Philadelphia parole board must learn how to spot psychopaths

On Sunday, I wrote about the case of Daniel Giddings, a violent criminal, recently paroled, who executed a Philadelphia cop.

Yesterday, the governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, requested a “top-to-bottom” review of Philadelphia’s parole process. And, the governor put a moratorium on paroles until the review is complete.

John S. Goldkamp, head of Temple University’s criminal justice department, got the assignment of conducting the parole system review. According to an article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Goldkamp plans to “focus on how other states release violent offenders into society and whether those practices can be used here.”

Professor Goldkamp, let me save you some trouble. All the parole board needs to do is learn how to spot the psychopaths.

Psychopathy Checklist (Revised)

All candidates for parole should be evaluated using the Psychopathy Checklist (Revised), developed by Dr. Robert Hare. The evaluation tool is designed exactly for the purpose at hand—to determine the likelihood that a criminal, especially a violent criminal, will reoffend.

Professionals trained to use the checklist evaluate the individual on 20 items. Here are the items:

  1. Glibness/superficial charm
  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
  3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  4. Pathological lying
  5. Conning/manipulative
  6. Lack of remorse or guilt
  7. Shallow affect (emotions)
  8. Callous; lack of empathy
  9. Parasitic lifestyle
  10. Poor behavioral controls; aggressiveness
  11. Promiscuous sexual behavior
  12. Early behavior problems
  13. Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  14. Impulsivity
  15. Irresponsibility
  16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  17. Many short-term marital relationships
  18. Juvenile delinquency
  19. Revocation of conditional release
  20. Criminal versatility

History of a killer

Here’s what we know about Daniel Giddings, the killer, based on news accounts:

Giddings was first arrested for violent assault when he was 10. He lived much of his teenage years in juvenile facilities, where on multiple occasions he assaulted the staff, sending some to the hospital. When out of jail, he sold drugs on the corner, raised pit bulls for fighting, gambled, and fathered three children.

Then in an attempted carjacking, the victim gave Giddings $100 but didn’t want to give him the car. Giddings stuck a gun through the window of the car and shot the guy in the knees. That landed him in jail, where he ran a prison gang, was charged with disciplinary problems 27 times and spent 537 days in solitary confinement.

On the day that he shot the cop, he was riding in the car driven by a woman he recently met in a nightclub. She had no idea that he was a criminal who had just been paroled, was packing a .45, and was wanted by the police. She thought she’d met a great guy.

The news articles didn’t say the Giddings was a pathological liar, manipulative, and had a grandiose sense of self, but I’ll bet they all applied. My guess is that if this criminal was professionally evaluated using the PCL-R, he’d score very high on psychopathic traits.

Professor Goldkamp, psychopaths do not change. They cannot be rehabilitated. When you let them out of jail, there will be trouble, including dead cops.

Jail costs too much

According to a knowledgeable source in Philadelphia, the back story to the problem is the skyrocketing cost of keeping people in jail. Prisons are full, and officials have been dumping offenders in order to control costs. The only way to solve the problem is to build more prisons, which would require raising taxes, which politicians are afraid to do.

So the parole board unloads prisoners and hope nothing really bad happens. In the case of Daniel Giddings, hope wasn’t enough.

The financial realities of the situation make it all the more important that candidates for parole are evaluated properly. Officials need to figure out who is really bad, beyond redemption, and use their scarce resources to keep them in jail.

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14 Comments on "Philadelphia parole board must learn how to spot psychopaths"

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We need that list as a “pocket card.”

I have another list translated from French psychiatrist ( believe) on my site.. I plan on combining them and making myself a “watch out”list.

you know, i am so sorry for the officer, BUT, why does the killing of an officer always draw so much attention, when the killing of psychopaths victims, makes a juicy story……because it was a cop, ed rendell needs to take a stand and say HALT until this is examined further (the parole procedures)…….no one stood up for oxy when they were going to release her idiots….she had to fight her own battle……all these other cases that we have been discussing…ripping the homes out from mothers, fathers and their children, by these creatures, gets shuffled under the court documents……why the heck dont we all start to make the same noise the cops do….at a cop funeral 3 counties show up……..maybe at the next court hearing of one of our lf bloggers, those in the area who are willing should make a court appearance……the squeaky wheel seems to get the oil……this is in no way to minimize the cop killings….but for petes sake…..WE are just as important!!!!!!!!!

