Two Monsters

June 5, 2016 at 11:34 am | Posted in Crime and punishment | Leave a comment
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Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

A previous posting on this blog tried to make sense of the murderer of a sweet, trusting, in-love teen age girl by a high-achieving college student, who was both a good student and an althlete.

The only picture that seemed plausible at the the time was that the murderer was ordinarily a decent human being, but had been scared into becoming a murderer. His accomplice was hardly discussed in that posting, because she seemed to be a cipher. But it was implicitly assumed that she, too, was ordinarily a decent person, who had been driven by friendship to commit evil.

I was wrong.

A recent article by T. Rees Shapiro, Moriah Balangit in the Washington Post shows that David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keeper were pysochopathic monsters. They each really are both Jekyll and Hyde.

Indeed, the incident that begins the plot line in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel bears an eerie resemblance to the sequence of events that unfolded from Nicole Lovell’s natural search for romantic love, a search whose natural strength would have been intensified by the self-doubt and desire for vindication that resulted from the ‘mean girl’ bullying she had endured at her middle school.

David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keeper constitute potentially instructive examples of how two people, well-raised in presumably loving families, could become like the SS troopers in Nazi concentration camps, and like the ‘guards’ in the present day concentration camps in North Korea.

We need a detailed understanding of how that happens.

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