Archive for the ‘Motives and Opportunity’ Category

Police Psychology | MS-13

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

Last week four young men were murdered on Long Island, brutally murdered with machetes.  Rumors say their tongue were cut out and they were castrated.  It is obvious some sociopathic pleasure was derived from their mutilation.  Could it be an initiation for a gang, an attempt to leave a gang, or perhaps some kids who denied an invitation to join a gang?  It was a message killing.  You see, it was the MO of a few of gang killings in the last year when they hacked up a couple of teenage girls with machetes one town over, so they figured it was the same gang.  Long Island, home of the uppity Hamptons, the Gold Coast, the Great Gatsby and New York City’s billionaires.  And it is happening more than just on Long Island.

Yes, MS-13 is everywhere and lately in the news.  It is rumored that gang initiation means you must be beaten up by four or five gang members or you must brutally beat someone else, or kill them.  For girls, it means you must allow yourself to be gang raped by at least six members.  “Jumping in” is what undergoing the initiation is called, but some gang members are spared the dramatic beat downs.  All must have someone in the gang recommend them, unless they don’t.  The rules are just not clear from group to group.  Why would someone join such a gang? (more…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology:  Can We Sense Danger?

Gary S. Aumiller Ph.D.  ABPP


I was working with my daughter on a science fair project for fourth grade.  She laid out five different colored pieces of paper and put a treat on each, then separately let go of our cat and dog and recorded which color they went to eat.

Human vs. Dog sight

She did that five times to see if our pets had a color preference.  In doing the research for the project, we came across pictures of what a dog sees and what a cat sees.  The dog, of course could only see the color green and some shades of blue, and the cat saw at night, but  the pictures were very blurry.  My 10-year old daughter said “wow my Fluffy and Pinwheel really can’t see me, I wonder what we can’t see.” (more…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology | “Inside the Mind” of Donald Trump

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP


Let me start by saying that this profile article is my professional opinion based off behavior.  I have not met the President yet, and I do not have anything other than his public behavior to base this profile on.

Many have villainized President Donald Trump and it seems they have clearly a dictator mindset.  Many people want to believe that he is like Hitler or Mussolini and wants the end of all but  straight, white males in this world, and wants women to fit in rolls like in the centuries long past or perhaps in harems.  This is not true regardless of what the spin on the evidence is. These people want to believe he is a megalomaniac that sits poised over the nuclear codes and the buttons that will bring forth Armageddon.   On the opposite end of the spectrum are those that believe Trump is some anti-political superhero destroying the all-reaching giant aliens bent on extinguishing the earth’s population by digesting their essence while flying into the major cities of the world at warps speeds, shooting anything that moves and setting all property on fire.  Is he a political dragon slayer or a dictator?  Maybe we need to get “Inside the Mind of Donald Trump.” (more…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology:  Are You Biased, Of Course…

By Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP


Just when you thought all the stupidity in the world was surrounding the election this year, I thought I would tell you some more bad news. Judicial Watch just released an article that states that police departments can no longer stop a person from becoming a police officer because they have a criminal background or drug abuse.   Apparently it is discriminatory (see the article here).*  Am I missing something, isn’t the purpose of the selection process to discriminate good and bad employees, people who earn a job versus people whose record indicates they could be involved in corruption, breaking the law or a become a problem later.  Isn’t past behavior the best predictor of future behavior?    The inmates would literally be running the asylum.  Now is that a bad idea?

In 1966, Phillippe de Broca released a French film call King of Hearts which explored the topics of the inmates running an asylum, in fact it was a town being run by an asylum.  In World War I, a town had a bomb planted by the departing Germans that threatened to blow up the whole town.  The townspeople evacuated and they sent in a Scottish soldier to defuse the bomb.  The town had a large mental asylum on the outskirts and the someone left the asylum doors open and the inmates inhabited the town and took on the roles of the town folks.  What transpired was an absolutely hilarious situation comedy as the inmates would do things that were completely against convention and lived life to have fun, not accomplish things like when the town was inhabited by the regular residents.  They held parades, had ill-conceived romances, wore outlandish clothing, all in an attempt to make life fun.  Could we exist this way?  Could our lives use  reduction of convention?  Can we learn to laugh at ourselves again? (more…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology | Suicide by Criminal

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP


We have all heard of suicide by cop when a person takes a gun and points it toward a police officer hoping the officer shoots him.  Very clearly diagnosed in most situations and multiple cases seem to occur each year.  The suicidal person generally doesn’t have the ability to pull the trigger himself, but can put themselves in a position to die.   So, he brings a police officer into the situation as a method of suicide.

Well last week, I became aware of a new method of suicide that I had never seen before, and I am afraid of it for police officers.  You see there was this story about a female cop that told of an officer’s attempt to save her family by allowing herself to be killed, if necessary.  In psychologist circles, that is called an altruistic suicide, because they are killing themselves to let others live better.  But in this case, I call it “Suicide- By-Criminal.” (more…)

Share this Article: