By | February 20, 2013 24 Comments

Murder case reopens debate on teen killers

Barbara Hernandez endured abuse as a child. In 1988, at the age of 14, she met Jim Hyde—who was also abusive, and she was “like his slave.” In 1990, Hyde instructed Hernandez to lure a man to a house to be robbed and killed. Hernandez did it. She was arrested and convicted, and has been in jail ever since.

Reading this story, it’s obvious that Hernandez was abused by multiple sociopaths. But she’s been written up 17 times for misconduct in prison. Is her behavior a result of the abuse—or is she a sociopath herself? In a sad case like this one, it’s hard to know.

Sentenced to life at 16, woman hopes for freedom, on

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Donna, thank you for this article and it brings up many more questions than it answers.

I don’t know how I “feel” about this kind of issue. I know that I can remember agreeing to unsavory things during my first marriage – if I didn’t “go along with the program,” I would be punished, or (worse) my children would be punished.

This is a particularly sad story, all the way around.

Again, thank you for posting the article.

Ox Drover

While I have changed my mind about the death penalty in the past few years since DNA evidence has been used to release dozens of men and women off death row…the thought of a truly innocent person being put to death makes me cringe. I know our “criminal justice system” is an oxymoron…innocent people go to prison. Guilty people go free.

However, I know that my son Patrick at age 15 knew full well what he was doing when he stole and robbed, manipulated and lied.

He was 20 when he killed Jessica.

I realize that the brain actually is not fully mature until someone is about 25, but at the same time, I also realize that when a person knows “right from wrong” they should be held accountable for their actions. Even if those actions are terrible with deadly consequences.

In the Jewish laws, age 12 was the age of accountability, because it was assumed that by that age, the child knew right from wrong.

While some inmates do “find Jezus” in prison and become model prisoners, I do not think that should be taken into consideration when there has been a premeditated murder, like in this case, and like in the case of my son, or serious assault, rape, or child abuse.

It’s easy to want to feel compassion for Barbara on the basis that she suffered from so much abuse.It’s true that such abuse does affect the brain and one’s actions.I know,as many here do.She even mentioned having those WHYS? running through her mind-evidently too late.We all have some regrets.BUT HOW MANY WENT AS FAR AS KILLING?!

As Oxy mentioned,even young children know the difference between right and wrong.Premeditated murder carries with it the sentence of a life for a life-whether it be time in prison or death.Twenty two yrs just doesn’t seem long enough.


Do I feel compassion for this woman? Yes. Would I think she deserves anything but a life sentence if she had killed my relative? No.

Here in the UK there is rarely a life for a life. I don’t believe in the death penalty but if you plan to kill another human being, why should you ever feel sunshine on your face ever again.


this reminds me again of Dutroux’ ex-wife who got parole almost half a year ago… she had a lesser grave sentence, even though 2 children died directly because she did nothing, while Dutroux was in prison for several months. She knew where these 2 children were and let them starve. She cited being too afraid of Dutroux, citing trauma bonds,e tc. She did everythign RIGHT to be elligible for parole. She found a convent of nuns to take her in.

MEANWHILE she regulated her possessions and finances so that it went all to her children by Dutroux before she got sentenced, and so was “penniless” and paid about 100 € to the 6 parents and 2 surviving children. She “promised” to do everything she can to pay the sum she’s obliged to pay to the victims and live a sheltered, sober life with the nuns. Little over a month ago she was seen at one of the more expensive seaside towns and went to a VERY expensive hairdresser to get her HIGHLIGHTS done. Oh, and she’s BACK in contact with Dutroux, her ex-husband, whom she divorced while both were in prison. I’m sure she got abused by Dutroux, and that he used their children to make her do as he wished if she hesitated… BUT she definitely is way wack on the conscious and entitlement scale.

Ox Drover

Darwin’s mom, yep, while they are in the prison cells, they shout “I HAVE FOUND JEZUS! LET ME OUT!” as soon as they are out, the song changes to “Boy, did I fool you!”

NOT everyone who is abused becomes an abuser. While I realize that there IS SUCH A THING AS STOCKHOLM SYNDROME…Patty Hearst robbed a freeking bank while under the influence…she was sent to prison and did a couple of years and then was pardoned. I actually think in her case the pardon was legitimate. Number 1, no one died. #2 she had been kidnapped and held under torture conditions like a prisoner of war.

Being abused is NOT a reason to get a pass for whatever abuse you do in my opinion.

Ox Drover
Ox Drover

Here’s another article that will “curl your hair and make you grind your teeth”


Today Kim De Gelder’s trial really started in Belgium (Last Thuesday was the JUry election), the murderer of 3 babies at a nursery that he infiltrated to massacre the babies and daycare nurses with a knife in 2009, almost exactly 4 years ago.

Background information:

Report of the trial today (In Dutch, needs translation)

(Do not seem to find articles about it in English much, if at all.)

After reading some of his ‘bizarre’ behaviour and comments he made since he’s been incarcerated to wait for his trial and in court, I think Kim De Gelder is an absolute psychopath… with that I mean… his psychopathy is that psychopathic to the extreme that it becomes clear it’s as loonie as can be, and it makes the garden variety look almost normal.

There is a big psychiatric debate about his mental state: psychotic or psychopathic… and this debate has raged since his arrest in 2009. Why is there heavy support on him being psychotic? After the arrest he behaved extremely paranoid in his holding cell, talked to things not there, would not move when being watched, and other very bizarre behaviour. Police had to literally drag and carry him with restraints to the interrogation rooms, because he woudn’t go. However, when he thought he wasn’t being watched he was calm, moved about, etc… Acting normal when ‘feeling safe’ would still be regarded as possible in someone with a psychosis, because the paranoia might decrease momentarily and would decrease the amount of visial and auditory illusions. I myself thought at first it was very likely that he was psychotic when the first reports about his behaviour came out.

However, over time, doctors and many others have come to believe he’s acting it all, and that’s he a psychopath trying to pretend psychosis.

This week I was finally able to read a more in depth article about both his history with his parents as well as in prison. And after reading that together with the reports of his behaviour in court today, I’m inclined to think he’s an extreme psychopath: as pure as they can come. He’s not crazy: he’s gaslighting and committed to crazymaking of anyone who beholds him to the extreme… and he enjoys the show.

I’ll relay here what I’ve learned about his youth:
He’s the first child by his parents. His mother is a nurse. His father works with the Waterworks. They dote on him… he’s a sweet, charming, “social” child that does what he’s told. They have two other children after him: another son (who has ADHD) and a daughter. Only thing of note: his mother is very protective of her children and wants to know where and with whom they are as much as she can.
While he seems to behave normally at home, at least at school they start to see around his 10 that he’s lethargic and quite by himself. This increases over time.
When he’s about 12 the trouble starts. He demands to have a private room, away from his brother, citing that his ADHD brother keeps him awake at night. He actually calls his brother’s ADHD ‘pestering’ and ‘bullying’. He ends up getting the attic for himself. Around the same time he starts to be verbally mean to his mother and his brother. He puts them down whenever he can, especially when the father is not around.
At some point his parents decide to get him to a psychiatrist, and he gets therapy without much effect to his terrorizing his mother and brother. But the therapist is content with the results and he doesn’t have to go anymore. Because his behaviour doesn’t improve at home, and he gets more paranoid with the years: he claims he’s being spied on, often is found standing cool and detached in either the bedroom of his parents, brother or sister watching them, …The mother tries to get him back in therapy with other psychiatrists, with always the same result. When the psychiatrist talk with the teen boy they find him all perfectly normal (charming, smart, normal), and just probably being a teen acting out, and the mother causing the enmity of him towards her by her ‘overconcern’. The last time, 2 years before the murders, they try to get him collocated (forced psychiatric intake). The doctor claims there is a communication disorder between his parents and him, and so their fault, but nothing wrong with Kim
By the time he’s 15, he has his dad get rid of the hunting shotgun in the house. He also wants to live away from the main house for more privacy: they rearrange a separate garage/gardenhouse for him. He starts to isolate himself, buys his own premaid can food (claiming fear of being poisoned) that he eats separately.
An aunt of his ends up reading a short story of his which talks of killing and violence. Her husband tells her never to open the door for Kim if he were ever to stand in front of their door when she’s alone with the kids after hearing about it.
While his parents hoped he might go to university and become a cardiologist when he was but 10-12, he ends up going to technical level school. He tries nursing, but while he’s good with the technical stuff, the teachers advize his parents he can never pass because he cannot work with patients after his first field practice… they cite he lacks empathy.
By then he has let his hair grow which hangs like a screen in front of his face, wears nothing but black, earns himself a horror nickname over it at school, and gives his father the bejeebus when he talks of wanting to become a legionair or hired assassin.

He finds work, clerk level, and seems to function well there to his superiors. By the time he’s 19-20, he starts to make plans to live by himself, away from his family. At first his parents propose him to get him a caravan on their property for him to live there, which he has ears for, if they were to install a fence of shielding plates and mirrorglass so that nobody of outside can look inside. He ends up renting a newbuilt apartment anyway.

When he leaves (3 months before the murders) he forbids them to have any contact with him, saying he’d file for stalking if they try to visit, call, etc… At first he’ll answer ‘I’m well,” if they message inquisitive, but then ignores them. He does the same when his brother inquires with him. They do drive by to see what the hell is going on with him: but everything is shut sealed at his place. Meanwhile he resigns from work a month before the murders. His parents are so worried about what might be going on that they are readying themselves for a decision to get him shadowed by a PD.

By then he has already committed his first murder: an elderly woman, wife and mother. He entered the house under the disguise of being a technician of the waterworks. He killed her with a knife. (Note: he still denies having killed her)
A week later he rides off on his bycicle with 3 child dacyare center addresses in his pocket and a knife. He enters a child daycare center and kills three babies by slashing their throats in one sweep with a knife and kils one of the nurses attempting to protect the babies with her body. This is 3 months after he moved away from his parents’ home.

He prepared himself on these murders for a month: he made a fake ID for waterworks employee… created a logo of an imaginary waterworks company, and even a phone number and he used a female voice for people that would call the number to get them to leave their name and number. He exercised for a month on a self made human image how to stab and slash humans.

Police found an absolute austere home: an ironing table, two chairs, he slept on a mat in front of the door in case someone entered the home to kill him, his washing and drying machine, the human figure he trained with, his laptop in the “washing” room, on which they find his logo creations, etc…

Note how his psychotic or schizophrenic explanations, paranoia, auditory illusion claims started AFTER he had extensive therapy for his mean and entitled behaviour to his mother and brother. His initial therapy was not for schizophrenia symptoms, but bullying and abusive behaviour. Meanwhile he was able to put on a perfect mask of normalcy in front of any alter psychiatrists, and have the psychiatrists think there was something wrong with the parents.
Sociopaths are prone to paranoia. Not because of dillusions, but because they think of doing the worst to other people and project that everybody else must want to wish to harm them too.
Kim started to have fantasies of killing his parents and siblings as a child… the age varies depending on his own claims… sometimes he says he started to have it as a 5-6 year old child, in other variations when he was a teen. He says he didn’t do it, because he would be easily found out if he did. If he killed strangers, there was less chance of being find out.

