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Heather Kamp - Judge Orders A Mental Evaluation



On February 2, 2010, Heather Kamp was indicted for murder by a grand jury in Charleston, SC. Her boyfriend Ethan C. Mack was also indicted based on witnesses that came forward with information according to the Post and Courier. Due to the indictments, the gag order was lifted.


Mack's attorney filed a motion in November seeking to split his trial from Kamp's, alleging that she had made incriminating statements against herself and Mack.

The incriminating statements are unknown at this time. However, due to Kamp’s history and other accusations made against her. Judge Thomas Hughston ordered Kamp to submit to an evaluation by the state Department of Mental Health to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.

The judge's order states that Kamp "has a history of mental health issues" that could affect her competency and ability to assist in her own defense. Her court file does not contain the results of that evaluation.

The witnesses who came forth are still unnamed, but had compelling stories implicating them both for the homicide of Waring.


Kate Waring went missing June 12, 2009, (exactly 8 months ago today) the last place she was seen was at the Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse in Charleston, SC and later her skeletal remains were found by private investigators on Wadmalaw Island in SC on October 10, 2009.


Although no cause of death has been determined, witnesses have convinced authorities that Waring's death was a homicide, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlet Wilson said.



"the death was a "slow process" that took time, involving multiple means of assault. Waring was reportedly conscious and aware of most of what was happening. Wilson also said the "overwhelming" motive in the case would be financial gain, but "other threads" played a role, including jealousy on Kamp's part."


Shortly before Tuesday's news conference, a third suspect in the case, Terry Keith Williams, 31, of James Island, appeared before Magistrate James Gosnell, who reduced his bail on obstruction charges from $200,000 to $20,000, court records show. Prosecutors consented to the move.

Williams will be under house arrest upon his release and must report to his probation officer weekly.

A police affidavit stated that Williams is accused of helping to move Waring's body and then lying to police about how he ended up with her iPod. A witness told police that Williams received the iPod for helping Mack move her body, the affidavit stated.,-80.011368&spn=0.256086,0.441513&z=11&layer=t&lci=com.panoramio.all

The belief is that “the slow process” would have put Waring’s death on June 13, 2009. Because the body had to be moved, it is easy to speculate that the murder occurred in a place was likely familiar to the accused killers. A place that was private enough to keep them from being caught while committing these “multiple means of assault”.


Authorities allege that both suspects gave false statements about events on the night Waring was last seen, and that they forged checks drawn on Waring's account.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said investigators know of three checks the pair allegedly tried to cash after Waring's death, including one for $4,500.

Wilson would not discuss the witnesses or the specifics of what they told authorities. She did say no deals had been cut in return for their testimony.

After all these months of uncertainty it can be said that there were many sighs of relief when any type of indictment came forth.


The lifting of the gag order gave the public and media the chance to find new pieces of information and it was long overdue.


There are a few points that can be made with a charge of this type. Mainly, if a murder is committed and there were “multiple means of assault” there must be some type of DNA evidence that can be found.


A DNA trail can prove or disprove where a crime was committed. Readmore Mobile


Because some DNA evidence can be destroyed, it does not mean that all traces will be completely erased.

In regards to Heather Kamp’s mental state, the question of “competency” in legal terms requires an evaluation that establishes whether or not a person is capable of three things.


The first of the three is whether or not the person can UNDERSTAND or DENY the charges they are charged with.

They must be able to report the FACTS regarding their behavior in the crime.


The second answer that must be answered is whether or not the person can COOPERATE with his or her lawyer and ASSIST in their own defense.


Finally, the third answer is whether or not the defendant can UNDERSTAND COURT PROCEEDINGS


IF they cannot perform ANY of these things, they can be found incompetent to stand trial.


In our justice system, a person found incompetent cannot be put on trial. That does not mean they open the doors and say, “Good Luck.” It will likely mean being committed to a Mental Institution until they can stand trial.


