Bar-Jonah's downstairs apartment

A Cleveland Sexual Psychopath – One of Many

Neighbors of Ariel Castro express horror at discovery of the dungeon of terror he had created, enslaving abducted young women to beat, rape, intimidate, and savor. For ten years, he hid his secrets from everyone. It is difficult to peer inside the minds of such men. What is it that created the two-headed monster? How could he live two lives? –  At times, with acceptable public behavior, a bus driver trusted with children, at other times a crazed violent predator.

 Psychopaths are not crazy in the “usual” sense. They don’t hear voices. They don’t talk to themselves. They are not psychotic. No, this is a personality disorder that affects about 2% of the population.

 Not all psychopaths are violent, nor are they all rapists. You may know a psychopath. You may be married to one. Many people display some of the traits, but do not meet the criteria for diagnosis as a psychopath and may be called “antisocial.”

 The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR (DSM IV-TR) is currently the guidebook in use for psychiatric diagnosis. The manual defines exact findings and behaviors required to diagnose complex mental illnesses. With this information, practitioners can speak to each with clarity regarding specific diagnoses.

Terminology changes with improved understanding and findings from scientific studies. An updated manual, DSM-5 with the latest information will soon be published.

Reference for this blog: The following information excerpted from early DSM – 5 criteria for Antisocial/Psychopathic Personality Disorder requires the following identifiers to make the diagnosis:

             <<Impairment of self functioning: Either extremely self-centered, with self esteem gained from personal power, pleasure or achievement –or primary goals are based on personal gratification, absence of social standards and failure to conduct themselves in lawful or normal ethical manner.


            Impairment of interpersonal functioning:  Lack empathy– lack of concern for needs, suffering and feelings of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another. –Or incapable of mutually intimate relationships; uses exploitation as means of relating to others; uses deceit, coercion, dominance or intimidation to control others.

Other descriptions of behaviors related to Psychopathic Personality Disorder:

Superficial charm. Fake emotions.

Disregard for moral principles.

Seeks power over others.

Will exploit, deceive, con, and take advantage, in order to inflict harm or achieve goals.

Emotional expression is mostly limited to irritability, anger and hostility.

Disregard of rights, property or safety of others. No remorse if others are harmed.

Reckless sensation-seeking behaviors.

Impulsive without regard for consequences.

A sense of invulnerability.

Unlawful/unethical behavior, including substance abuse and physical violence

Aggressive/sadistic acts are common.

Pleasure and satisfaction derived from humiliating, dominating or hurting others.>>

It is rather boring to read lists, but if you consider what has been in the news about the behaviors of Ariel Castro, you may be able to correlate reported behaviors with the above information and understand why experts interviewed in the news media are calling him a psychopath. He has reportedly displayed many of the above behaviors. In addition, in a television news report today (5/10/13), Ariel Castro labeled himself a “sexual addict.”

Castro claims he was beaten by his parents and sexually abused by a family member. When interviewed by FBI profilers, many Sexual Violent Predators (SVPs) report their violent sadistic behavior stems from abuse they endured. Many people who endured severe abuse are not violent, nor do they, in turn, sexually abuse others.

 Some SVPs claim unbelievable stories of being dominated and raped, or “gang-raped” like Nathanael Bar-Jonah, the violentNathanael Bar-Jonah child predator in my true crime book, Eyes of a Pedophile. He used the rape story to justify his life-long behavior of stalking and harming children. But his oft-repeated story was later verified as false by those he named. The supposed perpetrators were incapable of performing acts he described when some were preschool age. The apartment where he tortured young boys is shown above. Bar-Jonah was charming. Women left their children in his care. He clearly fit the profile of a violent psychopath.

Abductors and sexual predators often claim personal abuse as an explanation for their behavior. The “cycle of abuse” described, is related to witnessing or experiencing abuse and then inflicting the same type of abuse on others. This cycle is seen, but no pattern is consistent. Many do not follow the cycle. Abuse is not a valid excuse for harming others.

It will be interesting to follow the Cleveland case as more information is shared with the public. The prosecution of Castro and life-sentencing without the possibility of parole are supremely important. He must never be released.

With the support of counseling, love and protection by family and friends, the three abducted victimized women and young child born in captivity, will hopefully recover from the violence they experienced at the hands of a madman and learn to enjoy life. May they learn from the recoveries of other abducted, imprisoned and raped young women: teen Elizabeth Smart, and eleven-year-old Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped by a stranger and held as a sex slave for 18 years—with the knowledge and support of the abductor’s wife. Both Elizabeth and Jaycee are women now and appear to be survivors, positive in outlook, and learning to live, love and smile again.

There are likely other dungeons of horror, similar to the one in Cleveland, in other US cities and around the world. We all need to be wary, observant of unusual happenings and report concerns.

Many young children, both girls and boys, along with teens and young women are enslaved by traffickers, not just by deranged men like Ariel Castro. Pimps rent their sex slaves to depraved men. Supply and demand drives the horrible trafficking business. As long as there are men out there who are seeking the company of children and prostitutes for sexual satisfaction, there will be pimps willing to supply them. Many missing children and young women are unable to escape from their captors. To help save these missing and exploited people, please contact law enforcement.

Contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if you think you have seen a missing child/teen, or to report child sexual exploitation. Call: 1-800-THE LOST or for more information.

Commercial sex trafficking of children is rampant in SE Asia, Central Europe, India, and around the world. But did you know at least 100,000 American children are being rented for sex?  For more information on trafficking: Read the story of America’s Prostituted Children: Renting Lacy. Shared Hope International fights against sex trafficking.

If any of us see unusual behaviors, have concerns about the safety of children or others, or suspicious of abuse, do something. Please call child protective services and/or law enforcement to report your concerns. You may save a life.

Betty Kuffel, MD

About bettykuffel

Author and retired medical doctor with broad interests in writing, flying, photography and outdoor life. She has Indie published 7 books, fiction & non-fiction, all available on Amazon. Writing projects include: multiple books of fiction: a medical thriller series, a psychological thriller set in 1960 co-authored with her sister Bev, and others in process. Dr. Kuffel lives in MT with husband Tom, two dogs and neighborhood deer.
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