Thought Catalog

5 Interviews With Psychopaths That Will Make You Feel Less Crazy

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Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

1. Bitches Be Crazy, Too!

While the majority of diagnosed psychopaths are men, women are not immune to the condition. As a result we have this startling footage of Angela Simpson, a 36-year-old (at the time of her conviction) Phoenix native who openly admits to having beaten alleged police informant Terry Neely, causing blunt-force trauma to the head before stabbing him fifty times, cutting up his body, and setting it alight in a garbage can near her home.

The creepiest thing about the video isn’t her unwavering and emotionless responses to the interviewer’s questions regarding her crimes, and it isn’t even the fact that she acknowledges the likelihood of her killing again if given the slightest chance; it’s the way that, once the interview is concluded, she begins giggling like a schoolgirl while remarking, “Good shit, dude! That’s going to be crazy, isn’t it?” Seeing her demeanor morph so abruptly is a chilling reminder that there are people in the world who can turn off fear and remorse with all the effort of drawing breath. It also helps you realize that even though having feelings can be shitty sometimes, it’s probably better to have them after all.

2. The Redheaded Stranger

Wayne is a heavily tattooed lifelong criminal who looks something like Howard Stern might have if his parents had been Micks instead of Jews. The video opens with him giving a delightful account of his childhood decision to murder his brother, a feat he successfully achieved by stealing his bike in order to provoke a chase before shoving him off of a roof. My favorite part of the documentary is in the third segment (9:37), when Wayne gives us a guided tour of his prison cell, gesturing to an adorable collage of personal symbols and aphorisms (Willie Nelson, John Lennon, and some polar bears are among the mix) and giving us his personal philosophy of “It’s our world and we have a right to cry if we want to” before chuckling in a such a way that you almost forget you’re hearing the words of a violent sexual deviant incarcerated for raping a young boy.

3. Waltz With Bashir

The star of this video is not actually Tommy Lynn Sells—the 45-year-old Death Row inmate convicted of the murder and attempted murder of two young girls—it’s disgraced former MSNBC pundit Martin Bashir, a man whose personal ethics and interview style are so unsavory that he somehow managed to freak out Michael Jackson. In his characteristically glib delivery, Bashir introduces his subject by referring to him as the owner of “one of the baddest brains in America,” which led me to picture a loaf of synapses wielding twin revolvers while clad in leather boots and a ten-gallon hat. As this pudgy and dead-eyed genetic malfunction (the murderer, not Bashir, of course) recounts his crimes to the camera, Martin encourages him to expand on the nitty-gritty of the time that he brutally slaughtered a pregnant woman and her child (who was spontaneously born as a result of the attack), to which Sells gives him a knowing look before telling him, “You’re pushing your luck. Let’s not get into blood and guts, because that’s what you’re trying to get into.”

Another highlight is the terribly edited “noddy” shot coming in at 2:17, a reaction so blatantly captured after the fact that you can practically hear the show’s production manager saying “Fuck it, it’s not like anyone’s going to notice.” Also, Sells looked a lot like Brad Dourif when he was younger, and if there ever becomes an interest in adapting this story for the small screen I’ll bet he’ll be the man to land the part.

4. The Iceman Cometh (And Killeth You)

Richard Kuklinski is probably the most famous interview subject on this list. While not technically a psychopath (forensic psychologist Dr. Park Dietz gave him an informal diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder combined with antisocial personality disorder), he certainly lives up to the image. His litany of killings became the subject of the 2012 movie The Iceman, a nickname given to him by his Mafioso employers, in part for preferred method of body disposal (or rather concealment, as it involved storage in freezer units) along with his impassive demeanor and unflinching readiness to extinguish human life.

It’s not a very good movie, but you should watch it anyway because Michael Shannon plays the titular role, plus David Schwimmer makes an appearance as an underworld heavy, sporting a slicked-back ponytail along with the most porntacular mustache ever to grace the upper lip of a former cast member of Friends. Before he died in 2005, Kuklinski claimed to have killed over 300 people, and watching him speak I’m inclined to believe him. While I can’t find any evidence to support the idea, I have a strong suspicion that James Gandolfini may have partially based his performance as the character of Tony Soprano on the famous Iceman Interviews.

5. Ho-Ho-Ho!

OK, sure, Richard Cottingham murdered some prostitutes, but just look at the fucking guy. How does anybody, even a person so criminally deranged, come to the conclusion that it’s a good idea to walk around looking like Santa Claus in a Hillary Clinton wig? At least his victims probably died laughing. I thought psychopaths were supposed to be vain, but this fat bastard looks like he’s never set foot in front of a mirror. If he ever saw this interview, he’d probably say something like “Who is this bloated storybook pie-shop proprietor of a man, and why is he speaking my words?” before coming to fully appreciate the horror and gravity of his trespasses and taking his miserable life with a belt and a stack of old magazines. It would serve him right, even it did mean putting Rudolph and several thousand elves out on the streets. TC mark

Fascinating. Disturbing. And true. Read I Met A Convicted Serial Killer here.

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