Last week, three teens from Oklahoma were charged with killing an Australian student athlete “for fun.”
Christopher Lane, 22, was visiting Duncan, Oklahoma, where his girlfriend lived. While he was jogging down the road, a car drove by him and Lane was shot in the back. Charged in the crime are Chancey Allen Luna, 16; James Francis Edwards Jr., 15; and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17.
According to CBS News:
“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,'” said Police Chief Dan Ford. “The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'”
Back in June, there was a similarly shocking case in Indiana. Jordan Buskirk, 25, of Jasonville, and Randal Crosley, 26, of Linton, have been charged in the murder of 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe.
According to ABC News:
Two childhood best friends killed teenager Katelyn Wolfe for a thrill and then bound her body, attached it to a weight and threw it into a Sullivan, Ind., lake, according to court documents released today.
Confronted with evidence, Jordan Buskirk told police that he and Randal Crosley had conversations about “forcing themselves onto a complete stranger for at least a week” and that the idea to kill was “just something that popped into their heads,” Linton, Ind., police detective Joshua L. Goodman said in an affidavit filed in Greene County Court.
And then there’s the case of De’Marquise Elkins, 18, accused of shooting a 13-month-old baby in a stroller during a robbery attempt. Elkins is currently on trial in Georgia. Dominique Lang, his 15-year-old accomplice, testified that Elkins counted down, twice, and then shot the baby in the face.
A detective, Roderic Nohilly, testified that Elkins claimed he had nothing to do with the crime, and taunted police that they had no evidence.
According to Jacksonville.com:
Officers got an arrest warrant and, as they were handcuffing Elkins, he made what Nohilly described as a “spontaneous utterance.”
“He said, as he was walking out, ”˜Y’all ain’t got — on me. Y’all ain’t got no gun. Y’all ain’t got no fingerprints. All y’all got is a — acquittal,’ ” Nohilly testified. When Elkins saw another detective smile he said, “Oh, got the gun?”
These were all random, cold-blooded, senseless murders. There are no rational reasons for these murders, but there is an explanation: The perpetrators are sociopaths, and this is really important for people to understand.
Problem and solution
Most people look at these crimes, throw up their hands, shake their heads, and go about their business. After all, what can be done?
Actually, once you understand that the people committing these atrocious acts are sociopaths, you have identified the problem. And with the problem accurately identified, it’s possible to work towards a solution.
I am not saying this is going to be easy, and we’re not going to see a turnaround in our lifetimes. But we can start the change, so that generation by generation, life will get better.
5 steps to change the world
1. Acknowledge that sociopaths exist. This is really radical. It means we have to dump ideas that are ingrained into society, such as “people are basically the same” and “there’s good in everyone.” Yes, those philosophies are usually true, but it is critical to understand that there are dangerous exceptions.
2. Teach the signs of sociopathic behavior. No normal person would willingly become involved with a sociopath in any context a relationship, friendship, business dealings. If we know the warning signs, we can steer clear of these destructive encounters.
3. Stop having sex with sociopaths. This protects us in two ways. First, we avoid getting hooked into relationships that will end up somewhere between painful and fatal. Secondly, a result of sex is children, and we won’t be bringing more children into the world who carry a genetic risk for sociopathy.
4. Teach at-risk children empathy and love. Many people have already been hoodwinked into relationships with sociopaths, and as a result, have children who may be genetically at risk. These parents need to be proactive in helping the children develop empathy and love. And courts need to understand that exposing these kids to sociopathic parents makes it more difficult to raise them to be healthy.
5. Focus on community. Human beings are social animals, and we need each other. Real, in-person connections enable us to heal, grow, look out for each other and gather support when we need it. One of the major tactics of sociopaths is to isolate us and cut off our support systems. If our social supports are weak to begin with, this isolation becomes much easier.
Yes, this outline is simplistic, and I realize that. People have been talking about “changing the world” for hundreds or thousands of years.
What may be different is identifying the root of the problem—sociopaths. Most of the world’s manmade problems—crime, war, poverty, economic collapse—are probably the result of some kind of exploitation, and the people who do the exploiting are sociopaths. Identifying the real problem makes a solution possible.
At the very least, by learning about sociopaths and keeping away from them, our own lives can be better. But if we do nothing, a future may come when the world is overrun by cold, calloused predators, who go around killing people for no reason.
It all starts with education. Here’s the main message: Sociopaths exist, these are the warning signs, stay away.