A criminal is someone who breaks the law. He is the bad guy in the movies. He will steal, lie, harm and threaten his victims, all in an effort to get what he wants. A criminal usually does not regret what he does, unless he gets caught.
Criminals vary in the degree to which they violate others and in the nature of their crimes. Some, for example, engage in acts of petty theft. Others steal the innocence of children through abusive and lewd behavior.
Yet others engage in the business of illegal drugs, which ultimately can lead to addiction and the destruction of lives. Some criminals use bribery or blackmail to get ahead in situations, including their jobs.
Still others invade people's homes, and rob their victims of their possessions and sense of safety. Even worse, there are those vile people who have no respect for human life. They may shoot someone for no logical reason whatsoever.
It is unsettling to imagine living as a criminal, or unknowingly being married to one! Yet, it is the path that many choose.
Criminals truly are a breed of their own. They are often mean-spirited people with an empty look in their eyes. If you look at various mug shots, you will recognize that vacant stare.
Criminals often seem to lack a conscience. In fact, many murderers only shed tears on trial when they are convicted of the crime. They show no emotion when photos of their victims displayed. Remember Scott Peterson's coldness when on trial for killing his wife and unborn son?
Since the beginning of time, there have been people who engaged in illegal and violent behavior. In fact, Cain famously murdered his brother Abel in an act of jealous rage.
There have been countless other famous criminals, such as Al Capone, OJ Simpson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Bronson. Movies often later depict some of the most famous crimes. Books, such as "In Cold Blood," are written about them.
On any given night, cable news shows such as "Nancy Grace" cover current crimes. People are truly fascinated with these stories.
It is very hard to understand or have much compassion for criminals, especially those who engage in misconduct over and over again. They seem to operate by a different code than the rest of us. They can be so evil and hardened.
While crime brings out the worst in human nature, we fortunately live in a world in which many violators of the law are caught, and held accountable for their terrible deeds. We also live in a world in which most people are decent, and very much respect the lives and rights of others.