Don’t Tell Me to Cheer Up

By Kelly Dickerson

"Think positive" may be the wrong advice.

Seeing the glass half full is effortless for some and nearly impossible for others. One likely reason? As new report in Abnormal Psychology finds, a standard tactic of positive thinkers- reappraising the meaning of a bad situation- may backfire for habitual worriers.

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Colin Ireland (16 March 1954 – 21 February 2012) was a British serial killer known as the “Gay Slayer” because he murdered five gay men.

While living in Southend, he started frequenting The Coleherne pub, a gay pub in west London. It was known as a place where men cruised for sexual partners and wore colour coded handkerchiefs that indicated their preferred role. Ireland sought men who liked the passive role and sadomasochism, so he could readily restrain them as they initially believed it was a sexual game.

Ireland said he was heterosexual — he had been married — and that he pretended to be gay only to befriend potential victims. It is unknown whether Ireland’s murders were sexually motivated. Ireland was highly organised. He carried a full murder kit of rope and handcuffs and a full change of

clothes to each murder. After killing the victim he cleaned the flat of any forensic evidence linking him to the scene and stayed in the flat until morning in order to avoid arousing suspicion from leaving in the middle of the night.

He was jailed for life for the murders in December 1993 and remained imprisoned until his death in February 2012, at the age of 57.

Peter Walker, a 45-year-old choreographer, took Ireland back to his flat in Battersea. There he was bound, and ultimately suffocated by a plastic bag being placed over his head.

Ireland placed two teddy bears in a 69 position on the body. Ireland left Walker’s dogs locked in another room. The day after the murder, having heard no news reports of the crime, he called Samaritans and a journalist from The Sun newspaper, advising them of the dogs, and that he had murdered their master.


Christopher Dunn was a 37-year-old librarian who lived in Wealdstone. Dunn’s death was initially believed to be an accident that occurred during an erotic game. In addition, because he lived in a different area from Walker, a different set of investigators worked on the case. For these reasons the death was not linked to Walker’s.

Ireland met a 35-year-old businessman, named Perry Bradley III, at the Coleherne pub. Bradley lived in Kensington and was the son of Texas Democratic Party fundraiser Perry Bradley Jr.

The two men returned to Bradley’s flat, where Ireland suggested that he tie Bradley up. Bradley expressed his displeasure at the idea of sado-masochism. In order to get Bradley to comply, Ireland told Bradley that he was unable to perform sexually without elements of bondage. Bradley hesitantly cooperated and was soon trussed up on his own bed, face down, with a noose around his neck.

After Ireland had secured Bradley, he demanded money from him and demanded his PIN under the threat of torture. Ireland assured Bradley that he was merely a thief and would leave after stealing Bradley’s money. After Bradley gave Ireland his PIN, which Ireland later used to steal £200, along with £100 in cash stolen from Bradley’s flat, Ireland told Bradley that he should go to sleep, as he wouldn’t be leaving his flat for hours. Bradley eventually did fall asleep and Ireland momentarily thought of leaving Bradley unharmed. Ireland then realized that Bradley could identify him, and he used the noose, which he had earlier attached around Bradley’s neck, to strangle him. Before leaving Bradley’s flat, he placed a doll on top of the dead man’s body.

Ireland, angered that he had received no publicity even after three murders, killed again within three days. At the pub he met and courted 33-year-old Andrew Collier, a housing warden, and the pair went to Collier’s home in Dalston. After entering the flat there was a disturbance outside and both men went to the window to investigate. Ireland gripped a horizontal metal bar that ran across the window. He later forgot to wipe the bar for prints during his usual cleanup phase. The police found this fingerprint.

Once he had tied up his victim on the bed, Ireland again demanded his victim’s bank details. This time his victim refused to comply. Ireland killed Collier’s cat in Collier’s presence whilst he was restrained on the bed. Ireland then strangled Collier with a noose. He then placed a condom in the dead man’s mouth.

Ireland had become angered at discovering Collier was HIV positive while rummaging through his personal effects looking for bank details. A suspected reason for his killing of the cat was that after Ireland killed Walker and had left this previous victim’s dogs locked in a separate room, he later called anonymously to advise parties to the fact that these dogs were being or had been locked up. As a result the media called the killer an animal lover. He strangled the cat to demonstrate that the “animal lover” assumption had been wrong.

Ireland’s fifth victim was Emanuel Spiteri, aged 41, a chef whom Ireland had met in the same pub as his previous victims. The two men went to Spiteri’s flat in Hither Green, and again Spiteri was persuaded to be cuffed and bound on his bed. Once more, Ireland demanded his bank PIN number but did not obtain it. He again used a noose to kill his victim.

After carrying out his post-murder ritual of cleaning and clearing the scene, Ireland set fire to the flat and left. He rang the police later to tell them to look for a body at the scene of a fire and added that he would probably not kill again.

