Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his fan girls and the Rolling Stone cover. When evil hides right in the open.

19 Jul

This morning, Massachusetts State Police Officer Sean Murphy released images of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev climbing out of the boat he had been hiding in, a sniper’s rifle clearly aimed right at his head.

sniper 2


Sgt. Murphy made the photos public in response to the Rolling Stone cover of Dzhokhar, which he felt glamorized the young murderer.


As a professional law-enforcement officer of 25 years, I believe that the image that was portrayed by Rolling Stone magazine was an insult to any person who has every worn a uniform of any color or any police organization or military branch, and the family members who have ever lost a loved one serving in the line of duty. The truth is that glamorizing the face of terror is not just insulting to the family members of those killed in the line of duty, it also could be an incentive to those who may be unstable to do something to get their face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

While I understand Sgt. Murphy’s anger, I don’t think the Rolling Stone cover “glamorizes” the face of terror.  I think it shows us that the face of terror can be a very appealing one, and it exposes a fault line in the culture when it comes to double standards that call evil MEN evil, no matter how pretty they are, but ignores evil WOMEN for no reason other than the fact they’re pretty.

I suspect that when Sgt. Murphy saw that sepia toned selfie, his mind instantly leapt to a group of people who really DO glamorize the face of terror:  Jahar’s Fan Girls


They create tumblr pages for their beloved Jahar:


And tweet their support for him.


They have t-shirts with his face on them:


I’ve written about Jahar’s fan girls before and our reluctance to call them out for what they are:  sociopaths just because they happen to be pretty little GIRL sociopaths.

Amanda Marcotte offers her take on the fan girls, suggesting they are nothing more than famewhores trying to survive in a culture that values fame above else.  She quotes an author that inadvertently reveals exactly what is so chilling about these particular young women.


Women and men who are desperate for attention also find captive criminals easier to love. Isenberg notes that real celebrities are less likely to respond to fan mail than someone in prison, making it easier to actually develop a relationship with the often-dangerous criminals. “Any guy sitting in jail or on death row will focus attention out of boredom,” she says. “But that romantic focus is like a blazing light to some women.”


Hybristophilia is nothing new.  Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Scott Petersen – all with legions of fans desperate to be that one woman who charms the Beast into a Prince.

In order for the hybristophiliac’s arousal to be triggered, she MUST believe that her man truly is a monster.  He must be guilty of the crimes he is accused of, or there is no monster to save.

Jahar’s girls are NOT hybristophiliacs.

They think he is innocent. He was framed.  In the face of glaring evidence to the contrary, they refuse to believe that Jahar is guilty. They live in a reality so distorted as to be unrecognizable to most of the rest of us.

And we, as a culture, make it easy for these women to do that.  For one thing, the media is by and large giving these women a giant pass for their malevolence.  Hanna Roisin thinks the girls are just “maternal”.

Charlotte Allen thinks they’re just misguided good girls who find the bad boy sexy.

bad boy

He’s a classic “bad boy” of the sort to whom women are chronically attracted because they want to reform them, or minister to their wounds, or be the healing presence they’ve never had — but mostly because they find them sexy.

Alexandra Le Telliereven goes so far as to call the girls “disgusting”, but what these young women are goes well beyond disgust.,0,5441256.story

An interesting story is up at Jezebel that is tangentially related to this story:  women report more mental health problems than men.  Yes, ladies really are crazy.  Jezebel gets all huffy about how sexist it is to report a finding that portrays women in a slightly harsh light.  The fact that it appears to be verifiably TRUE that women have more mental health problems than men is irrelevant.  It’s sexist because LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.


It’s an oft repeated truism that there are more male psychopaths than female ones, but when you consider how the common traits of psychopathology are EXPRESSED, it turns out that may not be true.

Across two independent samples, results indicated that the interaction of high F1 and F2 psychopathy scores was associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in women. This association was found to be specific to women in Study 1. These results suggest that BPD and psychopathy, at least as they are measured by current instruments, overlap in women and, accordingly, may reflect gender-differentiated phenotypic expressions of similar dispositional vulnerabilities.

What is borderline personality disorder?


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) (called emotionally unstable personality disorder, borderline type in the ICD-10) is a cluster-B personality disorder whose essential features are a pattern of marked impulsivity and instability of affects, interpersonal relationships, and self image.

