|The face of evil.|
You've probably heard the story, or at least one like it. Husband kills wife and child, seemingly without remorse, then attempts to pass it off as a murder/suicide. And, remarkably, people believe him. The latest such example is Neil Entwistle, a British computer programmer, who murdered his American wife and 9-month-old daughter in 2006. He was recently sentenced to life in prison.
The trial made for a fascinating and disturbing spectacle. Aptly described by jurors as a complete narcissist, Entwistle put on quite the display during the presentation of a video of the bloody crime scene. But before we see his reaction for ourselves, let's see what the media tells us we see.
The Boston Globe tells us that Entwistle "breaks down" while watching video of his dead wife and daughter. In fact, the description deserves to be quoted in full:
Neil Entwistle's face turned scarlet red and he covered his mouth with his hand, looking down to avert his eyes from the video played today in court that showed the bodies of his wife and infant daughter, found shot to death in bed and frozen in an embrace.Now, watch the video below for yourself. What do you see?
Entwistle trembled and for the first time since his 2006 arrest began to cry publicly, tears running down the cheeks of his quivering jaw. As the 20-minute video played for the Middlesex Superior Court jury, he turned his eyes back at the screen and watched, his hand covering his gaping mouth.
The prosecution played the video taken by State Police investigators as part of the case against Entwistle, who is accused of killing his wife, Rachel, and 9-month-old daughter, Lillian, in Hopkinton on Jan. 20, 2006, then fleeing to his native England. Rachel Entwistle's family and spectators crowding the courtroom could not see the video screen, but it appeared to have a profound impact on the defendant and his family, who were seated on the opposite side of the room.
During the first five days of the trial, Neil Entwistle showed little emotion, smiling occasionally at his parents and younger brother, and bowing his head once during testimony about Lillian. During the video this morning, however, he sniffled and cried, averting his eyes to regain his composure and then looking back at the screen. The classical music the couple used to help Lillian sleep could be heard in the background, wafting from her nursery where it had been left playing.
Mother and daughter were found dead in bed two days after they were killed, tucked beneath a fluffy white comforter in the master bedroom, according to police testimony. Rachel Entwistle was wearing pajamas, lying on her left side, her feet curled up toward her body. Her right arm was across Lillian's chest and she faced her baby, who was flat on her back. Lillian's face had been covered by a pillow and her sleeper sack had been burned slightly by the gunshot in her upper left chest. Blood stained her onesie.
Yvonne Entwistle sat behind her son this morning and could not bear to watch the video, burying her head in her husband's shoulder.
The authors of the above piece of fiction, Franci R. Ellement and Andrew Ryan, must be blind, stupid, or simply inhuman, because their observations do not correspond to reality. Let's take a closer look at what they say we see: "Entwistle trembled and ... began to cry publicly, tears running down the cheeks of his quivering jaw. [I]t appeared to have a profound impact on the defendant... [H]e sniffled and cried, averting his eyes to regain his composure and then looking back at the screen."
I have to say, to watch that video and to come away convinced that the scene "appeared to have a profound impact" on Entwistle smacks of supreme credulity. A more honest description would appear as follows: "Entwistle appeared to enjoy himself, using his hand to hide a large grin and occasional laughter. Every so often he appeared to attempt an unconvincing expression of emotion, forcing his eyes into a crude facsimile of sadness. His obvious smile and alert eye movements, however, betrayed his undisturbed composure and lack of guilt or despair."
Even some of the commentators on youtube were convinced by Entwistle's sorry attempt. One said:
He's not laughing for god's sake. Nor was he 'smirking' during the trial.While I don't doubt he committed the crimes, I don't think he can help how his face falls when crying. He had two sides to him, but one side deeply loved his family (makes no sense I know..). Showing him, in the cold light of day, what he has done to those two people he loved would of course cause him to break down. He has received just punishment - a life in a US prison at 29 years old - this is just.Sadly, this person not only demonstrates their own astounding credulity, but their complete ignorance on the nature of human emotion and its absence in psychopaths. Paul Ekman is an expert on human emotion. He has researched the subject (specifically the facial expressions associated with emotion) for forty years and has written two particularly remarkable books, Emotions Revealed and Telling Lies.
As he shows in Emotions Revealed, the expressions of emotion like happiness and sadness are universal, that is, they are programmed in what Andrew Lobaczewski calls our "instinctive substratum", our phylogenetic makeup. So in a sense, the above youtube commentator is correct. Entwistle cannot control the fact that his face appears to be smiling, but he can attempt to hide it by covering his face and attempting to fake crying, which is what he is obviously doing. He is smiling, but it is NOT because that is just how he looks when he cries. It is because he is thoroughly enjoying himself. He is sadistic and he is a psychopath.
