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Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.
Essays and Blogs Concerning Mental and Emotional Health

So - why'd he do it then?

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Aug 29th 2006

John Mark Karr, the suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case is no longer a murder suspect, it has been revealed this morning. Despite his confession, it seems that the DNA evidence from the case does not match Karr's own, making it highly unlikely that he could have committed the crime. The interesting question now – and indeed the interested question all along in this short sad tale - is what on earth was this guy's motive for confessing to a crime he almost certainly did not commit? Some people have suggested he was after an economic benefit (like a book contract?), and others a desire to become famous (or maybe more properly, notorious). Both are certainly possibilities, I guess, but my own personal hunch is that the guy is delusional in some non-schizophrenic, non-psychotic fashion. Being delusional means having a fixed idea about something that is unsupported by evidence. Out of touch with shared social reality. Maybe that much is obvious, but I think not. A lot of people don't realize that delusions sufficient to qualify someone for being psychotic can and do sometimes occur independently of the traditional hallucinatory schizophrenic presentation. You can be "normal" in terms of your brain functioning, and yet very crazy at the same time. That perhaps, and also a pedophile which at least provides some reason for the fixation with the Ramsey case to have gotten started in the first place. There's no good way to tease out motives for the moment, really. Perhaps some court will order a psychiatric investigation to take place and we'll be able to read a report on the subject in a few weeks or months.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. was Director of Mental Help Net from 1999 to 2011. Presently, he is an Oakland Psychologist (Lic#PSY25695) in private practice offering evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and addressing a range of life problems. Contact Dr. Dombeck by calling 510-900-5123, send Dr. Dombeck email or visit Dr. Dombeck's practice website for more information.

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