This ‘snake-hearted’ era — Reginald Tasker’s monologue from The Bad Seed

. . . yet sometimes I wonder whether these malignant brutes may not be the mutation that survives on this planet in this age.  This age of technology and murder-for-empire.  Maybe the softies will have to go, and the snake-hearted will inherit the Earth.  Now, I’m betting on the democracies.  But we’re living in an age of murder.  In all history, there have never been so many people murdered as in our century.  Add up all the murders from the beginning of history to 1900, and then add the murders after 1900, and our century wins.  All alone . . .

Sadly this was written in the 1950sI’m sure the authors, William March (the novel) and Maxwell Anderson (the play), thought knowledge of psychopathy would spread quickly in the modern age.  As did Hervey Cleckley, Mask of Sanity, and Mary Astor, The Incredible Charlie Carewe, Mary Astor’s “The Incredible Charlie Carewe” (,, no doubt.  I don’t know what went wrong.

A review of The Bad Seed.

4 thoughts on “This ‘snake-hearted’ era — Reginald Tasker’s monologue from The Bad Seed

  1. The Bible also says “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.
    The red flags of psychopaths should be taught in school though
    the closest we get to exposing them is in fairy tales. They are
    monsters, vampires, evil witches and queens who physically
    kill, or destroy reputations, careers and countries. My studies
    on this subject began years ago and has helped me detect
    several recently. They are so obvious when we know what
    to look for. I’ve been targeted by females who pretend to
    befriend me. They infiltrate to destroy and normal people
    never do that. We avoid those we dislike and don’t want
    anything to do with them.

    Lady Vigilant


    • Yet it’s not simply a lack of knowledge any more. Ten years ago I was the only person I knew who researched and studied serial killers, heinous crimes, deviant and violent behavior, etc. – I wanted to know what makes these psychos tick. Today there is no shortage of information on the subject and practically everyone I know wants to learn more.

      People used to ask me WHY??? did I spend my free time learning all i could about such morbid subjects. But nowadays I think the answer is obvious – people want to learn how to protect themselves from these predators.

      And they’re not just the “evil monsters” who commit violent crimes against women and children or the tyrant dictators who destroy entire countries. They’re also the “normal” everyday people who make our lives miserable at home and at work, and even at church.

      I’m pretty confident that I am able to spot the sociopaths around me but in many situations there is little to nothing I can do about it.

      – buster


    • “The red flags of psychopaths should be taught in school” — I agree. At what age can they be reached? 14 or 15? 18 is way too late. 18 yr olds think the world is their happy hunting grounds and that if Mom and Dad didn’t warn them about psychopaths, that there is nothing to worry about.


  2. I think that is exactly what will happen – except that there will be a remnant that still remains to witness the psychos’ “feeding frenzy” as they rip each others’ flesh apart and grind the bones to dust. Picture it – with no one left to believe the lies there will be no one to “impress”, no reason to continue pretending to be perfect ladies and gentlemen. It will be a blood bath and the meek will still inherit the earth. Not to worry…

    As for “why” the knowledge of psychopathy doesn’t give us power over them, I don’t know, but I think maybe the Lord simply intends it to be this way. Consider the parable of the farmer who sowed good seed and when the new growth appeared it was full of weeds. His workers asked if they should pluck the weeds but he said no, in case doing so might harm some of the tender stalks, but rather wait until the harvest to separate the good plants from the weeds and then burn the weeds.

    Just a thought…

    – buster


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