Even more amazing is the fact that when psychopaths do get exposed by someone who is not afraid to admit that they have been conned, the psychopath is a master at painting their victims as the “real culprits.” Hare cites a case of the third wife of a forty year old high school teacher:
For five years he cheated on me, kept me living in fear, and forged checks on my personal bank account. But everyone, including my doctor and lawyer and my friends, blamed me for the problem. He had them so convinced that he was a great guy and that I was going mad, I began to believe it myself. Even when he cleaned out my bank account and ran off with a seventeen-year-old student, a lot of people couldn’t believe it, and some wanted to know what I had done to make him act so strangely!
Psychopaths just have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: they can be fast talkers, they can be charming, they can be self-assured and at ease in social situations; they are cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless. And even when they are exposed, they can carry on as if nothing has happened, often making their accusers the targets of accusations of being victimized by THEM.
I was once dumbfounded by the logic of an inmate who described his murder victim as having benefited from the crime by learning “a hard lesson about life.” [Hare]