I have the impression that the first therapy might have given him the idea to use a schizophrenic mask for his paranoia. And his mother who couldn’t believe her son was evil deep down was all too ready to grasp psychosis or schizophrenia for his most chilling behaviours.

When he was apprehended after the murders, for the first month psychiatrists were sure he was psychotic. But over time there appeared cracks in that mask. He started to say that he had feigned it himself and apoogizes to psychiatrists for his behaviour. He asked jailers when he’d get a radio so that he could find out what the media was thinking and saying about him and his actions. In March 2010 he declares himself “healed” towards the expert psychiatrist forming an opinion for the court whether Kim can be held responsible or, he expresses for the first time his regrets for the loss and grief he inflicted with his victims and their families”, and that he understands also the “anger he provoked with the public”. He doesn’t believe in the “spirits that took him” anymore, because of medication. He claims to have gained the insight that humans are the evil towards each other. He continues to state that now he has gained that insight and is healed there can be no objection to set him free. He claims he wants to study law and start a casino to instruct people with shows, which all should be subsidized by the government.

In a later conversation with clinical psychogolists he says he suffers from the isolation treatment in prison. He doesn’t understand why they can’t treat him normally. He says he wants to be a good person. He knows people think of him as evil, but he doesn’t see himself that way. Nor does he understand what all the fuss is about: people die everyday, people are killed and murdered every day. “The news doesn’t mention that. But with me it is all over the news. I don’t get that. Why are they doing that to me?”

So what about his actions of today at court? His lawyer said to the chairman judge (there’s always 3 presiding judges in a criminal court jury case in our system, with one being the chairman) that before prosecution and defense start their opening arguments, that Kim wished to speak and address court. The chairman ignored this, saying that Kim can address the court at the end of the trial. At the end of today Kim claimed he didn’t listen at anthing that went on, not even his own lawyer, because he had not been allowed to speak to court as he wanted to.

So, yup I agree with those who think he’s feigning and playing games. There is a high degree of entintlement, narcissism, pettiness, and shifting of masks in order to get away with it all.

At least the two camps “psychotic” versus “psychopath” agree on one thing: the man should never be released into society, for supremely dangerous.

Ox Drover

Darwiun’s mom, agrree with you. He need to never be released. Thanks for this interesting history of a case, keep us up on how it turns out.

thanks for the in-depth explanation of the case. I hadn’t even heard of it but it is interesting.

Psychopathy is different from psychosis, obviously, but they both have elements of being out of touch with reality. Spaths believe their own lies, which is an oxymoron but they manage to pull it off! Part of the reason they can do it is because they have the emotions of little children. Reality is very flexible for them.

It really doesn’t matter though, like you said, he’s supremely dangerous. Furthermore psychosis doesn’t make a person necessarily malicious. Killing babies, takes the cake for malice and IMO, it’s a red flag. Spaths always want to hurt innocents.


Oxy, here they keep this stuff long under wraps. This in depth history article only got printed on Thuesday, on the day the jury was being selected. Of course the media had written about him before, but the facts and evidence is kept much under wraps in the press until the trial.

Heck, there’s not even an up to date picture of him: only a drawing of him in the bench; a picture of him with blinders on when taken to court last year when they determined on him being held accountable or not, and the one teen pic of him with his long hair.

And though it took 4 years for the trial to start on this man, and this is a very long time… on the other hand that time works like a distance preparation for the public on high profile cass such as this one. For society and victims to get closure get time. And if a trial has a closure purpose, then there must be some time between the events and the closure, in which society and victims can find some form of distance. And if he had been sent to trial much faster, he migth have gotten away with his mask of psychosis. It was the long time that made it hard for him to keep up and try other masks to see whether that would be any better.


One of the “motives” (and he mentioned MANY motives at different times) he cited for killing babies, was because he hated this life and does not want to reincarnate. By killing EVERYONE he wants to prevent there being any bodies to reincarnate in.

And I agree, the malice and cruelty was there BEFORE any signs (faked or not) of psychosis or schizophrenia

Ox Drover

Him starting to be “bad” to his family in puberty could be a siign of Psychopathy, or of early bi-polar (and sometimes Ps are ALSO bi polar, which might account for SOME psychosis AT TIMES that was real, as if they are manic they may actually hear voices or be out of touch with reality. So yes, he can be both. I think he is very probably a psychopath and what ever else he has is up for grabs.

He is EVIL that’s for sure.


A translation of some stuff that was said at the end of the first trial day of Kim De Gelder (when prosecution and defense hold their opening arguments)

Chairman Koen Defoort asks after his date of brith, but he gives no answer.
Defoort: ’You were born on 13 oktober 1988 in Lokeren. Is that right?’
Kim De Gelder: ’Yes, your honour.’
Defoort: ’You can call me chairman.’ (in the anticipating court day as well as selecting the jury he called the judge ‘your honour’ despite explanations that it’s chairman)
De Gelder: ’But I find Your Honour sound more respectful.’ (red flag: flattery tactic)
Defoort: ’Nevertheless we keep it to chairman.’
De Gelde shrugs his shoulders: ’Ok.’

After defense made their defense arguments that the jury should acquit him for the crimes on account of him going through a supposed psyhoctic episode.

The Chairman asks Kim De Gelder whether he agrees with his lawyer.
Kim: ’I didn’t hear the disposition of defense and I did not listen to it either. So, I don’t know whether I agree or not.’

Defoort: ’Did you not read the disposition of defense?’

De Gelder: I don’t know.

Defoort: ’But why did you not listen?’

