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There were unbelievable, magical coincidences: he “just knew” when she couldn’t sleep, calling late at night to keep her company.She’d once fantasized about a dream date with a scavenger hunt in a library using books as clues.Though the lies started right away, it wasn’t until much later that Sandra realized how badly she’d been conned.

“You’d confess if you backslid one day, if you reached out and talked to him. Here’s how you get back on track.’ It felt so good,” she says.

It can be chilling to identify these traits in a boss, partner or — these days — political leader.

It grew to 18,000 registered users and 16 million annual visits by 2016.

Most of the dozens of articles he posts online — with titles such as “30 red flags of manipulative people” and “Why does it take so long to get over a relationship with a psychopath?

Some reported no warning signs, but others said their partner was evasive; arrogant; excessively adoring; controlling and aggressive; had an intense but empty stare; or told sympathetic but far-fetched life stories.

When Jackson Mac Kenzie, now a 27-year-old IT worker based in Boston, was coping in 2010 with his own failed relationship involving a man he suspected of being a psychopath, he founded a recovery community he called Psychopath ” — are written not by a psychology expert but by Mac Kenzie.“If you found a website about psychopaths, you probably weren’t in the best relationship ever,” he says in an interview.In 2015, he released a self-help book, , based mostly on a survey of 1,200 users of the forum.That means about 27,000 people in the city of Toronto could be considered a psychopath.The forums are a source of data for academics, providing some of the only research on the potentially devastating impact.“These are not people who are axe-murderers, but they are sort of torturing somebody. Many said their partners would leave, quit jobs and abandon apartments with no notice.These have become support networks for people who believe they’ve been caught up with a psychopath — someone who, despite appearances, is unable to experience love or empathy, who is charming but insincere, lacking in remorse and pathologically egocentric.