I never thought much about what we might now call “prison groupies” until my son Patrick had some girl call me to talk her about him. For some period of time he had a cell phone in prison with access to the Internet and apparently he had contacted her that way. I have also seen web sites for “prison pen pals” etc so I started researching this a bit.
One of the most famous of inmates who just happens to have several groupies is Charlie Manson. Some of his “relationships” have made the national news, with him being in his early 80s and his “fiance” being in her 20s.
A New York Post article published February 8, 2015 said that his “fiance” and Manson split up over her desire to marry him so that she could get custody of his body after he died. That made me laugh. “Star” as she called herself was 53 years younger than Manson.
Jeffrey Dahmer, another psychopath of national fame for his horrible crimes of serial killing and cooking and eating parts of his victims, had convinced a minister that he had “found Jesus” in prison. The minister published a small book about this “conversion” after Dahmer died. The minister was totally convinced that Dahmer was truly sorry for his sins and had actually “found salvation.” However the poor deluded minister just didn’t get what a real psychopath is. He was totally confused after Dahmer’s death when 14,yes fourteen, different women had been writing Dahmer who had convinced each of those 14 women that he “loved only them.” One poor woman was so devastated by Dahmer that she completely fell apart.
There are even many web sites on the internet that encourage people to “be supportive” of the criminal that they met after incarceration, Prison Talk is one such site. Those men and women who “fall in love with” these inmates don’t realize that the average score of all inmates on the Psychopath Check List-revised, have a score of 22 which is very high in psychopathic traits, or that 25% of the felony inmates are actually full on psychopaths who have no conscience at all.
Unfortunately, many psychopaths who are very bright intellectually know just how to con people into believing that they are either innocent, or that they have “changed” during the period of their incarceration. The truth is that the majority of felony inmates go back to prison for another crime within three years. Over a 20 year follow up, 80% go back.
I had a man join the blog and discuss his never dying love for the convicted woman who had killed her children and was on death row. I can’t remember the woman’s name now, but he was convinced he would get her out of prison on appeal and that they would ride off into the sunset.
Some years ago here in Arkansas there was a very old fat and black inmate who advertised for pen pals on various sites and classified ads. She would send photos of slim white women to the men who answered her ads, and convince them that she loved only them. Doing this she tricked her correspondents to send her money and she actually made about $50,000 per year doing this scam. Of course there are non inmate scammers who do the same thing. The program 20/20 did a show on this where men had been ripped off for hundreds of thousands of dollars by some Nigerian man who posed as a beautiful woman.
If the prison groupie isn’t looking for money, or custody of a famous inmate’s body, what are they looking for?
In a romance that is long distance and kept alive by correspondence and/or rare visits (especially those rare visits in prison) The feelings of love and connection, and the desire to “save” someone from whatever afflicts them, are in the case of prison groupies intensified by a manipulative psychopathic felon.
Real relationships must be built on more than that fantasy which is elicited by the internal visions of what this person (the felon) pretends to be. A very smart and manipulative psychopath can appear to be whatever he thinks the groupie wants him to be. Many times this groupie has had difficult relationships with partners on the outside, or maybe has not had any healthy relationships. The “captive” felon is a safe way to fantasize about having a soul mate. It is sad really.
When a felon has no supportive family on the outside these relationships though give the felon a place to go when he is released and that is what comes in handy to the parole board who are loath to release an inmate who is in prison for a violent crime if they have no place that will take them in.
Prisoners dream of getting out, according to the book, The Felon, which was a study of what long term prisoners dream about. They dream that they will get out, find a great job paying lots of money and a romantic partner that looks like a model. The reality though is that they can only find a job slinging hamburgers and most of their willing partners are toothless or otherwise far from a photographer’s model .
One of my son’s friends got out of prison after about 25 years and married a woman who had been his girlfriend before he went to prison. He was bored however with getting up and going to work, coming home to his wife, drinking a beer, and going to bed and repeating that day after day. He was disappointed that he did not have a fancy car or enough money to “have a good time” after the bills were paid. So it wasn’t long before he and a relative robbed a bank ATM and he went back to prison. Very typical because psychopaths need to have excitement in their lives. That adrenaline rush that they get from pulling off a crime. Sometimes they get away with it, but usually their boldness and failure to learn from their mistakes puts them right back behind bars.
The fantasy that “prison groupies” get that the inmate loves only them, and is grateful to them for all the support and help, and oh, by the way, commissary money, is just that, a fantasy, but if the inmate does get out the reality won’t be pretty.
Gratitude is not one of the personality components of psychopaths.