De Gelder: ’I wanted to make a declaration from the star. I told this before. My lawyer promised me I could, but I was not allowed to. I would also like to have the disposition of prosecution, because I would like to respond to it.’ (petty entitlement flag)

Defoort: ’Wat is your reaction to it then?’

De Gelder: ’I think it is long winding. Maybe my lawyer can send them. Then I will make notes of my responses so I can read them aloud on Monday.”

Defoort: ’You will get ample opportunities to answer questions so you can respond on plenty of elements then.’

De Gelder: ’That is good.’

At the end of the 1st trial day lawyer Jef Vermassen gets to say something to. He’s a national known crime lawyer…He’s not a prosecutor, but victims or family of victims have the right to an attorney representing the victim’s rights in a criminal case such as this one. Though the victim’s rights do not equal those of the defense, they can make a plea, opinion or even protest against certain witnesses being in court before they gave testimony (such as Kim’s parents). He had the same role in the case about the woman who murdered her romantic rival by sabotaging a parachute, and it were a lot of his arguments that convinced the jury then to find her guilty on circumstantial evidence. Victims having someone represent them apart from a prosecutor in crime cases is one of the good things that came about due to Dutroux in the 90s.

Jef asks Kim De Gelder to stop making a show and to disclose his motive. (Kim also winked at the start at his parents in the courtroom…initially there had been no protest against their presence, but the victims’ parents are shocked and now wish them to be denied access to the courtroom until they gave testimony)

Jef to the jury: ’During the investigtion this man asked to undergo a lie detector test.. He wanted to know whether he could influence the test, Why would he then not try to manipulate you during this trial?’

Kim De Gelder grins and waves dismissively at Jef’s back.

Here’s the link to the Dutch article of which I translated the main part. It also has a court drawing, with Kim and his grin, seated behind the 3 lawyers representing the victims. Jef is the lawyer to the right.

Ox Drover

I agree with your “red flags”


And I like the chairman’s responses to it 🙂

Ox Drover

Yea, He didn’t listen because he wanted to make a statement at the start. LOL ROFLMAO he can really come up with some way to make him not listening the chairman’s fault. RED FLAG again. Yep, the chairman handled it well I thought.


Thanks Donna,

In this case too defense will put their own experts on the stand to convince the jury that he’s psychotic… while prosecution will have experts on the stand who concluded he’s faking it and is actually a psychopath.

Until this week I only knew about the reasons why he was originally thought to be psychotic. The reason why it took 4 years before the trial could start, was because of all the mental state investigations… Only last year court rejected the insanity plea and decided, based on the experts, that he could stand trial and be held accountable for his actions.

It’s only this week, once the jury was selected that finally media released part of the background info why experts and court concluded he’s faking it.

His mother has always been convinced he was psychotic based on his dillusion claims and paranoia behaviour… but as I said, this behaviour only surfaced AFTER his first lengthy therapy for his bullying his brother and mother. I now have a picture of a mother who loves her son, is concerned about him, realized something was wrong with him, but could not believe he could be evil. He then played his cards so that his mother could blame it on psychosis. First it was a game between himself and his family: have them send him to a psychiatrist, where he then would act completely normal, and then have the psychiatrist declare him normal and healthy and blame the mother. He simply is trying to magnify the game on a national scale now.

And then of course there’s problem that he changes his story, his pleas, his confessions, his behaviour constantly. Then he acts like a total loon in his cell, and each time in a different manner. Other times he claims he’s been playing a game, that it’s an act. Then he goes back to some other act of crazy behaviour, but one that is completely different from before. There is no consistency during a supposed psychotic episode, no consistencey across different supposed psychotic episodes, and he then devalues it. The same inconsistency exists about his motives: he gives different ‘dillusion’ motives each time again; the reincarnation motive was but one of the many. The sole thing that is consistent is that he lacks empathy, shows entitlement and narcissism, and has no remorse whatsoever and feels that society should not put him in jail for the rest of his life. Mix that with him preparing and planning to murder families and several daycare centers for at least a month, and him displaying only psychopathic red flags in court…

I realize that psychopathy can be co-morbid with plenty of other disorders, and does not have to stand alone. But I’m starting to think the defense team is clutching at straws to make acquital because of insanity stick with the jury.

Personally I think he’s mostly psychopathic… however when he committed the murders he was but 20. While his early “training” in his first lengthy therapy as an early teen was good enough to fool his mother, he’s not yet experienced enough to fool a whole train of experts and a jury after having committed the worst crime imaginable: entering a baby daycare centre and kill complete defenseless babies as they lie in their cribs… and enjoying the show. When he previously fooled psychiatrists into thinking he was but a normal teen, he had not yet committed any crime and made a point of it to appear normal. He only acted psychotic to his family who weren’t trained in disorders at all. He’s trying the reverse now, which imo luckily is much harder to do.

I’ll be following the events on this. Tomorrow will be very interesting since he’ll be interrogated. The trial will take about a month.

Your description of what is going on in his head is amazingly intuitive, IMO. You are right, he is “trying on” different masks. And also I agree that he is simply continuing the drama he was playing for his family except he is now playing the drama on a wider scale.

I think this is a good example of how psychopathy IS psychotic in it’s own way. It points to the fact that they simply cannot FEEL reality the way that normal people do, so they make up a new reality every day in the way that you or I might make up our faces or choose a different outfit. To them, this is as real as it gets.

It does sound like he hasn’t perfected the ability to create a believable mask yet. It might be because of his youth or it might be because he is further on the continuum where he is more detached from reality.

Either that or he doesn’t care what happens to him because his true goal was always to torment his mother and this is how he’s choosing to do it.


2nd trial day:
first general report…In our jury cases the chairman interrogates the accused, rather than the prosecution or defense. The two other judges may ask a clarifying question too.

