I stumbled on this the other day…
I admit I was “internet stalking” Psychopath #1’s widow when his pic turned up on the internet (he has been dead for four years now)… Sounds bad, but I often wonder how she’s doing, and hope that she has been able to rise above the tragedy that befell her in getting entangled with him. I wish I could reach out to her to mend the fences Psycho #1 broke by pitting us two ladies against each other, but rumour has it that despite the ample evidence of his dark side that turned up after his death, she still blamed everyone else in his life for the way things turned out. She still held him high on a pedestal, despite proof to the contrary, but so would many who had lost their spouses within a week of the wedding. Denial is a powerful coping mechanism for a reason.
This guy was really good at figuring out your vulnerabilities, and what was important to you, and tailoring his image accordingly to reel you in. He was like an oasis in the desert… Whatever you needed, he would mold himself into and ostensibly meet that need, but what he was really doing was tapping into a resource. He traded currency of lies and empty promises while you, out of gratefulness for his generosity of spirit, would hand over whatever he seemed to need. The love he gave was but a mirage.
I posted his pic, partly because he is deceased and cannot retaliate, and because I want to show that personality-disordered folks can look totally normal. People like this actually exist, and like him, most fly under the radar.
They can go to great lengths to embed themselves in your life. If you are quite socially isolated, as I was, even better – the more people like you he can “schedule” into his life because each can only have limited presence (compartmentalization). The more people are compartmentalized, the more he can groom for whatever purposes he wants, because there is little chance they will know about each other. Technology makes it easier and easier to develop and maintain a social network to exploit, which is exactly what he did. He befriended and seduced both women and men (yes, sexually), a fact he deliberately concealed from the woman he groomed to become his wife. I believe that abusers often isolate their victims in order to wield similar control.
Image was everything to this chap. The picture you see is from a photo shoot he asked a photographer friend to do for him. (Interestingly, on the website I pulled it from, he claims it was a self-portrait.) On the same site he claims to be semi-retired, which he also claimed when we first met, and generally spent money like there was no tomorrow, which I think was an attempt to build credibility… To plant the notion that he was a savvy investor, an excellent businessman, affluent, none of which was actually true.
He name-dropped like nobody’s business, and would use anyone who either had a name and good reputation, or even who just came across as trustworthy, to aggrandize his own image or to get people to trust him by extension. He kept an ex-girlfriend on “the chain”, for example, by making her believe that they were still technically together but “taking an extended break”, all the while internet dating like a madman and running his schemes… Turns out her father was a high ranking police officer, and I saw Psychopath #1 use her to get her father to vouch for him once when he was reported to the police for taking photographs of children in a public park. (At the time I thought it was innocent, but the aftermath of his death suggests otherwise.)
Seems stranger than fiction, but what I am relating is only the tip of the iceberg. Because I was so isolated from the rest of the goings-on in his life, as was probably everyone else he was in contact with, he was able to continue his games for about a year and a half with me before I pieced enough together to know I needed to terminate all contact. Many were in his grip for considerably longer than that. I came to understand more about what he had been doing and how he was doing it, only years later, years after his death, even.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
1 Corinthians 11:14