Romantic, caring, sweet, charming — these are often qualities we desire in our partners and the chances of getting such a person are more now with the advent of online dating. And when you do meet such a person the question is would this fairytale romance end in a happily ever after or as pieces of human flesh stacked in the refrigerator only to be thrown around in the forest? How many calls are too many calls? When does care turn into obsession and protectiveness into domination? Expert Shweta Sharma explains what might be going on in the mind of a person who is capable of committing such a cold-blooded murder. As the Shraddha murder case continues to send shivers down our spine, it is crucial to understand how to identify such people who hide such barbarism behind the facade of a regular person.
WHAT’S IN HIS HEAD?
As the case gained traction on social media and graphic details flashed on television screens, a question that flooded social media was what goes on inside the head of a person who commits such brutality. The graphic details unravelled one by one evoked a sense of fear and intrigue about such killers. But does the killer feel the same? The answer is NO. According to Shweta, the dominant thought in the mind of such a person is a sense of control. “Basically, it’s a sense of control. There is no regret. A kind of disturbing pleasure.” But how does one control once a dead person? A complicated situation, Shweta said adding that it is when you feel a total sense of control. “There is no other thought or pleasure other than the fact that the person is killed and silent. Earlier the person was not in your control, the victim could have been arguing, but now she or he is silent and that makes the killer happy. There is no other emotion attached,” she said.
WHAT MAKES SUCH A KILLER?
Did he always want to kill? Was there urges before this that he controlled before finally giving in? Did he fantasise about the murder? He definitely fantasised, she said. Because for such people it is very easy to get on that level where they are always thinking ‘I can kill him, I will kill him’, Shweta said. So killing and committing something as serious is a general thought process for them, which is not the case for many, she said. “The risk-taking factor is a general trait in such anti-social personalities. An important factor in anti-social personality disorder. You can see this from the fact that he is confessing his crime to the police fearlessly. He is leading the police to the crime spot. There is no regret or fear of any compulsion to follow any social norm. They feel pleasure when someone is in pain. They become more confident the longer their crime goes unnoticed. In this case, he was caught six months after the crime. He even called another girl in the same room where he committed the crime,” Shweta explained.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY SUCH PEOPLE?
Shweta elaborated on the need to be more open about mental health when it comes to identifying such personalities. She said in most cases the outcome can be traced back to childhood trauma and because mental health is still considered taboo in most parts of the globe even now, people battling such trauma or mental health issues can consider themselves to be weak. This suppressed emotion makes them want to target people who they consider weaker than them. “They can always justify thinking ‘this happened to me when I was weak and it’s okay to do the same to someone weaker than me’. It is difficult to identify such people in just an initial couple of meetings,” she warned.
Even though it is difficult for normal people to identify such people, Shweta said clinical experts can often figure out if a person is hiding and most often the person displays manipulative behaviour. “If someone is coming up with different versions of the same topic, it’s easy to tell they are manipulating their personality. Or they are showing off too much as they are under constant fear to mask their personality. They don’t want their real personalities to show which is why they will be extra sweet, and that is the reason why more people are attracted to them very easily. Initially, they will overdo romantic gestures, always be on call with you and would be over-invested. These are signs one must look out for because anything in excess is not good and balanced people have a balanced approach. With these people, the high points and the low points in the relationship are drastic. They can lose interest very fast once the initial phase is over. The moment they think they have the situation or the person under control, then they will show their actual colour. Usually, they are the charmers or leaders but never followers.
A PLANNED MURDER
Shweta said, “This is not a murder committed in the heat of the moment. He chose the place which was near Mehrauli where the body parts were allegedly thrown around. He knew how to cut the flesh, he googled it. It was there in his mind and at the time of a dispute, he definitely convinced her to come with him and then executed the murder and planned what to do after he committed the crime. He would have dumped the body impulsively had it been a heat-of-the-moment crime. But this is a serious killer mind. This was in his mind, he knew he could do it and he was confident that she was in his control.”
Having talked about the signs which should not be neglected, she said it is important to be more open about mental health and be supportive of people who are battling any sort of mental health issues of trying to get over trauma without making them feel weak. She said suppressed emotions could later aggravate and take a violent turn putting at risk the person as well as many others and early detection of such signs could help in treating the person and prevent such crimes in the future.
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