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Why "Craigslist killer" interview is full of lies

"Craigslist Killer" Miranda Barbour gave an interview … but how truthful was it?

"Craigslist Killer" Miranda Barbour has given an interview; she apparently is ready to confess to her crimes, explain her behavior, and discuss her past. It makes for dramatic, titillating reading. But stacked against facts her words fall short of being truthful.

Barbour claims to have joined a satanic cult as a young girl. In his report Investigator's Guide to Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse, FBI's expert on cult crimes, Kenneth Lanning, has noted, "There is little or no evidence for … allegations that deals with large-scale baby breeding, human sacrifice, and organized satanic conspiracies" (source). A report on the psychiatric "treatment" of satanic ritual abuse victims adds, "Of course, it's much easier to pretend that satanic cults exist than to accept that you are an incompetent perpetrator responsible for untold suffering and injustice and to lose your home and your job and your savings."

Barbour claims to have been molested at an early age. While this has been confirmed by her mother, the "I was molested, therefor I am exonerated" defense may be used to plead "not guilty" or to garner sympathy. Professionals have estimated three in five girls and two in five boys are sexually molested by the age of 13. If every case of molestation resulted in the victim turning murderer, the courts, jails, and police stations would be overflowing with criminals. While sexual abuse of children can be a prerequisite to many things, such as drug abuse and some sexual predatory behavior, it is not necessarily a prerequisite for murder. For example, a study on 50 serial killers discovered, "... we are able to detect many differences between the amount and types of maltreatment in the studied serial killers compared with the general population" (source).

Of her first murder, Barbour told her interviewers, "he came behind me and he took his hands and put them on top of mine and we pulled the trigger." Another defense of "I did it but it is not my fault." This defense has been used before; for example, by Melinda Loveless in the 1999 torture - murder of Shanda Sharer where Melinda claimed a codefendant put the knife in Loveless' hands, grabbed her hands, and forced Loveless to stab Sharer.

Barbour explains she loves her husband, but she herself must confess and be honest. She has offered to assist law enforcement in locating bodies of over 22 victims. This is a possible ploy to request a more lenient sentence, or a longer time to live; Ted Bundy tried it just before his execution. She explains, "if I were to be released, I would do this again." Barbour understands her chance of release is nil, and she is also garnering attention and notoriety. As Gavin DeBecker explains in his book The Gift of Fear: "Better to be wanted by the police than to not be wanted at all."

Barbour is not particularly exemplary nor does she possess any other special traits. She can easily be compared to other female serial killers: Belle Gunness who murdered for financial gain, Aileen Wuornos who lured men with promises of sex, Karla Homolka who assisted husband Paul Bernardo with torture-murder, and Genene Jones who killed for the excitement and chance to "play God." Barbour is only 19 years old, but the youngest (known) female serial killer is Mary Bell, who at ten murdered two boys and tortured and taunted more (Bell most likely wold have continued her killing spree had she not been caught).

Barbour's story makes for good copy, and she now holds court when previously she had little power. In the light of fact, it is little more than an attempt at attention and to prolong the inevitable.

Judith Yates lectures on serial killers and on female criminals. her website can be found here.
Photo credit of Judith Yates

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