There are suggestions that police homophobia delayed the linking of all the murders and that they were initially not handled well but police eventually connected all five killings. The crimes were widely publicised through the mainstream media and it quickly became known in the gay community and the wider community that a serial killer who specifically targeted gay men was operating.

Investigations revealed that Spiteri had left the pub and travelled home with his killer by train, and a security video successfully captured the two of them on the railway platform at Charing Cross station. Ireland recognised himself and decided to tell police he was the man with Spiteri but not the killer — he claimed to have left Spiteri in the flat with another man. However, police had also found the fingerprints in Collier’s flat, which matched those of Ireland.

Ireland was charged with the murders of Collier and Spiteri, and confessed to the other three while awaiting trial in prison. He told police that he had no vendetta against gay men, but picked on them because they were the easiest targets. Ireland pretended to be gay in order to lure his victims. He had robbed those he killed to finance his killings because he was unemployed at the time, and he needed funds to travel to and from London when hunting for victims.

When his case came to the Old Bailey on 20 December 1993, Ireland admitted all charges and was given life sentences for each. The judge, Justice Sachs, said he was “exceptionally frightening and dangerous”, adding: “To take one human life is an outrage; to take five is carnage.”

On 22 December 2006, Ireland was one of 35 life sentence prisoners whose names appeared on the Home Office’s list of prisoners who had been issued with whole life tariffs and were unlikely ever to be released.

Ireland died on 21 February 2012, at Wakefield Prison. A spokeswoman for Her Majesty’s Prison Service said: "He is presumed to have died from natural causes; a post-mortem will follow."

Evidence Fails to Support Vitamin D Supplements for Depression

On March 20 2014 by Rick Nauert

Although vitamin D deficiency has been found to be associated with numerous health conditions, including mood disorders and major depressive disorders, current research does not suggest vitamin D supplementation reduces or prevents depression.

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Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

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Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms

Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of attention seeking behavior and extreme emotionality. Someone with histrionic personality disorder wants to be the center of attention in any group of people, and feel uncomfortable when they are not. While often lively, interesting and sometimes dramatic, they have difficulty when people aren’t focused exclusively on them. People with this disorder may be perceived as being shallow, and may engage in sexually seductive or provocative behavior to draw attention to themselves.

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Born Hamilton Fish, in 1870, America’s most notorious 20th-century cannibal was the product of a respected family living in Washington, D.C. A closer examination, however, reveals at least seven relatives with severe mental disorders in the two generations preceding Fish’s birth, including two members of the family who died in institutions. Fish was five years old when his father died, and his mother placed him in an orphanage while she worked to support herself. Records describe young Fish as a problem child who “ran away every Saturday,” persistently wetting the bed until his eleventh year. Graduating from public school at age 15 he began to call himself “Albert,” discarding the hated first name which led classmates to tease him, calling him “Ham and Eggs.”

As an adult, Fish worked odd jobs , making his way across country as an itinerant house painter and decorator. In 1898 he married a woman nine years his junior fathering six children before his wife ran away with a boarder named John Straube, in January 1917. She came back once, with Straube in tow, and Fish took her back on the condition that she send her lover away. Later, he discovered that his wife was keeping Straube in the attic, and she departed after a stormy argument, never to return.

By his own account, Fish committed his first murder in 1910, killing a man in Wilmington, Delaware, but his children marked the obvious change in Fish’s behavior from the date of his wife’s first departure. Apparently subject to hallucinations, he would shake his fist at the sky and repeatedly scream, “I am Christ!” Obsessed with sin, sacrifice, and atonement through pain, Fish encouraged his children and their friends to paddle him until his buttocks bled. On his own, he inserted numerous needles in his groin, losing track of some as they sank out of sight. (A prison X-ray revealed at least 29 separate needles, some eroded with time to mere fragments.) On other occasions, Fish would soak cotton balls in alcohol, insert them in his anus, and set them on fire. Frustrated by agony when he began slipping needles under his own fingernails, Fish lamented, “If only pain were not so painful!”

Though never divorced from his first wife, Fish married three more times, enjoying a sex life which court psychiatrists would describe as one of “unparalleled perversity.” (In jail, authorities compiled a list of eighteen sexual perversions practiced by Fish, including coprophagia — the consumption of human excrement.) Tracing his sadomasochism back to the age of five or six, when he began to relish bare-bottom paddlings in the orphanage, Fish’s obsession with pain was focused primarily on children. Ordered “by God” to castrate young boys, he impartially molested children of both sexes as he traveled around the country. Prosecutors confidently linked him with “at least 100” sexual attacks in 23 states, from New York to Wyoming, but Fish felt slighted by their estimate. “I have had children in every state,” he declared, placing his own tally of victims closer to 400.

For all that, Fish was careless in his crimes, frequently losing jobs “because things about these children came out.” Arrested eight times over the years, he served time for grand larceny, passing bad checks and violating parole or probation. Obscene letters were another of his passions, and Fish mailed off countless examples to strangers, their addresses obtained from matrimonial agencies or newspaper “lonely-hearts” columns.

