Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Brutal murder of Pirjo Kempannein

The Brutal murder of Pirjo Kempannein by a 14 year old boy

“My wishes are killing more and more people, I wish I had a catapult that would hit someone on the head and then they would all be dead!” – Would you believe these words sprang from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy talking to a psychologist?

It wouldn’t be too long until this young buy got his wish to kill, when, at the age of 14, he murdered pensioner Pirjo Kemppainen, bashing her, and stabbing her over 120 times.

This young man, whose identity has been suppressed due to his age, is only identified as “B” in newspaper stories and court documents.
B was born in august 1996, not long after his birth his parents separated. By the age of seven he was watching violent horror movies, and by the age of ten pornography and had a lifelong of video games with extreme violence. (He was quoted during his trial as saying with the extreme enthusiasm of a teenage boy "In Gears of War, you can cut people in half with your gun (which) has a chainsaw on it, you can blow people in half with a shotgun, strap grenades to people, use people as human shields, pretty well make mincemeat out of people.”)

B was obsessed with death and violence, and was quoted as saying "I was obsessed about killing
62 year old former nurse, Ms Pirjo Kempannein
people - from Year 1 to Year 8, I've just had thoughts about killing people. I still think about it."
B and his friend “A”, who was also his co-accused, (referred to as A in court documentation) were inseparable for the most part. They spent a lot of time at B’s dads house on weekends playing video games, and when they weren’t playing games, they would terrorise neighbours in the Callington area, by throwing rocks on peoples rooves, and causing general mischief.

A few days before the murder, B said to his teacher "How good would it be to see someone die?"
"I'm gonna stab someone, I wish I had a gun ... how good would it be to see someone being shot?"
The school arranged a psychological appointment, but it never happened, as resources in the area were sparse. Only a day later, B was seen to be staring at child across the playground at school. B was heard to say “I hate that kid and I’m going to kill him!” before sprinting across the playground and punching the kid in the head.
B was suspended from the school, and upon his punishment, he stated to the teachers
"If you do this, people will die,"

A day later he brutally attacked and killed MS Kemppainen.

A Forensic Psychologist, Dr Luke Broomhill, began working with B during his stay in prison leading up to his trial.  He assessed the teenager as having mild retardation and year 2 intellectual function. He stated that B was unable to compute alternative solutions to problems, and that if he had something he wanted to achieve, he could not discern the consequences of his actions.
B’s aggressive nature began to manifest distinctly after his Father moved to Kanmantoo in the Adelaide Hills when his mother moved interstate. 

An incident occurred at the new house where some local boys knocked over the bin outside of B ‘s house, B’s reaction was to grab a meat cleaver and wave it at the youths.
This caused friction with his Father’s partner, who chastised the boy, his reply "I should have capped their motherfucking asses."

His Father’s relationship broke down, and eventually the family moved to Callington, where B became the subject of bullying.
Ms Pirjo Kempannein's house in Callington where her brutal murder occured.


With no guilt in his voice, and not an iota of remorse, B recounted the events of Ms Kemppainen’s death, as he remembered it, to the court.

"I walked up to the victim's house alone, walked up to the sliding door and the victim came out through the wooden door, she asked why I had thrown the rock (through her sliding door window). I said I was drunk and I put the knife in her stomach." B then paused to mime the action.

"I tried to stab her twice in the stomach and then I repeatedly stabbed her in the head, she tried to hold her arms up to keep me from stabbing her, she was screaming. She was about to shut the door on me, so I threw the rock at her door," B recalled calmly.

"It was a big chunk of rock, about 30cm across. I ran through the door and continued to stab her until she was on the floor making no sound. The last thing I did was throw the slab of concrete at her head," 

“I felt like God” he said.

According to forensic reports, B had inflicted 58 stab wounds in total on Ms Kemppainen, and struck her 69 times with the concrete rocks. Strikes had been so ferocious, they had left gouge marks in the victim’s skull.
B was arrested 3 days after the brutal crime. More evidence of the youths troubled mind came to the surface during the court case with evidence of put forward of talks to guards and his psychological assessors, where B had stated

"If I had my phone I could've gotten away with it, I could've gone in (to the house) and said `oh, there's a dead body'. I would have gotten $100 or $500 for finding a dead body."


A, B’s co-accused was eventually acquitted by a jury, as the evidence against him, most of which was supplied by B, was unreliable, or did not make sense
B was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 15 years, which means he can be released from gaol in September 2025, at the age of 29.
 A teenage murderer will have the rest of his life ahead of him, but for the 62 year old pensioner death, and her family having to live with the brutality of the murder, and the eventual release of their relatives murderer, a life sentence is imposed – maybe, just maybe, Australia’s justice systems is a little too lenient when it comes to murder.
B was transferred from youth detention in 2015 to Yatala Gaol to serve the rest of his term. He was charged with an assault in youth detention and is said to have exhausted his options in regards to rehabilitation. 

 researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2017


Fewster S, 2012, Youth who confessed to killing Callington nurse Pirjo Kemppainen jailed for at least 15 years, Perth Now, viewed 6 Mar 2017, http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/youth-who-confessed-to-killing-callington-nurse-pirjo-kemppainen-jailed-for-at-least-15-years/news-story/c6259982fea2275d75fa4b3d5b1983fe

