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February 9, 2013

Court file: LA ex-cop was disturbed, self-obsessed

ORANGE, Calif. — A photo never tells the whole story, and that's especially true for Christopher Dorner. The images on his Facebook page are essentially the same: Dorner, smiling, seemingly loving life and all it offers.

But they accompany a rambling document where he portrays himself as a real-life Rambo, an expert in weapons, explosives and military tactics who will stop at nothing to avenge his 2008 firing from the Los Angeles Police Department.

It's incongruous and it underscores the complexity of the man who now is the most wanted in America, accused of killing three people as he carries out his vendetta.

Where Dorner sees himself as a warrior, others see someone much different. The 6-foot, 270-pounder is a physical hulk who — despite his size — seemed to battle deep-seated insecurities, lived with his mother and cracked under the pressures of police work.

Court and police files show that Dorner once began weeping while on duty in a patrol car, awkwardly flashed his police badge on a first date and told a girlfriend he kept his emotions bottled up.

Those who study the psyches of criminals said Dorner's aggressive and self-aggrandizing rant indicates a classic case of malignant narcissist personality disorder. Some people with the disorder are extremely thin-skinned and vengeful, said Mary Ellen O'Toole, a retired FBI profiler.

They may seem insecure, she said, but in reality their rages — and even tears — are extreme reactions to real or imagined criticisms because they have such grandiose visions of themselves.

"He's putting in his manifesto that he's going to use all the training he received as an LAPD officer and as a military officer to basically hold Southern California hostage, and to be there when you least expect it," she said. "Is he deadly? Yes. Of course he has killed people."

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