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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

20/20? Try 20/200

May 12th, 2009 – 8:15 A.M.

It has been a sad few weeks for me. No pretty way to say it, other than that I feel like I am standing on the deck of the Titanic, listening to the band on the way down. This feeling stems from a confluence of different matters, from the imminent rejection of my direct appeal to my fraying faith. On top of all this, I have been getting reports from many quarters about the dreadfully myopic 20/20 production which aired on ABC recently. I would have liked to have been able to listen to it, but, as I mentioned earlier, I now have no radio. Then again, maybe I am at least a little glad I didn’t listen to it. I’m pretty much done with the media, both as a participant and as a listener. I think there was once some honor to what they do, and you can still see echoes of this in the really high-caliber print outfits, like the NY Times and the Washington Post. Its gonegonegone from the television sources, though, in the quest for higher ratings. Simple question: what do you do to make people like you? Answer: tell them what they want to hear. And so the right flocks to the throne of the dreary and absurd. Bill O’Reilly and Fox News, and the left to MSNBC, and everybody gets to hear what they want to hear and already believe, and nevermind that quaint little notion of objective truth. Scary thought: what if there is no objective truth, only spin? That would explain a lot.

The question that most people have asked me is: Why did I agree to do the interview? Easy answer: for the same reason I did the Oprah one – for my Dad. I felt that his story was worth telling, and worth whatever unpleasantness I had to go through in order to tell it. I still feel that way, though I think I’ve been the good little soldier long enough, and will not be participating in any more interviews. That particular unpleasant experience took place last year, in…September, if I recall correctly. Certainly NOT in 2009, as was supposedly indicated on the show. I wish…God, I wish you people could see the actual interview that I gave, not the edited pieces. I remember a college professor once remarking that a text taken out of context was little more than a pretext. Same thing here. If I were to ask you two hours worth of questions on tape, I could literally make you say anything I wanted once I got into the editing booth. I am disappointed to learn of the direction they eventually took, because they all seemed so friendly when I met them. I was very clearly not at ease, but they very pointedly told me they did not believe that the DP was appropriate for my case, and wanted to show that. I guess I got played. I wish I could buy everyone in the USA a copy of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent.” I think maybe that would be good for America. It wouldn’t get to the root of the problem, though. We absolutely eat up anything which can help us justify our egocentrism. A friend of mine from Europe told me that he had read the perfect description of his thoughts on our nation, which was: “In America, there are more plastic flamingos than real ones.” I add my own two cents: same with people.

So, yet another psychologist comes out of the woodworks to “diagnose” me. Nevermind that it is unethical in the extreme to pronounce such a diagnosis without ever having spoken one single word to the individual under the microscope. I think even the most jaded amongst us recognizes that such “experts” are paid very well for their opinions, and I do not think it necessary to examine the motives of such men too closely. If one gives a lengthy and accurate diagnosis, chances are they will never be called again. But, ah…if one can combine the maximum of sensationalism with the minimum of verbiage, well…jackpot. Thus is “truth” created in AmericaLand. It is scary how few people out there really understand just how played they are by the newsmen. I wish people would listen a little more closely. Some words don’t mean what you think they do. Or they have multiple meanings, and you err when you make an assumption. Most of the time, you don’t even realize when you have made such an assumption. Take this word “narcissist” that was bandied about on the program. The word has a common-usage meaning, which is that a person with narcissistic tendencies is a person who is extremely self-oriented, selfish. In the psychological world, however, a narcissist is a person who does not make interpersonal connections easily. I am guilty of the latter, I readily admit, but no the former. And so, when asked, I can answer truthfully, that, yes, I am a narcissist and be convicted in the courts (both legal and of public opinion), while being actually innocent of what the other participants believe the charges consist of. I mean, how do you answer a question truthfully, when you KNOW the person asking doesn’t even understand the nature of the question? If you try to explain the distinction, people think you are stalling, or they think you are trying to squirm out of the situation. All I am going to say on this is this: I was interviewed extensively by a real psychologist who was unmotivated by money, and the words “sociopath” and “narcissist” were not mentioned once in the diagnosis. Not once. (I am going to present this diagnosis here in the near future, but I want to devote more time and space to it than I am willing to give in this entry.) The messed up part about our system is that you, the person in whose name I am about to be murdered, would only get a true, unbiased mental health diagnosis because I A) fought tooth and nail to get it, over the objections of the system, B) paid the large annual fee of hosting a website, and C) took the time and effort to make such information public. Think about the hundreds of men who never had the means nor the intelligence to show you the truth. Who will ever speak for them?

