In a recent Chronicle Herald news report Cheryl Hornsby stated that the charming Jacques Grenier was the last person she thought would be involved in drug trafficking. She added - He had such a gentle manner, the nicest guy, incredibly intelligent. She also indicated that she felt sorry for him...since he is a cancer survivor who was trying to sail around the world.
It seems Grenier and Luc Chevrefils have been charged with possession of 273 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to import cocaine. Hornsby came to know Grenier at East River Marine... her place of employment. At least she thought she knew him.
What Cheryl Hornsby might not understand is that she may have come face to face with a person who meets the diagnostic criteria of psychopathy. The criteria includes...a failure to conform to social norms and repeated law breaking. It seems that this latest incident was not Grenier’s first rodeo. He has a history that involves drugs and sailboats.
In 1997 Grenier was acquitted of smuggling nearly 810 kilograms of marijuana from Jamaica into Florida. He told customs agents he boarded the boat in Cuba. Although it was shown that he lied regarding travel to Jamaica it was felt there was not enough on him at the time to warrant a conviction.
Other criteria regarding diagnosis Perspectives of Psychopathy is deceitfulness, lack of remorse or guilt, callousness, lack of empathy, glibness, superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, and pathological lying. The fact that Grenier and his companion chose to smuggle a huge amount of cocaine into Canada would indicate that he could care less about the lives that might be affected by drug use. Because this illegal shipment was so large, it is likely that an organized crime group would have been behind this activity.
Although Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy share the same checklist, Dr. Robert Hare indicates they are related disorders but differ in significant ways. The psychopath is more callous and exploitative. Dr. Hare goes on to note that intelligence is a factor that separates these two disorders. With psychopathy there is an interpersonal dimension which is positively related to verbal intelligence.
One study indicates that in prison settings approximately 70 to 80 per cent of prisoners qualify for a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder while only 25 to 30 per cent meet the criteria for psychopathy (Patrick, 2005). The later group seems better able to stay out of prison...possibly because they are more inclined to protect themselves.
Psychopaths can lack conditioned reactions to normal passive avoidance of punishment, yet some have enough intellectual awareness of societies rules to avoid acts that will land them in prison. It appears that this later group might include some unprincipled and predatory business professionals, high-pressure evangelists, and crooked politicians (Hare et al., 1999).
The reader should take note of my statement that Cheryl Hornsby “may” have come face to face with someone who meets the criteria of a psychopath. Psychology was part of my studies in my most recent degree... however, I am not a clinical psychologist. Even if I were, I could not diagnose someone from a distance. Still...the life-style and behaviour of Jacques Grenier leads to speculation.
I would suggest that Cheryl Hornsby not allow herself to feel too sorry for Grenier. Some psychopaths can be very charming and likeable. They have insight into other’s needs and weaknesses. Finally it must be remembered they are pathological liars. It is possible that Jacques Grenier is not a cancer survivor... and whatever punishment Grenier receives comes as a result of his own actions.