I am teaching my psychology class about Psychopaths at the moment.
At this point I would like to point out that I do not consider classic eighties pop band Duran Duran to be psychopaths.
Having said that, you could be excused in thinking that any of their videos, or for that matter their song lyrics, are the result of a psychotic episode.
Burning the ground, I break from the crowd
I’m on the hunt, I’m after you
I smell like I sound, I’m lost and I’m found
And I’m hungry like the wolf
I mean, what’s that about? “I smell like I sound”?
Hungry Like The Wolf was released in 1982 in the uk and charted in the top 5. In the U.S. it reached number 3 in the billboard charts in March 1983 mainly thanks to the video getting a lot of play on MTV.
In May 1983 Diane Downs was listening to the song on her car radio as she drove her three children along a rural road near Springfield, Oregon. The song finished, she switched the radio off and then pulled over to the side of the road. Diane then shot all three of her children before shooting herself in the left forearm and driving to hospital where she claimed they had been attacked on the road. Two of the children survived and her daughter, aged seven, later testified against her in court. The prosecution argued that her motive was that the man with which she wanted a relationship didn’t like children, she was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. She still claims she is innocent.
At one point in her trial Diane sang the chorus of Hungry Like The Wolf.
Diane Downs’ case exhibits many of the traits associated with Psychopaths, for example callous disregard for others, lack of empathy, ruthlessness and lack of remorse. It is interesting from a writer’s point of view to think about these personality traits. You can use them to build a character and then to make sure that the character acts consistently according to these traits.
By coincidence I started writing a story about six weeks ago in which the protagonist may well turn out to somewhere along the psychopath continuum. I’m not exactly sure where it’s going but it is fun writing from the point of view of someone who delights in breaking the rules especially when your someone who has to spend a lot of time enforcing them.
I think I’ll call it “Hungry Like The Wolf”