The first questions are about his youth. Kim said he grew up in a middle class family without financial issues. He talked without hesitation. He has bad memories about kindergarten, he claimed he had been excluded by other children out of the group… (which imo is nonsense, since 3 to 5 year do not form a mental/emotional group yet, but are each of them individuals set together), and he claimed that the teachers hit him.

Question by the chairman; Did he experience trauma in his youth? Perhaps with his mother?
(Chairman referred to a conversation with a psychologist with this in which Kim claimed to have been the victim of sexual abuse by his mother at the age of 5)

Kim now says that might have been a fantasy. ‘I do not know whether that story is true. It’s not important anyway: the psychologist was insulting me.”

Chairman: During your teens was the relation between his parents and himself comparatively good?
Kim: “Wat is good and wat is bad? It was calm’. He says they loved him and he loved them, but he didn’t talk with them much anymore, not as when he was still a toddler. His father was somewhat of a role model, but when his father became ill it had a certain influence on his mentaltiy.

About his hobbies… he says they were karate, choreography, breakdance and cycling. Music school was not a hobby: he could do any genre with his sax; piano, guitar, drums and base he was good at as well.

But then he started to feel more unhappy. “I had astma and osteoporosis and saw no reason to live anymore. I thought I was worthless.’ But his friends couldn’t see he was depressed, because he acted the happy part.

‘And were you good at this: acting the part?” asked chairman Defoort.

Kim: ‘Actually I only needed to keep smiling. It wasn’t so hard.’

The relationship with his parents detoriated and he wanted to ignore them, and he got professional help in the meantime. He doesn’t remember standing in front of their beds, staring at them, in the nights anymore.

Chairman: “Did you hear voices then already?”
Kim: “A good question.” He thinks about it and says, “I had, like everyone, an auditory hallucination.” (note how he uses professional language, but doesn’t actually describe it.) Sometimes De Gelder places his hand against his left ear during the interrogation.

Kim claims the court psychiatrist told him he was highly intelligent (Mensa range). Chairman: the reports say you have a normal, average intelligence. (boasting again)

In the last years of his HS career Kim claims to have started to get paranoid thoughts. ‘I thought the government was watching me.”

When Defoort asked whether he heard voices in those days, Kim said, “that’s hard to say,” but confirmed he had paranoid thoughts. ‘I thought the government was watching me with different techniques, with nano technology.” But he didn’t mention this to the psychiatrists he was sent to then, because he did not wanted to be interned. Instead he got medication (referring to schizophrenia)

He confirms his parents gave him his own bedroom, but De Gelder blames them for not allowing him to study psychology or the law. “They were not convinced of his capacities,” and he was only allowed to study for nursing.

Chairman’s joke: they say that if you don’t know what to study, that you should study law.

About his suicide attempt: he started to think of hanging himself in the shed, but feared the shed wouldn’t hold it. Eventually he lay down on the traintracks, but someone shouted at him not to do it, and the oncoming train was not coming anymore, so he ran away before police could get him and went to school. (train records showed indeed that on that day someone had been on the tracks, that the train had stopped far ahead in time, and that the person had never been identified)

Chairman Defoort proceeded on to Kim’s emotions and asked whether he was heterosexual, gay, or bi.

Kim, quickly: ‘Heterosexual’

Chairman: “And yet it says differently in the reports. You have declared yourself to be bi-sexual and at 19 year are supposed to have had a relationship about which you did not want to talk, because a lot had happened.”

Kim became angry with this. About his sexual orientation he quickly wanted to correct and nuance things. “I am heterosexual, but when a jailer wants to rape me I will try not to mind it. Maybe that’s why they call me bi-sexual.” His “relationship” was with a young woman he got to know on the internet. After a year he ended the chat sessions with the girl. He did not have intercourse with her. It was an internet relationship.

To the question of the motive, Kim remained silent at first to then say, “I wrote it down, but am not allowed to say it by my lawyer. So, I won’t. I’ll keep it for the end of the trial or perhaps for a NEXT trial.”

Chairman: “A NEXT trial?????” “Earlier on you said you were not allowed to give the real motive.”

“You could say I did not see a future anymore for the people of Belgium.” (mass euthanasia? trying the motive of a parent killing their children)

‘Maybe there was no motive?” the chairman insisted.

“There was a trigger at least,” sayd Kim annoyed. One of the triggers he cites were stricter weapon laws (a few years before Kim’s murders a young man bought a gun and went on a shooting spree in my city). But there were many triggers. (actually this stricter weapon law trigger makes little sense to me… while we are suspicious of politicians, we are not suspicious of government, nor does there live a need for the right to defend ourselves against government as in the US. I’m starting to get the impression Kim is saying things that fit Hollywood scenarios… But as you can already note: our criminal court cases are conducted in a very different manner than what you see on TV from fictional US court cases. )

Another trigger was the meddling of his parents. He wanted them to leave him alone, they kept trying to contact him or check up on him.

“If the world was tough with me, than I may be harsh on the world.”

When the chairman asked him what inspired him to do such murders and whether that might have been voices in his head, he said, “Where do artistis get their inspiration? Psychiatrist Deberdt suggested voices in the head and I thought it fun to say so.”

Chairman: “Who were your targets?”

Strangers is the answer. “you can’t kill people you know and love. I would have felt worse.” he also at some point says, “the police will immediately look for a motive”. So he took it out on strangers. (Scapegoating and blaming his parents, shaming them)

Chairman: “How were you gong to kill?”

Kim: “Without the use of weapons. Knives aren’t weapons. They’re kitchen utensils.”