The pattern is present by early adulthood and occurs across a variety of situations and contexts. Other symptoms may include intense fears of abandonment and intense anger and irritability that others have difficulty understanding the reason for.

People with BPD often engage in idealization and devaluation of others, alternating between high positive regard and great disappointment.

Self-mutilation and suicidal behavior are common.

One of the core signs and symptoms in BPD is the proneness to impulsive behaviour. This impulsiveness can manifest itself in negative ways. For example, self-harm is common among individuals with BPD and in many instances, this is an impulsive act. Sufferers of BPD can also be prone to angry outbursts and possibly criminal offences (mainly in male sufferers) as a result of impulsive urges.

Another common feature of BPD is affective lability. This means that sufferers have trouble stabilising moods and as a result, mood changes can become erratic. Other characteristics of this condition include reality distortion, tendency to see things in ‘black and white’ terms, excessive behaviour such as gambling or sexual promiscuity, and proneness to depression.

fears of abandonment

intense anger


idealization and devaluation of others

impulsive behaviour

erratic mood changes

reality distortion

tendency to see things in ‘black and white’ terms

sexual promiscuity

proneness to depression

Sounds like your average woman’s studies major, if you ask me.


Okay, that was juvenile, but it does read like a description of modern young women.

Women who suffer from BPD are not just suffering from a mental illness, they are suffering from an illness we characterize as psychopathy in men.

Psychopathy is among the most difficult disorders to spot. The psychopath can appear normal, even charming. Underneath, they lack conscience and empathy, making them manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal. They are an object of popular fascination and clinical anguish: psychopathy is largely impervious to treatment.

At best, these young women who lust after a baby-faced murderer who blew the legs and arms off innocent CHILDREN have borderline personality disorder.  At worst, they are bona fide psychopaths. Not all psychopaths are violent, but they are no less destructive for that.

And even when psychopaths are violent, they can face zero consequences for that, if they happen to be psychotic and female all at the same time.


Given the ordinary and vaguely attractive appearance of Kayla Bourque, it’s alarming that someone with no perceivable warning signs can become such a potentially huge threat to society. As a result, it’s almost reasonable to suspect virtually everyone of being capable of committing acts of terrible violence. After all, some things are best hidden right in the open. And that’s scary as shit.

Sgt. Murphy is right to worry that the dreamy image of Jahar on the front cover of Rolling Stone might act as an incentive for others to do something equally terrible.  It’s also an invitation for the psychopaths in our midst to declare themselves, which they are certain to do because we don’t want to see what is right in front of our faces.

Because the psychopaths are all pretty little girls.  Who will one day be women.  Hiding right in the open.


Scary as shit, indeed.

Lots of love,


25 Responses to “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his fan girls and the Rolling Stone cover. When evil hides right in the open.”

  1. Fred Flange, S.J. July 19, 2013 at 17:17 #

    Here I am happy to totally agree! A couple thoughts:
    (1) Charlotte Allen’s theory that these girls want to “reform” and “tame” the monsters goes hand in hand with yours: they know full well these guys are monsters, that’s what produces the tingle, but being proper fangirls they proclaim his innocence. (Also true of the young Orthodox assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Rabin – lots of marriage proposals).

    (2) BPD would explain some of this sociopathy. BTW, the character of Jessa on the show “Girls” is classic BPD, who gets away with her awful behavior because of her good looks and occasional bouts of what looks like (but isn’t) true generosity and compassion.

    (3) Maybe the “selfie” aspect of this picture is what offends so much, but the hysteria is unwarranted. RS and other mags have had monsters on their covers before: Charles Manson, Bin Laden, and creeps llike Roman Polanski.


  2. Master Beta July 19, 2013 at 17:24 #

    These women and their ilk are the reason websites like Heartiste exist.

    Feminists would do well to remember that methinks, given how much they hate Heartiste.


  3. Goober July 19, 2013 at 17:45 #

    I think the Rolling Stone cover was fine, for one reason, and for one reason, only:

    Failing to dehumanize a murdering psychopath is NOT the same as glorifying him. The media loves to dehumanize monsters, posting scary, foreboding pictures of Scott Peterson, for instance, who was by all accounts very handsome, genial, and charming. We do ourselves a disservice when we try to make evil men who performed evil actions into monsters, because many of them, right up until they did their foul deeds, were anything BUT monsters. They were normal, average, every day humans, with normal, average everyday needs, right up until they weren’t.

