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Understanding Criminality:

Sociopathy and Psychopathy vs. Mental Illness and
Mental Disorders

Edmund Kemper, at age 15, shot and killed his grandparents in
North Fork, California. After 9 years of institutionalization and treatment at
Atascadero State Hospital, Kemper was released with a requirement that he
continue his therapy. During one of his outpatient therapy sessions, the
therapist commented to Kemper that he had come a long way in his treatment and
that the therapist was very pleased with his progress.Kemper appeared happy to
hear this and noted that he could now live a normal life, get married, attend school
and have a career. During this particular interview, sitting outside the
therapist’s office in the trunk of Ed Kemper’s car, was the head of a college
student. Kemper had been killing female college students and having sex with
their corpses. He killed several college students, slept with the corpses, and
cannibalized them. Kemper eventually went on to kill his mother and her best
friend and had them for dinner. A few days later on his way to Reno, Nevada,
Kemper called police from a phone booth and told them what he had done. He
waited at the phone booth until police arrived and arrested him. He was found
to be competent and subsequently convicted and sent to prison (Hickey, 2015).

Andrea Yates called her husband at work to inform him that she
had just killed all five of their young children.She had drowned each one,
individually, in a bathtub. She was found guilty of capital murder and
sentenced to 40 years in prison. The verdict was overturned on appeal and in a
retrial, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a Texas
state hospital for treatment (Hickey, 2015). This week you will be exploring
mental illness and mental disorders and how they differ from sociopathy and psychopathy.
What do you think influenced Ed Kemper to kill? Andrea Yates? As you read the
materials for this week consider the dangers of dichotomies: either a person is
mentally ill or is not mentally ill or a person is a psychopath or is not a
psychopath.

Required :

Determine where a
subject lies on the spectrum of psychopathy

Differentiate between mental
illness and mental disorders

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