How to Spot a Murderer’s Brain

Tim Adams, Guardian (London), May 11, 2013

In 1987, Adrian Raine, who describes himself as a neurocriminologist, moved from Britain to the US. His emigration was prompted by two things. The first was a sense of banging his head against a wall. Raine, who grew up in Darlington and is now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was a researcher of the biological basis for criminal behaviour, which, with its echoes of Nazi eugenics, was perhaps the most taboo of all academic disciplines.

In Britain, the causes of crime were allowed to be exclusively social and environmental, the result of disturbed or impoverished nurture, rather than fated and genetic nature. To suggest otherwise, as Raine felt compelled to, having studied under Richard Dawkins and been persuaded of the “all-embracing influence of evolution on behaviour”, was to doom yourself to an absence of funding. In America, there seemed more open-mindedness on the question and, as a result, more money to explore it. There was also another good reason why Raine headed initially to California: there were more murderers to study than there were at home.

When Raine started doing brain scans of murderers in American prisons, he was among the first researchers to apply the evolving science of brain imaging to violent criminality. His most comprehensive study, in 1994, was still, necessarily, a small sample. He conducted PET [positron emission tomography] scans of 41 convicted killers and paired them with a “normal” control group of 41 people of similar age and profile. However limited the control, the colour images, which showed metabolic activity in different parts of the brain, appeared striking in comparison. In particular, the murderers’ brains showed what appeared to be a significant reduction in the development of the prefrontal cortex, “the executive function” of the brain, compared with the control group.

The advancing understanding of neuroscience suggested that such a deficiency would result in an increased likelihood of a number of behaviours: less control over the limbic system that generates primal emotions such as anger and rage; a greater addiction to risk; a reduction in self-control; and poor problem-solving skills, all traits that might predispose a person to violence.

Even two decades ago, these were difficult findings to publish, however. When Raine presented a far less controversial paper in 1994 to a peer group, one that showed a combination of birth complications and early maternal rejection in babies had significant correlation with individuals becoming violent offenders 18 years later, it was denounced as “racist and ideologically motivated” and, according to Nature magazine, was simply further strong evidence that “the uproar surrounding attempts to find biological causes for social problems will continue”. Similarly, when, 15 years ago, at the urging of his friend Jonathan Kellerman, the child psychologist and crime writer, Raine put together a proposal for a book on some of his scientific findings, no publisher would touch it. That book, The Anatomy of Violence, a clear-headed, evidence-based and carefully provocative account of Raine’s 35 years of study, has only now appeared.

The reason for this delay seems mired in ideological enmities. For all Raine’s rigour, his discipline of “neurocriminology” still remains tarnished, for some, by association with 19th-century phrenology, the belief that criminal behaviour stemmed from defective brain organisation as evidenced in the shape of the skull. The idea was first proposed by the infamous Franz Joseph Gall, who claimed to have identified over- or underdeveloped brain “organs” that gave rise to specific character: the organ of destructiveness, of covetousness and so on, which were recognisable to the phrenologist by bumps on the head. Phrenology was widely influential in criminal law in both the United States and Europe in the middle of the 1800s, and often used to support crude racial and class-based stereotypes of criminal behaviour.

The divisive thinking was developed further in 1876 by Cesare Lombroso, an Italian surgeon, after he conducted a postmortem on a serial murderer and rapist. Lombroso discovered a hollow part of the killer’s brain, where the cerebellum would be, from which he proposed that violent criminals were throwbacks to less evolved human types, again identifiable by ape-like physical characteristics. The political manipulation of such hypotheses in the eugenics movement eventually saw them wholly outlawed and discredited.

As one result, after the second world war, crime became attributable to economic and political factors, or psychological disturbances, but not to biology. Prompted by advances in genetics and neuroscience, however, that consensus is increasingly fragile, and the implications of those scientific advances for law–and for concepts such as culpability and responsibility–are only now being tested. He draws on a number of studies that show the links between brain development, in particular–and brain injury and impairment by extension–and criminal violence. Already legal defence teams, particularly in the US, are using brain scans and neuroscience as mitigating evidence in the trials of violent criminals and sex offenders. In this sense, Raine believes a proper public debate on the implications of his science is long overdue.

Raine was in part drawn to his discipline by his own background. In the course of scanning his murderers, Raine also examined his own PET profile and found, somewhat to his alarm, that the structure of his brain seemed to share more characteristics with the psychopathic murderers than with the control group.

He laughs quickly when I ask how that discovery felt. “When you have a brain scan that looks like a serial killer’s it does give you pause,” he says. And there were other factors: he has always had a markedly low heart rate (which his research has shown to be a truer indicator of a capacity for violence than, say, smoking is as a cause of lung cancer). He was plagued by cracked lips as a child, evidence of riboflavin deficiency (another marker); he was born at home; he was a blue baby, all factors in the kind of developmental difficulties that might set his own researcher’s alarm bells ringing.

“So,” he says, “I was on the spectrum. And in fact I did have some issues. I was taken to hospital aged five to have my stomach pumped because I had drunk a lot of alcohol. From age nine to 11 I was pretty antisocial, in a gang, smoking, letting car tyres down, setting fire to mailboxes, and fighting a lot, even though I was quite small. But at that age I burnt out of that somehow. At 11, I changed schools, got more interested in studying and really became a different sort of kid. Still, when I was graduating and thinking ‘what shall I research?’, I looked back on the essays I’d written and one of the best was on the biology of psychopaths; I was fascinated by that, partly, I think, because I had always wondered about that early behaviour in myself.”

As Raine began to explore the subject more, he began to look at the reasons he became a researcher of violent criminality, rather than a violent criminal. (Recent studies suggest his biology might equally have propelled him towards other careers–bomb disposal expert, corporate executive or journalist–that tend to attract individuals with those “psychopathic” traits.) Despite his unusual brain structure, he didn’t have the low IQ that is often apparent in killers, or any cognitive dysfunction. Still, as he worked for four years interviewing people in prison, a lot of the time he was thinking: what stopped me being on their side of the bars?