    I think a good part of the skeptical reaction to Jahar’s guilt is exactly this – we expect monsters to be monsters: to look like monsters, and to act like monsters. It is a deeply ingrained need in our psyche to know who’s safe and who isn’t. We want our monsters UGLY, goddamnit, and the media that we’ve surrounded ourselves with has been only too happy to oblige. The Newtown shooter was a scary looking dude, and they made sure that only scary, unsettling pictures of him were put on screen. The guy that shot Gabby Giffords and killed that little girl was psycho looking. Even George Zimmerman, a sort of harmless looking butterball of a man, was portrayed on screen in the most unflattering light – the pics they put up of him were scary looking. It made perfect sense that these guys were monsters, because they looked the part!

    Look at even our fiction media. The bad guys in the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry movies all looked the part – wide, darting, crazy eyes. Creepy demeanor. Spooky, scary impulse responses. We’ve all grown up steeped in the idea that bad guys aren’t pretty, and monsters look, and act, the part.

    So the reaction when we are confronted with a monster who didn’t look or act the part, at all, is naturally to be skeptical, because damn it all, monsters should look like monsters, not pretty twenty-something heart throbs! They shouldn’t be involved in their school, and they shouldn’t be good at sports. The shouldn’t have pics of them enjoying spring break, or hanging out at the gym. They are supposed to live in dark basements, hiding from the light of day, putting together creepy journals and plotting their monsterous ways.

    So I actually think that the Rolling Stone cover did us all a favor – it illuminated something that we all need to be aware of, and that is that most of the time, monsters don’t look the part. Ted Bundy was a very handsome and charming man, by all accounts. We’ve spent the last thirty years teaching our daughters that monsters won’t be pretty, and it will be easy to spot them, and look at how easy it was for Bundy to prey upon them.

    This is something we all need to be aware of – psychopaths are really, really good at playing the part of the average, everyday Joe. Many of them are charming, even. There is nothing unsettling about them because they are amazingly good at hiding their nature. It is obvious to me that a lot of women in their country can’t accept that, in part because of the media spin that they can’t see past, and so they think Jahar is innocent merely because he doesn’t look the part.


  4. Emma the Emo July 19, 2013 at 18:18 #

    I can’t agree.

    There is a major tendency for people who see themselves as decent to portray anything they don’t like as a mental illness, or personality disorder. Do we have to have that, to do bad things? I don’t think so. But decent, normal people can’t comprehend how someone of their own kind can do something so bad, so they refuse to say that this is human, that this is possible without some mental disturbance. The more outraged they feel, the louder they declare that it’s all mental illness, pure evil, demonic posession (if very religious). But outrage doesn’t take us closer to the truth and doesn’t lead to problem solving.

    This is why they used a whole year to decide if Breivik was insane or not. Something that would be fairly obvious to someone unburdened with such a bias.

    But of course women would deny this. In the manosphere, they have extra incentive to deny that female nature might include attraction to killers the way that male nature doesn’t. Female attraction to killers is not new.

    tl:dr: Just because you can’t comprehend why someone would do this, doesn’t make it a mental sickness.


  5. Liz July 19, 2013 at 19:58 #

    Have to side with Sgt. Murphy on this one.
    This is Rolling Stone. A celebrity magazine, not Time or US News and World Report.

    “(Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover
    (Stone) Wanna buy five copies for my mother (I want one!)
    (Stone) Wanna see my smilin’ face
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone

    (Man, I don’t know why we ain’t on the cover, Baby)
    (We’re beautiful people)
    (I ain’t kiddin’, why, we would make a beautiful cover
    (Fresh shot, right up front, man)
    (I can see it now, we’ll be up on the front)”


  6. Liz July 19, 2013 at 20:01 #

    Per the females who worship him, they’re worse. But they don’t have far less influence in message than an internationally recognized magazine does.


  7. Wilson July 19, 2013 at 20:21 #

    Think it has more to do with the female lack of restraint. They can be attracted to anyone, because the group will take care of their babies, and they can say anything, because no on takes them too seriously. They are “sociopaths” in the way that small children, unaware of life’s limits, are. Jizz Tsarnaev is famous and he’s cute. Being a killer isn’t really relevant, or Kermit Gosnell would have 100x as many groupies.