The more honest news reports make that strikingly obvious. While friends say the family gave every appearance of normality, "Entwistle lived a double life", as the Telegraph put it:
He was arrested at Royal Oak station on the London Underground on February 9. When a friend he was travelling with, Dash Munding, told him the police were on their way, Entwistle asked him: "Is there another way off this platform?" or words to that effect, said Mr Fabbri.In other words, a bankrupt Entwistle planned the whole thing in cold blood. First he did a little reading on "murder/suicides" for a plausible story. Then he shot his daughter, Lillian, who was being cradled on the bed by her mother, Rachel. The bullet left the infant's abdomen and entered her mother's breast. Entwistle then shot his wife, Rachel, in the forehead. And in the time before and after, he was shopping for "discrete" prostitutes and planning on making a buck on his story. Everything about this creature screams psychopath, and yet the only media representative to even come close to the truth is Fox News' Keith Ablow. Even then, his analysis leaves much to be desired. He ends his piece with the following nonsense:
Police found he was carrying a page of escort agency adverts torn from a local newspaper as well as a notepad. On one page he had written of his deep love for his family, on another he had scribbled down a plan to sell his story to the "highest bidder".
A month before his family was murdered, Entwistle, 29, was also trawling local escort agency websites and contacting women on a website named Adult Friend Finder looking for "discreet" sex, the prosecution said.
He was also searching the internet for information on bankrupty, "killing and suicide", the court heard.
Men like Entwistle ... feel like stripping their masks away is tantamount to killing them, because they believe those thin, synthetic disguises are all that keep them from dissolving into nothingness and feeling the full weight of unspeakable emotional turmoil, with roots that always reach deep into their pasts.Sorry Keith, but you need to reread Cleckley. There's no fear of unspeakable emotional turmoil lying behind that mask of sanity. Psychopaths do not even know the meaning of those words. They hang on to their masks with such conviction because they are predators, and without them, they cannot survive. As Lobaczewski wrote to Laura Knight-Jadczyk:
Their furies are to be understood as the symptomatical responses. For them you are the worst enemy. You are hurting them very painfully. For a psychopath, revealing his real condition, tearing down his Cleckley-mask, brings the end of his self-admiration. You are threatening them with the destruction of their secret world, and bring to null their dreams of ruling and introducing their best social system possible. When his real condition is publicly revealed, a psychopath feels like a wounded animal. In such conditions, suicidal thoughts are common among them.To let down that facade would reveal that they are little more than unfeeling intraspecies predators that feed off the pain and suffering of others and thus destroy their chances of feeding. Even a psychopath is aware of the consequences of such a revelation. His "dreams" of a boot forever stomping on the face of humanity are crushed.
To defend themselves they are using all the possibilities that nature endowed them with. The unusual creativity of suggestive innuendos, new catchwords and so on, they employ as their typical way. (Look page 167). Therefore, such aggression could be readily foreseen! And so you have an opportunity to study this phenomenon of psychopathic nature.
When I read comments like Ablow's and the youtube commentator's, comments so steeped in ignorance and projection, I get in a bit of a funk. After all, if only people would first accept the existence of psychopathy, we would not be so likely to fall for their cheap "emotional" manipulations. You see, psychopaths are wired differently than normal humans. They do not feel close to others, they do not feel remorse, they do not feel others' pain, they are completely egocentric, and they derive a pathological "joy" from others' suffering.
If only people would realize this, they would not become our leaders. But instead, we have shells of human beings like George W. Bush -- a "man" who is so emotionally and intellectually deficient that he doesn't even pretend to feel normal human emotion -- and Dick Cheney -- a "man" whose contempt for us "others" is so apparent in his frequent contemptuous scowls -- determining the future of our planet. We have psychopaths in the military sadistically murdering and torturing innocent Iraqis. Indeed, we have psychopaths directing the army of the world's greatest superpower. And it has left more than one million innocent people dead.
Neil Entwistle's sick display of joy at the sight of his dead wife and daughter, and his transparent attempt to feign sadness should be apparent to every normal, rational human being. Unfortunately it is not, and we all suffer as a result, and we will continue to suffer, and millions more will die, until we decide to grow up and accept the most pressing truth about our reality. What is that truth? That not only do psychopaths live among us, but through our ignorance we have allowed them to rise to positions of almost absolute power over us. Widespread knowledge of the reality of psychopathy on this planet is the essential first step to securing our future and that of our children. Make it your priority to spread the word.