Raine’s biography, then, was a good corrective to the seductive idea that our biology is our fate and that a brain scan can tell us who we are. Even as he piles up evidence to show that people are not the free-thinking, rational agents they like to imagine themselves to be–entirely liberated from the limitations set by our inherited genes and our particular neuroanatomy–he never forgets that lesson. The question remains, however, that if these “biomarkers” do exist and exert an influence–and you begin to see the evidence as incontrovertible–then what should we do about them?

Perhaps we should do nothing, simply ignore them, assume, when it comes to crime, that every individual has much the same brain, the same capacity to make moral choices, as we tend to do now. As Raine suggests: “The sociologist would say if we concentrate on these biological things, or even acknowledge them, we are immediately taking our eyes off other causes of criminal behaviour–poverty, bad neighbourhoods, poor nutrition, lack of education and so on. All things that need to change. And that concern is correct. It is why social scientists have fought this science for so long.”

The implication of neurocriminology, though–where it differs from the crude labelling of phrenology, say–is that the choice it presents is not an either/or between nurture and nature, but a more complex understanding of how our biology reacts with its environment. Reading Raine’s account of the most recent research into these reactions, it still seems to me quite new and surprising that environmental factors change the physical structure of the brain. We tend to talk about a child’s development in terms of more esoteric ideas of mind rather than material brain structures, but the more you look at the data the clearer the evidence that abuse or neglect or poor nutrition or prenatal smoking and drinking have a real effect on whether or not those healthy neural connections–which lead to behaviour associated with maturity, self-control and empathy–are made. The science of this is called epigenetics, the way our environment regulates the expression of our innate genetic code.

One result of epigenetics might be, Raine suggests, that “social scientists can actually win from this. I mean, if a child experiences a murder in his or her neighbourhood, we have found that their test scores on a range of measures go down. There is something happening in the brain as a result of that experience of violence to affect cognition. So social scientists can have their cake and eat it. They can say look, we can prove that these environmental social factors are causing brain impairment, which leads to some real, measurable problems.”

One difficulty of embracing this “epigenetical” idea of crime is the degree to which such factors should be taken into account in courts of law. There have been several landmark cases in recent years in which particular neurological disorders caused by blows to the skull or undetected tumours have resulted in arguable changes in character and behaviour–and the violent or sexual crime is blamed on the disorder, not the individual. In most of these cases, it has been argued by the prosecution that brain imaging is prejudicial, that the brightly coloured pictures are too compelling to a jury and more emotional than scientific. But if neural scanning becomes more routine, and neuroscience more precise, will there not come a point where most violent behaviour–that of the Boston bombers, say, or the Newtown killer–is argued away in court as an illness, rather than a crime?

Raine believes that there might well be. He even likens such a shift to our change in perception of cancer, until fairly recently often deemed the “fault” of the sufferer because of some repressive character trait. “If we buy into the argument that for some people factors beyond their control, factors in their biology, greatly raise the risk of them becoming offenders, can we justly turn a blind eye to that?” Raine asks. “Is it really the fault of the innocent baby whose mother smoked heavily in pregnancy that he went on to commit crimes? Or if he was battered from pillar to post, or even if he was born with a, abnormally low resting heart rate, how harshly should we punish him? How much should we say he is responsible? There is, and increasingly will be, an argument that he is not fully responsible and therefore, when we come to think of punishment, should we be thinking of more benign institutions than prison?”

But then there is a further thought, that if you start to see criminality as a biological illness, where does a sense of retributive justice stand?

Raine himself was forced to face this dilemma when he became a victim of violent crime. As he recounts in his book, while on holiday in Turkey several years ago, a burglar entered his bedroom and in the struggle that followed tried to cut Raine’s throat with a knife. He fought the attacker off, but when the following morning he was presented with two possible suspects by police, he admits to not only choosing the one who looked most like a thug [the man later admitted the crime, under duress], but also to wanting to visit on him the terror he had felt himself.

“I wasn’t proud to discover I was a bit Jekyll and Hyde–perhaps we all are in that situation,” Raine says when I ask him about his response. “The rational Dr Jekyll knew that if I took this man’s brain scan and found he had prefrontal dysfunction, low resting heart rate, a background of neglect, then of course I should cut him some slack. With understanding comes mercy. But the Mr Hyde, the emotional voice in my head, was saying nothing of the sort: he was saying, he cut my throat, I want to cut his. That event changed me from someone dead set against the death penalty to someone who wouldn’t be ruled out of a jury on a capital case in America. I think now my mind will always go backwards and forwards on this, the scientific understanding of the causes of crime versus being a human in society with all these gut reactions to people who commit awful crimes.”

If the neuroscience raises as many questions as it answers about culpability after a crime has been committed, what about its role in crime prevention? Here, the questions seem no less fraught.

One of them was posed a couple of years ago by the arch-inquisitor Jeremy Paxman of Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, on Newsnight. “If science could predict with 100% certainty who was going to commit a violent crime, would it be legitimate to act before they commit that crime?”

Chakrabarti was in no doubt: “I would have to say that in a liberal society of human beings, and not animals, my answer to your question would be ‘no’.”

But if such intervention could prevent Newtown, you wonder, or Dunblane, would any of us be quite so certain? The fact is that the reality will always be a much greyer area because even the most nuanced neuroscience will never produce a perfect prediction of human behaviour. But is there a point at which the science–in identifying the possibility of repeat offending, for example–will be accurate enough to warrant routine scanning of those on the sexual offenders’ register?

“The fact is,” Raine says, “parole boards are making exactly these kind of predictive decisions every day about which prisoner or young offender we are going to release early, often with crummy evidence. At the moment, the predictors are social and behavioural factors, marital status, your past record. What is not used are biological measures. But I believe that if we added those things even now into the equation, we could only improve the prediction.”

Raine cites two very recent brain-imaging studies to back this up. One is a study in New Mexico in which prisoners are scanned on release. “What they are discovering is that if the functioning of the anterior cingulate, part of the limbic system, is lower than normal before release, they are twice as likely to be reconvicted in the next three years. And that marker is more accurate a guide than all other social factors,” Raine says. A second study apparently shows if a released prisoner has a significantly smaller volume in the amygdala, the almond-shaped part of the brain crucial for processing memory and emotion, he or she is three times more likely to reoffend. “Now, this is only two studies, but what they are beginning to show is proof of concept, that if we added neurological factors into the equation we could do a better job at predicting future behaviour.”

At the end of his book, Raine suggests various possible Orwellian futures of such science, an ethical “slippery slope” of interventions that ultimately imagines a society that assesses the biological risk of all individuals–a wide-scale version of We Need to Talk About Kevin–and pre-emptively locks up those at the extreme end of the curve (a sort of evidence-based Guantánamo). He by no means advocates any of it, though when I ask if he would have his own children, two boys of 11, scanned, he suggests he probably would.

“If there was the opportunity for screening at school or through a GP programme, would I do it? Well, if my kids had problems, as a parent I would want to know about them and I would want to know how I might deal with them. If you brought in such things as emotion regulation and impulse control, which we know are risk factors for behaviour, then to me, as a parent, I would sort of want to know what could be done to help with those.”

It is perhaps not too wildly far-fetched to imagine that such scans will one day be as routine as immunisation programmes; the bigger question then will be how we begin to react to the results. Raine rather likes the idea of public health programmes as crime prevention: “The teenage brain is still very malleable. There is good evidence from randomised control testing that omega-3 [fish oil] has a positive effect on young offenders, and even mindfulness seems to improve behaviour and brain structures.”

You can’t help thinking: if only it were as simple as that.

Scans of a normal brain, left, beside that of murderer Antonio Bustamante, who was spared the death penalty after a jury was shown these pictures.

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  • “How to spot a murderer’s brain”

    If it’s under dark brown skin and wooly black curly hair, the odds are good.

    • a multiracial individual

      You seem to be confused. Blacks are disproportionately represented among murderers. However, the majority of Blacks are not killers. Odds are higher, but still not good.

      • thurlow

        I pass a white kid in the street or a black kid in the street, which is most likely to kill me? Its call the life or death challenge, choose wrong and you don’t get a second chance.

        • John

          I love to ask White egalitarians and other leftists this simple question: “If you have a young daughter, would you rather her get lost at night in a city that is 95% White or 95% Black.”

          Most accuse me of racism, of course, when I pose the question, but NO ONE has ever given me a direct answer. Those who don’t become defensive and attack me as a racist simply squeam and squirm. They are clearly unsure how to respond in a way that is politically correct. Some even hastily qualify their answers by saying, “well, the White city, but only because centuries of racism and enslavement have left Blacks very poor and resentful toward Whites, but I regret feeling that my daughter might be safer in a White city. In fact, it will cause me to take a long-hard look at my feelings, and blah-blah-blah.”

          • StillModerated

            Liberals seldom give direct answers. They are conditioned to keep asking more questions.

      • The__Bobster

        I’ll take my chances with the White guy, if you don’t mind.

        • a multiracial individual

          I dont blame you…In college I learned to take my chances with the Asian kid, since white college males initiate more fights than Asian ones.

          • Morris LeChat

            yes, blacks go for the weaker, less aggressive targets, they also attack in numbers. Being cowardly, you would choose the asian kids.

          • a multiracial individual

            I gave no indication that I “target” anyone. I have been in a few fistfights in my life, zero were initiated by me. I’m not sure where you got that from (well I am sure, you have some ridiculous hostility toward me). I have seen many drunken brawls in my life the ethnic demography of such brawls will be unsurprising.

            Asian < Whites < Blacks

          • 8uhb

            What make you think the Asian kid wants to hang out with a negro!

          • a multiracial individual

            This has absolutely nothing to do with what I said.

            However, to address your question. People do not avoid contact with Blacks because they are Black. People avoid contact with blacks because a troubling percentage of them are “ghetto.” Once an individual meets a Black who is not “ghetto” they usually have no problem associating with that person.

        • IanJMacDonald

          My rule is not that I will pick the white kid over the black one. It’s that when I scan the street I’m on the lookout for scruffy-looking characters, and I allow my mind to operate unhindered by the mental virus of ‘liberalism.’ How many times have we read about a white person who ignored obvious danger signs (and their own inner voice of wisdom) because they didn’t want to appear ‘racist’?

      • APaige

        A majority of murders in the U.S are committed by blacks. Not disproportionately, but in actual, real numbers.

        • a multiracial individual

          Yes, Blacks commit 53% of homicides , does that mean that 1/2 of black males are murderers? No.

          • Nick Gherz

            Black males between 15 & 30 are responsible for about 1/2 of all murders in the U.S.

            As a rule, avoiding young black men is sound advice.
            Political correctness has not robbed me of my survival instincts.

            Look at the numbers.
            Do the maff.

          • Morris LeChat

            he can’t understand maff, that is a white thing

          • a multiracial individual

            People here have argued that the majority (>50%) of blacks are killers. Since only 33% of black males are in some phase of correction there are serious reasons to doubt this claim. Is avoiding black males sound advice? Sure. The problem is your intransigent disposition. Also, maff is actually a Jewish and East Asian thing.

          • Sloppo

            You could live in a neighborhood with 90% relatively peaceful people and only 10% gang-bangers with habits like robbery, rape, and murder. That would be a very bad neighborhood. It’s like mixing 10% chicken manure with 90% delicious ice cream. The chicken manure controls the quality of the finished product.

          • Morris LeChat

            it means 100% of them have a “significant reduction in the development of the prefrontal cortex, “the executive function” of the brain” and that the results of this are:” less control over the limbic system that generates primal emotions such as anger and rage; a greater addiction to risk; a reduction in self-control; and poor problem-solving skills, all traits that might predispose a person to violence.”

