1. Those Who Kill in Self-defense
Those who kill in self-defense and who do not show psychopathic features; these cases do not involve murder.
Take the case of Cheryl Pierson. At 17, she had already endured many years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, a violent and controlling man.
Pierson paid a high school classmate $400 to kill her father. She was sentenced to only six months in prison for what was essentially a self-defense killing.
2. Jealous Lovers Who Kill
These murderers, though egocentric or immature, are not psychopaths.
This level on the scale includes crimes of passion — like the murder of "Scarsdale Diet" doctor Abe Tarnower at the hands of his scorned lover Jean Harris.
Harris shot and killed Tarnower in a fit of jealousy after she found another woman's underwear in his things.
3. Willing Companions of Killers
Killers on this level are usually impulse ridden, meaning they have a hard time controlling the kinds of violent thoughts that most people ignore.
4. Criminals Who Kill in Self-defense, But are Extremely Provocative Toward the Victim
Susan Cummings shot her boyfriend, Argentine polo player Roberto Villejas, after he became vindictive and abusive, or so she claimed. She called 911 after she shot him and told the dispatcher that he had been threatening her with a knife.
When police arrived on the scene, they believed the cuts on her arms to be self-inflicted.
At her trial she was declared guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to just 60 days in jail.
5. Traumatized, Desperate Persons Who Kill
These murderers may be genuinely remorseful and they lack significant psychopathic traits.
Susan Wyche thought she had found Prince Charming when she married Jeff Wright, but their fairy-tale romance quickly turned into a nightmare. Wright reportedly beat Susan and even gave her herpes at one point.
In order to escape, she enticed her 6'3" husband into bed, tied him up and then stabbed him 193 times.
6. Impetuous, Hot-headed Murderers with No Marked Psychopathic Features
Issei Sagawa started to fantasize about cannibalism while still in high school. Only a few years later, while studying at the University of Paris, he realized his dream. He shot and killed student Renee Hartevelt and then ate her, with mustard to improve the bland taste of her flesh.
7. Narcissists Who Kill Out of Jealousy
After a New Year's kiss Prosenjit Poddar thought that he and Tatiana Tarasoff were meant to be together. She had other ideas.
Tarasoff tired to explain to Poddar that she was not interested, but he would not hear it. After being brushed aside one too many times, he told his psychologist-therapist that he wanted to murder Tarasoff.
The psychologist-therapist tried to get Poddar committed, but police said Poddar was rational. He later stabbed Tarasoff to death with a kitchen knife.
Her parents sued and now doctors are required by law to inform potential victims of a psychiatric patient.
8. Non-psychopathic Persons With Smoldering Rage
These people kill when their rage is ignited.
One day Charles Whitman literally snapped. He killed his wife and mother and then went up into the University of Texas clock tower and started shooting. He killed 14 people and wounded 31 others before he was shot dead by police officers.
An autopsy discovered a tumor in Whitman's brain. It is theorized that the tumor may have contributed to the impulse to carry out the massacre.
9. Jealous Lovers With Marked Psychopathic Features
When Betty Broderick's husband, Dan, left her for a younger woman, Broderick became enraged. She eventually broke into their house and shot both of them to death.
10. Non-psychopathic Killers Who Murder People Who are "In the Way"
When it became clear to John List that he could no longer support his family, he killed them all. The murders were so methodical and well planned that it took weeks for anyone to realize that List, his wife, mother and three children were all missing.
List's crimes were so cold-blooded and calculating that he became the inspiration for the character Keyser Soze in the movie The Usual Suspects.
11. Psychopathic Killers Who Murder People "In the Way"
People at rung 11 on the evil scale kill those they feel who are in the way, like those at rung 10. However, unlike the murderers at 10, those at rung 11 have psychopathic features — making them just that much more evil.
One such killer is Robert Chambers. He murdered Jennifer Levin because she caught him trying to steal money from her purse. She said that she would press changes against him and Chambers killed her because he didn't want to be arrested.
12. Power-hungry Psychopaths Who Kill When Cornered
Jim Jones was an archetypical No. 12.
He turned to murder when his carefully constructed world started to fall apart.
13. Psychopathic Murderers Who Kill Out of Rage
Shortly before midnight on July 13, 1966, Richard Speck broke into a townhouse where nine student nurses were living. He methodically killed eight of the nurses and left. The ninth nurse hid under a bed and managed to escape Speck's murderous rampage.
14. Ruthlessly Self-centered Psychopathic Schemers Who Kill to Benefit Themselves
Sante Kimes is a classic psychopath. She conned and killed her way into money and power until her own egocentric diaries were her undoing.
15. Psychopathic Spree or Multiple Murderers
Charles Starkweather, a classic No. 15, inspired the Bruce Springsteen song, Nebraska as well as many movies including Bad Lands and Natural Born Killers.
16. Psychopaths Committing Multiple Vicious Acts, Which May Also Include Murder
Dr. Michael Swango used his position as a doctor to poison and kill as many as 60 people.
17. Sexually Perverse Serial Murderers
In males, rape is usually the primary motive and the victim is murdered to hide evidence.
Ted Bundy, one of the most famous serial killers of all time, only comes in at level 17. While he raped and murdered many women, he did not keep any of his victims alive for long periods of time in order to prolong their torture and suffering.
Murder is the primary motive and victims are killed after a torture that was not prolonged.
Unlike with Ted Bundy, the motive behind Jerry Brudos' crimes was murder. But he did not kill his victims until he was done torturing them.
19. Psychopaths Driven to Terrorism, Subjugation, Intimidation and Rape, But Short of Murder
Gary Krist didn't kill his victim, but the hell he put her through lands him and others like him at 19 on the evil scale. He kidnapped Barbara Mackle and buried her alive, allowing her to breathe via a tube. She was rescued after 83 hours underground.
20. Torturer-murderers: Torture is the Primary Motive
Joseph Kallinger and his 13-year-old son got their victims to let them inside by pretending to be salesmen. Once inside, the Kallingers tortured and murdered entire families. Kallinger's evil has remarkable depths; he also drowned another of his sons.
21. Psychopaths Who Do Not Kill Their Victims, But Do Subject Them to Extreme Torture
Cameron Hooker and his wife kept Colleen Stan captive for seven years. The couple chained Stan up and imprisoned her in a box under their bed. Though they made Stan their slave — torturing and raping her for years — they did not kill her. After regaining her freedom Stan went on to marry and have a child.
22. Psychopaths Who Inflict Extreme Torture on Their Victims and Then Murder Them
Dennis Rader (aka "the BTK Killer") liked to sneak into the homes of women he had been stalking, and then bind, rape, torture and kill them.
He remained at large for 20 years before he was finally identified, arrested, and sentenced to life without parole in Wichita, Kan.