Source: used with permission from iclipart I’ve written about more than my share of serial killers but William Heirens may be the first one who was actually innocent. Dubbed the Lipstick killer for a note he allegedly wrote at one of the crime scenes in 1945, he was the longest serving inmate in the U.S. prison system. Bill Heirens confessed to three murders, including 43-year-old Josephine Ross and 32-year-old Francis Brown. But it was the kidnapping and killing of 6-year-old Suzanne Degnan in early January 1946 that sent Chicago over the edge. We may never know if William Heirens was guilty or innocent, but what has become crystal clear over the years is that his confession to three murders in 1946 tells us little about whether Heirens actually committed the crimes. Over the past 73 years, psychologists have learned a lot of truisms about human nature that fly in the face of common sense. One of them is that innocent people do confess to crimes they did not … [Read more...] about Innocent People Don’t Confess And They Don’t Plead Guilty
Way back in 1991, when my autistic son Nat was 3, and he got his diagnosis of “Developmental Delay and Expressive Language Disorder with Autistic-Like Symptoms,” I was filled with fear because it felt like people were talking to me in Newspeak, a la the famous novel 1984. I also felt like people were lying to me, but in soft cottony whispers that stuffed up my ears. This diagnosis, this terrible thing they were saying about Nat. What did it mean? Did I no longer know who my son was? I remember going on and on to my Dad, especially on those particularly golden days when Nat burst out with something beautiful, that showed me all that truly was going on inside him. The little teasing hints of color, like you get with the March crocuses, a flash of brilliant purple nearly invisible against the mat of muddy leaves. “They’re wrong,” I’d say to Dad. “I know they’re wrong. That is not who he is.” And because I did not understand the complex nature of autism I fought that … [Read more...] about Autism Acceptance: Difficult and Yet So Easy
Woody and Soon-Yi Source: Wikimedia Commons Woody Allen’s new memoir, Apropos of Nothing, is the book that almost wasn’t published—his first publisher canceled it—and that many people say they don’t want to read. Interestingly, having nearly been denied publication, much of this book consists of denials. Purporting to be about nothing, the book brims with information about everything, from Woody’s long, improbably successful life to his two sudden descents into tabloid news. The first eruption began several decades ago when, late in his 13-year relationship with Mia Farrow, she discovered an affair between the then 54-year-old Woody and her 21-year-old adopted Korean daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. She retaliated by accusing him of sexually abusing the pair’s 7-year old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. The second explosion burst into the dawn of the #Me Too era, attracting a new, bigger, and more believing audience, when Mia, the now-adult Dylan, and Mia and Woody's … [Read more...] about Woody Allen’s “Apropos of Nothing”
There’s a strong prejudice in our society against romantic couples with a considerable age difference. Tabloids were abuzz when actor George Clooney announced he was marrying Amal Alamuddin, who is 17 years his junior. And when Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France, many eyebrows were raised as it came to light that his wife Brigitte was 24 years older than him. When the topic of age-gap relationships comes up, someone is bound to mention the “half your age plus seven” rule. According to this rule, you take the age of the older person, divide it in half, and then add 7 to determine the youngest age of a person that they can be romantically involved with. There’s nothing scientific about this rule, but it does reflect the general consensus that age gaps are more important at younger than older ages. For instance, an 18-year-old high school senior can date a 16-year-old sophomore, but a 21-year-old college student should only date those 18 and older. But the rule also … [Read more...] about Why Do People Look Down on Age-Gap Romances?
Relationships with narcissistic partners sometimes involve a sudden shift from care and adoration to disinterest. Narcissists may manipulate a partner by seeking out information that can be used as leverage, seeming to “rescue” and “save” the partner, and fixating on the person and their daily activities. These tactics can lead to greater control in the relationship, as the person comes to depend on the narcissistic partner. Initially, a new partner may seem interested and jump at the opportunity to help. Yet, as the months pass, he may start acting annoyed and rarely extend a hand. A similar phenomenon is true regarding a willingness to listen. Out of the gate, he or she appeared intent on understanding, yet as of late conveys disinterest and impatience. At the beginning of a relationship, an individual’s motives may not be pure. A true interest in a person’s past traumas or issues may allow a deeply insecure individual an opportunity to collect personal data. … [Read more...] about 3 Ways a Narcissist Manipulates a New Partner