What drives Donovan Moodley? A criminologist’s explains his type.

November 26, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Arrogance, would be my first guess. Who but an extremely arrogant son of a cow would describe himself as a “media favorite”. He wrote a letter to Beeld that says, amongst other things, the following:

“Five years on, I am still a media favorite. A country sickened by crime must choose an official face for crime and a mascot for evil. Is that me?”


This is now the man who CONFESSED to killing Leigh Matthews! Now he claims his life sentence was “shockingly inappropriate”, basing this on the fact that the murder “wasn’t pre-meditated”. (But it still is murder, you asshole!)


Judge Joop Labuschagne, the judge who found him guilty (after him pleading guilty, no less) yesterday said that Moodley planned to murder Leigh and confirmed this right through his statement. (“En regdeur sy verklaring het hy sy versigtige beplanning bevestig.)


You and me may wonder what the hell is wrong in Moodley’s head. While researching another article this morning, I came across the following insights into a criminal mind by the late Dr. Irma Labuschagne, one of the best criminologists this country has ever had. Although she doesn’t refer to Moodley, it is not difficult after Moodley’s recent circus to come to the conclusion that he must be  a psychopath. (Leigh Matthews’ mom calls him that as well.)


And this is how their brains work, according to Dr. Labuschagne: (Pity she died recently – would have loved to hear what she thought of Moodley’s stunt.)


Nevertheless, there are some general truths about these killers. The overwhelming majority has at least an average intelligence, mostly male (but certainly not always) and they usually fall into two categories: psychopaths and psychotics.

Psychotics – a small minority among serial killers – are insane. They fail to perceive reality correctly. They hear voices or see visions, or sometimes both, and murder is a symptom of their madness. David Bekowitz, the infamous Son of Sam murderer, who terrorized New York City in the 1970’s, was such a killer. Most serial killers are not insane.


Psychopaths – also labelled sociopaths or antisocial personalities – do not suffer from a mental illness but from a character flaw. They are in touch with reality. They know right from wrong, and they know killing is wrong. But they simply don’t care. Psychopaths lack a vital component of the human personality that most other people take for granted – conscience. Either they have no conscience, or their conscience is too weak to inhibit the violence they commit. Psychopaths kill without guilt and without remorse.


No one knows for certain what creates a psychopathic killer. Some theories stress genetics – an inborn predisposition to kill. Others favor an environmental explanation – factors in an individual’s upbringing that make him a killer. Many experts believe the truth lies in a combination of genetics and environment – the age old problem of “nature vs. nurture”.

Perhaps the psychopathic serial killer’s most frightening quality is his ability to live unnoticed among his fellow humans. His seems so normal. He may even be intelligent and charming – probably has to be to enable him to lure his victims. Ted Bundy, who killed countless young women, was this sort of psychopath. But beneath the surface. Two traits are often present in psychopathic killers : a sexual abnormality (here Dr Pistorius is the expert and will certainly be better in explaining that side of some of the serial killers than I could ever do) – and an all- consuming need for power. Killing could satisfy them sexually, and it satisfies their need for control – the ultimate control over life and death. Simply put, killing gives them pleasure. They kill because they want to. They kill because the can and they like it.

Yet: when simply applying the definition accepted by human scientists, many questions arise. It becomes clear that not all serial killers can be labelled so easily as one has said in the above. Here we can think of different kinds of people – certainly with various motives – and those motives are not always that clear at all!

There have been attempts made by criminologists to classify serial murderers into a typology based on motive. Four major types were identified:

  1. Visionary: For example operating on the basis of a “directive from God”.
  2. Mission orientated: They believe there is a particular group of people that must be destroyed or eliminated.
  3. The hedonistic type: strive for pleasure and thrill-seeking and feels that people are objects to use for one’s own enjoyment. They gain considerable pleasure from the murder event itself.
  4. The power/control type: they strive to get satisfaction by having complete life-or death control over the victim. Sexual components may or may not be present, but the primary motive is the extreme power over the helpless victim.

Later, two more types were added to the list:

  1. Recognition seeker – killing primarily for the challenge of it and the recognition they receive from the media, and the
  2. Material gain-seeker, killing serially for money and material rewards- such as women killing their husbands for the insurance monies or doctors killing patients whom they know had mentioned them in their wills.

My guess is that Moodley falls into the power/control type, but even more in the recognition and material-gain seeker type. What do you think?

You can read the full article at http://www.sbsonline.info/seminars-workshops-and-other-academic-forums/the-nature-of-the-beast-by-dr-irma-labuschagne/



8 antwoorde op What drives Donovan Moodley? A criminologist’s explains his type.

  1. Sounds like recognition and material gain type to me!!

  2. Definitely in the material gain-seeker category to me.

  3. I have the same weird feeling. Piet Byleveldt (the supercop) said there were possibly more people involved, but four years later still no arrests?? Somebody wondered aloud about his girlfriend the other day when we were discussing this.

  4. I feel the same urge, Jane, don’t worry. Especially the pic in today’s Beeld. A real fekkin smoothie!

  5. spine chilling to see his facial expression, as if the world really does owe him something! He will face his deeds for sure!

  6. I agree with OC. something still seems rather odd to me. not saying he didn’t do it & he certainly must accept that he got what was coming to him. :-)))

  7. The problem with some stupid people are that they will rather face the music alone just to get all the limelight. If he really didn’t do it (although he maintain he did do it) then why not come clean and tell us who assisted? If anybody. I think he LOVES the attention, and can’t bear that the world has forgotten him. A bit like Manson, who sometimes wrote to the media from the jail. Saw the other day somebody claims to be his child. If he was my dad, I’d rather just shut up and hope nobody finds out!

  8. He is a narcissist of note. Everything is about him and he just thrives on the publicity. He must just accept his sentence and fade into oblivion. Not getting attention is what will hurt him the most.

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