Then they discuss his moving away from his parents, and how they had proposed to buy him a caravan so he could remain close. “They were pretty fortunate people,” commented the chairman. De Gelder, “They lost a great deal of it on the investigation for me. You smile, but I don’t find that funny.”

Then he resigned from work, which he supposedly had been doing to gather money to go to university (parents here get child-money until 24 if the child goes to university or college, without ever working), But he didn’t like the job, and then there was the global financial crisis (right, that’s exactly when you resign from a job).

Kim tried to create a false identity for him. He took pictures of himself in his disguide with glasses and tache de beaute: “for the identification shots to search him”. He also faked a university student card to enter the cinema for free. He bought bullet free vests for his plans. “I bought clothes to cover my naked body.”; “to protect myself when I went shopping.”
Chairman: “But you wore it on the day of your attack.”
Kim: “to protect myself. I’m not heavily built.”
The samurai sword was for esthetical purposes. “You can’t kill a human with a sword like that.” (What did the Samurai use it for then?). And he bought the axe to feel “more secure.” He reasoned that if there were many people and he lost his weapons, he then still had back-up to grab.”
Kim: “The neck artery is the most sensitive. People lose consciousness when you hit it.” He practiced but 2 times on the human silhouette he created.

Kim said that after the first murder (of Elza Van Raemdonck (72)) he felt bad. ‘Killing people is not fun or pleasant. It is hurtful, not only to the people in the courtroom. I find it difficult too. I hope that the civil parties can release their mysery and anger towards me.” He then described in detail how he killed Elza on 16 january 2009 in her house in Vrasene. He had to search for words more than earlier on.

Chairman Defoort asked Kim whether he realized that killing people was not something one was allowed to do.

Kim: “I did not realize that.” After hesitation. “I did realize it, but it depends on what you mean with realizing. I saw no other choice. I was driven to that choice, possibly from the outside.” & “I did not think of the consequences of my actions.” He then sums up his lists of possible targets: people on the street, daycare centres, kidergartens, shopping malls, doctor practices, hospitals, senior homes and care centres … (basically the physical weakest targets). He denied having once entered a senior home at night at Vrasene where he asked them to take his blood pressure.

He chose the house of Elza by feeling. He did plan to limit his targets to be in a 15 km radius, a distance he could measure with his own eyes. How long he needed to bike on that with his bycicle depended on how fast he pedaled. He did some reconnaisane in the Galgstraat (where Elza lived) first, and then waited until his parents stopped driving by his apartment. En route to the Galgstraat the knife dropped. He improved the manner in which to transport the knife afterwards.

He doesn’t remember what happened after that first murder. This refers to a murder attempt on a family Van der Westerlaeken on 14 january 2009. That one failed. He also sometimes asks whether some of his declarations are on tape, because he sometimes denies earlier declarations, or doesn’t remember them anymore. He claims he hasn’t rehearsed to tell this story, which he wants to tell as accurately as he can for Elza’s family. He says that if he had had a chance to read his dossier again, he could have relived it again to recount it well. He doesn’t remember everything that well anymore now. “It’s hard for me too.”
CHairman: actually you should remember the details very well.

He rang the doorbell, Elza opened it and he attacked her… stabbing her 17 times (according to autopsy report) He then checked the house for witnesses, and cleaned his knife with the clothes she was wearing. He left immediately in a panic, changed clothes at home an dyed his hair again. After that he went to a comedy act, but didn’t have much fun. He kept a log of his actions and searched the internet for baby daycare centres as his next possible targets.

Chairman: “You were busy preparing yourself.”

Kim: “I had no other choice. What else should I have done?”

Chairman: “You could have searched for a job.”

Kim: “But because of the crisis I couldn’t find a good job.” He gets angry and says, “I try to remain as rational as possible and stay cool. I do have to sit here while someone insults me.”

His first target en route on the day of the daycare murers was a different centre. But he couldn’t see an entrance door. There were several factors he watched for, and that’s why he dismissed the first target and rode on.

The session took a break around 1, on Kim’s request because of his ever-lasting “isolation” he wasn’t used to staning for a long time. The case continued in the afternoon, where he spoke about the murders in the day-care centre ‘Fabeltjesland’ (translated: fantasyland)

He starts of with declaring that video games weren’t his inspiration (note: anybody who knows about video games of entering a daycare centre to kill babies?)

Kim said he entered Fabeltjesland and followed the noise (as he had planned), but changed his mind at the reception. He wanted to get out, but the door couldn’t be opened from the inside out. So he addressed the childnurse he heard in the hallway. “I tried to keep her talking until I could ask her to let me go outside.’ The only thing he could think of next to get out of the situation was to get the knife and threaten the nurse with it. She panicked, pulled him in the kitchen and he stabbed her in the neck. ‘I paniqued and that’s why I started to stab around me wildly.”

Chairman confronts him with the findings of the investigation he pursued the first nurse and then stabbed her several times.

He claims he was defending himself against someone who came at him with a Swiffer (a mop), disarmed her and then stabbed her. But if he had wanted to kill her, he would have acted diffrently. (An intern nurse survived the assault and protected the children).
He then found himself in the room with the children and stabbed and killed two babies that were in his way (yup babies lying in a crib definitely stand in your way).

De Gelder gets very annoyed with the interrogationi at this point, because the chairman confronts his statements with previous statements as well as the findings of the investigation. At some point, De Gelder wanted to stop the interrogation. “Can I tell it myself or will you chew it for me?”

Chairman: “How did you feel at the time?”

Kim: “Must I sum up body functions now?”

Defoort: ‘Emotions perhaps?’

