How to Diagnose a Sociopath
By Maria Tarallo, eHow Contributor
There are a number of mental disorders that affect the personality and antisocial disorders many times present similar characteristics. To diagnose a sociopath; there are a few clear behaviors, mainly, the sociopath's complete disregard for the rights of others. This disdain for others is expressed in a variety of ways throughout the person's life. To medically diagnose a sociopath, three of the following behaviors must be observed since childhood.
This is the part everyone seems to ignore -- these patterns of behavior must be observed since childhood.
Scott did not exhibit 3 of the above behaviors from childhood -- he didn't exhibit any of them from childhood. The only category, lying and deceit, involved affairs after he married -- two affairs, 5 years apart. Inexcusable. Despicable. But not evidence of being a sociopath. And certainly not evidence of murder.
This is from another Internet article -- again I've added italics, bold, and underline for emphasis.
Most psychopaths begin to exhibit serious behavioral problems at an early age. These might include persistent lying, cheating, theft, fire setting, truancy, class disruption, substance abuse, vandalism, violence, bullying, running away and precocious sexuality. Because many children exhibit some of these behaviors at one time or another, especially children raised in violent neighborhoods or in disrupted or abusive families, it is important to emphasize that the psychopaths's history of such behaviors is more extensive and serious than that of most others, even when compared with those of siblings and friends raised in similar settings.
Early cruelty to animals is usually a sign of serious emotional or behavioral problems. Cruelty to other children—including siblings—is often part of the young psychopaths's inability to experience the sort of empathy that checks normal people's impulses to inflict pain, even when enraged.
> topPsychopaths consider the rules and expectations of society inconvenient and unreasonable, impediments to their inclinations and wishes. They make their own rules, both as children and as adults.
Many of the antisocial acts of psychopaths lead to criminal convictions. Even within prison populations psychopaths stand out, largely because their antisocial and illegal activities are more varied and frequent than are those of other criminals.
Not all psychopaths end up in jail. Many of the things they do escape detection or prosecution, or are on the "shady side of the law." For them, antisocial behavior may consist of phony stock promotions, questionable business and professional practices, spouse or child abuse, and so forth. Many others do things that, although not illegal, are unethical, immoral or harmful to others: philandering, cheating on a spouse, financial or emotional neglect of family members, irresponsible use of company resources or funds, to name but a few. The problem with behaviors of this sort is that they are difficult to document and evaluate without the active cooperation of family, friends, acquaintances and business associates.
The only thing in this list that Scott Peterson is guilty of is cheating on a spouse. No illegal or unethical behavior, no spousal or child abuse; no financial neglect or irresponsible use of company resources or funds; no questionable business or professional practices; and certainly no criminal behavior.