Again, I’ve not seen or heard the interview. I only know what I have learned from alternate sources. The interview with my friends in Mexico hurt the most, I think. I guess I can accept a certain amount of dishonesty aimed at me. I f I believed in karma, or, for that matter, any kind of justice. I would say that some of this dishonesty was even justified. I am afraid I can no longer believe in such ideas, however. What these people have consistently done to my friends down there is nothing short of criminal. In January of this year, my Dad and a friend of mine named Dorothy took a trip down to Mexico to speak with some of the people I lived with. I am going to include an abbreviated version of this travelogue for you to read at the end of this. Pay special attention to the comments about how the interviews they gave to the news media were manipulated, even to the extent of deliberate mistranslation, of their words. Even if you hate my guts, you should be mad about this, because you were sold a lie, and you didn’t even bother to check the price tag. I want you to think about something. Really stop and think for a second. What does it say about our country that in an interview regarding a situation as horrible as what occurred on December 10th, 2003, the only person who has been consistently honest is the person condemned to die. By any barometer you choose, that is beyond ridiculous.

As to the specific comment that Sindy made, about me joking she could kill her Dad because she was so upset with him, we again come to the problem of context. I actually did make the comment, but if you talked to Sindy (or were allowed to see more of the interview), you would undoubtedly see things with a lot more clarity. She mentioned that I said this as a joke, which was partly true. At the time, I was living under a false name in a foreign country, running from a whole alphabet soup worth of law enforcement agencies, working for about a dollar an hour. Underneath all of that considerable weight, I was absolutely crushed by my feelings of guilt both for what I had done, and for the lie I was living. What I wanted more than anything was to talk to someone, anyone, about all that had happened in my life over the past few years. In all my life, I had only ever once confided in anyone, to the woman I have referred to on this site as “Her.” I wanted and needed “Her,” more than I could ever express to you. Sindy and I were close, but not quite in the way that has been portrayed. No doubt that I was trying to make Sindy fit into the space where only “She” could fit. When I made the comment about her dad, what I was really doing was trying to open the door to the past and tell Sindy the truth, to unload. This is not a subject one just spits out in the middle of a casual conversation, obviously. I was testing the waters, watching for her reaction to the comment, to see if maybe I could finally speak about Dec 10th. If she had said, “Bah, you are crazy,” or something like that, I would have done it. She changed the subject though, and I couldn’t move forward. I did the exact same thing with her brother, after he made a comment about Algun Pendejo that had made him mad, in the same way we often say, “Man, I could just kill that guy,” after someone cuts us off. You will see this incident referred to in the travelogue, actually. In the end, no matter how badly I wanted to talk with Sindy or Ubaldo, it never felt right. How do you tell someone such things? Anyways, just read the travelogue. It speaks for itself. Of course-and this is really the important bit – if 20/20 had bothered to show you the whole interview, I WOULDN’T NEED TO EXPLAIN ANY OF THIS, BECAUSE I ALREADY DID. But you, the puppet, only get to see what New York wants you to see, and so you dance to their tune. Wake up. Reality may not be pretty or warm, but any true Human Being would rather be uncomfortable than doped up on illusion. A pastor I know once told me he believed that it is in our nature to be nasty to one another, and that I receive hate-mail because people do not have to feel bad about acting within their true selves, when the target is someone like me. It is easy to justify, in other words. (I tend to agree with him, though I do not feel this is the end result of a talking snake or two hippies in a garden, but rather a product of our incomplete evolution, namely that we are mammals with adrenal glands which are way to big and frontal lobes which are way to small.) The amount of hate-mail I receive after on e of these interviews is astonishing. I was particularly disheartened by the print-outs of the internet forums. In my time here, I have learned to take everything posted online with a Jupiter-sized grain of salt, because people say and do things online that they would never in a million years say or do in any other forum. Nevertheless, sometimes some pieces of information make it through the filters. A “friend” of mine from High School posted on the ABC site, and basically admitted that I was one of her “true” friends in some very dark days, and was a shoulder for her to cry on. (And, lest you forget, Miss EH – and yes, I know exactly who you are, as the internet is nowhere nearly as anonymous as the ignorant would like to believe – that it went a whole lot further than just a shoulder to cry on, didn’t it? I don’t mean in the romantic sense, I mean in the You-might-not-be-alive-if-it-weren’t-for-me sense. I told you then that I would always respect your privacy, and I will hold to that, despite what I would LOVE to say here. How quickly we wrap up the past and stuff it into cardboard boxes, like old photos of our youth, never to be taken down from the attic again.) This same “friend,” despite not having said one word to me since graduation, nor having ever stepped out from under the veil of her own pain long enough to notice that I was also drowning in a very public pool in High School, imperiously judges me worth of Death Row, and feels she is qualified to tell the world that the Bart she knew is gone. Makes me sad, Liz, to see things come to this. Maybe you could have written me, instead of the whole world. I’ve already proven countless times that I know how to be a true friend to you. Pity you couldn’t return the favor.

(By the way, thanks for sticking up for me, Dixie. People like you are the only reason I have any hope for us as a species. It’s not much of a hope, but it is the best I can see from here.) This sociopath thing bugs the hell out of me. Would a sociopath admit feely of his wrongs, seeking to take the lions share of the blame, even though we all know that the real murderer, the person who actually killed two people, sits safely off of DR? I rarely comment on this, but I have to ask: Why is nobody astonished by this point? Everybody tells me: be honest, tell the truth. And I do, and suddenly these same people, these people who claim we were a nation of second chances, run screaming for their pitchforks. Fine, the truth: for all the times I’ve been called a murderer, for all the hype, I’ve never killed anyone. Dec. 10th was a sick game for me, the product of some very delusional kids, but it was never supposed to happen. Only one person involved in this is a murderer, and this is not me. Nobody has commented to me that this was mentioned on the ABC show, but I guess a hatchet job is a hatchet job is a hatchet job.

Would a sociopath try for over a year to institute a kidney transplant program within TDCJ? I failed in this, true, but mainly because nobody out there wanted to help me write letters. Nobody believed as I did. Or cared.


Would a sociopath have made donations to multiple charities from his commissary account? (My Dad helped with this, and can verify it.) Would a sociopath have done so, even knowing that he would have very little left for himself? Would he spend countless hours worrying over the transcripts of the men with dates, trying to find some means of keeping them alive? Would he take care of his indigent neighbors, when they had been forsaken by everyone else? You will never know the extent of what I do for people, because I rarely talk about myself in a good light. I have always been hard on myself, and I will probably always be hard on myself. One of these days, probably after I am gone, some of this stuff will start to leak out. Not that many of you will be paying attention anymore, as there will always be a new witch to fear and hunt. This same “friend” from HS writes that “I prayed for him last night, and I don’t regret it.” How noble. This comment pretty much encapsulates the whole reason I have problems with American Jesus. Prayer, which, as I understand it, is supposed to beautiful and full of love, is used here as a method of establishing superiority of place. That she deigns to pray for me assumes that I want and/or need such prayer, and automatically puts me on a level far beneath her. Let us not miss, as well, the very obvious additional purpose of seeking public approval for completing what she sees as a virtuous act. Gee, seems, I don’t know, a little NARCISSISTIC. Whatever you call it, the whole attitude comes awfully close to the waters of egoism that she whole-heartedly condemns me for. A person of a religious bent demonstrating hypocrisy? Shock! Horror! That has never happened before in the entire history of mankind! I mentioned before about my fraying faith. I will go into that another day, but you can probably get an ides of where my problems lie. I don’t pray much anymore. I’ve just seen too much, learned too much about the world. Me and God, we have our conversations, and we have our fights. But, whatever I may be, monster or otherwise, I’ve never been a hypocrite. I’ve never faked contact with the Numinous, just because the people sitting next to me in the aisle all have their hands raised to the sky. Despite the labels, I’ve never thought of myself as better than anyone else. Mostly I’ve thought of myself as worse. And I promise you this: I will never be a hypocrite. Can you say the same? Most can’t. But, what else would you expect to find in a nation whose most shoplifted book is the Bible?

Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum

(To such heights of evil are men driven by religion)
Lucretius – De Rerum Natura

Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor.

Sigmund Freud – The Future of an Illusion


Click HERE for the travelogue of the trip to Mexico

© Copyright 2009 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker.
All rights reserved.

17 comments:

LebenOjanen said...

It's sad to see someone who's so clearly mentally fit, extremely intelligent, and possessing so noble a soul be treated like this. If only the rest of America were as open and honest and willing to face their fears.
I'm sorry. I am so sorry.

OutsiderLookingIn said...

I saw 20/20. I have seen and read much about you, provided by yourself and the "media". Personally, the interview you gave was not damning, neither for that matter, was the suggestion that you had offered to arrange the death of your friend's own parents, as far as I was concerned, the fact that you had attempted previously to have your family executed is; a topic you have never discussed with any clarity. I, for one, find that disturbing at the very least. In my opinion, you come across as articulate, intelligent and somewhat conceited in your writings – you have intelligence and want us all to be aware of it - yet you were born and raised in Texas, which is no doubt, the death penalty capital of the western world, along with the home of the conservative Christian right and you are surprised, even outraged at your sentence. I find the former and the latter, if looked at in conjunction to say much more about you than any "media" reporting or your own words could ever do. I am not pro-death penalty. I could never take another human life and would never ask anyone else to do it for me, either legally or illegally.

Magia said...

Steve,
you strike me as a very "human" person. Very ignorant, very little, and very judgmental of that which your minds limited capacity can never understand.

Do you ever stop and think beyond just what you see?

You might find yourself surprised at the other half of a whole story. You might just find that the world is much bigger than you.

You say "go with honor" after every post,why? Honor is not about dying for the sake of controversy or for the nobleness of greater good. It is not about giving up, nor is it about letting a group decide your fate to save their twisted definition of "justice".

Death is too much of an absolute to hold any honor.

Sorrow, heartache, remorse, vengeance, hate, regret, ect... those are the only things that come from death. No honor, no justice, just the infinite loss of precious potential.

And who do you think feels these things after a person is gone? All of these things are are irrelevant to the deceased; because they have lost the the privileges of caring and feeling for anything.

No, all of the above will just get "slivered" into the hearts of those left behind. The people who really gave a damn will be the ones left hurt, and left feeling that much more incomplete.

And believe me... There are still some people on this miserable, self centered little planet who still care.

Real honor is about fighting for what you believe in. It is about living "for" something. Whether it be a cause, a person, an emotion; it doesn't matter what it is. It can be whatever their heart hears calling to them.

Honor is about prevailing over the hardships of life just to keep that one thing...

And in return it keeps you.

It is the finest example of balance that I know.

There is no honor in death; just wasted potential.

Magia said...

Outsider,
Why should he pretend to be something he is not?

Thomas is intelligent, and to dumb himself down for the sake of stereotype (ie, he is in prison therefore he MUST be stupid)would defeat the purpose of him writing these blogs at all.

He is showing the world that people of all venues make mistakes. Smart, stupid, average it doesn't matter. Criminal impulses are not selective. They are innate, and can be "triggered" in anyone with a pulse.

Even you. There is something in this world that has the ability to make your blood boil and your good judgment blind. You may, or may not, ever find it, but that doesn't mean its not there.

If you are reading him as conceited, it is not his intelligence that is the problem.

If he is conceited at all it is because of his wealthy "christian" upbringing. I know too well that stupid people can be conceited to.


I get very tired of reading people telling him how to write or what to talk about.

How would you people like it if you made a mistake, and for the rest of your mortal life everyone you met thereafter asked you to explain yourself, over and over again?

And what if there was no answer?

You can't give that which you don't have.

If there is an answer to "why" it is probably not something that he could ever put into words. Words are as fallible as people, and they can be twisted and manipulated. They are subjective to our interpretation so they could never be completely evident. Thomas knows this real well.

I enjoy his blogs. I enjoy seeing him evolve into something better, something stronger than he himself could have probably ever imagined he would be.

I honestly believe that Thomas is a better person now than he would have been had he not done what he did.

He has learned a great deal, and is growing each and every day just by watching the things that go on in and around him. He has learned that this world is not just about religion and politics, or about good and bad.

Thomas probably sees this world with more clarity than we as free people will ever know.

I am so proud of you Thomas--So proud!

OutsiderLookingIn said...

Magia
Your argument is flawed, we are asked to look closely at state execution being carried out in our name and to see the media "spin" - good advice on both counts - would you have us all just take whatever is written in this blog at face value and not ask questions? You may feel you are doing some good defending Mr Whittaker when in reality, excusing him the request to provie clarity is preventing the majority the opportunity to comprehend or even understand his actions. You do "Thomas" an injustice

"To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Magia said...

No, you see that is the problem with this system, "we" as individuals are not asked to look at anything. We only do so to satisfy our own curiousity.So that we don't feel we are missing anything that might be worth a good gossip about later.

"We" mean nothing to this situation. The only people which the answers, or lack of, should matter to are the ones who don't really care about anything but the cold hard facts at hand.

Thoughts, emotions, reasons; none of it matters to the people who could actually make a difference.

There is no compassion in their judgments because whether he lives or dies their lives remain unchanged.

They don't care about us and they don't care about him.

To them he is just a number and a case file to be judged, and our opinions don't really mean anything.

They don't care that his mother and brother are dead. They don't care about anything deeper then that which they see curdled on the surface of this whole situation.

I beleive in him enough to take everything he says at face value.

Until someone does something to me personally, I see them as what they are. Human. And all I can do is have faith that they will be honest with me.

I don't go looking for the worst parts of a person because I wouldn't like them to look for them in me.

Truthfully, I think that even if Thomas were to give his readers the answer, to the best of his ability, it still wouldn't be enough. You can't give people clarity if they aren't willing to look past their own beliefs to see with it.

Everyone who reads this blog already has an opinion about him formed in their mind when they come here. No matter what he says that opinion is not likely to change. People twist his words to hear what they want to hear.

Think about it no matter what reason he gave you would still think of him the same in the end.

Those who love him, will always love him. Those who hate him, will always hate him.

But again none of that matters in the end...

The only thing an attempt at clarity here would be is a waste of breath.

Nopes said...

In the United States, you can be put to death for your crime in Texas, but not in Minnesota, nor the majority of countries in the world for that matter. What makes Texas different? Think about it, I mean really think about it, can you answer the question honestly?

nicolas said...

Thomas (and sorry for my english, I'm French),

I don't think the ABC show was bad for you. May be you are more simply bad for yourself...

Let me make it clear: I'm against DP everywhere in the world, I believe in rehabilitation - something you can't get in Texas if you're in DR as you are already dead whatever the time needed to effectively kill you.

Thomas, it's more than a matter of words. "I am sorry" is far too easy an,d most of superficial. It is a work you have to undertake inside you. Some of your blog entries are fascinating; one can feel you're not far from it, that is spell out the W.H.Y. - and the real one, whatever disturbing or filthy (money ??) it may be, not the "I killed them for letting me live" or other fancy story your intemlligent mind is providing you with. Go beneath it, deeper and deeper.

WHY Bart, WHY ? That's the question you need to face. Because you see, and saddly, except for a miracle, you won't escape what's at the end of this DR tunnel, not in this stupid "Bible & Gun Texas". So, just do it to go in peace (honour is a stupid word in this context: just in peace), and most of all for your father to reach closure the day after.

WHY Tomas ? WHY ?

From my heart, I wish you all the best.

Nick

Roger said...

Hey man,

I always agreed with another friend of us here in Mexico that your face was always showing someone lost in thoughts. I know we didn't exactly talk that much, but since I met you on Sindy's bday, i liked it when you were around, since you were one to easily talk to.

I recently showed other guys here pages about you (one of them actually nicknamed you 'porcelain boy' since he said you were very white and serious by 2005). Anyway, despite this, they still remember you as a cool guy, with great thoughts on your head.


I agree that Sindy didn't mean those words as people is having them mean. She really cared for you.
Sadly people will always have the need for tags, and some f us are tagged in a way we don't like it. Yet, I'm also glad to read that Sindy's family still remembers you.

Cheers from Monterrey!
Roger

haroldfan said...

I have read all of Thomas' blogs (took me forever).
There are parts of his self-disclosure that are very moving and honest, and I can identify with. I respect him for trying to make a change for the better. However, today I want to ask Thomas why he can't just admit that he is the murderer. He did it. He plotted this murder more than once, over the course of 2 years or so, with more than one friend willing to be the shooter, and it seems that God gave him many chances to back out. So I was disappointed when I read in his latest blog that he is putting the blame solely on the shooter. What he wrote makes me think that he has not owned up to his guilt and his responsibility for his actions. If he wants to grow in truth and enlightenment, he's got to start there.