Fewster S, 2013, Inside the mind of the teen killer who murdered Pirjo Kemppainen, The Advertiser, viewed 6 Mar 2017, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/inside-the-mind-of-the-teen-killer-who-murdered-pirjo-kemppainen/news-story/f66d17e2a8622c91293c397434bd4a2d

Fewster, S, 2015, SA court authorises transfer of teen who killed Pirjo Kemppainen to adult prison to serve out sentence, The Advertiser, viewed 6 Mar 2017, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-court-authorises-transfer-of-teen-who-killed-pirjo-kemppainen-to-adult-prison-to-serve-out-sentence/news-story/0279aa9b2ee25bcd54014f57fe3b1f97

Grace L 2014, The Most Notorious Crimes that Shook and Horrified South Australia, The Advertiser, Viewed 6 Mar 2017, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/some-of-the-most-notorious-crimes-that-shook-and-horrified-south-australia/news-story/44fe98668d454c5dc1f7c7a3c71ff269

Marcus C 2013, Jury finds teenager not guilty of murder over Pirjo Kemppainen's brutal killing, ABC News, viewed 6 Mar 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-11/murder-jury-verdict-trial-of-teenager-over-pirjo-kemppainen/4814324

Marcus C, 2015, pirjo-kemppainen-teenage-killer-due-for-adult-prison, ABC News, viewed 6 Mar 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-11/pirjo-kemppainen-teenage-killer-due-for-adult-prison/6085806

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Psychology: Transliminality


(First published on Eidolon Paranormal in 2012 – updated in 2017 with new information and bibliography)

First predicted by psychologist, William James, transliminality is a hypothesis for the tendency of psychological material to cross thresholds into or out of consciousness. The flow of information from our conscious to our unconscious has been a subject of great debate, interest and thought for many centuries.
It was William James who suggested that our thoughts were ongoing, switching between internal and external stimuli, which relied on processing needed to integrate the past with the present.
William James, philosopher and psychologist and physician.
The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States

In recent years, the study of interaction between unconscious and conscious processing has delved into examination of how the process works in mental health, problem solving, creativity and the nature of altered consciousness that accompanies paranormal beliefs and experiences, the last being conducted right here in Adelaide, South Australia by parapsychologist, Michael Thalbourne.

Transliminality is described in its conceptual form by Thalbourne as: “an openness or receptiveness to impulses and experiences whose sources are in preconscious (or unconscious) processes”
(Thalbourne, 1991, pp. 181-182)

How does Transliminality fit in with paranormal research and investigation? Basically, the questionnaire give the psychologist a scale of where a subject sits on the scale in regards to open-mindedness. In other words, a transliminal personality is much more open to experience, whereas the non-transliminal personality is more subject to self-control, stubbornness in belief, and close minded to “experiences”

It was Thalbourne who defined the Transliminality Scale, a perceptual-personality “test” that is measured using the Rasch Revised Transliminality Scale. The aim of the study was to examine the correlations between conscious and unconscious thought.

The study, including the one mentioned above also considered three other measures, Hartmanns's Boundary Questionnaire, The Unusual Experiences Scale of the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences, and temporal lobe lability measures via Persingers Personal Philosophy Inventory. These four measures, it was predicted, would work together well and present a single underlying factor throughout each.

The four scales were administered to 1368 participants, once analysed, and correlated, the tests indeed showed a single underlying factor, which accounted for 74% of the variance, which in turn suggested that the underlying factor for all four variables was indeed Transliminality

So, now you're probable asking, “what are you talking about, transliminality, how does this apply to the paranormal?”
parapsychologist at the University of Adelaide
(the late), Dr Michael Thalbourne.
 We all know someone highly creative, or someone highly spiritual, or a mix of both, most have had a supernatural or mystical experience in their lives (there is of course people who are neither who have still had mystical or supernatural experiences). These are the oddballs, the moody creative types who delve into eastern philosophies most of us have never heard off, these are the people who would be deemed to have a transliminal personality.
To put it in simple terms, Professor Michael Thalbourne, a parapsychologist at the University of Adelaide, conducted a study to measure personality traits. He wanted to know if there was a specific type of person who believed in the paranormal, defined in his study as ESP, psychokinesis or life after death. He wanted to know what separated the believer from the non-believers.
In the end, Thalbourne's study concluded that people who believed in the paranormal, on the most part shared very similar personality traits, in fact, so similar, Thalbourne defined the name Transliminality for the personality type.
 The original study test, the Transliminality Scale had 29 distinct item, through removing gender and age bias questions, the new version of the test now has 17 items. The new version assesses

Magical Ideation: is a term used in anthropology and psychology, denoting the fallacious attribution of causal relationships between actions and events, with subtle differences in meaning between the two fields.

Mystical Experience: There are four universal characteristics of mystical experiences first categorised by William James in his book The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

·         Ineffability: Mystical States that usually so immense to the person experiencing them, they are incapable of expressing the feelings or images words.