Kim: “Can you sum up emotions? I have many emotions. Does it make me sad? Yes, it makes me sad. I didn’t want to be there anymore and I panicked.” “I had no intention to kill the children. It was an automatism.’ He talked about finding a physical way out. “Everybody who stood in my way I stabbed I couldn’t think anymore.”

The chairman pointed out that he attacked a child in a park, and that this child was nowhere in his way.

Kim: “Do you know what panick is? If you had been in the same situation, maybe you would have done the exact same thing.”

The chairman confronts him about the fact he tried to gain entry into a blocked room where a nurse had hid with a child. Kim doesn’t remember it. He cites witness reports where witnesses described him as icy calm and cool that day, certainly not behaving as someone in panic. Kim claims to remember it differently.

He seeks support with his elbow, breathes heavily, and insists he was panicking, but the chairman continues to cite references and cruel details, sometimes in his own declarations, that oppose such a claim. “When I panick, I know what to do. I always remain rational. Like here today.” Eventually Kim says he doesn’t always believe what the police reports say. He now says his claims to assassinate the king was a boast, and apologizes for it.

When he was arrested he decided to be calm and cooperate. Chairman confronts him with the fact he gave the police a wrong name and adress. “Had he hoped to get away with it in this way?”
“No, not at all. I wanted to prevent them from treating me more harshly. They hit my head against a wall. I fell on the floor and became apathic.” He was then taken to the hospital and was in a state of mutism (being mute). “Before the cameras they were friendly to me. But they dragged me to the interrogation room. I refuse to comment any further,” Kim said irritated.

Chairman: “They had to drag you because of your own behaviour.”

Kim: “I wanted to defend myself as best as I could because police and prosecution were writing stuff down that was untrue. I wanted a lawyet with me during my interrogations.”

Chairman: “What was your intention with your attitude? Did you intend to assess the situation?” He reads from earlier declarations by Kim. “I faked the mutism,” and “I am good at manipulation.”
Kim: “I neither deny nor confirm that declaration.” Kim does admit he lied in his first declarations, because, “I didn’t want to talk about it.”

Kim claims to be getting medication against psychosis and sleeping pills, because anti-depressants are too expensive.

The chairman confronted De Gelder about his claims about voices in his head. “That was to keep the situation under control. My lawyer wanted to have me interned, that’s why I kept it up.” (it’s the lawyer’s fault again)

Chairman tells him he shouldn’t be blaming his lawyer.

Kim: “I can’t choose my own lawyer.”

On the question why he didn’t cooperate with the reconstruction, he said, “I can’t stand security measures all that well.”

Chairman cited a conversation Kim had with another prisoner where he admitted he had faked the psychosis. Answer: “A lot of stuff is said about me to humiliate me and get me into isolation.”

Chairman: “in one interrogation you claimed you thought you suffered from having multiple personalities.”
Kim: I don’t remember what I meant by that.

Regarding his lieing and manipulating: Kim ‘Like the lawyer next to me said (referring to Jef Vermassen’s statements of Friday), I wanted to undergo a lie detector test to see whether I could lie.”

‘I haven’t solved all of my mental issues yet. That’s why this trial is good for me too, to process this all.” He seems more and more tired.

He admit he hasn’t always been honest to the psychiatrists. About his motive he doesn’t want to say anything yet.
CHairman: “It might serve you better to put your cards on the table.”
De Gelder: ‘People change in their life. Let the civil parties do their story first, so I can listen. I told my lawyer at the start that I have regrets and also am sorry.”

He once again insists he doesn’t want to talk about emotions: I would like to skip the question how I feel. And I don’t want to show any either. I’m willing to addres it later on.” (note: doesn’t that sound like he’s stalling to mirror properly? Hence, I like it very much that he got to be interrogated first, as is usual) He describes himself as calm, friendly and reserved. “I hear people cough in court, but that is how people used to describe me.” About empathy he sais, “I try to make sure that what people say to me doesn’t hurt me.” (What the heck has that to do with empathy?)
He doesn’t think of himself as narcistic. “I never thought I was important, which caused me to have suicide thoughts. I have many talents, yets, But that’s just something other people confirm.” About his manipulativeness: “I am as manipulative as all the lawyers in here.” He does admit he has some features of a psychopath.

CHairman: “How do you see your future?” ‘
Kim: “Shoul I really tell this now? At the first and second day I wanted to say a speech. I can only hope for a positive future. If I will ever be free again, that I can just be amidst the people, and that the civil parties… well they can never forgive me it naturally.”

Chairman: “Do you understand now that it is an impossible thought to have a conversaton with you?
Kim: “No, sir the chairman.”

Next, the jury can ask questions. One jury member remarks he regrets that Kim didn’t answer how he felt after the raid on the daycare centre. Kim rather wishes not to answer to this.

Lawyer Jef Vermassen, who represents 3 dead victims, has a question. He cites a passage of the interrogation and says, “Can he even empathize with those victims?”
Kim “I can answer that immediately. I absolutely want to help with a possible recovery, but before that can happen there must be peace between myself and the victims.”

A lawyer asks him, whether he thinks he thinks of himself as able to stand trial? Does he know the difference between right and wrong?”
Kim: “I refer to my lawyer for the answer.”

Civil party lawyer Walter Daemen refers to a letter of Kim in which he states he wishes to do everything he can to help the victims. “Would it then not be logical to clarify your motive?”
Kim “My lawyer must answer this,” he repeats.His lawyer Jaak Haentjens signals he can answer himself without a problem. But De Gelder wants to confer together with his lawyer about an answer. “It’s a long story, I need time for that. It’s been enough for now.”

