociopathy develop over time? I’m not a doctor, but I know a little. Schizophrenics are usually not normal as children, but the illness does not become serious and impairing untill usually the early twenties. Ditto for bi-polar people. They have problems during childhood, but very often not severe, not needing treatment, untill the late teens-early twenties.

    I don’t know about sociopaths, but certainly everyone seems agreed that Casey began behaving differently after the birth of her daughter. Some people have speculated on post-partum depression. I would suggest it to be more likely that her sociopathy was brought to full, uh, bloom by the many hormonal and chemical changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth. She may have seemed relatively normal before, if a bit selfish and demanding.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. artgal16 permalink
    November 24, 2008 11:21 am

    Andrea Yates methodically one by one drowned her children
    I there were five of them. Here is what happened:
    Andrea Pia Yates (born July 2, 1964) a Houston, Texas resident, is known for killing her five young children on June 20, 2001, by drowning them in the bathtub in her house. She had been suffering for years with severe postpartum depression and psychosis. Her case placed the M’Naghten Rules, a legal test for insanity, under close public scrutiny in the United States.[1] Convicted of capital murder in 2002 and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years, Yates’ conviction was later overturned on appeal. On July 26, 2006, a Texas jury ruled Yates to be not guilty by reason of insanity. She was consequently committed by the court to the North Texas State Hospital, Vernon Campus,[2] a high-security mental health facility in Vernon, Texas, where she received medical treatment and was a roommate of Dena Schlosser, another woman who committed filicide. In January 2007, Yates was moved to a low security state mental hospital in Kerrville, Texas.[3] END
    As you can see, she was psychotic and was eventually
    declared insane and went to a mental facility. As long as
    she takes medication she is balanced I understand.
    We dont know that Casey was not this way growing up.
    I personally feel that there is a genetic component to
    sociopathy with an environmental trigger. Such as parents
    who think the child can NEVER do anything wrong and
    protect them from all their wrong doing. This seems to
    be what happened to Casey Anthony. Also I believe there
    is somewhat a “fear” on the parents part – fear of the child.

  6. niecey456 permalink
    November 24, 2008 11:42 am

    Ok, I’m relatively normal. Wow, good post. Makes you think.

  7. November 24, 2008 12:23 pm

    It would be interesting for Cindy to take the test. She most definitely has some problems,the lying and she is the protector and the enabler of KC.

  8. monica111466 permalink
    November 24, 2008 12:46 pm

    I like Nieceys answer…I’m relatively normal too.
    This is a very good blog…I think everyone has some issues that we have to learn from and get past. In my younger days I ALWAYS felt guilty anytime I did something for myself. In my early 30’s I began having horrible panic attacks that took over my life for a while….But that is a story for another time.

  9. artgal16 permalink
    November 24, 2008 2:02 pm

    Sociopaths know the difference between right and wrong. In Andrea
    Yates case, she knew that she had killed her children, but she truly
    was in a psychotic state and that was why her conviction was overturned. I truly believe that she didnt realize that what she was doing was “wrong”
    in the sense we think of as wrong. Sociopaths have a component missing
    and I guess that component is that they are “a-moral” or without morals.
    In the context of what we think is the moral and right thing to do, as not to lie, cheat, steal or even kill, they can do all those things dispassionately
    if it suits their purposes and without guilt. Sociopathy is not considered
    a mental illness per se, I guess because it would protect them under
    the law and also because they do know right from wrong. Medication
    does not help either. The only thing that happens is that as sociopaths
    get older they tend to run out of steam, I guess is the best way to describe it and they do seem to “normalize” somewhat as they get
    older. Maybe this is why you see a lot of sociopaths who are prison
    for years and come to be model prisoners and are rehabilitated.
    Its the fact that they have aged that starts to normalize them which
    is the best term I can think of to use to describe them as getting better.

  10. tonill permalink
    November 24, 2008 3:14 pm


  11. November 24, 2008 3:39 pm

    Casey A. was not born a sociopath…it was a learned experience she develope growing up. That is the opinion of Dr. Keith Ablow.

  12. Lucia permalink
    November 24, 2008 4:54 pm

    Non-psychopath with criminal leanings

    I find this amusing. I’ve never even had a trafic ticket!

  13. November 24, 2008 5:31 pm

    Great post…I agree with Ashley!

  14. November 24, 2008 5:35 pm

    Wonder why that site has the same name as a computer security program if it was written by an individual?

  15. Lucia permalink
    November 24, 2008 7:28 pm

    Too funny- my husband took the test and got the same results as me! We’re going to go find something criminal to do. See ya!

  16. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 24, 2008 8:19 pm

    Thanks for making me laugh Lucia-

    Thinking outside the circle, the website is R. Preston McAfee Research Center and the url is and the security website is

  17. niecey456 permalink
    November 24, 2008 8:23 pm

    Don’t get too carried away Lucia! LOL.

  18. Kari permalink
    November 24, 2008 8:38 pm

    Thanks, Artgal for the rundown on Andrea Yates, I remember reading about that, now.
    I went back and read ‘The Unburdened Mind’ at damninteresting. It was well-written and informative. The writer also said that sociopathy is not considered a mental illness, so I guess I have to accept that officially, at least, it isn’t. But I’d like to know what the heck it is, then; a lifestyle choice? We do need a few more words to describe these states of being…

  19. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 24, 2008 8:59 pm

    I think it’s interesting it’s not considered a mental illness as well. I guess it could be called a mental lacking–you’re born lacking a conscience. I would think a parent would notice something was wrong with their child fairly early on.