            Just because one has never stolen or killed does not mean that they are an honest, non violent, person. It could be that they just have never had the opportunity to do so. In the past, the fear of whites and the law kept blacks under control, now more and more of them feel they have the opportunity to be thieves and to be violent. WE have seen a tremendous upsurge in violence and criminal activity since the negro was elected president. More and more blacks feel they have the green light to follow their inner nature. More and more we see just what that inner nature is and how it is the same for ALL blacks. I would say all blacks are dangerous.

      • Anon

        Actually you are the one who is confused. Or rather ignorant is the proper word. What you don’t know or perhaps refuse to know is that OVER half of blacks in their lifetime are arrested for a serious, victim oriented felony. And about a third are so violent and out of control that they go to prison some time during their lives (it’s actually quite difficult to get sent to prison….you have to do ALOT).

        Are the majority killers? Yes and no. One has only to look at africa to see what blacks are without a white police state controlling them. In that environment yes, in fact, the majority ARE killers. Rape is the norm. Murder is a part of everyday life. And people laugh about cannibalism in fun filled places like Liberia. By the way, where do liberians come from? The answer is the United States. Liberia was a colony built by the US using lots of tax payer money to give blacks from the US who wanted to, the chance to go back to africa. They are of the exact same group as American blacks.

        The difference here is we spend trillions of dollars keeping extremely large chunks of the black population locked in cages to keep them from being spree killers. That is the number one cause of death among blacks, by the way….being murdered by another black.

        Blacks are not just “disproportionately represented among murderers”. Most of them are in fact killers. They WANT to kill. The only thing holding them back is fear and force of arms. Take that away and what you get is haiti, liberia, etc…….100% of the time. What are these places like? Roaming gangs of blacks looking to find nice safe victims to torture to death….for fun.

        That’s reality. Pray you never have to experience it.

        • Andy

          American blacks are not the same as African blacks. They have a fair amount of white DNA, and, I suspect, were selected for traits like non-violence during slavery. Even if the majority of African blacks are naturally killers, that does not mean the majority of American blacks are. So while it certainly is advisable to be cautious in a black area, 10% or 25% or 33% are potential killers, there’s still a higher chance than not that the random black person you see has not killed any one and would not kill anyone in a society made up of American blacks.

        • Gunrunner1

          Awesome rebuttal. “Multiracial” individuals in this forum tend to be “steering” the conversation, along with “those who must not be named”. Left out are the stats for overall criminality of the black population group, which is so huge as to drive out Whites from neighborhoods time and time again. The petty theft, the loud disagreements with the Baby Mamma, the auto theft, the dagger stare, etc all which combine to make living around the negro unpleasant, dangerous and unsafe for your kids.

          This would not be happening if Whites had a Country of their Own.

          • StillModerated

            No no no! The reason my local courthouse is chock full of felonious bantus is because the police and the judges are all racists. I live in a Virginia county which is 70% White and 16% black. In court, however, those numbers are reversed.

        • a multiracial individual

          All African nations have a homicide rate below 100 per 100,000 people. So, as I said, not everyone is a murderer. Was everyone a murderer in 14th century London? At that time the homicide rate for London was about 44 per 100,000….(lower than most African nations today)

          • IanJMacDonald

            OK, most blacks are not murderers. So what? Most homicides in the US are committed by black males between the ages of 14 and 44. They do 35% of the rapes and 65% of the armed robberies. The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black.

          • Morris LeChat

            the point is that the structure of the brain of murderers is identical to that of blacks, and it leads to certain behaviors and pathologies. NOt all blacks are as aggressive as the murderers, but their behaviors STILL manifest the same deficiencies and pathologies.

      • Morris LeChat

        once again, you do not have the capacity to understand the discussion.

        • a multiracial individual

          It is apparent you have some axe to grind with me. I’m not sure what the source is for your boorish behavior. In the future I will only respond to messages from you that contain SUBSTANCE. I am rather disappointed that many people here seem determined to drag the discussion through the gutter.

          • Morris LeChat

            you can not do math, you do not understand the discussion

          • Andy

            Sorry – where did you get the information that 100% of black people have murderer brains and all mixed race people too?

            “this does not always result in murder but the black population proves over and over that this is a 100% correct assessment of all of them”

            This, I would think, would call your own logic skills into question. There is no logical way to get from “50% (or 25% or 75%) of black people commit a violent crime over the course of their lifetimes” to “100% of black people are violent”.

          • Morris LeChat

            I did not reason that x% of crimes equals a different brain structure. The different brain structure is a documented fact. The researchers have found that this brain structure, smaller brain, smaller pre frontal cortex leads to the following:

            “less control over the limbic system that generates primal emotions such as anger and rage; a greater addiction to risk; a reduction in self-control; and poor problem-solving skills, all traits that might predispose a person to violence”

            This is a verified fact, and the structure of the brains of africans and mixed race is also a verified fact. The evidence of the pathological effects of this difference is all around us. Every single black person is different in a fundamental way from white people. There is a very simple and easy way for ANYONE to see the difference.Anyone that has ever seen blacks deal with waiting in a line can see this right away. They will try to cheat-cut in line, they will get impatient and start acting disruptive if they can’t cheat and cut in the line. They will start fights, they will even kill each other if forced to wait in a line. Have you ever heard of “air Jordan’s” ? The riots that occurred over them are a totally black phenomenon. They can’t even buy them in an orderly fashion. They can’t even wait in line and let things run their course. Every single black person is different in very fundamental ways from white people. There are numerous stories and it doesn’t matter what the line is for, it can be for a photo booth in a CHucker-Cheese, it can be to have a graduation picture taken at a grade school, it can be to place an order at McDonald’s , it can be because an order is taking awhile at an I-Hop, it can be anywhere,l anyplace, anytime, it can be over a bag of chips. White people just never ever ever act like this. They do not get violent in any and all situations, blacks do, and it is unpredictable, spontaneous, just like the shooting at the mother’s day second line parade in New Orleans. Blacks are SEVERELY dysfunctional.

    • The__Bobster
      • saxonsun

        A jury of his peers freed him and God put him back in. Justice.