If there is no progress, they can be held for much longer than simple “treatment.” The treatment may be for a short time and it is for purpose of getting them prepared to stand trial or it could be that they are too ill to go before a jury and a new hearing will be recommended. In these situations, they will become patients for an unspecified amount of time until determined by a judge.



People in general are known for over simplifying things. Most people feel comfortable stereotyping because it gives order to things they can understand. To put people in categories like; “good”, “bad”, “evil”, “crazy”, “nice” etc. It gives others the sense of order they need to feel comfortable with the things around them. It makes the world seem smaller and easier to manage.


When crimes are committed, it isn’t uncommon for people to want to know their motivation and to know what is wrong with that person. Using the word “Wrong” is translated into, “What IS their major malfunction?” And if they walk among us, are there others that we should be watching more closely?



Considering all of the psychological terms that have been mentioned in connection to Heather Kamp, a few of them are worth a closer look. Terms for disorders used in the correct way can help identify people with mental illness.


However, there are other terms such as the word, “crazy.” That does not meet a psychological standard. The word “crazy” has a universal meaning for the general public. The word “insane” is the same way. In a nonprofessional’s term this may be a more comfortable word for the general public to use, but it over simplifies something that requires deeper thought.


Heather Kamp has been called a Pathological Liar. What is the exact definition of this word and is a clinical term?


You may be surprised to know that the term "Pathological Liar" is not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That means it is NOT actually a mental diagnosis, but rather a term to describe a person behavioral traits. There are types of liars. For example, there are “compulsive liars” also known as habitual liars. These types of liars are known for lying about every little thing and the lies are typically pointless. The difference is the reason they lie. A compulsive liar has no motivation or gain for lying. It is just something they do for no apparent reason.


The pathological liar on the other hand is a completely different “breed.” They lie for reasons. They lie to get ahead, to manipulate, to gain respect, to deceive for personal gain. They WILL lie without regard for other people's needs or feelings, many times sacrificing their friends and family members for their own good.


They may become aggressive when cornered and confronted about their lies, and often respond defensively to intense questioning. They can become angry and even violent.


It is often difficult to identify pathological liars at a first meeting, but the symptoms become clear once you get to know them. Most pathological liars have a narcissistic attitude. They will lie even when the lies are transparent and they will stick to their lies even when they are confronted with evidence of their treachery. Often their lies will be dramatic and unbelievable but they will continue the lie.


Not only do Pathological liars have detrimental effects on their own immediate circle of family, friends, and colleagues, they will also bring harm to anyone they come in contact with. Their lies are self-serving so they are most likely to bring other people down with them, particularly if they are caught in a serious lie.


They are more likely to blame someone else for a situation than to take responsibility.


It is important to realize whom you are dealing with. You cannot trust a pathological liar to tell you the truth about anything. It should be known that they have no loyalty and their lies will incorporate anyone or anything around them.


I suggest you Google or Yahoo the term for more definitions, just as I have. I also donated several days to reading several books on psychology. The library is full of simple to read “starter” books that can help get you more acquainted with basic psychologically. If you have a true passion for learning new things, I suggest you try one of them.


Other terms that have been used to define Heather Kamp’s traits are “psychotic” and “bipolar.” It should be noted that pathological liars usually have other major mental disorders and that the pathological lying is just one of many of their other traits.


The most commonly observed disorders with criminal tendencies are the Psychopaths. Not all psychopaths are criminals; however, they have the highest convictions of all the other major mental disorders.


Because psychopaths have so many definitions, I am going to use Robert Hare’s comprehensive list that outlines the most common traits of a psychopath. I should also mention that psychopaths have the most diverse convictions in all types of crimes. The crimes linked to them include kidnapping, arson, tax evasion, murder, forgery, and fraud.

These are only a few of the things they are capable of and this is not a complete list.




