Relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr says it’s fairly common for women to write to prisoners out of compassion – but engaging with them further is a whole different story
Serial killer Levi Bellfield has sparked outrage by courting marriage behind bars, but his unnamed girlfriend isn’t the first person to fall for a dangerous prisoner.
Last month, Rebecca Short, 26, a dental nurse in training from Chipping Norton, Oxon, married double murderer Manual Ovante Jr, 35, in an Arizona state penitentiary.
In 2017, Paula Williamson, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, married Britain’s most violent prisoner, Charles Bronson. Their marriage was annulled two years later. Paula, 38, died the same year.
A French woman had a baby with killer Alan Wade, 33, even though conjugal visits were not allowed at his Florida prison. They married in 2016.
So why do women fall for violent prisoners? Here we ask relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr…
The news that grotesque murderer Levi Bellfield is engaged to a besotted prison visitor has raised eyebrows across the country.
Most women would reel in disgust at the thought of even speaking to such a heinous criminal, so what about the women who fall in love with such men?
It is actually quite common for women to write to prisoners out of compassion.
But delving further into them is a whole different story.
Research suggests that there are some common elements in the lives and psyches of women who do this.
First, many like the thrill of being in touch with a dangerous character. The thrill becomes an intoxicating attraction.
They romanticize what they share with the prisoner – that they both stand together against the world.
Often these women feel quite isolated from their families. If their families are upset that they have contact with the prisoner, it can push them further into isolation.
The prisoner then becomes their only relationship.
Some women who have been in these relationships speak of the loneliness that has clouded their lives.
Since the prisoner has all the time in the world to communicate with them, they suddenly feel that their lives have meaning. You feel a lot less lonely.
Another aspect of their personality can be a “campaign character”. They seize the prisoner’s self-proclaimed innocence and run away with it, deciding they must fight this battle for the prisoner. This can become quite obsessive, leaving families baffled by this campaign behavior.
Many have had difficult, abusive, and/or unsatisfying relationships that have left them with low self-esteem. When a prisoner is fully focused on them, it feels like they are finally truly loved and in love.
Sometimes inexperienced, they can also have a rather infantile view of the world and relationships. When family or friends object, like a small child trying to hold on to a toy, they step in and ignore reason.
Other women consider being in a relationship with a prisoner a dark and “exciting” secret. You feel like you have something that the rest of the world doesn’t have. When the relationship comes to light, they are often so down the rabbit hole that nothing can stop them.
Finally, there are those women who have kept their own disruptive sociopathic personalities under wraps. You get a vicarious thrill from the crimes committed by the prisoner. These women are potentially dangerous themselves. If the criminal comes out, there is a chance that they will commit crimes together.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/expert-explains-women-marry-murderers-26950697 Expert Explains Why Women Marry Murderers While Levi Bellfield Demands Prison Marriages