Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling

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When white collar criminals turn to fatal violence: The impact of narcissism and psychopathy


The present article takes as its point of departure Perri's view, according to whom the impact of personality traits such as psychopathy and narcissism has unduly been omitted in research on white collar criminality. However, this article argues that although such factors have an important role to play in some cases when white collar criminals turn violent in order to prevent the detection of their felonies, they constitute neither the necessary nor the sufficient conditions for white collar criminals to commit murders. This means on the one hand that, although potentially increasing the risk for violence, these traits are not by themselves sufficient as the triggers of violent acts and can function so only under certain social‐contextual circumstances. However, such personality traits are not by themselves necessary, as there can be empirical cases of fraud detection murder committed by white collar criminals lacking them. This position is supported by both a logical analysis of Perri's main arguments and by empirical evidence, consisting of a few real‐life cases of Scandinavian white collar criminals who have “turned red.”

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