Monday 24 June 2019

Dwyer got amorous letters and lingerie in jail

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Irish psychotherapists and psychologists were "unsurprised" to hear Graham Dwyer has received amorous letters of support from Irish women.

The architect (42), who was found guilty of murdering Elaine O'Hara, has been sent several letters at Cloverhill Prison along with lingerie and BDSM masks.

"This is more common that people night expect," psychotherapist Dorothy Casey told the Irish Independent.

"It is not exclusive to this case or this culture. There are many reasons why women are attracted to criminals.

"They could be attracted to the sense of danger, the notoriety or the perceived power.

"Each case is individual and you need to study the profiles of the women doing this to gain real understanding of the psychology behind it."

High-profile criminals often garner groups of admirers; 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women, received hundreds of love letters following his arrest.

Austrian Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter captive in a cellar for 24 years, and Soham killer Ian Huntley have been sent bundles of fan mail.

Charles Bronson, a notoriously violent prisoner in Britain, allegedly receives pornographic pictures from his admirers, while the Menendez brothers, who murdered their parents in Beverly Hills in 1989, both received marriage proposals. In fact, Lyle Menendez went on to marry two of his "pen pals".

For some, the act of writing to a dangerous convict provides a thrill while the possibility of any real harm is neutralised by the prisoner's incarceration.

The term 'hybristophilia' refers to individuals who are sexually attracted to criminals.

"There is the excitement of interacting with someone dangerous but from a physically safe distance," psychotherapist Brenda Banks explained.

"It is like playing with fire."

Ms Banks also cited the notoriety of some cases and a desire to "mother" prisoners as other explanations for the attraction.

"And there may be some father issues at play," she added.

"We tend to be attracted to people who remind us of the parent we felt most rejected by."

Irish Independent

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