Thank you New World view,

There was ONE person, the official VICTIM ADVOCATE gal here in the state. She informed me what my rights would be, and she kept me updated. She was always understanding and listened to my RANTS with supportive presence. I couldn’t have asked for a better person, who knows her job, and does it well. Anytime there is a change in his status or if he comes up for some review she notifies me by letter and is always there by telephone just to listen or advise.

Personally, I can’t tell you how much support I received from this woman just because she listened and acted like she cared, and I DO BELIEVE she cares.

What absolutely appauled me however was that the parole board LIED, and were going to release him ILLEGALLY into a half way house even though he is a SEX offender and there is an act in Arkansas 679 that PROHIBITS any sex offender to be released into a half way house.

The police in my county (sheriff) were also very supportive to me. The DA did reduce the charges, but I imagine his hands were tied, so I didn’t raise a fuss over that.

The judge who heard their bail hearing listened to me and raised their bonds to a very high amount that they could not possibly make. The sheriff kept my daughter in law away from the phone long enough for mom’s lawyer to get a hold on the stolen money which was in the bank in my DIL’s name.

I have seen and read about some HORRIBLE DECISIONS about parole. So not everyone gets the relief I got. even if they DO fight for it.

i am so happy you had the strength and fortitude to fight for right……but imagine those who cant….or those who try and lose….why doesnt the governor get up and take a stance for them…then and only then will we see some significant change………..women and men..we need to mae some noise and be heard
the world stops when a cop is killed…i think the world should stop when someone is batterred and killed….but it seems after the gory details are sensationally broadcast, its on to the weather at 11:00……im so sick of all these jerks getting away with murder and emotional torture………..

We had a guy in our living history group who worked professonally for the state parks department. He was caught in an FBI sting for child pornography and went to prison for 1 1/2 yrs, out of a 3 year sentence for possesson of child porno.

The parks department had enough power to keep it essentially out of the news and so he just “disappeared.” It so happened that I have bunches of friends in the parks department so I WAS INFORMED OF WHERE HE HAD GONE (Federal prison)

Well, one day I picked up the group’s newletter and THERE HE WAS WORKING FOR THE STATE HISTORY MUSEUM and working with CHILDREN. I called our board of directors for our group (a non profit) and was informed that “he had paid his debt to society” by the MALE president of our group.

I then called his parole officer and spoke with him, and I called the feceral court house and got copies of his conviction, plea and sentencing (public records) and I called all the women on the board of directors and informed them of what I had in hand. Then I caused a very PUBLIC STINK in our group and he was outsted.

I called his boss at the Museum whom Iknew and informed him of the conviction.

I called his parole officer and informed him that if he did not keep this man away from our group and other places where he would be working with children I would BE ON THE 6 O’CLOCK NEWS screaming the name,not of the offender, but of the PAROLE OFFICER himself, and I said to him “and you know how THAT will effect your career.”

The man is now off parole and working for 4-H clubs as a “consultant.” I have followed his career and every time I find out where he is working with children I send them a copy of his conviction record etc. “disceminating public information” I post a copy in the post office of the places he has lived, and the community stores which will let me post them (most do) and so I have managed to effect some change.

I ran for board of directors of my living history group and served a two year term. I effected several needed changes.

The thing is though, it takes a TREMENDOUS amount of ENERGY to do these things though, and since the fiasco with my own family, I have focused on my own healing (much needed focus) rather than on some of these “causes” that I KNOW ARE IMPORTANT, but energy if finite, time is limted, and we have to make some choices on how we spend our energy and time. Right now, mine is on ME rather than others.

I am gaining strength back, learning to set boundaries and to take care of myself, so there will come a time when I am “back in the fray” in one way or another. If each of us can collectively focus on a few items though, we can have a BIG effect on the problem.

I’m afraid I have little confidence in most of our government agencies to do what is the RIGHT thing. It does take “citizen watchdogs” to focus the attention of the media and the citizens on what needs to be taken care of.

I am just grateful for Donna’s Love FRaud site and the many other sites similar (there are none LIKE it!) that are spreading the word about psychopaths. We are NOT alone. I am only one, I cannot do everything, but I can do what I can do. That is all the God asks of any of us. Together our voices will be heard though!

no kidding….an ex child predator can easily work around children, but the states Fight to not allow an np to sign for a handicapped parking decal….what is wrong with this picture…….exactly how is the public being proected!!!!……..im angry
on a lighter note, just returned from a week up on daggert lake in minnesota,,,,the folks and the animals are gathering their last acorns, getting ready for a cold winter…..was absolutely beautiful…small town, everyone waved at everyone…few people around actually……since i live in ft lauderdale, i try to relate to where most of you bloggers are writing about….many of you in the uk and australia..henry and oxy write about small rural towns, so i feel like i got a taste of where you all live…..was absolutely the most serene and peaceful beautiful way to commune with nature…the stars at night, the milky way……..just wanted to share some of the peaceful and beautiful thoughts….a slight reprieve from all the tension and energy draining creatures talk soon, terri

If political history teaches us nothing less then how our “elected” official let down their constituents time and time again. So Like Oxy I see very little or no real help there in our political government. As for the public concerns it almost like one needs to get bitten before one wakes up to the real danger and threat S or P represent to groups families and the private section. I do thank God for places like LoveFraud that does allow some of us information foresight and support. The world is a better place because of these sites and really don’t want to know what it would be like without them…

In short we all need to keep writing informing and telling others about the real and present danger of S and P in our society. For when we do so we are in fact changing our world a little at a time…

Dear Newwordview,

I lived in Ft. Lauderdale, actually Hollywood, between Miami and Ft. L, worked in Ft. L for an orthopaedic physician as an advanced practice nurse.

Got so paranoid living there from the constant crime I just couldn’t stand it and told my husband I was moving back to “a sane part of the world” so I called my mom and told her to meet me at the plane with a real estate agent, and I came back here and bought a house then flew back to Florida and we started packing. Fortunately, my husband agreed to all this and he was also glad to get back to sanityville.

Unfortunately, too many of the INSANE ONES were in my family! LOL

He told me before he died that the years he was here were the BEST YEARS of his life. He was so happy here and had what had always been every pilot’s dream I guess, an airport in their “front yard” LOL

I’m glad you had a good time and a renewal of spirit in the natural world.

Years and years ago I read about a study done with rats, where they crowded them into a small space, but gave them enough food and all the things they needed, and the rat “society” became ust like most of our inner cities, the young males formed gangs and raped and stole, and the mothers deserted their young, etc.

The Japanese society which is quite crowded evolved with the crowding over a long period of time so that culture changed to allow people to live in close proximity to others and yet have “enough personal space” to be healthy.

Our culture has not had enough time to adjust to this crowded conditions of the inner cities, and the cities with millions and millions of people crowded together.

I guess because I grew up in a place that was not physically crowded with people my “space” needed is much larger than others. I have lived in large cities, Los Angeles, etc. for years and in Florida. Now I am at the point that when I go visit my best friend in Dallas I feel “crowded” the entire time I am there. Just the continual sound of traffic, car doors, people talking outside the window, etc. it just sort of unnerves me.

It took me quite some time to get over the “violation of my sanctuary” here, so that I didn’t feel afraid here on the farm. It had become an “unsafe” place for me. I seem to be feeling safe here now again.

It is nice to live in a place where I know my neighbors, because they have lived there for four or five generations, and you know that in event that you need help they will be there. When my dad had cancer and I was having to take care of him, the community literally fed our entire family for nearly 9 weeks. I did not have to cook a single meal. When my husband died, the community was so supportive it was unbelieveable. They fed 400 people for the memorial service. That kind of community support is so rare anywhere but would never happen in a city that I know of.

