A Lovefraud reader sent me a link about Edward Shin, 40, who is currently on trial in Orange County, California. He is charged with murdering his business partner, Chris Smith. News accounts of the case include clues that Shin may be a sociopath.
In June 2010, Smith was a 33-year-old entrepreneur and surfer with an oceanfront apartment, a serious girlfriend and a bright future. He and Shin were partners in a company called 800XChange, which focused on debt consolidation. They were making a lot of money.
Then, Smith’s family began receiving emails — he had always wanted to escape a mundane existence, and he had decided to cash in and go on a travel adventure. According to Smith’s emails, he was sailing off the coast of South America with a playboy model. Then he was sandboarding in South Africa. Then he was going to cruise the coast of Somalia — dangerous waters infested with pirates. Then the emails stopped.
Smith’s family hired a private investigator, who discovered that his credit card hadn’t been used since June. The family called the police.
Forensic investigators found Smith’s blood on the walls, ceiling and desk in the offices he had once shared with his partner. Prosecutors described it as “helter skelter” violence. Shin has been charged with his murder.
Read more about the story here:
Prosecutor lays out case in Irvine businessman’s murder trial, on LATimes.com.
The mystery of the killer vacation, on GQ.com.
Signs of a sociopath
Multiple details in the stories about this case point to the possibility that Ed Shin may be a sociopath. Here are some that jumped out at me:
1 . If Shin did, in fact, commit the murder, that’s a pretty good sign, especially considering the vicious violence involved and how he allegedly tried to conceal the crime.
2. Shin was being sued by former employers who alleged fraud and embezzlement, which are typical sociopathic pursuits.
3. Shin was also sued for unpaid bills and allegedly fleeced a World Series of Poker player.
4. Shin cultivated the image of a church-going family man, but he was also a big gambler. He took private jets to casinos where he wagered “obscene” amounts of money, according to the prosecutor. Sociopaths, of course, love risk. Many are gamblers.
5. At the casinos, Shin paid beautiful women to hang out with him and his entourage.
6. After his arrest on suspicion of murder, Shin started a blog called “Mr. Shincredible.” The blog is now removed, but it was duplicated by another blogger at jellybeans.blogspot.com. Here is what Shin wrote. He mixes nuggets of truth with, “Hey, I deserve to be forgiven anyway.”
For those of you who have known me a long time, you’ll agree that my life has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Though most of it was self imposed through a series of bad decisions guided by bad judgment, I can safely say that I am happy to be here. Regardless of the outcome, at the end of the day it’s only about two things: 1. Your family and circle of friends and 2. Your faith.
1. My Family. I have three beautiful children, an amazing wife and another baby boy that’s due in August. There’s nothing more I could ever ask for as a human being other than the salvation of God’s grace and His son. My kids are wonderful and despite the challenges of raising three kids that are seven and under, I couldn’t imagine ever letting this get away from me as I have tried to let happen before.
2. My Faith. I will publicly admit all of my wrongdoing. I have made many mistakes in life, most of them in business and lot directly against my wife and family. I can’t argue that God has blessed me with tremendous talents, but the issue hasn’t been about execution or growth. It’s been about taking shortcuts and looking for shortcuts when in trouble to get out of it. Additionally I think the whole “isolationist” perspective is not a good one to have. When you are on the top by yourself, it’s very lonely and when you are immature and ill equipped to handle conflict because of character and under-developed integrity issues, you make mistakes, and in my case, more often than not. In the end, as I look upon my life and live it with a heavy heart knowing the people that I’ve hurt along the way, I can only hope to try and rectify everything in some small measure and know that in God’s eyes that was good enough and that I’m good enough for him. My salvation through Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift, because no matter what, no matter if you are a hardened killer hanging on the cross just a few hours away from your death or born into a good Christian home whose family guides you to Jesus before you even commit serious sins, we are all people. People worthy of being saved by a higher power who was our Creator. Someone who “so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…” So yes, I’m sorry. And yes, one day I will make good the best way that I can on the things I’ve done. I can’t say when, but hopefully sooner than later.
The irony of all of this is that I could have chosen a different path or train of thought. However, in the end, I have to accept the fact that it isn’t my power that has brought me here to where I can still have my family and love others, it’s God’s power. So because of that, I will take no credit and only offer my thanks and praise to God.