Monday, April 28, 2008

Studying the Abnormal to Understand the Normal--UPDATED

I never bought the premise of abnormal psychology--that to understand the normal you have to understand the abnormal. The problem with this educational focus is that psychologists tend to put everyone in the abnormal category. It's a changed point of view. Instead of normal people with a few weird things about them, people are abnormal and it's a surprise when they're normal.

Anyway, here's an example of bizarrely weird behavior. But it's not the incestuous, kidnapping freak that I'm interested in. It's the wife who "didn't see" the behavior for over twenty years. How do you have a daughter go missing, not report it to the police, and not notice that your husband is going to a hidden room a lot at the precise time your daughter disappears. Oh and you are not given access to the room? How the hell does that happen?

There are always going to be people at the end of the freak spectrum, but so many of them survive there because other people don't step in and stop them. It's the people who see and ignore who fascinate me.

UPDATE: More information and pictures about this craziness. Again, how does a mother not know?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

We discussed this story yesterday and it is difficult to believe that there were never any opportunities to escape. As the children got bigger, you would think that between all of them, they could have come up with a plan to beat the hell out of him with some household object, next time he walked through that door, or to scream bloody murder for the mother and neighbors to hear them....for SOMETHING!

It is just as hard to understand how the wife could have never been aware of anything. These apartments and townhouses in Vienna and Germany are well build...but, not so much that you can't hear commotion going on, if it is loud enough.

This is just a very, very strange story. It will be interesting to read while it unfolds.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, "SkyNews" has an article as well as a video to watch. I could not copy the web address over.

Anonymous said...

What an unbelievable event. I feel bad for even questioning how they could not escape somehow. They were small and frail and he had them so controlled. How can this have gone on for 24 years???? The wife must be devastated and was probably under his control and intimidation as well.

Now this man will be in prison with 3 meals a day, a decent bed and not that many years left to pay for his crime. It really makes you wonder.

Anonymous said...

It's the people who see and ignore who fascinate me.

Possible (and snarky) explanations:

1) "Everything's so Nice Nice Nice. (And Don't You Dare Rock The Boat!!!!)"

2) "OOOOOO! My Soulmate (TM)! He's so (gasp) Exciting! (Especially in the sack...)"

3) "WOMAN! SUBMIT!"

4) "Folles a deux", aka "Craziness is contaigous".

5) Does a fish ever know it's wet?

watercat said...

Haven't you people ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome? How can you be so totally oblivious to the dynamics of spousal abuse?

sandy said...

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