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The Serial Confessor

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This is another small entry taken from a true-crime book which I'm writing, a book about a series of murders set against the backdrop of a sleepy American town. This part is a digression dealing with the fabrications of caged psychopaths, the phenomenon of the serial confessor, who claims credit for crimes which he had not committed. While this is only a cursory look at the subject, I felt it formed something of a mini-story of its own, and was more or less ready to be posted. Psychopaths, particularly high-functioning psychopaths, are well skilled at adapting their presentation – or, in other words, their mask – depending on the rewards and punishments available in a given context. If incarcerated, a psychopath will exploit the venues for his own gains, and will often seek replacement stimuli in place of those no longer available. He may, for instance, have to replace physical domination with psychological influence, manipulation, and controlling others like pupp

President Herbert Hoover and the Girl from the Ruins. A World War II mystery.

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President Herbert Hoover. (1928, US Library of Congress.) Adolf Hitler’s plan for Poland’s capital Warsaw had always involved demolishing the city and rebuilding it as “a provincial German town”, but the 1944 Warsaw Uprising provoked the dictator into proceeding with the plan far earlier and far further than even he had at first envisioned. The earlier 1943 Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto had already provoked Hitler to send SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop’s troops to annihilate 50 thousand people within its walls, deport 36 thousand survivors to die in concentration camps, and destroy any remaining structures, which constituted about 15% of the entire city. After the massacre and destruction was over, Stroop’s official report, sent to Himmler as a leather-bound souvenir album, triumphantly declared: “The Jewish Quarter of Warsaw Is No More!” on its title page. Jürgen Stroop’s report (1943/1946, International Military Tribunal / Public Domain) The vicious reprisal indeed resulted in