  8. Aye. July 19, 2013 at 20:26 #

    The borderline female does rather love the anti-social male. Something about them; peanut butter and jelly. I spend a good amount of time in a hospital, saving idiots from themselves. Every single time I get a young borderline female, I keep the security number in my pocket for when her psychopath boyfriend invariably shows up to try to fight with whoever he sees first (her, the doctors, the nurses, the volunteer who shows up with a well trained therapy dog…. Doesn’t matter). Good fun, but I’ll take a safe kitchen and a hungry man over those nuts any day.

    The borderline and the anti-social feed off of one another’s drama. They need it.

    These young fan girls yearn for celebrity-level criminal drama, but no doubt, they will find their own small-scale anti-social (or two, or twenty) in their own time to give them plenty of that.


  9. Bob Wallace July 19, 2013 at 23:11 #

    I do believe those girls do suffer from a form of hybristophilia. I found also found women with BPD do overlap with some sort of narcissistic/borderline disorder. They’re the kind who can tell you they love you one day and then deny they ever said it the next day.

    To the narcissist of whatever degree, people are things who are interchangeable. I’ve also found – and this is perhaps the biggest flag – they have almost no sense of humor. They can be witty and charming at times, but that’s essentially to cover up the fact they are a mask with almost nothing behind it.


  10. zykos July 20, 2013 at 00:33 #

    I second your opinion. A physical disease can be measured and observed: some biochemical functions may be disturbed, presence of infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi), and symptoms may be objectively relieved or cured. A mental disease is simply a name for something we do not understand and that produces behavior that the “normal person” would find out of character. People like to think how much we’ve evolved since we removed homosexuality from the DSM, but that didn’t happen because of any scientific breakthrough, we simply, as a society, decided that homosexual behavior was no longer objectionable. That’s it. And we should remember that, apart from a few
    conditions that can be linked to past experiences (PTSD), psychologists really have no clue where the “diseases” originate, and even less what their mechanism is (we have a vague idea how hormones affect the mood, that’s about it).

    Labeling something a mental disease is just expressing the wish that it be an exception rather than a trait.


  11. judgybitch July 20, 2013 at 00:35 #

    Well that’s disturbing. Because BPD seems a frighteningly common description of your average young woman.


  12. zykos July 20, 2013 at 01:12 #

    Yes, and I was going to comment on that observation of yours. Our understanding of the brain is comparable to the level of medicine in the XVIIIth century. Not quite possessions by demons, but not much more elaborate. So young women display more and more the characteristics of what used to be classified as BPD. Is the cause environmental, like malnutrition that can lead to all sort of deficiencies in the immune system? Is it caused by genetics? Is it learned behavior? Our level of knowledge does not have the answer.


  13. Aye. July 20, 2013 at 04:10 #

    Yeah, I wonder about that… Is asshole-ism or bitchiness really a diagnosable trait? Is everyone with it consistently ill, or treatable, or failed by ‘the system’? What about personal choice? What about accountability for your actions and attitudes? I was raised by a social working mother, speaking DSM-4 at the dinner table, and sometimes, I just wonder if maybe there are too many diagnosis’s to let people off the hook for being huge jerk-faces…


  14. Aye. July 20, 2013 at 05:27 #

    Whoever the celebrity, to the sexually immature, celebrity worship fills a valuable function: an introspective exploration of lust in a risk-free environment.

    When I was 15, the star of my skies was Jim Morrison, decades dead, and, frankly, a bit icky (To be fair, my contemporary celebs of the early 00’s were a bit too wholesome and over-groomed…). But I was 5’10” with a little waist, wide hips and a C cup, and wasn’t ready to deal with it, so lusting on him sure as hell beat letting some senior paw at my undies in his pickup truck between school and math team practice, as a few actually offered in exchange for the coveted chance to go to prom (wow!).

    I am pretty tough now for having survived it, but frankly, when I was 15, I was a mess. I had full-fledged bulimia. I was still pretty perturbed about having been abandoned for a prison sentence. I was shy, and all I knew was that I wanted to leave my home town and college was the way to do it. If I were there, again, in that time of my life… traumatized, pretty, bright, inexperienced, ambitious, lonely… would I admire a gorgeous, but dangerous, young contemporary? I shudder to guess…

    No 15 year old is well balanced on her own. That’s why they need strong (and present) father figures to help protect them in this phase and model what positive relationships look like.


