Why do they kill?

Anyone who is interested in the topic of domestic violence should read Why Do They Kill? by David Adams. The book describes Adams’ detailed interviews of men who were convicted of killing their partners, and women who were victims of attempted murder.

The breakthrough here is that Dr. Adams’ findings are in complete agreement with those of Dr. Dutton. There is now little doubt that terroristic batterers have psychopathic personality traits.

Because David Adams’ findings are so important I want to summarize them here, then so as not to throw too much at you at once, next week I’ll relate these findings to psychopathic personality traits and explain why I would call these individuals “sociopaths”.

First, both Dutton and Adams are clear, violence and emotional abuse occur in the context of one person attempting to control another. So they are similarly motivated”¦ The motivation is control.

According to Adams, violence happens because the perpetrator wishes to punish the victim and others in her life. That reason was given by 95% of victims.

All relationships started with a “honeymoon” where the perpetrator’s true character was not apparent.

All perpetrators who killed or attempted to kill their partners threatened to do so prior to the act. On page 200 of the book, specific threats and the context of these threats are listed for a number of victims. Adams believes that the threats facilitated perpetrators psyching themselves up for the act.

Access to firearms was a leading factor in murder and attempted murder. Adams recommends we address the issue of firearms in the hands of these men.

If you are reading this and have been involved with a sociopath who has threatened to kill you and has access to weapons you are in a very serious situation. Though most people in your situation are not killed or nearly killed, all those killed or nearly killed come with these risk factors.

Next week: How is killing connected to the other aspects of sociopathy?

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88 Comments on "Why do they kill?"

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YOu are beautifully diplomatic. It is not your nature to lash and burn.

My read, if you do, it will satisfy you for a minute, but longer term be a greater burden to go ballistic with this woman.

What we don’t know is whether she is malicious or merely shallow or even simply just brutally honest- too busy.

I am the first to hate the too busy thing. I do.

So, I think the first step is search your heart. If there is depth to the relationship with your friend, respond equal to the depth.

Speak in love about what is true and accept that you can neither control nor direct her feelings.

She have given an invitation to talk. Give her an honest answer – kindly.


A book- yes. And one we could send out to every family law court judge in the US. Maybe not a big book, but a good one.


I’m liking the idea.


Are you ready? Oprah is going to call no doubt……

I also want to share a quandry I’m having with my longest bestest gf.
I think she’s ‘pulling’ away… the drama is subsiding….spath has been caught….and everything we’ve spoken about it dying down to a simmer…..I think I bore her.

We have spoken everyday, sometimes several times…..she’s on my play by play phone list…..
When the shiat hit the fan…..and he was finally caught….I didn’t get a return call from her for 2 weeks. WTF?
I hated wondering if she was safe, if I had offended her and all the mind games that go through my head…..

If she didn’t want to talk…..just tell me….
If her husband is controlling her (which I am suspecting), then there is nothing I can do to help her….which as her friend, and her being with me during my whole 28 year relationship with spath and being honest with me…..I wish I had the chance to be honest with her…..
She’s shutting me out….of something?
She had major plastic surgery a few months ago….and mentioned it AFTER the fact……as if…..Oh, didnt’ I tell you??
She lives 8 hours from me, so I don’t see her, so it’s hard to tell……

But the mind fark is not anything i want to be diverted by….I treasure her friendship…..but I wish she’d be honest with me….
So I am pulling away for now….give her the obvious space she wants/needs……without knowing why…..
Is she okay, is her health okay, is her marriage okay, is her mental health okay… she mad at me, is she bored with me…..I DON”T KNOW…….
But , I can’t figure it out!!! SHe needs to tell me…..


Did you give her my number?

I’m working on something…..somethings.


eb – these emails were exchanged late last night and early this am before i lfet the house. i said yes, we need to talk. the social situation was a group and not the situation to bring anything up in. and yes, she is frustrated – cause ‘that’ is what she does. and yes, i am mad. 😉

silver – ty. will work with this matching of the depth. and searching of heart. she is not only a friend but part of a thee musketeers group, which will be damaged if we part ways.

i don’ t think i can stand to have people who cannot ‘stand with me’ in my ‘new normal’ life. she lacks depth and compassion from where i stand. and i will not be attacked. i know it is how she spars with her family. i will not be attacked like that. by anyone.

ty both.

Dear EB, My BF lives 7 hours from me, and it is difficult to maintain a relationship when you live so far apart. We have done it for nearly 30 years because we work at it. She has been there for me through it all. I have been there for her. We travel to see each other several times per year and stay from 1 week to as much as 2 months over the years. The last few years before my husband died he and her husband started to get close but really hadn’t over the years before that. I am also close to her husband and she was to mine, and actually my egg donor as well, the 3 of us used to do things together.

She stands firmly with me on the egg donor NC though, but she would support me either way. It is difficult to maintain a friendship just by phone and e mail. That’s just sort of the nature of the beast.

Even friendships where you live close if your lives change sometimes there is no longer a mutual interest to keep a friendship going. Or like with some of my “friends” I realized they weren’t as supportive or as nice or as honest as I had convinced myself they were and I dumped them. Others I just drifted away quietly.


EB – ah, there is a piece missing in what i’ve said….’s’ has been shutting me out for months. i am finally not doing the work of more than one person in trying to keep the relationship going. THE DOING MORE THAN my fair share is part of the dynamic with the spath…that’s why this situation is a ‘post spath quandry’.

and not doing more than my fair share – actually mirroring what friend ‘s’ is doing – now she feels shut out and is asking the question.

so, actually – i am in the same situation you are in – months of waiting it out, and not being sure of what is going on (beyond a new and time consuming endevor on her part). well, that endevor is over now. and i waited to see if she would surface, and she didn’t. so i stopped trying.

i know that she has had time for others, has been involved with other things, etc. so it’s us.

I think I have responded to this post already. Too worn out to check.

Sociopaths will kill you. Even if they don’t pull a gun on you to kill you a fast death.

They will kill you a slow death. They kill you slowly every day. They kill you piece by piece.

It becomes a trap. I become the whiner that no one wants to listen to. I get more STUCK with the sociopath. He becomes my only social life. Once he places his foot securely in my door, he turns and walks away without a glance.

Yet, he stalks around to make sure another man doesn’t piss on his territory.

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