It is well documented that the two least likely types of persons to be rehabilitated are pedophiles and psychopaths. While pedophiles are the more likely of the two to engage in criminal behavior (the majority of sociopaths will never have a history of criminal behavior), sociopaths are still a threat to society in the toll they take on the emotional carnage they cause from all the bridges they burn in relationships.
Who can save the marginal or wicked of society?
However, even though a segment of the population may be in the top rung in percentiles for recidivism rates or continues to build their resume of destroyed relationships, does this mean there really is a group (type) of people out there that is totally impossible to help? I personally believe that while man continues to place limits on who is salvageable, that there is a God in heaven that has an infinite amount of grace, power and love to cover even the vilest discretions of whichever wicked person you so choose to name.
Willingness is the key though
The key ingredient though that must take place before true reformation is set in order is this-willingness. A person truly has to want to change before it will ever happen.
Aileen Wuornos (killed 7 men and was known as America’s first female serial killer)
There are ample names of former sociopaths that have experienced reformation or transformation. Here are just a few of the more infamous people that have given evidence of a radically changed life or in the case of America’s first female serial killer Aileen Wurnos (made famous by the movie Monster starring Charlize Theron) have seemingly demonstrated a reconciliation with God and remorse.
The following is a brief video that gives footage and narrative of a hand written letter to God by Wurnos: (Click here).
Even if one remains a skeptic after watching the video, at the very least one will be fascinated by her story.
If her story doesn’t convince you then at least open your mind to the optimism Jesus expresses for the dregs of society that Aileen Wuornos would have had her lot cast in Jesus’ day when He said, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31).
There are two more verses that give hope to anyone considered or labeled a sociopath, psychopath, “sicko”, wicked, warped, and worthless. In Ezekiel 33:11 it says, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.'”
I don’t think God would make His appeal to the wicked to change if it wasn’t possible. In fact, when a person turns to God for help to change the Bible says that God will take on the responsibility of giving us a new heart (new desires and power to change), “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26).
I recently watched a great documentary on the life of Aileen Wuornos from Blockbuster called Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. While the cursing and middle finger she displays in her last interview before being executed could cast doubt in some minds as to her reformation (we have all had a bad day where we have blown it), I really believe at some point she had a change of heart by some of the other scenes in this documentary and by the letter she wrote in the other video I previously recommended to watch.
Son of Sam
While the serial killer Son of Sam put a fear into over 10 million New Yorkers through his 1976 killings and even had many prison guards spooked by his aura of evil, his conversion experience is so drastic that it has been written about and talked about by numerous sources. Jim Cymbala, a hero preacher of mine for the work he has done in New York has written a piece about David Berkowitz in his book entitled Fresh Power. Even Cymbala comes across as shocked by what he witnessed. Here is a short documentary and interview with the notorious Son of Sam killer: (Click here).
For those that are familiar with the Charles Manson story the name Susan Adkins will also be familiar. Adkins was one of the followers of Manson that was found guilty of the massive killing spree that they committed over four days in 1969. During her time in prison Adkins became a born again Christian and wrote a book entitled Child of Satan, Child of God that details her journey of transformation.
The following is a video of an interview that Diane Sawyer did with Susan in 2002: (Click here). Even though there have been ample cases of sociopaths falsely purporting a new religion and a converted life in hopes of early release from prison, there have been many genuine conversions as well. Therefore, to answer the question of whether a sociopath can be reformed, the great answer and hope for one is yes.