  20. lee permalink
    November 25, 2008 9:49 pm

    Im counting the days that this is over! the thought of Casey sitting behind a small little cell without the famous cocky smile you see picture after picture, with a beer hmmm. pretty soon it will be plan old applejuice, milk, ect, ect nothing more than plain old juice……. Her day will come her party is over, hope her life is nothing like the one that she was use to. Her mother is pathetic! but we all know that, and dad will hopefully grow some balls!!! we know that he knows much more, however Cindy seems to run the show. I wonder how they manage to pay for all the attorney fees. I bet you, Cindy and George split up after this freaking disaster has come to an end.

  21. Boston permalink
    November 26, 2008 7:06 am

    It’s A Mystery To Me-I think you are very glib, insensitive and possibly a little too silly for any real discussion of sociopathy. You certainly have no regard for the havoc these types of people can visit upon family members, relations and friends. They eventually get caught but they surround themselves, in many instances, with dead bodies and shattered emotional lives.

    The archives of criminal justice and medicine have chronicled their devastation and state and federal prisons are filled with them.
    Sociopathy does not spare anyone-they come from all walks of life, ethnicity, profession and religion.

    Sociopathy is often times seen in white and blue collar crimes: Enron is a perfect example of the sociopath who would take a person’s life savings and think nothing of it. The only time they care is when they get caught. They have positions of authority and many times respect within the community. Stalin, Hitler, Jim Jones to mention a few.

    Knowing a little about this diagnosis is enough to frighten anyone. Asking someone if they are a sociopath is vulgar and repulsive.

  22. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 26, 2008 7:59 am


    Of course I understand the devastation of sociopathy–I was married to one for 2 long years of my life, and our son continues to suffer from my ex-husband’s actions and inability to love or care about him or anyone else other than himself–even though the monster died 10 years ago. He used my son shamelessly and because Jas loved him unconditionally, he allowed it–kind of like Cindy Anthony. So please don’t assume what I know or don’t know or that I am taking this situation too lightly. Insensitive? Perhaps. Although, “incensed” is the word I would use to describe myself.

    I found an article that provided a light moment in the middle of a very dark situation and I shared it. If you misunderstood my intentions or if I offended you, I apologize.

  23. Boston permalink
    November 26, 2008 8:50 am

    I don’t know how “light” the article was but I do know that Hare’s writings and research are exemplary in every way. He has done such fantastic work in providing lawyers, medical personnel and law enforcement with the neccessary profile of the sociopath. He has delineated and made readable the essence of what goes on in the mind of very disordered and reckless individuals.

    It is important to know that even when we come in contact with these individuals it is never something we know for certain. Most people divorce bad husbands and bad wives and never know what happened to the marriage. They are just happy to have gotten away from them.

    People quit jobs because there is someone they cannot get along with-once they are out of there they adjust and move on.

    These people remarry and live happily ever after. Others get new jobs and move on up and out of a bad situation. Often times landing positions with authority and financial gain.

    Sociopaths don’t meet and greet other sociopaths. They always seem to find the nicest people on the block. You were very lucky to have only spent 2 years with one. If he has passed away- look at his passing as the end of your emotional and physical connection. He has no control over you and you are in charge of your life.

    You are a good, good person. You met someone who was bad. Understand it for what it was-you are not responsible for anyone but yourself and your child. Don’t revisit the past until and unless it improves the future.

    Your son will mature and he will come to understand that he can’t change anyone but himself. Talk therapy will help him understand his early years but it will ultimately be his choice to close the door on the past and embrace all the light, joy, trials and tribulations that his future holds.

    When you have moments when you feel resentment, breathe deeply and listen to your breathing. Meditate to clear your mind and decide to smile when you really and truly don’t want to.

    When I have been overcome by grief or some hardship I learned that the best thing I could do was helping someone else. I don’t do it 24/7-I’m no Mother Theresa, but when I do, it makes a world of difference.

    Get the book, Being Peace. You will love it. I laughed and I learned a lot.
    You are not cabable of offending anyone. Now isn’t that an important thing you learned today? I certainly think so.

  24. Kari permalink
    November 26, 2008 9:10 am

    Beautifully written response, Mystery!! I enjoyed the ‘insensitive-incensed’ pun.

    Boston, come down off your high horse and consider that someone else might have some feelings, intelligence, and caring, too. Mystery doesn’t need you to tell her she’s a good person. It’s obvious.

  25. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 26, 2008 4:42 pm

    Boston, Thank you for your posts and the information.

    And, I did not mean the article was “light”, I meant the TEST was “light”.

    (and THANKS KARI!!!)

  26. Boston permalink
    November 27, 2008 8:34 am

    Mystery and Kari-

    It’s cold in Boston this morning but I am bundled up and going off for a good walk so that I can eat a not so “light” meal later. Enjoy your family and friends today.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  27. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 27, 2008 10:42 am

    Thanks for making me smile this morning, Boston!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

  28. Boston permalink
    November 27, 2008 10:25 pm

    Mystery,-Saw the NG Special tonight. Nothing was new but I liked the way she put it together. Friday night will be Part 2.

    My kitchen is clean!

  29. July 19, 2013 7:00 pm

    Really….this is a handy internet site.

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