VIDEO: Graham Dwyer - The Bloodlust Killer
By John O’Keeffe
Criminologist in the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin and a Member of the International Association of Forensic Psychologists.
The world’s leading expert on psychopaths Professor Robert Hare could not have put it more eloquently. Personality disordered proto-humans like Graham Dwyer continue to exist in a normative world because they can, like magicians, fool most of the people, most of the time.
On Friday however, Dwyer’s magic came to an end when 12 of his peers ended his diseased existence in no uncertain way – with a guilty verdict for one of the State’s most violent and shocking murders.
Other than a slight shake of the head, Graham Dwyer displayed little or no emotion as the guilty verdict was passed. Dwyer doesn’t do emotion except of course when he is pretending. And his life has been an utter pretence.
On the one hand the middle class architect with a wife and children - on the other a personality disordered psychopath with only blood lust, stabbing, vampirism and necrophilia on his mind. His final pretence was to be innocent of the murder of Elaine O’Hara - but this time his lies fooled no one.
Getting inside the mind of Graham Dwyer requires an enormous leap of faith by those of us whom imagine that everyone is essentially redeemable.
Dwyer – like many violent murderers - suffers from at least one severe personality disorder, namely anti-social personality disorder, or psychopathy.
More specifically, he will not have a scintilla of remorse for what he has done and will have zero empathy for the O’Hara family – or his own - and the countless lives he has now destroyed.
The glib superficiality of such a disordered individual was very evident in trial. Often Dwyer would chuckle and smirk at the most inappropriate times. His guffaws with family members – particularly his father - who approached him when the jury were out, were classic signs of a man with a wholly undeserved and grandiose opinion of himself. His ability to appear unembarrassed or unfazed at the most horrendous evidence, revealed a classic psychopath at play.
His touchiness and sensitivity to any form of rejection were writ large all over his feeble minded and deviant texts to Elaine O’Hara.
Dwyer has a complete lack of or remorse or guilt for his savage crime. He was convinced that was he who was doing Elaine O’Hara a favour by having a dysfunctional and violent relationship with her.
The evidence even showed that he believed that his taking of her life was something she should be grateful for. In the land of the murdering psychopath, only the master, not the slave, is King.
Emotion is therefore like a second language to psychopaths such as Dwyer.
He does remorse in much the same way as most of us do Russian or Irish – with great difficulty.
That does not mean, however, that he didn’t stop trying to convince those who met him of his normality because when he did this, he was at his most dangerous, as Elaine O’Hara was to find out to her peril.
He showboated of course, feigning disgust for instance at his eldest son’s smoking to convince onlookers that he was just a Dad who cared too much.
It was shallow emotions such as this that allowed Dwyer continue his double life – the mild mannered caring Cork architect who liked model airplanes, camping with his family and the occasional evening in the company of convivial male friends.
Such play acting allowed Dwyer to portray the image of a family man with faults no worse than any post-recession south Dublin middle class dad.
Dwyer has no behavioural controls as we learnt when Elaine O’Hara tried to loosen his grip on her life.
His texts evidenced a man with little or no edit button, entirely disinhibited and disengaged from normal reactions, until such time as he could compose himself and deliver his next fraudulent caring line for this most unwell of women.
The “zigzag” narrative so evident in the meanderings of psychopaths was never so obvious as in his letter entitled, “Killing Darci”, a rambling polemic that would be embarrassing were it not so horrific.
Sitting astride his catastrophic psychopathic disorder Dwyer, boasts other paraphilias that are common among sexual killers of his type.
He had three core elements namely sexual sadism, intense and non-normative fantasies and critically, a compulsion to kill. He was a sexual sadist in the extreme revelling in prolonged suffering and torture for his victim gaining sadistic pleasure by having complete control over Elaine O’Hara’s fragile psyschological mind.
Additionally, he also suffers from “piquerism,” i.e. a sexual interest in piercing the body of another person for sexual desire, normally the buttocks and breasts. His fantasies were wholly bizarre and disturbed and his desire to kill beyond our wildest imaginings.
Yet he is not mentally ill, as we might normally understand it. His extreme personality disorder means that he is unlikely to be amenable to any form of medical intervention – no pill has yet been invented that will ensure that any patient will become remorseful or empathic.
If best practice rehabilitative programmes are employed in prison, he will simply use these and those who run them, for his own gratification and amusement.
Psychopaths make great choices for themselves but very bad ones for everyone they come into contact with. Those with true mental health illnesses - such as schizophrenics - make terrible choices for all including themselves.
Yet Dwyer presented us with smoke and mirrors, common for savages of his type. Elaine O’Hara was mentally ill and had suicidal ideation he suggested. He would be doing her a favour taking her from this world. After all, as he said, was it not his right to take a life as he had brought three others into the world? Most he will have met will have bought the ramblings and apparent bon homie of this desperate individual – unfortunately so did Elaine O’Hara.
Dwyer has no regard for man or beast. He operates in a world where the only rules are his own and everyone else’s an inconvinience. Dwyer did not care that he dragged Elaine O’Hara’s family through a horrendous trial such as he did. In fact he will have enjoyed it as much of his smirking during the trial indicated.
Yet if any good is to come from all of this repugnant individual’s life it is that the one person, who thought she did not matter to anyone, could not have been more incorrect.
Elaine O’Hara may have believed she was worthless but in her passing the State and all its organs of prosecution proved that her life was anything but meaningless.
Rather, she was a beautiful person who had the terrible misfortune to meet a vile murderer.
May she rest in peace.