Criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro, who has spent the past four decades analysing the minds of some of the worst criminals of our times: terrorists, mass murderers, sex offenders and torturers of children, said the real danger about these people is how easily they blend in.
‘The problem with a person like this is it could be anyone,’ he said.
‘It’s someone who can blend into a suburban lifestyle, he could be a father, he could be involved in community or sporting clubs.
‘If you met the offender he may appear very normal.
‘This is the danger about these people – their ordinariness. They can blend in very easily and generally they are well presented.’
Dr Watson-Munro said the kidnapper is most likely to be a ‘calculated’ man and a textbook psychopath driven by a sickening desire for ‘power and control’.
Criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro (pictured) has spent the past four decades analysing the minds of some of the worst criminals of our times: terrorists, mass murderers, sex offenders and torturers of children
‘We are talking about someone who is bad but not mad,’ he said.
‘To do something like that without any anxiety suggests they are psychopathic in their disposition because psychopaths have a very high threshold for anxiety.
‘Things that would make a normal person’s blood turn cold doesn’t bother them.’
Someone who could sneak into a tent and abduct a child in her sleeping bag as her parents lay next to her ‘is not somebody who is prone to nervousness’.
Police now believe an abduction took place because the zipper of the tent was found undone in the morning, even though Cleo is too short to reach it.
It can be the case that child predators and sex offenders are dishevelled, affected by drugs and alcohol or have below average intelligence, but in this case Dr Watson-Munro says ‘it’s very unlikely’.
‘In order to plan a crime like this you have to be at least average intelligence to get away with it. We are not looking at some bumbling imbecile,’ he said.
‘They are capable of forward planning both in terms of abducting the child and allowing themselves plenty of opportunity to get far away.’
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