Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 13 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Podcast    H2'ed 12/19/13

interview With FBI Profiler of Psychopaths, Mary Ellen O'Toole

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall
Become a Fan
  (307 fans)

Broadcast 12/19/2013 at 18:43:57 (556 Listens, 726 Downloads, 3326 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

Check out More Podcasts


listen on iTunes

listen on SoundCloud


View on Stitcher
View on Stitcher

Copyright © Rob Kall, All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate or post on youtube or other sites without express permission. Creative commons permissions for this site do not apply to audio content or transcripts of audio content.

Mary Ellen O'Toole, Ph.D. has spent her career studying the criminal mind. One of the most senior profilers for the FBI until her retirement in 2009, Dr. O'Toole has helped capture, interview and understand some of the world's most infamous people.

Dr. O'Toole is recognized as the FBI's leading expert in the area of "psychopathy."  Her work in psychopathy has put her on the forefront of mental health and law enforcement efforts to apply the concepts of this personality disorder to both violent and white collar offenders and their behavior and crime scenes. She lectures internationally on the application of the theory of psychopathy to real life situations. She continues to lecture at the FBI Academy on psychopathy and interviewing. She has served as adjunct faculty to the FBI's Prestigious Leadership Development Institute (LDI) at the FBI Academy and also frequently lectures at the Smithsonian Institution about everything from Sherlock Holmes to personal safety. She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Copyrighted Image? DMCA

interview Notes: mostly my questions , to encourage you to LISTEN to the interview.

Rob: Tell me a story about psychopaths

       Serial killer in the NW. Gary Leon Ridgeway-- Green River Killer-- plead guilty to 49 murders in one county in Washington.

So, psychopaths are the opposite of hair-raising. They are like chameleons. 

          Description-- no empathy, no bonding with children, spouses. They view feelings as a weakness.  

Research on Psychopathy-- spearheaded by Robert Hare.

20 traits of psychopathy exist in every psychopath.

What is the goal of the FBI in terms of understanding and dealing with psychopaths. 

Teach FBI and law enforcement across the country about psychopaths and interviewing them. Psychopaths are predators. The officer interviewing a psychopath is their prey.

How do they behave differently in Crime scenes?

What would no-empathy behavior look like?

torture, post-mortem mutilation, no defensive injuries on victim, even if the victim is very street-wise? Why would they let their guard down?  "Verbal camouflage or persuasiveness that got them to put their guard down." 

How do they behave differently in court?

example-- Ariel Castro-- kidnapped two girls in Cleveland. Made an hour statement, he blamed the victims, blamed law enforcement, didn't take responsibility. He completely twisted everything around. He took over the courtroom. Because the courtroom is a stage for the psychopath. His final words had to do with making arrangements to view his baby daughter-- the daughter he had with one of the victims. 

What advice do you give to prosecutors?

Psychopaths seek attention, act indignant at being accused. 

Is it possible for a prosecutor to accuse a person in court of being a psychopath? 

no. Must use PCLR test by Robert Hare. 

So, a prosecutor could bring in the score on Hare's test, showing the accused scored over 30 (psychopath range.)

Expert might describe crime scene as manifesting  symptoms of psychopathy. 

Rob: In Hare's book he talks about using the test to assess people up for parole. 

parole, child custody hearings

it sounds like the legal system makes it hard to bring up psychopathy. 

Prosecutors can label the behaviors-- 

How would someone who is a psychopath show up in DSM5?

through symptoms-- 

Antisocial Personality Disorder  APD  IS in DSM5, but it does not include absence, profound, stunning lack of affect or emotion.  Emotional attachment to another human being is not there. 

Current research suggests that there are genetic links to  psychopathy. Brain scans and fMRIs. 

How  is that genetic link manifested biologically or psychophysiologically?

parts of the brain light up in normals and don't light up with psychopaths. 

Can't say, based on brain activity alone, that a person is psychopathic.

What part of the brain is involved?


"If you're worried about being one, chances are you're not."

How many psychopaths have you actually interviewed and talked to?

Probably about 15 serial killers, 

About 15% of prison population are psychopathic. 

I understand that the recidivism rates for psychopaths are much higher.

Especially among sex offenders. Co-morbidity or presence of other disorders effects recidivism"

What is done to protect the public from people who are psychopaths but who have not broken the law. 

Law enforcement has no jurisdiction if no law is broken. 

  Do training with corporations so HR people know what to look for. 

I hear from women who believe they are dealing with a psychopathic boyfriend or husband"   

Is Bernie Maddoff a psychopath?  

if someone has suspicions that they're dealing with a psychopath at work, what should they do?

As a profiler, what advice would you give to someone on how to identify someone as a psychopath?

Look for patterns of behavior. look for people who lack empathy or compassion, lack of anger management, impulsive, disregards feelings of others. 

Book: Dangerous Instincts

is there any thing that  has been developed to protect the public from the one percent of people who are psychopaths?

There ought to be money spent on investigating psychopathy so as to protect the public. Am I wrong about that?

Then there are the media that are exploiting the idea of psychopathy in shows like Dexter and Breaking Bad. 

You have a book, DANGEROUS INSTINCTS; How Gut Feelings Betray Us. How does that tie in with psychopaths?

Assessing for dangerousness vs assessing for psychopathy. 

Are there researchers doing research on how to protect the 99% who are not psychopaths?

Research on brain 

Would you want to know if you were working with one?  

Have you ever been in a job situation working with someone who manifested psychopathic behavior?

De we have psychopathic individuals who are attracted to law enforcement careers?

What would be some signs if someone in law enforcement was a psychopath.

corrupt, takes money on the side, abuses their authority with the general public. People who have been in law enforcement careers who have been rapists and murderers. But does that mean they were psychopathic? The important thing is the behavior. 

Any comment on where Narcissist or Border-line personality disorders--- 

Narcissism is one of the 20 traits of psychopath (grandiosity)

Are there overlaps, in terms of behavior? Yes.

Pick up DSM5 and read on personality disorders. 

Size: 36,893,600 -- 1 hrs, 16 min, 52 sec


listen on iTunes

listen on soundcloud



Must Read 1   Funny 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Other Series: View All 93 Articles in "Psychopaths, Sociopaths and Narcissists"

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: