While we attribute many heinous crimes to psychopaths, researchers have found many such killers to exhibit traits of narcissistic personality disorder as well. Here are some of the most famous murderers, serial killer, and mass homicides attributed to be a known narcissist.
Mark David Chapman (John Lennon Murder)
Mark David Chapman is famous for shooting The Beatles singer John Lennon four times in the back on December 8th, 1980. The murder took place outside Lennon’s apartment “the Dakota” in Manhattan, under the building’s archway, as Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono walked in to view.
Chapman born on Map 10th, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas, but was raised in Decatur, Georgia. Initially a fan of The Beatles’s music, Chapman grew to disdain Lennon because of public statements like the Beatles are, “more popular than Jesus.” As well as because of the lyrics of song’s like “God” and “Imagine.”
Over time Chapman’s hated developed in to an obsession fueled by the inspiration he found in J. D. Salinger’s novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” and in particular the rebellious behavior of the character Holden Caulfield.
With no previous criminal history, Chapman contemplated killing a number of public figures. He claimed he was “eradicating phoney-ism” through his murders and “doing the will of God” when he pleaded guilty to the crim.
While Chapman was assessed to fall short of the bar for an insanity plea, psychologists observed that he was in a delusional psychic state. And, possibly suffered from a number of personality disorders.
Mark David Chapman is a narcissist in part because he hoped the shooting would bring him a form of notoriety. And, he held delusional beliefs about how he had been wronged by these figures, and had a right to retribution.
David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”)
David Richard Berkowitz is famous for killing six people and wounding seven others with his revolver between the summer of 1976 and July 1977. During his crime spree, he left letters for police mocking them and promising further crimes.
Berkowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 1, 1953. He enlisted in the army at age 17, serving in South Korea, and was discharged in 1974. The murders began only two years later, after he discovered that he was adopted and leaving college after the first year.
After being arrested Berkowitz confessed to the killings, claiming that he was obeying the orders of a demonically possess dog owned by his neighbor “Sam.” He later retracted his demonic explanation, and was found capable of standing trial, ultimately being convicted with six life sentences.
David Richard Berkowitz is a narcissist because his murders were committed to redress a wrong done to him by his biological mother — who put him up for adoption — and society as a whole. His crimes were a means of gaining notoriety, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and an attempt to assuage narcissistic wounds.
Charles Raymond “Charlie” Starkweather murdered eleven people between December 1957 and January 1959, when he was only 19 years old. All eleven murders took place in Nebraska and Wyoming, wit the help of his 14-year old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate.
Starkweather was born on June 25th, 1959 in Lincoln Nebraska. Raised in a working class home, his father kicked him out at age 18 because of a car accident Charlie caused while teaching his girlfriend to drive. Taking a minimum wage garbage collection job, Starkweather become increasingly nihilistic until he started his killing spree by shooting a night service station attendant in the head.
After a string of murders and a cross country manhunt, Starkweather and his girlfriend were convicted of murder. Starkweather was executed 17 months later, while Fugate served 17 years in prison.
Charles Raymond Starkweather is a narcissist who committed murder as a way of assuaging his narcissistic wounds accumulated throughout childhood at the hands of his abusive father. His first murder was “pay back” for an assumed slight on the part of the gas station attendant, launching him on a reckless killing spree. But, in mayn ways Starkweather was lashing out at society in general and his father in particular which he felt had wronged him.
James Huberty (San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre)
James Huberty fatally shot 21 people and wounded 19 others on July 18, 1984 in the San Ysidro McDonald’s. Huberty was shot and killed on the scene by a police sniper.
James Huberty was a narcissist who committed murder as a consequence of a narcissistic depression spiral initiated when he was fired from a welding job. His embarrassment over not being able to proved for his family lead to an increased desperate sequence of events — with Huberty hoping to prove himself — which culminated in the mass murder after he tried and failed to get psychological help from the San Diego Mental Health Clinic.
Prosenjit Podder (Tarassow Murder)
Prosenjit Podder was a 20-year old student of University of California at Berkeley who stabbed and killed Tatiana Tarasoff, who he delusionally assumed was his fiancee. This case is famous because Podder had previously spoken to his psychologist about his murderous intentions, but who did nothing to warn or prevent the attack. This lead to a US Supreme Court decision — Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California — establishing that mental health professionals had a “duty to protect” intended victims of their clients.
Podder was convicted of second-degree murder, but the conviction was later overturned on procedural grounds. Eventually leading to his deportation back to his home country, India.
Prosenjit Podder was a narcissist who experienced profound depression as a result of narcissistic wounds exacerbated by his rejection at the hands of Tarasoff. His delusion and inability to overcome rejection are signs of narcissism, which precipitated his extreme actions.
Paul Snider (Dorothy Stratten Murder)
Paul Snider was a small time pimp in LA who discovered, promoted, married, and then later killed Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten.
Snider met Stratten when she was working in a Dairy Queen, wooed her, and convinced her to try out for Playboy under his direction. To Snider, Stratten was his golden ticket, and he did everything he could to manipulate and control her, culminating in their marriage in June 1979.
Initially, Snider controlled every part of Stratten’s life. But, after she took on a movie role and had an affair with the director, she began to push Snider out of her life. On August 14th, 1980, the two met to discuss a divorce settlement, where Snider killed and raped his wife before committing suicide with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Paul Snider was a narcissist who overestimated his social standing and attempted to use psychological manipulation at win the status and wealth he desired. When faced with utter failure, in the form of the divorce, he ended Dorothy Stratten’s life in retribution, and committed suicide to evade his own humiliation.