Read Where The Creator of A 22-Point Scale of Evil Places Jodi Arias

By | August 26, 2013

Dr. Michael Stone is the creator of a 22-point “Graduations of Evil” scale. If you’re a fan of the Investigation Discovery channel, you may have seen him featured on episodes of the show “Most Evil.” He is a forensic psychiatrist and a professor at Columbia University. 

JodiNotVictimThe scale of evil is loosely divided into three main tiers. The higher up on the scale, the more evil Dr. Stone considers a person to be.

Individuals who score a 1 are the least malevolent and may have killed for justifiable reasons.

Two through 8 are impulsive murderers, typically driven to commit murder in a moment of rage or jealousy.

Individuals who rate 9 through 15 are considered semi-psychopaths. These individuals are not extremely psychopathic but may be psychotic and may have lost touch with reality.

Individuals who rank 16 through 22 are considered psychopaths on Dr. Stone’s scale. These are people who show extreme psychopathic tendencies and generally have no remorse. Individuals at the extreme evil end of the scale, might have engaged in the torture or mutilation of their victims.

An example of someone who scored a one on Dr. Stone’s scale is Cheryl Pierson. She was repeatedly molested by her father after her mother died. Her father was extremely rigid, bizarre and domineering. At the age of 17, she paid a classmate $400 to kill her father and was sentenced to six months in jail. Dr. Stone effectively considered this an act of self-defense.

Jeffrey Dahmer was ranked as 22 on Dr. Stone’s scale of evil.

Dr. Stone is considering adding the number 23 to his scale after hearing about the case of Sedley Alley. The details of at least one of his murders are so horrifying that I’ll leave it up to you to Google him to learn about what he did.

Ted Bundy scored a 17. Charles Manson scored a 15. Susan Smith: 10 (extremely egocentric, but not distinctly psychopathic).

So where does Jodi Arias score on Dr. Stone’s scale? When asked a few months back, he said:

“I put number nine [jealous lovers with marked psychopathic features] for Jodi Arias if she’s convicted, which seems likely. And that has to do with people who are in a state of rage and have some psychopathic traits. By psychopathic traits, I mean quality of charm and superficial lying and manipulativeness and callousness and lack of remorse. She has some of those. Those traits. But she’s not at the far end of the scale where there’s prolonged torture and things like that.”

Knowing what you know about Jodi Arias, what score would you give her?

17 thoughts on “Read Where The Creator of A 22-Point Scale of Evil Places Jodi Arias

  1. Uppity

    I rank her in the 16 to 22 category, not because I seriously despise her (which I do), but because she shows no remorse, nor does she have regard for the feelings of anyone but herself. Jodi Arias would run her own mother over with a tractor if it served a purpose that would benefit herself.

    I also do not believe for one minute that Jodi has lost touch with reality. I think she is a pathological liar and manipulator who doesn’t believe her own claptrap for one second. The fact that she doesn’t believe any of the garbage she spews doesn’t phase her at all, because the purpose of her perpetual lying patter is to charm and manipulate OTHERs into believing it.

    In my untrained mind, the highest end of this 16-22 category would be reserved for freaks like the BTK killer. Using that as a barometer, I would rank Jodi a 16. Turned loose and given the opportunity, I am fairly confident she would inch further up on the scale. The fact is, considering the ease with which she slaughtered Travis, you have got to wonder what else she has done that we don’t even know about….

  2. Brigid

    Dr. Stone is brilliant. At least he has her in the semi -psychopath category, a heck of a lot more on point than merely borderline.

    But in my non-psychiatric humble opinion, she’s a 16. I believe she premeditated the murder and she did torture Travis before slitting his throat. Factor in no remorse, her media infatuation, the bizarre tweets, the taunting of the Alexanders, and IMHO, that’s a psycho with no semi whatsoever.

  3. Don Osborne

    Dr K., you have certainly set a task here, and the responses will certainly be interesting.
    I have watched ‘Most Evil’ many times and often disagreed with Dr. Stone’s ‘scoring’, but how can anyone be definitive in such an exercise as ‘rating’ killers? To make such judgements, it’s ‘quality’ rather than quantity of murder that’s taken into account, isn’t it? If so, you would have to rate Arias somewhat closer to Bundy than Stone has, based on the calculated, controlled and callous nature of the murder of her helpless victim.
    In his evaluation, Stone has rated her at the bottom end of the semi-psychopaths. To my way of thinking, Arias is no semi-psychopath. She is a full-blown psychopath, having clearly displayed extreme psychopathic tendencies and having not the slightest trace of remorse for her actions. She also engaged in the torture and mutilation of her victim – if stabbing him 29 times before administering the coup-de-grace of cutting his throat to near decapitation doesn’t qualify, why doesn’t it?
    Stone seems to have disregarded the fact that Arias pre-planned this murder – as opposed to acting on a raging impulse – and rendered her victim defenseless before subjecting him to an horrific end, during which he had absolutely no doubt that he was to have a shocking death, and at whose hands he was to die. I disagree she was a jealous lover who was in a state of rage, and possessing some psychopathic traits. Which of the traits Stone nominates did Arias not display in abundance?
    This was no spur-of-the-moment killing by a jealous lover. It was premeditated, calculated slaughter, carried out by a vicious, cold-blooded and thoroughly remorseless killer. With all this in mind, I would rate Arias at a 15 on Dr. Stone’s scale.