Dixie said...

Thomas,
First of all, ignore every comment made by SM. His comments are self-serving, difficult to understand (spelling and grammar, etc.) and are just plain cruel. By the way, he has also violated the good faith efforts of your friends who created your petition. I think he is signature #134 and it needs to be deleted, or his signature kept and his comment removed. Please have the creators check! I am reeling from the sheer amount of information you shared in this latest blog. I am so sorry that everything appears so bleak...I cannot even imagine. I will continue to fight the fight, write letters, pray that the DP is abolished, that inmates receive humane treatment and services and believe that positive change will become a reality. I will always support you in any way I possibly can Thomas and I will especially pray for the coldhearted, uncaring individuals who have nothing better to do than to try to make your life even worse than it already is. How dare they! Stay strong Thomas, many of us do care!

E from MN said...

I read somewhere that these death row prisoners, their punishment is death by lethal injection, which initself is a conscious misguided judgement beyond moral and just limits for the majority rest of the free world. But to house them in such a combatitive, inhumane torturous environment is a terrible circumstance. The debt to society which they must pay, is paid by taking their life, which is a sum I believe too great, but the added toll exacted from them as human beings by housing them as they currently do, is vengeful and the result of misguided humanity. The collective moral conscience in the state of Texas, in regards to Capital Punishment, is in dire need of reflection and self awareness to gain a realization of how off course they are in relation to the vast amounts of lawful societies across the globe. If Thomas and others who speak of their incarceration in Polunsky for what it is, do not, who will?

alexemily said...

I have been reading this blog from the beginning and am very intrigued and interested in learning more.

I would be interested in learning more about your mother and what she was like. Was she attentive or distant? Strict or lenient? I have a 13 year old son and a 3 year old daughter and it is a challenge being a parent and knowing all the right things to do and say. I worry about them all the time when they are out of my site and I wonder if they are making good choices and friends.

Recently, I was saying 'no' to my 3 year old and she told me she hated me. It surprised me and brought me to tears. I wonder how your mother feels now to know how much you really were unhappy with her. Please provide us insight into your relationship with your mother so we can all learn from this.

Thank you for your honesty.

Chris said...

Nopes, or E from MN, whichever name you are going by now:

You ask: "What makes Texas different? Think about it, I mean really think about it, can you answer the question honestly?"

Here is the honest answer you n00b: The United States is a STATES' RIGHTS' NATION. Texas, along with THIRTY-FOUR other states (more than half), have the RIGHT to allow and use the death penalty. The U.S. government has no control over this.

You ask what is wrong with Texas, I ask what is wrong with Minnesota and the other 15 states that are not in the majority that use capital punishment.

Now, whether I agree or disagree with the death penalty, I will not get into. I am simply, as a Texan, answering your ridiculous question. Just because we allow executions does not degrade Texas as most of non-Texans like to do.

Ilaria Vesco said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CPg9GWBoL0&feature=related

look what inmates can do in the Philippines.

slincecum said...

I have watched each of the programs about Thomas and his family. In conversations with others, I hear:
"While on the stand, he comes across as indifferent.”
“He seemed sorry, -not that he committed the crime, but that he got caught.”

But I saw his face and I heard his words and I recognized it as an attitude of: “You may have me bound, you may insist on knowing the truth, and I will give you that; but the feelings, the emotions, those are mine and you ain’t getting them.”

And it’s my guess that because people couldn’t get that from him, they want to kill him.

Hugs and prayers to you Thomas…

Joe G. said...

This is an old post and the last response is from '09 so I doubt anyone will even read this, but...

This question of what exactly a sociopath is has come up a lot on this blog.

The terms "sociopath" and "psychopath" are not well defined and even professional psychologists and psychiatrists argue over the properties of each and often he definitions overlap considerably.

That said, the following link provides the best description of the difference between the two I have yet seen:
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/forensic-focus/2010/07/sociopathy-vs-psychopathy/

Based on the link, Thomas would probably more likely be a psychopath than a sociopath if he were either. What I'd want to see is if Thomas or any other purported psychopath showed no measurable physical signs of emotional distress when discussing either their crimes or when exposed to images, sounds, or descriptions of things which cause emotional distress in 'normal' people.

If that we the case then maybe we'd have a firm basis to make a 'diagnosis'. Otherwise this is all just worthless speculation.