When the tornado hit our communnity this spring, there were 500 people turned out with bull dozers, chain saws, trucks, etc to clean up the mess and in almost no time it was cleaned up. Others loaned the families whose houses were swept away, RVs to live in while they rebuilt. The community took in livestock til fences could be rebuilt. They didn’t sit around whinning because FEMA didn’t show up, they pitched in and DID it together.

There are good people in this country, but it seems like sometimes we focus on the bad ones too much because that is what has injured us.

OxD, your community sounds really wonderful. For years I have imagined living in a rural area surrounded by community of caring people, in a commune-like setting. And of course these people would love snakes and all animals. I am in a small condo now, but I have very nice neighbors for the most part. I do feel very protective of my space and quiet here. When kids are playing right in front of my patio, I ask them to play somewhere else.

I don’t agree all psychopaths do not change and can not be rehabilitated. Descriptive parameters of psychopathy are not very clear. Psychopaths range from extreme criminals like serial killers to people who fill their gas and then speed off without paying , a small crime criminals. I truly believe that small crime criminals can change and rehabilitate. I had a friend who used to be drug dealer and drug addict for long time, all his early adulthood and even before. He was put in a juvenile jail for sometime .He had most of the symptoms on PCLR criteria then. After working with a psychiatrist and doing therapies he managed to change. He had his friends support which meant a lot. He is now a happily married men with two beautiful daughters working and living completely normal life.


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LOVE jere

I don’t know Indigoblue and dmatosic: They’ve got Ridgeway alive and kicking still, and I think he got life in prison for giving up the bodies. Why not force feed him the Bible and see what happens? I think all the years Manson’s been in prison, he should be given the Bible too, just to have a look see.

All I see are anti-socials are complete opposite of virtue.

If someone doesn’t want to focus on virtue due to believing in their own ego, they end up focusing on the opposite, that of vice.

First they have to read Tolle’s book “A New Earth” (and play all Tolle’s tapes) to learn how to quiet the mind … then when they get back to being in the “now” …. doorway to humble, they can let them read the Bible and Bible study would help too.

No one has tried this except Tara Fay Tucker did it on her own … then she was executed before mental health professionals could really do the research on her …. I’d say, that ended this experiment.

There are thousands of prisoners who changed their lives while incarcerated by reading the Bible.

What do we have to loose? Why is their such a fear with this experiment?

Everything in life that functions is directly from wisdom learned in the Bible.

Everything that doesn’t function is not learning wisdom from the Bible.

Whether people go to church or not isn’t the issue, somewhere in their family lineage, someone read the Bible and that wisdom was past down from generation to generation.

Just a thought.


“What does he do this man you seek” NO!

he covets

How does one covet?

He/it covets what it sees every day !

the problem we all face is we see a person/soul

it is NOT a soul !

it is an evil spirit possessing that body w/full evil power

hence the spell !

it cannot attain what it seeks

therefore it only and merly observes and delites in misery

That is its purpose , its carrier , its JOB ! it doesnt even hold on to the pleasure of it’s deeds because it is empty , a shell , dammed for eternity ! Legions

it is a tic,flea,aids ,cancer,

that is a person in there poor soul Follow? That is why it is so difficult for me and you to let go ! to do NC !

Exorcist; this movie scared the Sh*t out of me I slept with the lights on for over a week !

Remember the girl was writing from inside of her own body SCREAMMING fo help !

I know it reads freaking OFF the CHAIN ****** !!!!!!! ???

LOVE jere

love jere

dmatosic says:
I don’t agree all psychopaths do not change and can not be rehabilitated….. I truly believe that small crime criminals can change and rehabilitate. I had a friend who used to be drug dealer and drug addict for long time, all his early adulthood and even before…..He had most of the symptoms on PCLR criteria then. After working with a psychiatrist and doing therapies he managed to change……

Your friend probably changed because his PCL-R symptoms were due to behavior related to the drug addiction itself, not due to psychopathy.

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