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February 14th is a day to reflect on love. It’s a day to show our significant others how much we care. And it is a day to look back and count just how many crimes were spurred by love, passion, and obsession in the last calendar year.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

Anyone sitting down to watch Dateline knows that they are about to spend an hour waiting to find out that the guilty party is, in fact, the spouse.  For some reason, we are more likely to hurt those we love.

“Love makes us do crazy things and lose our mind a little bit; and to some nothing in the world is as important as passion. There are people who will sacrifice anything, including their morals, to experience that passion,” says Dr. Ronald Stolberg, one of Alliant’s leading experts on the psychology of crime.

Although the prevailing fear is that we might be attacked by a stranger, we are far more likely to be victims of someone we know.

“Especially here in Hollywood, we see lots of media coverage on celebrity stalkers, but the most dangerous kind of stalker is the one who knows, and was likely in a previous relationship with, the victim,” says Dr. Debra Glaser, Professor at the California School of Forensic Studies at Alliant University, Los Angeles campus.

If there is one lesson to be learned from examining the statistics of crimes of passion, it’s to sleep with one eye open, even on February 14th.


Cielo Villasenor is Alliant’s Communications Manager and sleeps with her door locked.

For more information about the California School of Forensic Studies visit


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