Michelle admits that three years ago, she faked a pregnancy and stole a baby in a scheme that landed her in jail, charged with abduction of a child under 14. Her story made international headlines and now, she's speaking out exclusively to Dr. Phil
. What drove her to commit such a crime? And, “M.E.” says she’s proud to be a sociopath and recently wrote a
book to give the world a closer look inside the minds of people like her. Does M.E. really display the traits of a sociopath?
Michelle, 27, grew up with dreams of falling in love, getting married and having children. But three years ago, she admits she faked a pregnancy, staged a casting call for a newborn, stole a baby and landed behind bars.
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"I just panicked and was under a lot of pressure."
“I wasn’t going to steal the baby. I was just going to show him the baby, borrow it.”
Did the Punishment Fit the Crime?
Michelle served 2 1/2 years in prison, but she says she wasn't expecting such a severe sentence, especially since she returned the baby — who was unharmed — and turned herself in to the police.
"If I wanted to keep that baby for myself and not give that baby back, I could have gotten away with it," Michelle says. "When they arrested me and I turned myself in, I said to my lawyer, ‘Well, how come me turning myself in doesn’t count? Or, me bringing the baby back, none of that matters.’ They’re just concerned that I abducted a child.
"I think it’s outrageous, because it was a nonviolent crime, and I also returned it and turned myself in, so why would someone give me 10 years for turning myself in and returning it? Yeah, the act was done, but 10 years is a little too pricey," she continues. "I wasn’t thinking about the strangers' feelings; I was thinking about my own feelings. So, yes, I’m wrong there, but compared to everything else that goes on in the world, no, I don’t think it’s the worst thing."
“You’re not being real with yourself about this yet, and somebody needs to tell you the truth.”
“Do you understand that to a mother and father, this would be devastating?” Dr. Phil asks Michelle.
“It’s very devastating, but I was thinking like a kid. I wasn’t thinking like a parent,” Michelle says.
“But now, after doing this, you realize the gravity that this had?” Dr. Phil asks.
“I do. I really do,” she replies.
Embarrassment to Her Family?
The Dr. Phil
show reached out to Michelle’s family in the United States and Canada. One of her family members, who asked to remain anonymous, sent an extensive, detailed letter that she wants Michelle to hear.
“If you want people to let this go, they need to know that you get it.”
Inside the Mind of a Sociopath
“M.E.” believes that she is a sociopath and says she has many of the traits to prove it. She recently wrote the book, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
, but although she’s ready to educate the world on why sociopaths aren’t always bad people, she says she’s not ready to reveal her true identity, so she is in disguise and using a fake name.
"I have been diagnosed as a sociopath. I don’t feel guilt. I don’t have conscience. I can be very charming, superficially so. I have very shallow emotions," says M.E. "I have carefully crafted my persona over the years, and even now, most people believe that I’m from a foreign country, because I speak with a slight accent.
"Even though I’m a sociopath, I do have a moral code. I’m an active, practicing Mormon. I actually had a pretty normal upbringing — stable, middle-class home — and I have what most people would consider success," she continues, adding that she has had high-powered jobs as an attorney, earning six figures.
"I see almost every personal interaction I have as a game to further effectuate my goals — to get ahead, to have more power," M.E. explains. "One of my favorite pastimes is ruining people. I am able to get into their head in such a way that I become sort of a puppeteer. I do something, and they react in a particular way. It’s very satisfying. When I think of ruining somebody, I can’t help but to salivate, the way that you might when you’re thinking of a juicy steak. In some ways, I think my enjoyment of ruining people is the best reflection of my sociopathy. It is probably my most malicious personality trait."
M.E. says she's had thoughts and dreams of killing people, specifically, her father. "Typically, I don’t feel bloodless but sometimes, I do. I get angry to a point where it’s just like a switch has flipped, and everything gets very calm in my mind, and I just have one purpose, which is to somehow destroy this other person. In those moments, I would like nothing more than to take somebody’s head and ram it into a sign," she shares. "It’s possible that I could, one day, kill somebody. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but it’s possible."
“Are you working a scam now, or are we having a genuine conversation?”
“You said one of the reasons that you wanted to maintain some anonymity is that there are people whom you have ruined or hurt in the past that, given these confessions that you’re making, might go, 'Now that she’s made that confession, I might use that against her to get some type of retribution legally or otherwise,’” Dr. Phil says to M.E.
“My primary reason for staying anonymous is that I have a family, and little relatives — nieces and nephews — who have done nothing to bring any sort of notoriety to themselves,” she says. “I care about them in particular ways. I feel love for them.”
M.E.’s friend and coworker joins the show via telephone. “I’ve never personally observed the behavior that she talks about.”