  15. Richard Blaine July 20, 2013 at 05:57 #

    Ah hell, now you’ve done it – I’ll have to spend the next week actually thinking, thanks a lot.

    Some very good points here. Keeping in mind we Label EVERYTHING because it allows us a handle on it – perhaps as a shorthand for discussion, perhaps as a tool for dehumanization and dismissal, perhaps to show group membership. Labeling something BPD isn’t bad or good – it’s simply short hand for a set of criteria. Is it a mental illness? Again it’s a label we put on people who don’t share most of the reality that society does. When it’s kids and fantasy it’s a good thing. When it’s feminists and their totally skewed view of reality it’s “mental”. Many of us don’t conform to their reality, which from their point of view makes us “mental”. The saving grace is we generally have science (such as it is) on our side.

    I’m not sure how I’d “label” these women other than I find it really disturbing that there are so many of them.


  16. Exfernal July 20, 2013 at 08:41 #

    A personality disorder in general is an enduring pattern of behavior. For every disorder there is a corresponding specific pattern. So, putting together a diagnosis basing it on a single act, nevermind how abhorrent it might me, seems rather premature.

    Hmm, interesting question… Are psychopaths born, or made? Or somewhere in between? Which factors could facilitate the spread of psychopathy in the general population? Perhaps urbanization, if taken to the extreme?


  17. Exfernal July 20, 2013 at 08:46 #

    As urbanization and resulting anonymity make it easier to walk away from the consequences of one’s actions.


  18. Erudite Knight July 20, 2013 at 14:01 #

    There are so many girls with BPD out there, and they totally fuck up so many guys. I should know. A lot of red-pill guys came out of BPD relationships…god the pain


  19. Exfernal July 21, 2013 at 09:52 #

    Wow, how interesting


  20. Exfernal July 21, 2013 at 11:05 #

    Inside the Mind of a Psychopath” – Scientific American, issue Sept./Oct. 2010 (PDF).


  21. Exfernal July 22, 2013 at 13:37 #

    In short: psychopaths are people with stunted range of cognition. Unable to perceive a part of human experience. Incomplete as humans.


  22. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 03:39 #

    I think Tsarnaev has an attractive face. There’s a difference between finding a criminal physically attractive and finding positive value in his crimes.

    There are plenty of men who find Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony physically attractive. There are also some men who think they are innocent angels who did nothing wrong but are falsely accused.

    Even Jodi’s psychologist supposedly fell for her.


  23. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 03:46 #

    “Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Scott Petersen – all with legions of fans desperate to be that one woman who charms the Beast into a Prince.”

    Manson’s fans are both male and female. There are websites dedicated to his “ecological vision” now. They think he’s some sort of prophet for the environment.

    But they are an extremely small minority of people. It is by no means mainstream that women or men find murderers attractive because they’ve murdered. Ted Bundy was a physically attractive man who did not look like a thug but a “nice guy”. He pretended to be physically disabled in order to get women to “help” him.

    But after he was convicted of murder and the truth about him came out, there was no flood of millions of women writing marriage proposals to him.

    This whole “women love serial killers” Manosphere meme is a joke.

    A very small minority of mentally disturbed women may love a serial killers, just as Manson’s right hand woman, Susan Sadie Atkins, married twice in jail, that too once to a lawyer.

    Finding Ted Bundy’s or Tsarnaev’s faces to be attractive does not translate to “loving a serial or mass killer”.


  24. Rick L. Winters May 2, 2014 at 16:11 #

    Why he is no serial killer he is still a psychopath that got caught. Not really that interesting of a guy. But the chicks love him.

    I have always been fascinated with serial killers and how they work inside. I have been studying them for over 10 years now and my second film Blank was all about psychopaths.

    I am getting ready to make a long running web series titled A.S.K.E. (American Serial Killer in Europe) and am currently running a campaign at Indiegogo (

    I am looking for like minded people that are fascinated with serial killers to help support the project and get a better understanding of the mind within.



  1. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his fan girls and the Rolling Stone cover... | Viva La Manosphere! - July 19, 2013

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