Michael Stone is a doctor specializing in forensic psychiatry from Columbia University who has dedicated most of his life to studying and analyzing in detail the behavior of all kinds of killers. Thanks to all this research, he was able to develop the scale of evil .
Most Evil: Developing a Scale of Evil
Stone directed the program Most Evil (in Spain, Profile of a Psychopath ) in the channel Discovery Max , where he exposes this classification that he calls “scale of evil”. In the different chapters of the program, the life and crimes of several murderers are shown, about which an investigation is carried out and each case is explained in detail, taking into account all the factors that could have influenced, predisposed and explained the reason for their behavior, in order to be able to classify them later on in that scale.
A tool for assessing the degree of psychopathy
The scale of evil was carefully created taking into account many types of factors: environmental, neurological and genetic. The aim was to break each case down into small units, as if they were molecules, in order to be as accurate as possible and to determine the reason why a person might commit something as heinous as murder.
In the scale of evil, questions are posed that help the professional to know the particularities of each case. For example, explore whether the subject had a traumatic childhood, their motivations for committing murders, why they have preferences for some victims or others … A key point in this scale of evil is, worth the redundancy, the evil and the sadism itself embodied in the crime, that is, the meditation of the crime, the method of death that was used, etc. Therefore, value judgments, morality, ethics and others are used to classify subjects at a particular point within this scale.
Analyzing the Mind and Brain of the Killer
In addition, Stone allows us to go deep into the mind of the killer , examining how the brains of people who commit blood crimes work, as well as their feelings towards the victim according to the degree of evil they are in from their scale of evil.
Sometimes the information is complemented with brain scan tests, making the person visualize different pictures and emotionally unpleasant words, or otherwise, that is, images that evoke positive feelings such as love.
The 22 levels of evil
The scale in question is a hierarchy that rises progressively from level 1 to 22 , with minimum or no evil (level 1) to maximum (level 22).
After this introduction, we will know the scale model and its different levels.
- Level 1 : killed exclusively in self-defence, do not show any kind of psychopathic tendency.
- Level 2 : crimes of passion committed by jealous lovers They may be immature and/or self-centered but they are not psychopaths.
- Level 3 : companions, partners or enthusiastic lovers of dangerous murderers. They have an impulsive and aberrant personality with antisocial traits.
- Level 4 : they kill in self-defence, but they largely caused the aggression towards them to happen.
- Level 5 : psychologically traumatized individuals who are desperate and kill family members who have sexually abused them. This may include drug addicts who are motivated by money or drugs, but do not possess significant psychopathic characteristics. They have some remorse for the acts committed.
- Level 6 : act impulsively, “in the heat of the moment”. They have no marked psychopathic characteristics.
- Level 7 : highly narcissistic individuals, indistinguishable from people with some kind of psychotic disorder, kill people in their environment mainly out of jealousy or passion.
- Level 8 : people who are not psychopaths but have high levels of repressed anger, come to kill when some event triggers or ignites it.
- Level 9 : jealous lovers scorned with psychopathic characteristics.
- Level 10 : killers who killed people who were in his way or witnesses who could give him away. They have an egocentric personality but not a clearly distinguishable psychopathic one.
- Level 11 : the same as level ten but this time with a remarkable psychopathic personality.
- Level 12 : power-hungry psychopaths who killed when they felt cornered.
- Level 13 : Psychopaths full of rage, who have lost control of it.
- Level 14 : ruthlessly self-centered psychopathic conspirators, wishing to gain a benefit from someone.
- Level 15 : multi-homicidal psychopaths who in one day of fury ( spree killing ) kill as many people as they come across in cold blood.
- Level 16 : psychopaths who commit several or multiple criminal acts, are not content with killing once and may include vicious acts.
- Level 17 : sexually perverse serial killers and torturer-killers, although their main purpose is rape as the subsequent killing is for the purpose of the victim not reporting it.
- Level 18 : murderers who usually torture their victims beforehand, although their main motivation is murder.
- Level 19 : psychopaths inclined towards terrorism, subjugation, rape and intimidation.
- Level 20 : torturers and psychotic killers in whom torture is the main motivation.
- Level 21 : psychopaths extremely interested in torture, but whose murder is not known for sure.
- Level 22 : Extreme torturers and psychopathic killers, who are mainly motivated by torture. Their crimes involve prolonged sexual torture, followed by the murder of their victims.
Profile of a Psychopath
Finally, here we provide you with the link to several chapters of the program “Profile of a Psychopath”, so you can see how different distinguished murderers are classified in the scale of evil. You can also watch the program currently on TV in the channel Discovery Max .