        • Morris LeChat

          his inner chimp could not be contained

    • concernedcollegekid

      I’ve always noticed that black people usually had a skull shape where their foreheads were small and sloping and their skulls sort of went up in the back. Because of this, I think it would make sense if they had smaller prefrontal cortices on average too. I’ve also noticed for a while now that the smarter black people I knew, the kind that hung around with whites, didn’t tend to have such small, sloping foreheads. I guess you could accurately call me a “racist skull-measurer” (lol) because I am usually more suspicious of blacks who have small, sloping foreheads than I am of ones who don’t (I wouldn’t be particularly scared of a black guy who looked like Obama, for example). This all might sound weird, but I think I’ve been noticing these things ever since I was a kid.

      Basically I think (although I can’t prove) that physiognomy could possibly be more reliable than coloring and hair texture as an outside indicator of criminality (although neither would be as reliable as a brain scan).

      • IstvanIN

        I have always noticed, and I am not being a weisenheimer, that black males frequently have “pin heads”, tiny skulls disproportionate to their body size.

        • Bob

          I’ve noticed the sloping forehead/pinhead on many blacks, too. In college I knew a black girl with a vertical forehead and a normal-sized head and she was only interested in smart white guys. I wasn’t surprised.

        • gemjunior

          The little boys heads are always bigger and rounder and smooth with less nappy quality. It seems like the head of an infant – much greater in surface area on say, thinner kids than even the surface area on their trunk and limbs. Am I wrong on that or does anyone see what I see?

    • John

      Excellent points, my friend.

      If all that separates humans and chimpanzees is 1.5% genetic material, and Caucasoids and Negroids are separated by 0.5% genetic material, what would any sane and logical person conclude? Answer: Very small genetic differences translate into huge physical and intellectual differences with very significant ramifications!

      Incidentally, has anyone read Erectus Walks Among Us?

      When will Whites stop trying to force the square into the circle? Blacks do not fit in civilization, nor do Mestizos.

      • gemjunior

        Erectus Walks Among Us was a great book. It was one of the very first pieces of information I had ever read on racial differences, and since I was so engrossed with the ideas presented I wondered if my agreement with everything in the book was simply my own desire to believe it. I had to go to the bibliography and check a couple of things on my own and they were 100% what he wrote in his book. I was floored by the sheer common sense supported by scientific fact. I loved it and wish that it was more popularly accepted for the truth that it is. However, the picture on the cover hits so close to home that the race deniers are terrified; the evidence is incontrovertible.

        • John

          Excellent points, my friend.

          The egalitarians routinely (and wrongfully) insist that “racists” selectively misinterpret facts to support our “racist” views. Of course, they’re espousing nonsense. The fact of the matter is that I have been waiting patiently for decades for any leftist to provide even one iota of evidence that proves that (a) Negroids are the intellectual equals of Caucasoids, and (b) multiculturalism benefits Caucasoids. Usually, when I ask for such verification, I am the recipient of hostility, name-calling, and the usual charges of racism, simply for posing the questions.

          The truth is that it is very natural for us to search for reasons that explain the world that we observe with our own two eyes around us.

          What exactly do we observe? Well, I observe what Jesse Jackson has observed. Jesse remarked that when he is walking alone down a dark street at night, and he hears footsteps approaching from behind, he is relieved when he turns and sees a White person approaching rather than a Black person.

          Why would Jesse verify a stereotype like that against his own race? The truth is that stereotypes have a basis in reality. It is very easy to observe that Blacks have far more violent tendencies than Whites. It is an innate behavior. For example, each time you jump unarmed into a lion’s pit, would you be eaten? No, but it would happen enough times that sane people would conclude not to jump into a lion’s pit unarmed (or even armed!). All Blacks aren’t violent criminals, but such a large percentage are that it clearly forms a justifiable stereotype that tells us to generally avoid Blacks, because they are violent and act on impulse without thinking through the consequences of their actions.

          This classic jail interview with James Broadnax tells it all (warning, explicit language!)…

          Blacks belong in Africa, not civilization.

      • Theron

        I must disagree with you on the mestizos. They built a highly advanced civilization and made advances in math, astronomy, architecture, agriculture, etc… The problem with mestizos is cultural / historical.

  • DailyKenn

    Denial does not equal anti-racism.

  • I honestly want to kill folks when provoked, but it has been over a decade since anyone successfully did that.

  • thurlow

    Let’s see, excess jewelry, baggy pants that reveal malodorous butt crack, gold caps on teeth, head phones with rap lyrics blaring, standing next to a hooptie that cost $700 but has four thousand dollars in rims and a five thousand dollar stereo system. Sound likes a murderer to me.

    • Guest

      ? you know all race’s wear that type of stuff even some asian in america

      • Andy

        I’d be suspicious of anyone like that, but it is *mostly* blacks who do.

  • a multiracial individual

    Is the truth uncontainable? Or can they keep it bottled up forever?

    • MBlanc46

      It can be made very difficult to be unbiased in the study of human behavior, but I believe that the evidence for the biological bases of behavior will become so overwhelming that eventually the social and intellectual elites will have to face up to it.

      • JohnEngelman

        Until then, when accused of thought crime truth will be no defense.

        • MBlanc46

          Indeed. I believe that the elites will fight bitterly to maintain their ideology. Their problem is that they want the advances in biology, especially genetics, and it will be hard for them to restrict the science to non-behavioral questions.

          • Morris LeChat

            The fact that we are having this discussion means that the elites have lost this battle, they just have not surrendered yet. In the coming decades they will lose more and more territory and ground, at some point, they will let this go.

          • MBlanc46

            I sure hope that you’re right, but I fear that they will fight a ferocious rear-guard action that will destroy and lot of careers and lives.

          • Morris LeChat

            it is not what you live for it is what you die for that justifies your life on this earth

  • David Ashton

    “Psychologists” like Oliver James will tell us that crime in Britain has nothing to do with genes. It is all the fault of the late Lady Thatcher.

  • The__Bobster

    In particular, the murderers’ brains showed what appeared to be a significant reduction in the development of the prefrontal cortex, “the executive function” of the brain, compared with the control group.
    Now WHICH group is known for having an undeveloped prefrontal cortex? Don’t all chime in at the same time.

