The Boston bomber liked cats and dogs – does that mean he’s not a psychopath?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev was found guilty of all 30 counts against him for the Boston Marathon bombing.

The sentencing phase of the trial is now underway. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Tsarnaev finally showed some emotion. Some of his relatives from Russia traveled to Boston to plead for his life. They were sobbing, and the convicted murderer also began to cry.

According to an article by Lovefraud reader Anne Stevenson, one of the factors in the jury’s decision may be Tsarnaev’s relationships with cats and dogs.

Many psychopaths are cruel to animals. But if Tsarnaev was not cruel to his pets, does that mean he’s not a psychopath?

Well, I can say that my ex-husband, James Montgomery, loved pets. He was always bringing home small exotic animals, and he walked my dog every morning. Yet this man scored between 33 and 39 out of 40 on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R).

Not all psychopaths are cruel to animals.

Jahar Tsarnaev: A preference for cats or dogs, on

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My kids’ father was fine with animals. He displays his sociopathic traits with people.


Isn’t animal abuse primarily a childhood pastime for a sociopath? Owning a pet provides POSSESSION and CONTROL of a living creature. Control, control, control, it’s all about control. For those who are also narcissistic, a pet provides narcissistic supply in the form of adoration. I suppose a relationship with a pet could help fulfill the sociopath’s need to relieve boredom. (sensation seeking) The pet is completely at the mercy at the sociopath. He/she doesn’t have to con or dupe the pet into this relationship, it’s effortless. A pet will generally not challenge the sociopath’s grandiosity and lust for dominance or unmask him, so there’s little threat involved. So the pet is likely to be a source of gratification and unlikely to raise his ire. This is how sociopaths want their relationships with humans to be! I have seen a few instances where long time valued pets ended up being abruptly discarded though.

Edit: Just wanted to add that a pet also appeals to the narcissistic need for superiority.


Yes that is baffling about how sociopaths decide who they will torture. I believe that TRUE PSYCHOPATH has no emotions of guilt, love, or concern for any life forms. The pain and suffering of animals does not bother them anymore than human suffering. They DO NOT discriminate. Because I feel they are unable to make any attachment to any Living thing. So a true psychopath has no attachments to pets or people. A narcissist on the other hand may be able to feel attachment to animals, but never feel attached to humans, even their children. They don’t really care to be attached to any humans. It’s to inconvenient for them. Especially since we humans have voices and emotions and we are able to speak our needs and concerns.
I don’t know if that made any sense. I am not good at putting my feelings about things into written words

Animal attachments don’t have any bearing on whether the person is a psychopath or not. There are psychopaths who can be affectionate to a pet one moment and bash its head in the next. I’ve actually seen it happen. A psychopath may demonstrate caring but it’s very shallow.

Animals give unconditional love. For a psychopath seeking adoration, the relationship is perfect. They can secure love from them and perform a hideous violent act against them in a heart beat. The animal will never expose their dark side.

Why would we find that strange when we all know that they’ll do so to humans? One second we thought we were loved, and the next, our world fell apart.


Agreed. Very true. It is so hard for me to imagine how psychopaths are so good at pretending they have a connection with you, and how they have many people who do not know them personally believing they are kind and caring.. When there is nothing there. It’s all just fake.. But there is no soul there… To really love or care for someone, which they are unable to do. Yet they are so convincing, and most of us never have any ideas that they are capable of such horrible things… until they turn on us


“Dear kind Ludwig could never do harm to any animal,” said his family and friends. They described Ludwig as “a protector of the poor and oppressed.” Ludwig, they said, had a special “delight in nature.” He was so exceptionally conscientious that when taking walks in the countryside, he sometimes gave strange little jumps to avoid accidentally crushing a snail or a lizard under his foot. His affection for small creatures was legendary. When his mother-in-law’s canary died, dear kind Ludwig “tenderly put the birdie in a little box, covered it with a rose, and buried it under a rose bush.”

No doubt this was all true, even though Ludwig’s family and friends had every reason to present him in the most favorable light. They were pleading for clemency when Ludwig was on trial in early 1947 in Hamburg for Nazi war crimes. Ludwig Ramdohr held a prominent position in the infamous Ravensbrück concentration camp, the women’s camp that its many French inmates had termed “L’Enfer des Femmes”—“The Women’s Hell.” The title was well earned, and Ludwig Ramdohr was one of the most feared figures in the camp. As its so-called “political officer,” it was Ramdohr’s job to interrogate prisoners to discover what subversive activities, if any, might be going on inside the camp.

It goes without saying that his methods of interrogation were not gentle. A clerk who worked next door to Ramdohr’s office often heard women screaming during these interrogations.

Ramdohr’s background had not been with the Gestapo, but with the ordinary Kriminalpolizei, or “criminal police.” However, he was more than keen to adopt Gestapo tactics. He not only employed numerous methods of torture, from the crudest and most brutal to the sadistically refined, but was eager to devise new ones himself. One invention he had found effective was the “water douche”: multiple high pressure jets of ice cold water directed onto a naked body. Other methods favored by Ramdohr ranged from what we now call “waterboarding” to the breaking of fingers and the pulling of fingernails. On other occasions a woman who would not talk might be kept in a cold dark rat-infested cell for a week without bed or food, from which she emerged half mad. But often Ramdohr would simply resort to a vicious beating, with a leather strap across the face, or with the butt of a pistol that smashed a woman’s teeth. Ramdohr beat one woman so severely that she afterwards tried to commit suicde by cutting her own throat.

On one occasion Ramdohr was admonished by a camp official because of all the bloodstains on his office walls. Not even the camp commandant authorized beatings as severe as this, he was told. Ludwig Ramdohr didn’t care. As long as this “protector of the poor and oppressed” was making prisoners talk, his masters were not going to find fault with him.

In his book The Scourge of the Swastika, Russell of Liverpool remarked that “It is not easy to reconcile the brutal Ramdohr of Ravensbrück, the terror of the camp, with the ‘dear kind Ludwig’ remembered by his family and his friends.”

Fortunately the judges at Ramdohr’s trial were not unduly swayed by these recollections of this gentle, nature-loving soul, and didn’t waste too much of their time trying to reconcile the two conflicting pictures of the man. So on the 3rd of May 1947, sixty-eight years ago last Sunday, this so-called “protector of the poor and oppressed” was dropped through a trapdoor in Hamelin prison with a rope around his neck, along with Johann Schwarzhüber, Gustav Binder, and SS officers Dr. Rolf Rosenthal and Dr. Gerhard Schidlausky: four other villains who had made life hell for the prisoners in Ravensbrück.

And good riddance to bad rubbish!


My ex adores animals – mainly dogs. He often boasts that he likes dogs more than most people, as if this will endear him in people’s eyes. I couldn’t believe how loving he could be to our dogs, but not with me.


When looking at murderers’ pictures, I have noticed the emptiness in their eyes. In the case of this young man, I see ‘craziness’ for lack of a better word, it just looks like the human inside that body has checked out. I feel there is more to the story…

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