‘They talk big and seem full of confidence,’ Ronson continues. Whatever the motive, love and responsibility won’t figure.
Sophie, 36, a finance director at a well-known corporation, believes her husband – who ticks almost every box on the Hare checklist – pursued her for her money. If he heard of anyone being unfaithful, he’d get very angry.
Thought to be untreatable, it affects an estimated one per cent of the population, appears to be more common in men than women and involves a moral blindness, an emotional emptiness, an inability to feel empathy, guilt or remorse.
However, despite a recent spate of cases involving charming and manipulative husbands like Webster who have killed their partners (see overleaf), most psychopaths are not murderers or even criminals.
One study found a larger proportion of psychopaths (four or five times greater) among CEOs, directors and supervisors than among the general population. ‘He’s the lion and you’re the impala running innocently through the field.’ A psychopath will use a partner to gratify his needs.