Analysis: Inside the mind of a cold-blooded psychopath

He doesn't have a conscience, he doesn't have empathy. He kills without reason.

By PROF. SHLOMO GIORA SHOHAM
May 26, 2009 23:46
2 minute read.
Yihya Farhan (left) taken to court

Yihye Farhan 248.88. (photo credit: Dror Artzi / JINI)

Adwan Yihya Farhan displays the behavior of a typical psychopath. He doesn't have a conscience, he doesn't have empathy. He kills without reason. He wanted to murder someone and he had the opportunity. At this stage, there are still many facts we don't know, so my analysis should be taken as a professional assessment based on what is known. A person becomes a psychopath because of biological background, psychological configuration and social relationships. There is usually a history of violence and sexual abuse in the family of a psychopath. The psychopath's compulsion to kill is sexually based. The kill is meaningless in terms of motivation, but the compulsion is sexual. The psychopath is hungry for stimulation, and violence gives him that stimulation. It excites him, the more violence the better. That could explain why Farhan used his bare hands in some of his murders - he wanted the additional excitement. Psychopaths are not insane, but they lack empathy with other human beings. They have a hunger for stimulus, and no moral judgment. When they are intelligent they are very good at adapting with their violent behaviors. For example, Farhan framed the murder of his cellmate as a suicide. A real psychopath can even fool a polygraph. He does not get excited by lying about his crime, he is the perfect manipulator. Farhan is one of 13 children, which might have contributed to his behavior. When there are many children in a family there can be a lot of neglect. When a parent is violent to a child, that child can become violent with their siblings. Farhan's behavior has been reinforced by his partner in crime. Farhan objectifies his victims and his partner strengthens that reality. Through their relationship they built up a cocoon in which social norms didn't exist. His partner is an outcast and he was her anchor. Pointless murders become meaningful within their relationship. It was necessary to build up this low-pressure cocoon to enable him to get away from society's norms. His partner participated because she was possibly a lonely kid and he was the only one that gave her support. She probably also liked the excitement; she was part of the action. Farhan chose Bennet because they were looking for victims and she was there. He is a cold-blooded operator. As in the murder of his cellmate, there was no specific reason why he chose Bennet. Although some of his victims were young women, the murder of his male cellmate demonstrates that his violence isn't necessarily associated only with women. He is sexually stimulated to attack his victims regardless of their sex. Because the psychopath's violence is often based on sexual compulsion, he will often act out in rape. It is unclear why, despite Farhan's history of rape, he did not attempt rape in Bennet's case. It is unlikely Farhan confessed to the crime due to feelings of remorse. Rather, he probably realized that as his partner had already confessed, he could only gain from cooperation with the police. For Farhan, his wife and three kids may have been part of the customary image needed to convince his family to leave him alone. They are the pawns of his manipulation. However, a psychopath like Farhan will often abuse his children because he has no feelings towards them. Prof. Shlomo Giora Shoham is a teacher and Researcher of Criminology at Tel Aviv University.


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