·         Noetic quality: Mystical experiences that bring knowledge or experiences to a person experience that are usually beyond that person’s intellectual grasp. Experiences can bring knowledge, insight, awareness and revelation that the person would not, in their daily understanding, achieve.

·         Transiency: Mystical experiences such as the feeling of Nirvana (felt by some mystics and Saint) that are fleeting in linear time, though to the person experiencing them, seem to be eternal.

·         Passivity: Mystical experiences where the individual feels swept up and held by a superior power. This is sometimes experienced as OBE (out of body experience). Some mystics claim to be able to leave their bodies to gain healing powers, or talk to spirits. (see Edgar Cayce)

Absorption: is a disposition or personality trait in which a person becomes absorbed in their mental imagery, particularly fantasy.

Hyperaesthesia: Abnormal increase of sensitivity to touch, pain, or other sensory stimuli. Excessive intake of caffeine (looking at you Energy drink users) can temporarily induce this condition in humans. (We have sometimes referred to this Hypersensivity in past blogs)

Manic Experience: can include elevated mood, inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, difficulty maintaining attention, increase in goal-directed activity, and excessive involvement in pleasurable activities. These manic symptoms significantly impact a person's daily living.

Dream Interpretation: Transliminal personalities can often associate dream experiences to mystical sources. The Transliminality Test identified the following seven types of dreaming experiences to transliminal personalities: 

  • ·         lucid dreams – a dream where the dreamer is aware they are dreaming
  • ·         archetypal dreams - dreams "carrying a sense of awe and fascination and/or encounters with strange and unusual beings"
  • ·         fantastic nightmare - upsetting and very vivid memorable dreams, involving a range of negative emotions
  • ·         pre-lucid dreams - where one questions whether one is dreaming but cannot decide
  • ·         control dreams - control not possible in waking life is exercised in the dream
  • ·         posttraumatic nightmares - a traumatic real event is relived
  • ·         night terrors - awakening in terror with no recall of dream content

Fantasy Proneness: personality (FPP) is a disposition or personality trait in which a person experiences a lifelong extensive and deep involvement in fantasy. This disposition is an attempt, at least in part, to better describe "overactive imagination" or "living in a dream world".

For more definitions, test results or information please follow the reference links below.
 Also, below you will find the original test questions designed by parapsychologist, Dr Michael Thalbourne.

Original research conducted in 2013, new research added in 2017
By Allen Tiller ©2013 ©2017

Are You a Transliminal Personality?
If you're interested in finding out how you rate, take the transliminality survey below and find out.
Thalbourne Transliminality Index (1998)
Answer true or false on the 30 questions below. More true answers indicate a higher transliminality rating.

1 Horoscopes are right too often for it to be a coincidence
2 At times I perform certain little rituals to ward off negative influences
3 I have experienced an altered state of consciousness in which I felt that I became cosmically enlightened
4 At the present time, I am very good at make-believe and imagining
5 I have felt that I had received special wisdom, to be communicated to the rest of humanity
6 I have sometimes behaved in a much more impulsive or uninhibited way than is usual for me
7 I am fascinated by new ideas, whether or not they have practical value
8 I have sometimes sensed an evil presence around me, although I could not see it
9 My thoughts have sometimes come so quickly that I couldn’t write them all down fast enough
10 If I could not pretend or make-believe anymore, I wouldn’t be me – I wouldn’t be the same person
11 Sometimes I experience things as if they were doubly real
12 It is sometimes possible for me to be completely immersed in nature or in art and to feel as if my whole state of consciousness has somehow been temporarily altered
13 Often I have a day when indoor lights seem so bright that they bother my eyes
14 I am convinced that I have had at least one experience of telepathy between myself and another person
15 I am convinced that I am psychic
16 I have experienced an altered state of awareness which I believe utterly transformed (in a positive manner) the way I looked at myself
17 I am convinced that I have had a premonition about the future that came true and which (I believe) was not just a coincidence
18 I think I really know what some people mean when they talk about mystical experiences
19 I have gone through times when smells seemed stronger and more overwhelming than usual
20 I can clearly feel again in my imagination such things as: the feeling of a gentle breeze, warm sand under bare feet, the softness of fur, cool grass, the warmth of the sun and the smell of freshly cut grass
21 A person should try to understand their dreams and be guided by or take warnings from them
22 While listening to my favorite music, in addition to feeling calm, relaxed, happy etc, I often have a feeling of oneness with the music, or of being in another place or time, or vividly remembering the past
23 At times, I somehow feel the presence of someone who is not physically there
24 I am convinced that it is possible to gain information about the thoughts, feelings or circumstances of another person, in a way that does not depend on rational prediction or normal sensory channels
25 For several days at a time I have had such a heightened awareness of sights and sounds that I cannot shut them out
26 I sometimes have a feeling of gaining or losing energy when certain people look at me or touch me
27 Now that I am grown up, I still in some ways believe in such things as elves, witches, leprechauns, fairies, etc.
28 Sometimes people think I’m a bit weird because my ideas are so novel
29 When listening to organ music or other powerful music, I sometimes feel as if I’m being lifted up into the air