(Reuters)

A commenter wanted me to post about Richard Matt, the criminal genius who managed to escape jail and evade the police for days. Despite being a vicious cold blooded killer, the Daily Beast reports he had a soft-side:

Inspired by portraits of Oprah Winfrey, he began crafting his own pencil drawings of the television icon. “He drew people pictures; he did a portfolio on Oprah and it was really, really good,” the supervisor, who requested anonymity, remembered fondly.

Oprah has mentioned than many men in prison watched her syndicated talk show which makes sense because there’s nothing to do in jail except watch TV and lift weights, and prisoners would have been drawn to the provocative topics of daytime TV. Also, the advice Oprah gave was incredibly helpful to people in hopeless circumstances because she preached that everyone should be grateful because what you focus on expands. Most prisoners focus on how small their world is, so their world becomes smaller. But as an Oprah fan, Richard Matt probably focused on how much freedom he had even in jail. By focusing on his freedom, his freedom expanded (he escaped prison). This is because just as negative thoughts lead to lead to negative actions which lead to negative feedback from your environment, which leads to more negative thoughts etc, positive thoughts do the opposite, creating a positive feedback loop.

Of course positive thinking is not enough. You also have to be smart. According to Matt’s son, he has a genius IQ. While lots of people claim genius IQ (i.e. 140+) and it’s usually not true, in Matt’s case it might be, because escaping jail and evading law enforcement is no easy task, especially in this day and age when police have advanced technology and surveillance is everywhere. The longer he evades authorities, the more likely it is that his IQ is high.

Also, as someone who spent so much time in the legal system from such a young age, it’s very likely a psychologist intelligence tested him on a version of the WISC or WAIS.

However because the average criminal has a low IQ (90), if Matt does have a genius IQ, he probably only narrowly made the cut, so his IQ might be 140 on the nose.

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