Zodiac Discussion Forum

Clear all

psychological profiles

7 Posts
3 Users
Posts: 418
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Hi, Long time lurker first time… you know how it goes.

Anyway, I’ve noticed references to psychological profiles created by experts at the time. Dr. Miron’s report is often quoted amongst the Ross threads, but I was wondering if we have any other examples similar to to Dr. Miron’s? I figured it might be quicker just to ask and it maybe good to have them in one place.

I’m not sure who the original source of excerpt from Dr. Miron’s report is, but I’ll post the commonly quoted piece.

"He is no more than high school educated, reads little, is isolated, withdrawn and unrelated in his habits, quiet and unpreposessing in disposition, a discretionary illiterate. Prefers the passiveness of pictures, tv and the movies. Would have spent much of his time in movie houses, specializing in sado-masochistic and occult eroticism. A borderline psychotic, his communications display the characteristic signs of magical thinking and narcissistic infantilism, typical of the schitzophrenic. Zodiac rather well fits the pattern of what might be called pseudo-reactive schitzophrenia. Such individuals engage in their bizarre behavior as a sort of cover up for their underlying, and more hidden psychosis. They can be expected to display wide swings of emotion from intense euphoria to deepest depression. He lives the secret life of seclusion and presents to the worls a mask of containment, pleasantness, and ordinariness."
Dr. Murray S. Miron"

I’ve noticed the tendency for people to latch onto to the term schitzophrenia and enter endless debates about whether or not they personally think the Zodiac acted like it, or they had a great aunt who had it and "she never hurt anyone", or maybe he was mathematician and "does the composite sketch resemble Russell Crowe?". Now I’m not above that kind of wild talk, but I think there’s some juicer information contained in the opinion expressed by Dr. Miron.

He is much more descriptive with his diagnosis. He uses the term "pseudo-reactive", and then goes on to demonstrate it’s application. Now that compound is not going to be something familiar to the lay person, and the description he provides is clearly directed at people who have a good grasp of the relevant jargon.

I think it’s in all our interest to have a better understanding of these profiles. We don’t need to rely solely on experts if we are willing to educate ourselves in an organised fashion. I think a good place to start would be with the term "pseudo-reactive".

I’ve consulted my own medical books, most of which are very current, and I can’t find it. Having said that, I am quite familiar with reactivity in bipolar, it’s used to describe an individual who becomes more symptomatic during times of stress.

I did say I’d do more organised research, but in the interests of throwing a bone, I’ll hazard a guess as to what Dr. Miron is describing in more contemporary terms. I think he may be describing an individual who may outwardly appear to have symptoms of bipolar, or borderline personality disorder, but who is hiding more serious delusions. Schizophrenics may have differing degree’s of insight into their delusions and some may be aware that their delusions are not socially acceptable, and so they become covert and private about them. I also think he’s talking about attempts to legitimize delusions through surrogate actions. For example a person experiencing delusions of grandeur could try to legitimize those delusions by trying to actually become famous.

Anyway I’m going to try and find those exact terms in a reference work, and from there hopefully find some clinical examples. But as I say, if anyone else has any similar expert quotes pleas share them.

Why posted in this part of the forum? Well, if we ever do get any more information on Ross’s behavior we need a more thorough understanding of existing profiles to compare such information with.

Posted : January 21, 2019 2:46 pm
Posts: 753
Prominent Member

The schizophrenia referred to is probably better defined as "schizoid personality disorder".

A definition that i would assume wasn’t available at the time of the psychological profiling.

Yes, dyslexia is probably my first undiagnosed language.

Posted : January 21, 2019 3:16 pm
Posts: 24
Eminent Member

Always thought miron’s profile on zodiac was a very good one.
Well worth understanding as thoroughly as possible, as you say.

Posted : January 22, 2019 3:46 am
Posts: 418
Reputable Member
Topic starter

That’s right Simplicity, no doubt the terms used were popular at the time.

I’ll have a look through my guide to the DSM when I get home. It’s been a while, but I think in a nutshell you can roughly separate Schizoid, Schizotypal and full blown Schizophrenia by the degree to which the patient experiences psychosis. Schizoid experiences are more along the lines of disassociative and withdrawn without actual delusions, or hallucinations. Schizotypal experiences are closer to Schizophrenia, but they’re more likely to have insight into their delusions and rarely experience hallucinations.

