Forensic Psychology, Green River Killer and Insights of a criminal

During 80s bodies of women were found along Green River in US. The murder pattern showed that killer in all cases was same. Task of catching killer was given to detective Robert Keppel.  Robert has worked with forensic psychologist Richard Walter and wrote article on classification of serial killers.


Robert decided to interview a serial killer called Ted Bundy. Insights from Ted Bundy helped him to create profile of Green River killer.

In 2001 a spray painter Gary Ridgway was arrested for Green River murders. Gary Ridgway was earlier arrested in 1982 as a suspect in Green River murders, but due to limitations of DNA profiling during that time he could not be linked to killings (he managed to clear polygraph test!). By 2001 there were lot of advances in DNA profiling. Earlier samples were now subjected to DNA profiling and it was found it Gary Ridgway was Green River killer.


Gary Ridgway was spared of death sentence for helping police in locating places where he had buried his victims.


Tale of two painters- Amrita Sher-Gil and Frida Kahlo

“I can only paint in India. Europe belongs to Picasso, Matisse, Braque…. India belongs only to me”.

-Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher-Gil, an Indian painter, was born to Sikh father and Jewish mother in Budapest in 1913. She moved to India in 1921. Amrita was influenced by Mughal and Pahari style of painting, paintings of Ajanta and later, Bengal school of painting.



During her stay in India her subject was mainly Indian rural themes, her famous paintings include Bride’s toilet, Brahmacharis, South Indian villagers going to market, village scene etc. She also drew lot of self-portraits. Her paintings in India differ significantly from her earlier paintings which were influenced by European style of painting.

Amrita_Sher-Gil_-_South_Indian_Villagers_Going_to_Market[1] brahmacharis-1937[1]


Amrita married Dr. Victor Egan, initially they stayed in Saraya in UP and later moved to Lahore. Though she was married to Victor, she had many extra martial affairs .Amrita died in Lahore in 1941 at the age of 28 due to abortion related complications.

Her work was appreciated after her death, and today her paintings are among most expensive paintings by Indian artists.

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

-Frida Kahlo

In 1925, when Amrita was getting trained as a painter in Europe, in faraway Mexico a girl called Frida Kahlo de Rivera met with an accident while travelling in a bus, resulting in serious injuries. Frida was planning to become a doctor, but this accident forced her to become bed ridden for few months. To keep herself occupied during this period she started painting. She loved to draw self-portraits, which become dominant theme in her later paintings.

Frida_Kahlo_(self_portrait)[1] image[1]

She married famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera. But like Amrita, she too had many extra martial affairs.


Similarity does not end here, Frida too was young when she died in 1954, due to health complications at the age of 47, and like Amrita her work became famous after her death.

“I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return”

-Frida Kahlo



Workforce Diversity and Little People

What is common between Bill Barty of USA and Jyoti Amge from Nagpur, India? Both are American Television actors. They have one more thing in common – they are little people.

Little people refers to those category of people whose height is 4’ 10” or less. Earlier they were called midgets or dwarfs. While midgets have normal bodily proportions, dwarfism is mainly due to genetic disorders. USa

Bill Barty started association called “Midgets of America” to bring such people together; which was later changed to “Midgets and Dwarfs of America”. Soon words midget and dwarf were considered offensive and a common term “little people” was used. So association become Little People of America. Now such associations exist in various other countries like little people of Uganda, little people of Hong Kong, little people of Ireland etc.


Little people are not on radar of any organisation’s diversity program. Usually diversity program of organisation is confined to women, gays and lesbians and minorities (racial, religious etc.). It becomes difficult for little people to find jobs in organisations.


Only industry that provides employment to them is entertainment industry – film, TV and circus. While little people associations all over world help them to gain jobs in areas where height is not a handicap, organisations should actively work on recruitment of little people as part of their diversity program.



Social Dilemma, Social Exchange Theory and Clean India

“Those who spit after chewing betel leaves and tobacco have no consideration for feelings of others.”

M.K Gandhi

There is a famous conflict mode inventory called Thomas Kilmann conflict mode instrument. It tells us where you stand on assertive vs. cooperative scale. If you are too cooperative then you end up accommodating, if you are too assertive then you get in competition mode, ideal is balance between two i.e. collaborating.


In social psychology there is interesting phenomenon called social dilemma. It is a situation in which there is conflict between individual and collective interest. Suppose a lake has plenty of fish. Should you be selfish enough to do overfishing just because it is a free resource or you should keep control on your fishing activities so that other too get benefit of this free resource?

Game theory deals with many such problems like prisoner’s dilemma, tragedy of commons etc.

There is one more theory in social psychology called social exchange theory. Theory states that our social behaviour is result of an exchange process, and in this exchange process we always try to maximise benefits and minimise costs associated with it. We always want more by spending less.


These theories explain why India is not clean. Our selfishness prevents us from seeing benefits of cleanliness to nation. We don’t mind throwing garbage, spitting, defecating in public etc. as there is no cost associated with this “benefit”, since government does not penalise us for destroying our common resources.