  • whiteyyyyy

    Bustamente was spared the death penalty because his brain is abnormal. That makes no sense to me, if you’re a sociopathic murderer you ought to be killed. The exception should be whoever has a normal brain. This sort of reward the degenerate view is insane. Some things cant be fixed, if you want to build something use the best materials.

    • Sue

      Why do areas with the highest percentage of blacks look like war zones or moonscapes? It really does appear they can not live in civilization.

  • Luca

    This is very important work, It is a shame that politically-correct politicians won’t do the right thing with this information. At the very least these criminals should be forced to take some form of medication that soothes the wild beast and hopefully makes them impotent and docile before their release from prison. As part of their parole they should have to attend a clinic every day and take their meds. Hopefully, science can make this medication addictive so that they won’t want to be without it.

    Criminals do not belong in civilized society or in a justice system that has a revolving door.

    If we can’t execute them, deport them, or castrate them, then the above paragraph is the only solution left.

    • JohnEngelman

      Whites and Orientals everywhere in the world have lower murder rates than third world people because for several thousand years executioners have removed those with dangerous genes from the white and Oriental gene pools.

    • Orion_Blue

      There is a medication that fulfils all those criteria. It is called diamorphine, which can be administered in safe doses, so as to not poison the recipient.

  • smells_just_like

    Science be rayciss en sheeit all up en heeah.

  • Bill

    How to spot a murderer’s brain? It’s in a black skull most usually. It’s simple really. Why do the “scientists” and ” sociologists” always make these determinations so hard?

    • Guest

      you’re a bit slow aren’t you?

      • whitecross

        You’re a bit black,aren’t you?

        • Sherman_McCoy

          Niggardly, too.

  • LastBastionOfHope

    The prefrontal cortex is responsible for:

    1. Organization: how many blacks do you know with nice clean cut lawns, clean houses, neat rooms, etc.?

    2. Planning/Delayed Gratification: how many blacks do you know who plan for college, and save money for things like housing and cars?

    3. Controlling Impulsivity: how many blacks do you know who get called a name outside a bar and think to themselves “it’s not worth getting in a fight” or control their rage when KFC or McDonalds tells them they are all out of chicken?

    4. Creativity: how many blacks do you know who get involved in the hard sciences and make new discoveries and contributed globally to the betterment of the human race?

    It’s simple…this stuff makes sense. Blacks are extremely impulsive on average. How many times do we hear about rapes, stabbings, shootings, etc. over stupid trivial things? They lack the capacity to bite their tongue or evaluate the true importance of situations. Someone won’t give them a dollar? Must shoot them. Girl doesn’t want me? Must rape her. This is very crude thinking and we notice it on a daily basis. This is why whites don’t jump people and shoot babies in strollers. They cannot delay gratification, there is no goal oriented behavior from them. This is why so many blacks are in gangs dealing drugs…they live in the here and now, not 5 years down the road where they can delay gratification for an advanced degree. They want their money any way they can get it and if anyone gets in their way they eliminate it. If any of you guys have taken psychology courses you will understand completely how it makes 100% sense that blacks lack these executive functions.

    • Guest

      The fact you thrive off attention is disgusting

      • trollsmasher

        go back to your world star hip hop troll.

      • LastBastionOfHope

        I thrive off the truth.

      • Morris LeChat

        the fact that you have such an emotional reaction to simple, basic, unarguable truths is revealing. It reveals a serious deficit in the area of a pre frontal cortex. In other words, you are a poo slinger.

      • Andy

        So let’s see all that smash-bang evidence showing that black and white brains and and behavior are identical.

      • Sherman_McCoy

        Isn’t there a bridge on MLK Blvd. under which you need to be lurking?

    • pcmustgo

      Blacks are often very creative musically and dance wise.

      1. Organization: how many blacks do you know with nice clean cut lawns, clean houses, neat rooms, etc.?

      Privileged white kids , the wealthy ones, are the most known for not keeping their rooms or house clean, as they didn’t grow up doing chores and have too much stuff and such. This is in college and stuff…

      • LastBastionOfHope

        How is simulating sex on the dance floor creative? Or the stanky leg, or snapping fingers and leaning?

        White people live in nice neighborhoods for a reason: we keep up with them. This is something blacks know nothing of. In college I lived next to a few black guys and their rooms smelled like dog crap with everything in disarray. I also had things stolen from them.

        • IstvanIN

          By them, I think you meant.

      • Morris LeChat

        blacks are not creative music and dance wise, they do the same thing, over and over, generation after generation. The same beat, the same butt swinging motions. There is never any real variation of form. They have seen whites doing things like tap dancing and aped it, but they never invented anything new music nor dance wise. Jazz music was just a degenerate africanized form of Jewish Klezmer music. If one listens to straight up Klezmer, one can see right away how Jazz came out of it.When Blacks first started taking white music and dance and subtly adding their nature too it, it looked different than what happens in Africa, but over two generations, it has devolved into the EXACT same thing as what the African savages do. Over time they jettisoned the basic nature of what they had modified and reverted to their 100%, never changing, african drum banging and butt shakiing. No creativity at all, just animal ooking and eeking and jumping and lasciviousness.

        • sbuffalonative

          Black creativity in musical traditions is only a variation on what whites did first.

          Gospel music is a variation on white secular hymns. Jazz came out of European music traditions, instruments, and instrumentation. Hip Hop began as ‘scratching’ records (misusing white technology). Rap essentially began by plagiarizing other peoples work and appealing to the lowest common denominator with the most vulgar lyrics .

        • David Ashton

          Can you document that interesting point about Klezmer leading to Jazz?