    1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

      I totally agree Don. Jodi is the worst kind of psychopath as you can see she has relished the psychological torture of every person Travis loved. And when she set out to destroy Travis, she intended to destroy everything, to consume him like a headhunter consumes the victim. She’s rewritten his life and character and even destroyed his journals so she could put herself in his place to speak for him. A vampire.

      I put little value on scales like this because they’re not science. While Dr. Stone may be a good professor, his scale is his own creation with no science behind it. Similar to Alyce Laviolette’s chart. What starts off as personal observations too often takes on the aura of having some science behind it because it comes from “an expert.” The social sciences are contaminated by this kind of junk science, unfortunately.

      If you listen to him speak, he points out that certain parts of the brain light up in regular people and not psychopaths. So what? And he jumps to conclusions that their brains are damaged somehow. Not true. No one has proven that which parts of the brain light up means anything other than one brain has activity different than another brain. We should not expect areas of empathy to light up in a psychopath, that’s for certain, since they’re not experiencing empathy. Doesn’t mean they can’t experience empathy because their brain prevents it. None of these theories leave one window open for personal choice as if humans are only hardwired by genes or influenced by environment and never make any choices.

      Many of these theories are junk science in the absence of real knowledge of what’s going on. We simply don’t know.

  4. Linda K

    I agree with others here that 9 is definitely too low but it appears to me he did not base the ranking on a full, in-depth investigation of the case. Should he choose to take a closer look in the future, one thing I think he’ll take into consideration is the level of depravity with which she planned and committed her first and, so far as we know, only kill.

    As others have said, this was no mere jealous rage killing — although jealousy certainly was a motivational factor. I also disagree with his classification of her as a semi-psychopath so, here again, perhaps a full investigation will change his mind on where to rank her. I would, however, agree with him on his point about her not being in touch with reality. I don’t believe it’s a full-blown psychotic version of reality but rather one in which her own perception of self-importance is greatly exaggerated.

    Having said all that, I’m going to have to cop out and say I don’t have a specific ranking in mind but 16 seems a reasonable minimum to me.

  5. pastilla

    I wonder if Dr. Stone would have rated her a little higher if he’d heard the interrogation tapes from Yreka, esp. the breathy, excited way she described Travis Alexander’s murder in the ninja version. As she described how he was still conscious but had lost the use of his legs, it was very clear she enjoyed replaying that part of the story in her mind, emphasizing how he was confused, suffering & begging her to get help, etc. . . . That’s a classic story of torture: a hopeless situation of cruelty vs. powerlessness. And she loved telling it.

    1. Penny

      Dr Stone can not be that brilliantt if he scored some of the worse serial killers at such a low score. Plus nothing he has said or done has been a proven fact.

      1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

        Penny, I agree! Plus admitted on NPR that his scale was inspired by Dante’s Inferno–the circles of hell. His version is the levels of evil. And he added more tiers than Dante. So it’s poetry. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129175964

        Interesting if you’re a lay person. Misleading if you attach “psychiatrist” to your poetry-inspired “assessment” of the levels of evil. He should have a disclaimer: this is poetry not science.

  6. NERN

    Dr. K. – I have watched, like others, “Most Evil” many times and I agree with Don O. in that I have disagreed with some of his placements of people on his scale. In the case of Arias – I agree, she is higher than Stone has put her. For me, somewhere between 16 and 20.
    To Don O. – great post!!

    1. Penny

      Nern, You are correct. There has been no proof or any backup info. to show Dr Stone is correct. It is his scale and his alone. I can not believe he has rated serial killers so low I have no faithin his scale.

  7. Elaine

    I found it interesting that Dr. Stone rated Arias as a 9…the same as Betty Broderick. Forget the numbers. It’s Arias and Broderick that furrows my brow. I don’t see a parallel, at all.

    And I did search out Sedley Alley. The horror…the pain. I can only hope that young woman was dead after the screwdriver in her skull because the rest is so unimaginable that it makes me dizzy.

  8. Suzee

    It looks like Dr. Stone ranked JA in March, long before any cross-examinations were done. I don’t think he had a full picture. I wonder if he would revisit the question now that all of the testimony is in, if the score would change.

  9. Bonnie

    I’d put Jodi at 15 in the end of the 9-15 scale with a couple dabs of 16 thrown in. She’s a cold callous manipulative woman, with no thoughts of anyone but herself and what she can get from people.

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