Hare’s list for common traits of a psychopath includes: 


  • Superficial charm
  • Callousness
  • Lack of empathy
  • Parasitic lifestyles (living off others)
  • Prone to boredom (a need for stimulation)
  • Poor behavior control
  • Pathological lying
  • Promiscuous sexual behavior
  • Manipulation
  • Conning
  • Early behavior problems
  • Lack of remorse
  • Lack of guilt
  • Failure to accept personal responsibility
  • Shallow emotions (no true deep feelings for anyone or anything)
  • Lack of realistic goals
  • Impulsivity
  • Irresponsibility
  • Criminal versatility



There are two major “hallmarks” for the psychopath and they are their ability to be smooth in presentation and charm.

They are not usually embarrassed easily and they have a tendency to be calm in social settings. They often come across as being full of themselves because of their grandiosity and they see others as inferior.


They will often brag about how much smarter, better looking and more talented than others. Their egos lead them to believe that they are better at most things compared to others.


That view of the world, themselves, and other is what makes them see others as easy prey. They will cheat and manipulate to get whatever it is that they want. Psychopaths carry out these behaviors with no empathy or sympathy for the person that they are doing wrong.


Psychopaths do not feel remorseful or guilty. They find ways around it internally by not seeing it as harmful or because it is necessary to their greater good. They do not feel as though they have to answer for their actions.


They often view things as if the victim had not been weak they would not have been a victim at all. (Survival of the fittest mentality) However, psychopaths are not oblivious to what society expects from them. They may not feel remorse, but they are very capable of faking emotions.


They are skillful at manipulating others into believing them.


They are known for their ability to con and they are skilled at deception. They are extremely ruthless and capable of an unlimited number of crimes.


Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)


Bipolar disorder is generally recognized as a disorder of severe mood swings involving both depression and mania. Mania is a state of excessively elevated or irritable mood lasting for approximately one week and co-occurring with the following symptoms:


·        Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity


·        Decreased need for sleep


·        Extreme need to talk


·        Racing thoughts


·        Short attention span


·        Drastically increased activity level


·        Excessive engagement in activities involving pleasurable activities that have the potential to harm them



Someone showing signs of these symptoms aren’t bipolar for just one or two of these symptoms. Separately they can indicate other conditions or nothing at all.


We can find ourselves relating to one of them at least once in our life. Who hasn’t felt the need for decreased sleep at least once? The difference is that these symptoms have occurred together more than once in a persons life and it is the combination of severe depression with the mania that separates it from other illnesses. It is primarily a mood related disorder.


Some people theorize that the mania comes from the brain’s need to escape the severe depression. This problem is that someone in the Mania phase often get in a lot of trouble. Financially they can accumulate massive amounts of debt because of their inability to regulate their spending or ability to rationalize. They are also more prone to broken relationships, criminal and illegal activities during this phase. They are at risk during times of mania.


Bipolar disorder is often described as being on a roller coaster of extreme emotion. They feel happiness and sadness beyond the proportion of what would be expected of someone who does not have this disorder.


They may laugh when they hear a loved one dies or cry when a commercial comes on TV. They may become irrationally angry about something that others see as slight and inconvenient.



There are several things to consider when dealing with the psychology of a person who has committed a crime. Were they in a temporary state of irrational behavior? Did the behavior exhibited during a crime define their everyday behavior or was it uncharacteristic of them? In legal terms this is consider “temporary insanity.” It isn’t a medical definition, but it is a term for some legal “wiggle” room in defense cases.


Whatever the evaluation about Heather Kamp reveals, it is important to remember that certain illnesses can be treated with medication and therapy. Unfortunately, for Kate Waring there will be no such opportunities. This is where the law will separate the mental illness from the crime. If it were only forgery or obstruction, perhaps there would be some leniency or provisions for psychological disturbance. However, the responsibility of the law mandates that justice be served for the victim. Whatever Heather Kamp’s alleged part in the crime is, it is unclear whether or not she is even competent to stand trial until the evaluation is revealed. 


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