          • Morris LeChat

            Not at the moment. That is a book I will write some day. Right now it is my own observation having to do with some musical motifs that are almost identical in both genres. Another identical element is improvisation. Klezmer tunes may have a certain “correct” version, but it is a tradition for musicians to improvise on them, sometimes wildly. There was a time, too, when the Jewish immigrants were playing their Klezmer music in the same areas that black musicians were working.There was much contact between the two. My guess is that Jazz was a black attempt to copy klezmer. Early Jazz also relied heavily on the clarinet. The clarinet was a signature instrument in American Klezmer music, starting with Naftule Brandwein, who really was the pioneer of American Klezmer music, along with Dave Tarras. In Europe, the violin was the instrument usually associated with Klezmer.
            If one listens to Benny Goodman’s clarinet solos in Sing Sing Sing, one can see some stylistic similarities to klezmer.



      • Andy

        I can’t say I think blacks have a great talent for coming up with music and especially lyrics. Native African music is notably awful, and black American music is not stunning (and is often crude). The better stuff is the whiter stuff. As far as being able to sing, keep a rhythm, etc, though, I think blacks come out on top.

        Plenty of white kids are messy. White adults less so. But at least in my town the black areas are marked by broken-down, vandalized buildings, unkempt lawns covered in junk, and lots of litter. Some white neighborhoods are like that, but most of them aren’t.

      • pcmustgo
        • Morris LeChat

          I am not interested in using eye bleach

  • Guest

    All you savages talk about on here is race. LOL! Why are white people so obsessed with race???

    • troll smasher

      Be gone cameron. Thou art a troll. A goat is coming down the path. Hurry get back under your bridge.

    • pcmustgo

      BS… blacks are the most obsessed with race, and we have to be just to deal with that and live and survive in a race obssesed society

      • Guest

        blacks are not obessed with race they their trying live their lives like everyone else they don’t care about the pass they trying move forward to better their race

        • whitecross

          Then how come they insist on representation according to the percentage of blacks in the population and other such democratic populist nonsense? If they didn’t think race mattered,why would they insist on black presidents, black mayors, black city councilmen and such?

          And hell, you just said they’re trying to better their race. So you admitted it. Damn that lousy African admixture,huh? You’re too stupid to even lie convincingly because of all that monkey blood.

          Blacks don’t care about the “pass”? You mean “past”?

          Then why do they keep bringing up slavery as an excuse for their failures, nearly 200 years after they were freed? White people used to live in slavery to other white people.

          Did you know that?

          It was called the feudal system.

          Did our slavery stop us from going to the moon? Composing symphonies? Exploring the cosmos with radio telescopes?

          No, because we weren’t polluted with African blood.

          There is no way for you to better your race. Your race is genetic trash. God intended for your race to die,but white people have repeatedly intervened to try to save you,and all we get is raped and murdered for our troubles.

        • Morris LeChat

          No, blacks will jump to the defense of a black person that shoots a baby in the face. To them, color of skin is all that matters. We have all learned a hard lesson. MLK was a shuck and jive artist, he new blacks had no character, that this was a white thing, a prefrontal cortex thing. It was all BS, YOu can judge a man by the color of his skin because it means the lack of a prefrontal cortex, a lack of morality and self control.

        • sbuffalonative

          Whites thrive in white communities. Blacks languish in the crime and poverty in the communities they maintain.

          Whites do very well without blacks. Blacks can’t survive without whites which is why blacks demand to live in white neighborhoods and go to white school.s

          Blacks are the true white supremacists. They know everything white is superior which is why they demand to be integrated with whites.

    • LastBastionOfHope

      Go to and every time there is a video with even 1 white person in it all the comments are about are “cracka” this or “honkey” that. Blacks are the only people on earth obsessed with race because they know being black can get them anything.

      • Guest

        The fact that you even knew about that site tell’s me that your obsessed with the hiphop culture in black people

        • Morris LeChat

          no, we are just gathering video evidence of the nature of blacks. The nature that is violent, but also so stupid and so utterly oriented towards self glorification that they will post the videos of their animal shenanigans on a world wide web. That is right, there are millions of white people downloading those videos and making collections of the evidence to show their children and grandchildren.

      • Guest

        That site is full of brain less lil kids! plus the site has mostly white vistor’s

    • We’re not obsessed with race. I am a convicted federal felon on the Terrorist Watch List. My FBI file says “Firearms expert. Explosives expert. Chemist. Ex-mercenary.” I am 3/16 American Indian and “passing” for white. My wife is Japanese and I am vaguely accepted here. I’ll never be a Jared Taylor, but I doubt that matters very much.

      • whitecross

        You’re ok by me.

        Compared to the blacks, American Indians are highly civilized and genteel people.

        The violent crime rate for Natives is under HALF of the violent crime rate for blacks. And we called INDIANS “savages”!

        • PesachPatriot

          I don’t think anyone in 21st century america is too worried about being scalped by cherokee or filled full of arrows by comanches on horseback. I live pretty close to a fairly large seminole reservation and in the 8 years I’ve lived here i think I saw one seminole in the crime blotter for a non-fatal dwi fender bender….the mug shots of most rapists, home invaders, liquor store robbers and carjackers don’t look anything like the old black and white pictures of Sitting Bull or Geronimo.

      • Morris LeChat

        3/16 American indian is still “white”. As for your children, it depends on what they look like. There are two phenotypes in Japan. The yayoi and the jomon. Some jomon Japanese , such as Abe Hiroshi, look more European than Asian.

      • David Ashton

        Is that you in the photo, after all, then?

        • Morris LeChat

          I think that is Nosferatu

    • concernedcollegekid

      Well, this website IS race-themed… what you’re saying is like accusing people of talking about cats too much on a website about cats…

    • Morris LeChat

      why are all blacks obsessed with muh-dicking?

    • Andy

      This is a race-realist website that publishes daily race-related news. Why do you find it surprising that most of the comments are about race?

    • sbuffalonative

      Because race is a genetic reality.

