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Complex relationship dynamics occur when one of you is a murderer

No really, I am seeking an answer. Being convicted of murder automatically put you on my do not date list, but for some women, that is no obstacle.

This is not just a blanket question, for me it is a deep pondering into the psychology behind women who seek and carry out relationships with men that most of us would cross the street to avoid.

My general opinions of killers rages against the inner me, who knew a loving and sometimes disturbed and withdrawn artistic little boy, who eventually became a killer. To be honest if I put it all on the line, I was not shocked when I heard he had come to commit murder as an adult. Un-shocked because we both come from a small town fueled by alcohol, drugs and violence and he is not the only one to end up a murderer.

I find myself wanting to find calmer, less violent terms to describe his crime, but the facts are that he is a perpetrator of family violence, a fraudster of many when it comes to money; and a self confessed killer. And now, one month out, after nine years in in prison he is a free man, and he is DATING.

You may want to think certain things about this woman, willing to forgive him his sins and take him into her bed, but I can tell you they are probably all wrong.

She is a kind, loving and successful woman, a published author and does not suffer fools lightly. She is a deep thinker and a positive self reflector, so how could she fall so quickly for a man just released from prison on the most heinous of crimes.

This is not some anomaly, in fact there is a term for this, Hybristophilia and it is defined as is a paraphilia in which sexual arousal, facilitation, and a positive responsive contingent upon being with a partner known to have committed an outrage, cheating, lying, known infidelities, or crime—such as rape, murder, or armed robbery.

In Jacquelynne Willcox-Bailey’s book Dream Lovers: Women Who Marry Men Behind Bars, the author interviews Australian women who love, meet and marry men convicted of serious crimes. One particular interview is worth noting is with Avril and Rose.

The interview is with theses two evangelical christian sisters, who chose to leave their conventional lives behind after meeting and falling for convicted criminals though church outreach to local prisoners. Probably not what their balding, middle aged husbands foresaw when the sisters said they were doing “God’s work.” Both divorced and then married their criminal love interest.

Avril’s new husband was involved in long term petty theft and a string of burglaries and he beat her to death with a hammer in a horrendously violent bludgeoning only 7 days after his release from prison. Not exactly a honeymoon.

Her sister Rose fared little better with her new man, who had been serving time for murdering his first wife. He is back in prison now, after holding Rose hostage, cutting off her ear and attempting to remove her teeth, manually.

This bloodthirsty end leaves us all shocked and not at the same time. The women who choose to enter into post prison relationships with criminals are expecting some sort of magic to have occurred behind bars, and for a gentle knight to emerge where a criminal entered. Statistics indicate the exact opposite.

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics the rate at which prisoners return within two years hovers around 45% nationally, with slightly higher rates in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Offences with the highest rate of reincarnation are robbery and larcenists at about 75% each, drug related violent offenders with a rate around 70%. Most often re-offenders are gradually increasing the level of crime with each offence.

Like you steal a bike, go to jail, get released and steal a car. Next thing you know your beating a hobo to death for your next hit of meth.

That means 70%-75% of murderers who leave jail will be back within two years. For those looking for love in this place, perhaps those numbers mean nothing, but to the rest of us it is obvious. Have a relationship with a murderer and you may end up in a box, or at his next sentencing hearing with a box of Kleenex.

The old adage “there is someone for everyone” is thrown around when researching this topic and hey, even Ted Bundy found love. After being accused of the murder over 30 women, the necrophiliac serial murderer married the striking Carol Ann Boone and had a daughter. This all happened after his conviction. And yes, she was a brunette with her hair parted down the middle.

According to Psychology Today reasoning behind dating a convicted killer boils down to three main reasons. Wanting what you can’t have. A belief your love can change a person and an intense fear of facing the mess in your real life, the new relationship has fantastical qualities when it involves a killer.

There was a study conducted into women who were dating people convicted of violent crime in America by Marcela Slavikova and Nancy Ryba Panza. This survey style study revealed that one third of the women in relationships with prisoners had at least one family member in jail themselves. It also provides a look inside the reasoning women have for dating these proven dangerous individual.

The reason most common, “Rescue the little boy” or “I see the little boy in him and love that”. These are woman who had a tough childhood, filled with abuse and had to grow up too quickly. The need to rescue him, is in fact a reflected unfulfilled need for rescue in their own early childhood.

“Attraction to a bad boy type”, was typified by a woman without a stable father figure who has not seen suitable male modeling. This is when danger and sexual attraction is misplaced by a the woman who has father and loss issues.

An interesting fact that studies of women having relationships with convicted killer showed up is that almost all of these women are between 35 and 45. Perhaps a midlife crisis type event. The majority of women participating in the study left long term relationships, marriages or even their own children to be with their new flame, over whom they have become fiercely protective.

And these women are not what you would typically think them to be, there are journalists, doctors, psychologists, lots of lawyers and even judges who have had long term relationships with men after they have were convicted of murder.

Ask yourself this, once someone has paid their debt to society by the letter of the law, have they really paid to meet your dating standards?

Could you forgive someone the taking of a life and what would justify him climbing between your sheets?

Sleep with one eye open;

A pondering on crime by Ann

SOURCES: The Guardian Australian Addition –

Dream Lovers: Women Who Marry Men Behind Bars, Jacquelynne Willcox-Bailey

Australian Bureau of statistics:

Katherine Ramsland Ph.D.Psychology Today: Women who love serial killers

All that’s intersesting – Carol Ann Boon and Ted Bundy

Women Who Love Men Who Kill, Sheila Isenberg

Journal of patient care: Women who are attracted to incarcerated men: A Case study, Mary v Seeman

Slavikova M, Ryba Panza N (2014) Characteristics and personality styles
of women who seek incarcerated men as romantic partners:
results and directions for future research. Deviant Behav 35: 885-902.

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