In 1928, posing as “Mr. Howard,” Fish befriended the Budd family in White Plains, New York. On June 3, while escorting 12-year-old Grace Budd to a mythical children’s party, he took the child to an isolated cottage and there dismembered her body, saving several pieces for a stew which he consumed.

Two years later, with the Budd case still unsolved, Fish was confined to a psychiatric hospital for the first time. After two months of observation, he was discharged with a note reading: “Not insane; psychopathic personality; sexual type.” In 1931, arresting Fish once more on a charge of mailing obscene letters, police found a well-used cat-o’-nine-tails in his room. He was released after two more weeks of observation in a psychiatric ward.

Compelled to gloat about his crimes, Fish sent a letter to the Budd family in 1934, breaking the news that Grace was dead, oddly emphasizing the fact that “she died a virgin.” Traced by police through the letter, Fish readily confessed to other homicides, including children killed in 1919, 1927, and 1934.

Authorities disagreed on his ultimate body-count, detectives listing at least three more victims in New York City. Arrested for questioning in one case, Fish had been released because he “looked so innocent.” On another occasion, a trolley conductor identified Fish as the man he saw with a small, sobbing boy on the day of the child’s disappearance. A court psychiatrist suspected Albert of at least five murders, with New York detectives adding three more, and a justice of the New York Supreme Court was “reliably informed” of the killer’s involvement in fifteen homicides.

At trial, the state was desperate to win a death penalty, overriding Fish’s insanity defense with laughable psychiatric testimony. Speaking for the state, a battery of doctors declared, straight-faced, that “Coprophagia is a common sort of thing. We don’t call people who do that mentally sick. A man who does that is socially perfectly all right. As far as his social status is concerned, he is supposed to be normal, because the State of New York Mental Hygiene Department also approves of that.”

With Fish’s rambling, obscene confessions in hand, the jury found him sane and guilty of premeditated murder. Sentenced to die, Fish was electrocuted at Sing Sing prison on January 16, 1936. It took two jolts before the chair, short-circuited by all the needles Fish had planted in his body, could complete its work.

Mouse Study Sheds Light on Pot’s Anxiety Relief

March 12, 2014 by Traci Pedersen

For the first time, researchers have discovered cannabinoid receptors in the central nucleus of the amygdala in a mouse model, according to an international study led by Vanderbilt University.

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(Source: vanderbilt.edu)

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Who is Typically Diagnosed with PTSD?

There is no “typical” demographic profile for a person withPTSD. While military doctors first identified PTSD as “shell shock” or “battle fatigue,” today it is recognized as a disorder that affects people of all ages and from all social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. For example, children who experience physical or sexual abuse, adolescents who witness drive-by shootings and adults who live through natural disasters may be diagnosed with PTSD.

Several recent studies have indicated that exposure totraumais surprisingly common in the United States. One study notes that significant traumatic events occur for more than half of all persons during the course of their lifetimes. The events most commonly associated with PTSD inwomenare rape and sexual abuse. In men, the traumatic event most commonly associated with PTSD is combat exposure. Domestic violence is a common precipitant of PTSD, but is arguably not sufficiently recognized as extremely common.

Impairments in personal adjustment, lack of supportive relationships, family history of PTSD, previous traumatic experiences and other existing mental disorders may also play a role in vulnerability to developing PTSD. Additional research is needed, however, to further clarify how different vulnerability andresiliencefactors interact in the development of PTSD.

As noted earlier, while PTSD is a common disorder, the majority of persons exposed to a traumatic event cope reasonably well. While many may develop symptoms (such as insomnia) for a short time, only a small percentage (less than 10 percent) go on to develop PTSD. Thus PTSD is not simply a “normal response” to an abnormal event; rather it is ananxietydisorder that involves specific kinds of physical and mental changes.

"The Doodler", also known as “the Black Doodler”, is an unidentified serial killer believed responsible for 14 slayings and three assaults of men in San Francisco’s gay community between January 1974 and September 1975. The nickname was given due to the perpetrator’s habit of sketching his victims prior to having sex with them and then stabbing them to death. The perpetrator met his victims at after-hours gay clubs, bars and restaurants.

Police had developed a prime suspect in the case, identified by two of his survivors, but authorities could not proceed with an arrest as the surviving victims refused to “out” themselves by way of testifying (one was an entertainer, the other a diplomat). Meanwhile, the suspect spoke freely with police, although he did not admit the slayings.

At the time, Harvey Milk publicly expressed his empathy for the victims who refused to speak, stating “I understand their position. I respect the pressure society has put on them.”

To date, the suspect has never been publicly named or apprehended, and the slayings have faded into obscurity; very little information is currently available about these crimes.

When Feeling Too Sad for Chocolate is a Good Thing

March 12, 2014 By Janice Wood

Want to stop those cravings for chocolate or junk food? A new study finds that one way to combat that self-destructive behavior is to have someone make you feel sad.

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