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Psychologist talks about the suspects and the victim in the Magna torture case

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A psychologist explains what could have been going through the minds of the six people arrested for kidnapping and torturing a Magna man.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A psychologist explains what could have been going through the minds of the six people arrested for kidnapping and torturing a Magna man.

Earlier this week we learned of the brutal attack and torture of Thomas Chapman. Then we learned that none of the suspects had a known violent past. So, what makes someone go from friend to foe so quickly? While we don’t know exactly what caused that to happen here – Dr. Rocky Underwood gave ABC 4 News some insights.

“They took me downstairs and put me in handcuffs.” Chapman describes the absolutely incredible torture he went through. "They stapled my lips shut, stapled my ears to my head." Remember the people behind the alleged torture were also his roommates. "Next thing I know I'm getting drilled with dremels beat with keyboards." ABC 4 News looked into the pasts of the six suspects. David Masters, Lee Moses and Jennifer Moses had no criminal history at all. And while Brandon Haggard, Paula Jones and Tracy Jordan have committed crimes – no one had ever been charged or convicted of a violent crime.

So, what make them turn so violent and turn so quickly? Dr. Underwood – a psychologist with more than a decade of experience - believes the suspects in the case were so angry they no longer viewed Chapman as a roommate or even human. “The offender typically objectifies the victim. It is really hard to inflict violence on a person unless you no longer see them as a human being.”

We also asked Dr. Underwood, with six people allegedly involved, why wouldn’t someone stop the violence? He says that is pretty typical with a pack of people. “The more violence someone sees the more they believe it is ok to do.” Dr. Underwood compared it to someone using drugs. He said often they want the “people around them to use them as well.”

While Chapman wants the suspects punished he says he really wants to make sure they get counseling time and not just jail time. “They need to be rehabilitated not thrown away like devils.” Dr. Underwood believes Chapman will also need some counseling. “This shatters the victim’s values. He’s likely to have depression and suffer a loss of his sense of self.”

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