Sexual psycho Ed Gein, ca. 1957. He snatched women’s bodies from recent graves, removed the skins, tanned them and used them as woman’s “outerwear” to appear female.
In his classical text examining all facets of sexual pathology (‘Psychopathia Sexualis’) Richard von Krafft – Ebing on page 501 notes:
“The nature of the (sexually delinquent) act itself can never determine a decision as to whether it lies within the limits of mental pathology. Or mental physiology. The perverse act does not per se indicate perversion of instinct. At any rate the most monstrous and perverse acts have been committed by persons of sound mind. The perversion of feeling must be shown to be pathological. The proof is to be obtained by learning the conditions of its development, and by proving it to be part of a neuropathic or psychopathic condition.”
The author goes on to note that in nearly every case of the most perverse sexual acts, the danger is that presumption can lead to false conclusions, especially as multiple causal agents may have been responsible. The sober analyst must then examine periodical occurrences of the act under the same or similar conditions.
But what would Krafft-Ebing have allowed us to infer about Ariel Castro, the monster who kept three women in bondage for years, actually impregnating one of them multiple times and forcing abortion each time – first by starving her for two weeks then punching her violently in the stomach. What kind of predatory deviant commits such foul deeds? What manner of beast snatches young women off the streets, carts them into his home, locks them in chains – has his sexual way with them – even generating pregnancies, while aborting most? Whence, from what dark pits of the atavistic brain- does such a misbegotten creature arise?
Is there any basis for historical comparisons that can shed light on this type of predator? Krafft-Ebing for sure details a parade of sexual monsters that makes the head spin. From women who elicit base sexual gratification from flogging boys and men, to married men who throttle their wives and force them to perform coitus with animals in front of them. Then there are other males- both single and married- who get off on severe ligature, tying women up and flogging them to gain sexual release. What one comes away with is the sheer panorama of human sexual perversity which leaves the rational mind reeling.
But there is only one segment that possibly sheds light on Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper-rapist. That is to do with psycho-sexual degeneration often described as antipathic sexual instinct. Note here ‘antipathic’ is the opposite of empathic. Normally, when two lovers or married people have sexual relations they feel empathy toward each other in the course of the act. In other words, there is a consistent feeling in response to the loved one. By contrast, the antipathic instinct doesn’t recognize this. The person to whom the sexual advance is directed is instead perceived as inanimate, a piece of insensate meat. In this state sexual aggression is meted out without regard for consequences, remorse or pity on the victim.
Krafft-Ebing notes that in primitive Man the antipathic instinct prevailed, there was little or no sensitivity to the other’s wants, feeling, needs. Sex was hurried, often brutal and only had one purpose- that of immediate satiation. With the emergence of Modern Man, and spurred by the values of the Enlightenment, this changed. The institution of marriage went a long way towards promoting the civilizing instinct, so much so that rape in marriage would be considered a crime. Of course, to the antipathic sexual brute it was impossible to rape a woman to whom you are married.
This sort of antipathic profile seems to fit Castro, as opposed to being a true sexual psychopath. The latter is more personified by Ed Gein, the Plainfield, Wisconsin body snatcher who dug up fresh female corpses after they were interred, carted them home then skinned and tanned them to use for outerwear. According to the records, Gein was traumatized after his mother’s death, wanted to have a sex change, but failing that opted for creation of “woman suits” in order to pretend to be female. To this end, he crafted and donned the tanned skins of the women’s corpses he dug up. Analysis of Gein’s psycho-history revealed domination by his mother, Augusta. She was a fervent Lutheran, who incessantly preached to her boys about the innate immorality of the world, and the belief that all women (herself excluded) were naturally prostitutes and instruments of the devil.
As for Ed, nothing he did could satisfy her, and on the occasions he tried to satisfy himself he was beaten mercilessly for giving in to the Devil.
Unlike Ed Gein, there’s no evidence thus far that Ariel Castro was or is a sexual psychopath, though the news reports might lead one to conclude that. While Gein was committed to a mental asylum there’s evidently no similar "out" for Castro - who as a rational beast and antipathic sexual predator merits the book being tossed at him.
Hopefully, his female victims are able to recover their lives and not be permanently damaged by the deeds perpetrated on them by this malevolent prick.