Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Women Who Kill: Part Two

Killing Through Others I

To Die For stars, Kidman & Dillon
To Die For stars, Kidman & Dillon

Very little research has been done on the female antisocial personality, although books have been written and movies made about women who demonstrate all the right traits. A good example is To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman as a weather girl who manipulates a male high school student to kill her husband so she can accelerate her miniscule career. She exhibits narcissism, an extreme need for attention, grandiose ambition, a lack of attachment to others, a need to control, and an ability to exploit and even kill without accepting any responsibility. After her husband's death, she feels no remorse and she shoos away the boy whose infatuation with her made murder possible. She's a pure type. She's a manipulator extraordinaire: she works her harm through others.

Ann Rule's Everything She Ever Wanted
Ann Rule's Everything She
Ever Wanted

Not much different from her is the real-life Patricia Allanson, whom Anne Rule documented in Everything She Ever Wanted. Patricia thought of herself as special. Her parents had always bailed her out and she'd never had to take responsibility for herself. Partly because of that, she felt that her husband ought to be able to give her anything she wanted. She needed constant attention — what some men might call high maintenance — and unqualified love. She first had married an army sergeant and stayed with him long enough to have three children, but got tired of him, so she left him in 1972 to find a better quality of life — what she felt she deserved. She met Tom Allanson, six years younger than her. She had her eye on someone else, but it looked like Tom could give her whatever she wanted.

He had money and as soon as he was divorced, he was quite insistent that Pat marry him. He later recalled that he was the one who pressured her, while she would say, "You don't want to marry me." Yet she could just as easily have been stoking the fire by making herself unobtainable. In 1974, he married her dressed as Rhett Butler, while she played Scarlett, and gave her a heavily-mortgaged, 52-acre home in Zebulon, Georgia, that she referred to as Tara. They set about to raise Morgan horses, and even Jimmy Carter, then governor of Georgia, came to visit. Pat's ambitions of being the proper Southern belle were being realized — or so it seemed. Ann Rule indicates that she had quite another scheme at work that would eventually involve murder.

Patricia Allanson
Patricia Allanson

When Walter Allanson, Tom's father, disapproved of her and angrily tried to force Tom out of his life, Pat filed complaints of sexual harassment against him, claiming that he had exposed himself to her. Tom grew alarmed over this, along with threats that he heard that his father was going to kill him, so he took out a restraining order. Yet his father was taking a defensive stand, believing that his own son was out to kill him. Someone had stolen a pistol and rifle from his home and he was convinced it was his son. The police searched Tom's home and came up empty-handed, yet the intense fear and anger continued to grow on both sides. With no form of communication taking place, it was the perfect set-up for a manipulative psychopath who wanted to get something for herself.

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