  • IKantunderstand

    I’m beginning to wonder if the people who posit the theory that Hollywood makes movies in advance of the newest “progressive group think” might in fact be right.. “Minority Report” anyone? And, think about it, this isn’t based on some mumbo jumbo wading pool psychics. THIS IS SCIENCE! Yeah, right, the guy who came up with this crap, is amazed he’s not a killer. And, look what a boon he is for liberals, to explain the genocidal characteristics of Africans. Well, that’s all they ever saw! They can’t help themselves. Yeah, they can. Mr. Raine did. Or is he saying that Whites are more capable of overcoming background, environment, etc. By the way, I assume Mr. Raine is White. I refuse to look it up. Seriously, White People, they are coming at us in all directions. Next: brain activity of “racists”. And, just as accurate as Mr. Raine’s study. Remember: because you are White, it has been pre-determined that you are racist. You might as well fight back. It’s like a murderer contemplating his second murder.

  • StillModerated

    I repeat:
    The divisive thinking was developed further in 1876 by Cesare Lombroso,
    an Italian surgeon, after he conducted a postmortem on a serial murderer
    and rapist. Lombroso discovered a hollow part of the killer’s brain,
    where the cerebellum would be, from which he proposed that violent
    criminals were throwbacks to less evolved human types, again
    identifiable by ape-like physical characteristics.

    Hollow part …., violent criminals …., less evolved …., ape-like physical characteristics. I’m thinking of a word that begins with African ….

    Cesare Lombroso is now on my reading list.

  • JohnEngelman

    The divisive thinking was developed further in 1876 by Cesare Lombroso, an Italian surgeon, after he conducted a postmortem on a serial murderer and rapist. Lombroso discovered a hollow part of the killer’s brain, where the cerebellum would be, from which he proposed that violent criminals were throwbacks to less evolved human types, again identifiable by ape-like physical characteristics.

    – Tim Adams, Guardian (London), May 11, 2013

    During the paleolithic and even the neolithic era all men participated in war. The best warriors had the most wives, and the largest number of sons who inherited their lethal inclinations.

  • baltasar almudárriz

    Lombroso was an Italian Jew — see the Wikipedia entry.

  • baltasar almudárriz

    I too notice that blacks have smaller skulls relative to body size- unless significant white admixture is present.

    • Luca

      And have you noticed the protruding mandible? Clearly they are only the starting block of Homo sapiens, as soon as they left Africa into more complex climates, environments and circumstances only the smarter ones could survive and thrive. To live in Africa one need not be very smart to pick food and move with the herd. One only need to be fast and strong.

      Almost all African-Americans have a certain amount of European DNA, the more they have, generally, the more they can achieve socially, academically and economically.

  • Inki Snowe

    Pretty sure there was an episode of a crime show a few years back based on this guy, a CSI or Law & Order or something. Maybe it was Bones. They sensationalized it, of course, and made use of the fact that the researcher’s own brain was “abnormal”. I seem to remember it being skewed against him, so I guess the libs in TV-land don’t like his ideas much.

  • thoughtcrime

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a direct correlation with Increased melanin in the skin..that” would result in an increased likelihood of a number of behaviours: less control over the limbic system that generates primal emotions such as anger and rage; a greater addiction to risk; a reduction in self-control; and poor problem-solving skills, all traits that might predispose a person to violence.”

    That is the crux.

  • thoughtcrime

    Of course if his research does get the recognition that it deserves and it becomes practice to scan all infants brains at birth, we could find these defects early and if there is no therapy to correct them then….we have only one choice…eliminate the threat by disposing of the defective much like the ancient Spartans did OR we put the rest of us at risk of attack by the defective.
    I think this would largely eliminate nearly ALL nonwhite births in the US if this measure were to be imposed. I’d support it because it would mean a healthier cleaner world.

    • whitecross

      Regarding therapy, I believe some of them could be treated with behavioral therapy and perhaps gene therapy. If we use the treatment of autistics as a model and separate the defectives into two groups,high-functioning and low-functioning,raise the high-functioning ones to near-parity with healthy individuals and medicate the low-functioning ones into convalescence, I believe that fully a third (maybe even half) of these individuals could be reclaimed and put to use by society.

      • Morris LeChat

        why bother, a treatment is not a cure. The problem still exists.

        • whitecross

          Gene therapy is a cure,because it targets the source of the problems.

          Behavioral therapy is nothing but a treatment, but I (and perhaps I should have been explicit) mentioned it only as a supplemental to the gene therapy,which targets the source of the problem.

          It would be a fairly expensive project,but the long-term savings are self-evident and need not be enumerated.

          • whitecross

            Also,gene therapy is only one of the many treatments that could be performed and I haven’t settled on this particular treatment as the final or most effective.

            Manipulation of the child’s formation in the womb, as an intervention,when trouble signs emerge, might perhaps be just as effective as later medical intervention. In other words, perhaps gene therapy would be the best route to success, or perhaps simply steering Mother Nature in the right direction when she errs would be a better and more cost-effective plan.

          • Morris LeChat

            gene therapy does not alter the genes passed on to the next generation

    • Andy

      Or we could sterilize violent criminals and avoid the dilemma over whether to *kill* their babies.

  • Vaclaw

    “(Recent studies suggest his biology might equally have propelled him towards other careers–bomb disposal expert, corporate executive or journalist–that tend to attract individuals with those “psychopathic” traits.)”

    So a career in journalism tends to be attractive to people with psychopathic traits. Very interesting.

  • Jimmy

    So, what is this article, and presumably the research it relays, trying to do? It’s so mushy I can’t tell. Is it asserting that the answer to the oft-posed question “Nature or Nurture?” is Nature? That is to say, is it asserting that the behavior and capabilities of a person are determined by their genes, and are only marginally, if not insignificantly, affected by their environment? Or is it just reasserting the same old nonsense of the environment being the main determinant of a person’s behavior and capabilities, but replacing the old, idiotic reasoning behind it — “biology/genes have nothing to do with cognition and consciousness, you racist!” — with new…well, actually the exact same idiotic reasoning, only in new scientific sophistry — “well of course biology/genes affect the brain, but the biology is affected by the environment, you racist!” — because the old sophistry was just too plainly what it is?

  • camron

    it is unfortunate that people underestimate certain people’s aptitude simply on the grounds of race, what a foolish ideology you have come to acknowledge and adopt, one day you will mature and be enlightened, hopefully.