Saturday, June 8, 2013

Another potential cluster B in the news...

So yesterday, I read with interest about Shannon Guess Richardson, a pregnant 35 year old bit part actress and mother of five who is now in hot water for allegedly sending three ricin tainted letters to government officials, including President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Richardson got married to her third husband, Mark, in October 2011, and as of May of this year, is already getting a divorce.  Her five sons are all products of prior relationships.   Her current husband, Mark Richardson, is an Army veteran who now works as a mechanic.  She had originally claimed that he was the one who'd sent the letters.

Digging a little deeper, I read with even more interest about how in May 2011, Shannon Richardson, then known as Shannon Guess, donated bone marrow that ended up saving a young girl's life.  She supposedly made the decision to donate because her son needed a kidney transplant and someone stepped up to help him.  Reading the quotes in the linked article, it occurred to me that Shannon was looking more and more cluster B by the minute.

Then I went to her page on  She is a "bit part actress".  She's not had any starring roles in anything.  She's done a couple of commercials and generic roles on movies and television shows.  And yet, she has posted over 50 photos on her page, most of which show her in lurid, seductive poses.  She is already a very attractive woman, but I notice her photos are very provocative and alluring.  Her resume is not particularly impressive, though; especially considering the number of photos that have been posted.  

I know it's not generally a good idea to armchair diagnose a person.  Truthfully, I don't know Shannon Richardson or her husband.  However, I can't help but notice that Shannon Guess Richardson is really looking like someone with at least one cluster B personality disorder.

Cluster B personality disorders include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder.  Each personality disorder is differentiated by certain characteristics-- but at the core, there's a common thread.  People with cluster B personality disorders of any stripe have some things in common and the symptoms overlap.  Once you've had dealings with someone like this and have figured out what the hell happened-- because a lot of times, when you first run into a Cluster B, you don't know what hit you-- you quickly pick up on the red flags.

Let's take stock of the information we have so far, shall we?  From the Mayo Clinic's Web site...

Cluster B personality disorders

These are personality disorders characterized by dramatic, overly emotional thinking or behavior and include:

Antisocial (formerly called sociopathic) personality disorder
Disregard for others
Persistent lying or stealing
Recurring difficulties with the law
Repeatedly violating the rights of others
Aggressive, often violent behavior
Disregard for the safety of self or others

Borderline personality disorder
Impulsive and risky behavior
Volatile relationships
Unstable mood
Suicidal behavior
Fear of being alone

Histrionic personality disorder
Constantly seeking attention
Excessively emotional
Extreme sensitivity to others' approval
Unstable mood
Excessive concern with physical appearance

Narcissistic personality disorder

Believing that you're better than others
Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
Exaggerating your achievements or talents
Expecting constant praise and admiration
Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings

Based on what I've read so far, Shannon exhibits the following signs and symptoms:

Disregard for others
Attention seeking behavior (being interviewed about donating bone marrow, posting provocative photos)
Inappropriate emotional responses (according to comments in NY Post)
Excessive concern with physical appearance (see photos)
Impulsive and risky behavior (sending letters with ricin)
Volatile relationships (On her third husband, divorcing after less than two years, five kids by different men, pregnant with sixth)
Difficulties with the law
Violating the rights of others (lying about husband's involvement with ricin, messing with ricin while pregnant)
Aggressive, violent behavior (ricin)
Disregard for others' safety (ricin, not getting kids out of house due to "poison threat")
Exaggerating achievements or talents (I wonder how many of those credits she posted on imdb are legitimate)
Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
Suicidal behavior (ricin)

Shannon's eldest son has also said that his mother was "paranoid" that her husband was trying to poison her with ricin. Although paranoia is not listed above, it's been my experience that a lot of people who have cluster B tendencies have some paranoia going on. I also notice that Shannon has had a lot of aliases; name changes seem to be a big thing with Cluster Bs... though in her case, it's probably because of her many divorces.

Reading the article I linked above, I see that Shannon initially accused him of sending the ricin to the leaders. When he turned around and accused her, she acted offended by the accusation and said she was filing for divorce. But other sources indicate that it was the husband who filed. And... she says there was a bottle of ricin in the fridge, but #1, how would a woman in her line of work know what ricin is and what it looks like? and #2, why would a man up to no good tell his wife he put ricin in the fridge and/or leave it in a place where it could easily be seen? and #3, ricin is deadly stuff. Why would you stay in a place where the kids could so easily get to it? In fact, if you are pregnant and concerned your husband is trying to poison you, wouldn't you take your kids and get out? Wouldn't you be concerned about your unborn child and the safety of your kids? In that article, it reads that Shannon simply didn't eat anything that didn't come straight from the store. If it were me, I would have gotten the hell out of the house and called the cops, not just refused to eat food that might have been prepared by my husband. Shannon's comments about "happening to find" incriminating emails that indicate that her husband bought castor beans are also pretty sketchy. Again, why would a woman like her know anything about castor beans and what they can be used for?

Shannon's comments also appear to try to deflect blame. When told what her husband said about her, she says "That's absolutely not true." and "I'm laughing about some of these things I'm reading." Her comments don't really jibe with the situation. They don't sound like they come from someone frightened of her husband and worried that he was out to get her. They sound like they come from an angry, derisive wife who's trying to smear her husband's reputation.

The comments about her husband's guns and "racist attitudes", again, appear to try to make him look sinister. Given the fact that he's a veteran from Texas, I wouldn't be surprised that he owns guns and likes to fire them in the woods. That doesn't make him a killer. It makes him a typical country boy. My husband's ex wife did the same thing when she took a knife that was part of his Army uniform and showed it to friends, trying to make him look violent and dangerous. Given his profession, it makes sense that my husband would have a knife. He's never used it to threaten anyone. The knife looks scary, though, and makes an appropriate prop for a desperate woman to build a case. The ex also made similar comments that indicated my husband was violent and "hated women". Again, not true, and a pathetic attempt to make him look threatening. Shannon Richardson seems to be doing the same thing to her soon to be ex husband by claiming how "everyone knows" how racist Nathaniel Richardson is. Thankfully, at this point, Shannon's credibility is pretty much shot.

I don't know for certain that Shannon Richardson has a cluster B personality disorder, but if I were to make an educated guess, I'd guess she does. Perhaps as more facts come out about this case, we'll find out for sure. Something tells me she will accuse her husband of abuse... or blame her actions on pregnancy hormones... or eating too much sugar. There will no doubt be something thrown out there to mitigate her outrageous actions. I feel kind of sorry for her husband, because he's going to be scrutinized and some people will be looking for a way to blame him for what she did. I also feel sorry for her kids who are still minors. I hope their fathers or other family members are prepared to take care of them, at least for the time being.

It'll be interesting to find out what else happens in this case.


  1. No doubt about it. My first thought when I read it! She's a B. Seems alot of them swarming around these says, with a lethal sting. Good post...

  2. Yeah... they are really coming out of the woodwork!


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