Beth Thomas: the Psychopath Little Girl
People who lived through the 80’s might remember this incredible case that reverberated around the whole world. Known as “the psychopath little girl,” young Beth Thomas terrorized her entire family. However, it started with a terrible trigger. Even today it will put your hair on end.
Everything that happens during childhood leaves a mark on the child. That’s why it’s so important to have good emotional development in this formative time. The problem is that sometimes this doesn’t happen, and problems come out later.
That’s what happened to Beth. She went through unspeakable things, eventually earning herself the nickname, “the psychopath little girl.”
DR.KEN: Are your parents afraid of you?
DR.KEN What would you do to them?
BETH: Stab them.
(Excerpt of a conversation between Beth and the psychologist Ken Magid).
The story of the psychopath little girl
Beth Thomas lost her mother when she was only one year old. After that, she and her brother were left under the care of their biological father. That’s where the real ordeal began.
The father sexually abused the two children. Doctors found out and reported the abuse. After six months, a social worker took custody of the two children. They were later adopted by a practicing Christian couple.
The couple was very caring with Beth, as well her brother. They had been trying to conceive a child, so they saw these two youngsters as a gift. But then Beth started having nightmares about “a man who fell on top of her and hurt her with a part of him.”
The nightmares worried her adoptive parents, but what really worried them was what Beth started to do. She started being very violent with them, as well as with her brother. She even killed pets.
It was as if she were filled with an uncontrollable rage. She also compulsively masturbated in public, even making herself bleed.
The parents right away decided to take Beth to a clinical psychologist specializing in children who have been victims of sexual abuse, Dr. Ken Magid. The things he discovered about what childhood sexual abuse did to Beth Thomas were very illuminating.
Here is a video showing the parents’ perspective. It also shows some of the conversations the psychologist had with Beth that further illustrate what was occurring.
Beth was able to recover
Dr. Ken Magid decided that for Beth’s own good, it was best to hospitalize her. She was diagnosed with an attachment disorder that kept her from having healthy relationships with other people.
Likewise, rules were set so she wouldn’t be able to harm the other children in the medical center. As she got better, the rules loosened up.
Despite all of this, one question remains. Was Beth Thomas truly a little psychopath or was she a sociopath? Because psychopathy is an innate antisocial tendency. It’s a biological condition in which certain areas in the brain don’t activate. Areas associated with emotions, impulses and decision-making.
But with sociopathy, the environment plays an important role. In Beth’s case, everything was a consequence of her negligent upbringing. The conjecture is still not quite clear.
“Beth is separated from her family and submitted to a sinister “Attachment Therapy,” based mainly on the control, repression, and humiliation of children.”
-José Luis Cano Gil-