Chairman proposes for the court to take a short break so that Kim can confer with his lawyer. His lawyer says, “The danger exists that people will say I whispered his answers to him.” Kim too signals he doesn’t want to be interrogated anymore.
His lawyer, Haentjes, says, “As long as we look at him as a normal human, you won’t get normal answers.” (the lawyers wishes to use this as an argument to make people think from a psychotic pov, but so far most of his answers fit the psychopathic pov)

Still they take a break of 10 mins, and afterwards the list of witnesses is read aloud. Chairman says he will allow counselors and jury to ask questions directly to the witnesses. Normally those questions have to be asked via himself. Someone who still has to testift normally is not allowed to sit in court, even though it cannot nullify the verdict. The chairman repeats his question whether there is anyone who objects against the presence of Kim’s parents in the courtroom.

Lawyer Haentjes regrets all the commotion about it.

Chairman: I cannot refuse a request to have a witness leave the courtroom before they gave testimony. I want everything to occur following the procedures.

Jef Vermassen says that Kim’s father sometimes sits in court with a smile and some people find that intimidating. Therefore they request to not allow his parents in the courtroom.

Chairman: “I will apply the law strictly. The witnesses may not enter the courtroom nor the relaisroom before they gave testimony, civil parties excluded. Once Kim De Gelder’s parents have given their testimony there is no legal reason to deny them access to court.”

And that is the report of the 2nd day (some stuff may not be in the order as it occurred today, because I had to combine several reports into one)


Adelade, your article happened at just the right time for me. Although I am no longer with the spath, my life revolves around fear based thinking. My biggest problem is my two daughters; I am so afraid of having them mad at me, that I tolerate behavior that I should not tolerate, and I know that. Yet, if one of them is angry with me, my life seems to be unbearable and I will do ANYTHING to make them happy again. They are very aware of this and therefore they know that no matter what, mama will do whatever to make things good again. I really do not know how to stop this; I have been to counselling, and it has not helped. But your article gives me hope that one day I can stop this behavior and stop being the hamster on a wheel person I am right now. Thanks again.


More about Kim De Gelder’s trial:

Tuesday – a technical day about the murder on Elza… police witnesses on what they find there. Again Kim evades questions on this as well as his attempt to research a senior home (by going there and asking htem to take his blood pressure) and his attempt to kill a family (before Elza)… but they luckily weren’t home at the time. Kim is angered by questions about these and attempts to lash out and insult either the lawyers, prosecution or chairman on these occasions.

For example when asked how he feels when he sees the pictures of the crime scene at Elza’s house, he says.. “It makes me smile just like the prosecutor is smiling” (who wasn’t smiling).

When the chairman posed questions to him, Kim answered angrily – “I’m fed up with your behaviour. Ask the questions to my lawyer.”

Yesterday Elza’s family went on the witness stand. Since Elza’s murder hadn’t been solved until a week after, when they apprehended Kim just after his attack on the daycare center, her husband had originally been the suspect since there had been no signs of breaking in. And when eventually one of her 6 daughters asked whether Elza had said anything or whether she put up a fight, Kim finally gave a statement of what happened. He stabbed her, she fell, he fell too, stabbed her more… “She fought back against the movements I was making. Sorry, she fought me.” (Note how his first expression involves an act of dissocation). On the question whether she said or shouted something, he said, “She said ‘Ouch'”. He also wanted to apologize to the chairman for his angry response and his insults to him the day before on one of his questions.

Today: the findings of the policemen who first arrived on the daycare scene – chaos, a dead baby lying on the floor in a pool of blood, an older woman hunched on her knees, bend over, her false teeth hanging out (another dead victim). They showed the pictures of the scene. How they learned that one baby that had been rushed to hospital died there. And that most children and adults there were heavily injured.

Kim wanted to know how many victims he had made.

Next they talked about his apprehending him. A neighbourhood cop noticed him on his bike and asked him where he was going, and who he was. He gave no name, claimed to be from another village and was going shopping in another village. But the cop noticed he was driving and pointing the wrong way for his story. So, he asked him to stand against the wall for a police search, noticed he wore something hard under his coat (a bulletproof vest) and found an axe and a knife in his backpack, along with papers describing target 1,2,3… and the number of children and adults expected to be present, as well as blood.

Asked about Kim’s behaviour during the arrest and interrogation: he only stared in the distance, never made eye contact, just smiled. But when they left him in the interrogation room by himself and watched him through surveillance in the room, he would move normally.

Police on the stand denied that they ever manhandled him. Kim then made a statement: he apologized for his earlier accusations, he wanted to apologize to the police all over the world.

His lawyer tried to point out that while Kim had prepared the raid well, he had not prepared his escape well – he was still in his bloody clothes, riding in the wrong direction, his hair still dyed orange… He tries to use this to advocate the man should be interned, rather than imprisoned.

Chairman replies: have you ever heard of a criminal taking a shower, getting the dye out of his hair and changing his clothes AT THE CRIME SCENE?

Personally: totally fits spath behaviour – well prepared on doing the crime, badly prepared on an exit and escape… they just wing that. Fits their impulsiveness and bad consequence thinking. So, he chose a disguise (orange hair) that made him stand out, rather than blend in. That’s exactly like the crappy and grotesque lies that are so obvious which spaths say. Like the captain of the cruise ship when he said he “fell” in the rescue boat. Yes, it proves he’s not normal, since spaths aren’t normal, but it doesn’t make him crazy in a way that he didn’t know what he was doing, nor that he was doing was wrong.

Jef Vermassed argued similar points as I do here. When the defense lawyer pointed out the “stare in the distance”, Jef said to the police officer, “That must have been the first time you arrested a mass murderer who has little or no emotions.” Defense then said that was just Jef’s opinion and of no importance. Chairman eventually told the both of them to sit down and shut up.

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