One of the reasons Dr. Ablow believes people became fascinated with the Scott Peterson trial is because it concerned a little known fact: The leading cause of death of pregnant women is being murdered by their partners or husbands.
"What a woman's pregnancy represents in a man's life story is a really dramatic chapter that has not been spoken enough about," Dr. Ablow says. "It redefines that man's life. It challenges him to be a father now. Not just a husband. It brings up primal feelings. 'Am I going to be ignored now in favor of my child?'
"What narcissists and sociopaths have is a sort of inflexibility to roll with the punches in their lives. … A true sociopath and narcissist can't integrate outside chapters. The pages being inserted in his life story strike him as assault. And so Scott Peterson in his mind may well have been thinking, 'It's either me or them.' So in other words, most of us would say, 'Well, I have to have a divorce.' A narcissist will start to reason with himself and say, 'What kind of life, after all, would it be for my young wife if she were to be left by me when she just gave birth? Better that she be dead.'"