Adrian Raine thinks that there will come a time when we view repeated criminal offending as a brain-based disorder.
Adrian Raine's horrific encounter with an intruder led him to study the psyche of the human mind.
It was the summer of 1989 when Adrian Raine almost had his throat slit by a burglar.
He was 35 at the time, on holiday in Bodrum, Turkey. He remembers that night being hot – that’s why he’d left the windows open.
And that’s how someone got in.
When he saw the figure standing beside his bed, all sense went out the window. His amygdala took control.
He leapt up, grabbed the intruder despite his routine advice to students – feign sleep, because 99% of the time, thieves would rather avoid confrontation – and a tussle ensued.
Raine was hit hard in the throat, thrown against the door and beaten to a pulp.
Somehow, he managed to push the intruder out the window.
It wasn’t until he switched on the lights that he saw the blood dribbling from his neck down his chest.
The burglar’s cheap knife could have killed him, but the blade had snapped off in the struggle, leaving just a few millimetres of metal on the handle.
In an identity parade, Raine pointed out the culprit, who was subsequently jailed.
But it wasn’t enough.
Something had snapped in Raine.
His trained, rational mind was taken over by an overwhelming sense of anger. He wanted an eye for an eye. He wanted that man to suffer as he had suffered, to be beaten to a pulp and know what it feels like to almost be killed.
In the days and years that followed, Raine developed a Jekyll-and-Hyde perspective on crime.
“Mr Hyde rants for revenge, and rough justice,” he explains in an e-mail interview with The Star.
But the Dr Jekyll in him continued with his academic interests.