I found the same link as well (http://www.dianedowns.com/) and while it would have been nice to hear an alternate point of view, the subject of the program was "Rules of Release", not "Guilt or Innocence". This does, however, brings up a more interesting question (IMHO): are people displaying narcissistic antisocial behaviors ?guilty by disorder??
All of us have habits so I?m sure we can all agree a life long habit is a hard thing to break. Now imagine that one of your habits is to habitually ?fudge the facts? whenever communicating with others, regardless of whether or not you are trying to avoid responsibility. For example, your spouse asks you what you got while grocery shopping and you ?neglect? to mention the ice cream because you feel guilty about your weight. Or maybe you took a scenic country road to work instead of the freeway and you were late to an important meeting so you tell your manager you had a flat. While most of us are guilty of telling the random white lie it is difficult, if not impossible, for habitual liars to turn around on a dime and begin to tell honest, accurate, and consistent stories even when the situation merits it (as would be the case in a police investigation).
The real question is not, ?Can we trust Diane Downs? version of events?? Based on what I?ve heard and read the answer is a simple: no. The important question, in my mind, is this: does Down?s inability to be consistently honest make her guilty of murder? More importantly, should ritually dishonest people be presumed guilty of any crime simply because what they say can?t be trusted?
I?ve had several (past) friends who demonstrated similar psychological traits to Downs? and while frustrating and untrustworthy, their inability to keep their stories straight didn?t always mean they were guilty. People who are habitually dishonest, inconsistent, and manipulative are like that all the time and will continue to engage in socially ineffectual behaviors regardless of the seriousness of the situation. This makes them appear guilty but it does not make them guilty. In such cases the court should consider the testimony of people with this disorder as a consistent extensions of their personality hence not a trustworthy accounting of the objective facts.
Is Downs' guilty? I don't know. But my opinion, for what it's worth, is that she's more concerned about how people perceive her (and by extension, how she can take advantage of that) than earning anyone's trust. Trust is not a character trait worth emulating but an object to be molded for personal gain; sadly, for many like this it is not understood as it should be, as a means for building warm, healthy, and strong social relationships with others.
P.S. While reading more on this case I learned that Down's said the following when told her son Danny had a chance of surviving: "Do you mean the bullet missed his heart? Gee whiz!" If an accurate quote, that's definitely the behavior of someone with antisocial personality disorder.
posted 4 years, 5 months ago
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