Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joe Hunt: White Collar Psychopath

A Psychopath

Joe Hunt, younger
Joe Hunt, younger

Joe Hunt, a.k.a. Joe Gamsky, was the second son of Kathy and Larry Gamsky. He was born on Halloween in 1959, and as he grew up, it was clear to his educators that he was academically gifted. Sullivan writes that one teacher said that he was not only the brightest student she had ever seen, but was mature and "preternaturally calm." Little did she know she was describing the essence of a psychopath.

The foremost expert on the condition known as psychopathy, Canadian researcher Dr. Robert Hare, says that psychopaths display certain obvious traits, notably a lack of attachment to others, impulsive decision-making, a lack of remorse, a tendency to rationalize what they do and to blame others, a charming and manipulative manner, and a lack of empathy. Joe Hunt would grow into all of these qualities, along with a verbal fluency that bordered on glibness. He was also arrogant and narcissistic, and he never failed to grab the opportunity to exploit others. Even without a formal diagnosis, descriptions of his words and behavior easily fit the prototype.

Dr. Robert Hare
Dr. Robert Hare

In fact, everyone noticed that young Joe was quite competitive, with a drive toward perfection. He had to create an impression on others and he had to win. Even worse, he cheated sometimes, and he lied. Or rather, he "rationalized" a sticky situation to make it look different to others than it really was. This strategy became his trademark, and when he set for himself the task of improving his vocabulary, he added another weapon: a wealth of words that mesmerized others. He became a talented and intimidating salesman.

 

Categories
Advertisement