Posted : January 22, 2019 5:41 am
Posts: 418
Reputable Member
Topic starter

I’m still trying to find a specific example of "pseudo-reactive" as a compound. But I think I understand enough about the term reactive to explain it.

A reactive illness is one that is reaction to something external, generally the actions of other people.

I’ll have another swing at it. So the Zodiac may say, "I killed her because she brushed me off", this is a reaction to something external, but in reality there is little part of him deep inside that suspects that maybe when you kill someone you get them as a slave in the afterlife. The Zodiac is semi-conscious of his magical thinking, but he buries the stranger idea’s under a veneer of more rational motives. I think he even hides some of his more outlandish views in his ciphers. He’s secretive about his psychosis and hides his illness, the only outward signs may be anger, or emotion when pushed.

I’m skeptical that this would mean the Zodiac would not come to the attention of the mental health system. If I could criticize Dr. Miron, I’d say simple that I find his ideas somewhat fanciful. He certainly seems like a rather excitable professional, maybe a bit of sleuth himself. All Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder have serious implications for a persons social functioning, and simply hiding the precise nature of your delusional’s is not going to hide all the other highly visible symptoms of the illness. Whoever the Zodiac was, if he had any Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder he could not have simply slipped into society so easily. Whoever he was he would have stood out socially, he would have been profoundly odd and highly eccentric. Mirion’s vision of the convert schizophrenic, lurking in plain-sight like some mild mannered Clark Kent :geek: , is as implausible as an invisible elephant. He combs his wild hair and puts on pair of glasses and blammmo, he could be your school principal – I don’t think so. Schizophrenia sticks out.

On a side note I found a tit bit about a meta analysis on ambidextrousness and schizophrenia. I’ve got it on my other computer though so I’ll post it tomorrow. I know some people will find the idea very exciting, a caution though, the Zodiac had a legitimate reason to disguise his hand writing. Correlation vs Causation. It is interesting though, will post tomorrow.

Posted : January 23, 2019 4:11 pm
Posts: 753
Prominent Member

I think the best interpretation is that the zodiac experienced schizoid aspects during times of anxiety or depression etc.

pseudo reactive might better be explained a the comorbid aspects of the Zodiacs mental illness causing him to experience schizoid aspects more severely. Where he probably relegates into more lucid thinking.

I dont believe he is saying he is a schizophrenic only display traits of, the two are not one and the same but can progress further in schizophrenia.

This is a topic i wished to bring up in these forums for it has not in my opinion been properly explored.

Yes, dyslexia is probably my first undiagnosed language.

Posted : January 23, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 418
Reputable Member
Topic starter

You may be correct. In the early part of the last century the common usage was the symptomatic reaction to the disease. So if some one had neurosis and psychosis, you might say "neurosis with psychotic reaction", meaning that the neurosis was causing psychosis. In that usage though you will note the order, the disease and followed by the dominant symptom. In modern usage we have examples like reactive bipolar, which the average joe can take to mean the severity of this person illness is highly influenced by their environment.

I’d suggest that Miron was using the more modern usage and I think a very careful reading of his description supports this.

In this view the Zodiac appears to behave in a reactionary manner, reacting to society, the way he’s treated. This appears to be his motive, but in reality he is driven by deeper delusions.

Here’s that bit about meta analysis of ambidexterity in Schizophrenics.
<quote>Non-right-handedness has been associated with
schizophrenia at least since the 1950s (Straaten,
1955). Indeed, meta-analysis shows that the frequency
of non-right-handedness is almost twice as high in
schizophrenia patients in comparison to healthy
subjects (Sommer et al., 2001a).</quote>

That analysis was done in 2001, and I know there has been at least one study since then that contradicted these findings. Couple that with sensible motives for disguising hand writing and I start to think we shouldn’t place too much stock in this, especially since we don’t even know for sure which hand/s he used. But I figure people will have fun with this tit bit.

Posted : January 24, 2019 9:43 am