Esther adopts the persona of a weird but talented introvert to keep other people at a distance so they won’t discover the truth about her, but she is also a skilled emotional manipulator who instantly gets a ‘read’ on people and can respond swiftly in the moment to get them to do what she wants them to do; she knows how to encourage other children to participate in her criminal activities and scare them into keeping their mouths shut, by pointing out to them the potential possibilities if they tell (“I will shoot your mommy,” “Your sister is an accessory… she will go to jail,” “I will cut off…”). She effectively manipulates everyone in the house, directly aiming at impacting them on an emotional level—from little, sinister “innocent” ploys such as cutting all the roses off the bush Kate planted to commemorate her daughter and giving them ‘as a nice gift’ to her, to setting Kate and her husband against each other, by appealing to “Daddy’s” affections and planting ideas in his head about Kate not liking her much. She shoves her sister into the road to get a car to stop, so she can rush out there and kill the woman with a hammer, after she gets out to “comfort” the crying child. She breaks her arm and accuses Kate of doing it, and even at the end of her life, she attempts to appeal to Kate on an emotional level to save her (“You won’t let me die, will you, Mommy?”). She uses what details she has gathered about the house, through reading through Kate’s diary, to find ammunition against them, and has repeated this same scenario in each house that has taken her in (pretending to be a child, alienating the mother in order to seduce the father, then killing the entire family when he refuses her). Esther never changes up her approach, insisting on falling into the stereotypical ‘trope’ of an ideal little girl (complete with curls and pretty ruffled dresses and polite manners), and using it over and over again; adding a photo of each unsuccessful seduced “Daddy” to a dilapidated old Bible she received at the sanitarium. She keeps it out of sentiment, though it would be more rational to throw it away to prevent others from finding the evidence of her previous crimes.”

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Though deeply disturbed and anti-social, Esther is looking for two things in life: sexual love and protection, and she assumes she can get these things by pretending to be an innocent, sweet child in order to duplicate what was likely an abusive environment in her childhood (sexual abuse leading to “Daddy issues”). She can be charming, sweet, and innocent, with a naïve ability to get people to like her… but also suspicious, paranoid, and distrustful. She ‘recruits’ others into her crimes so she alone will not go down for them, as a sense of community and insurance against them telling on her. She displays unhealthy lower 6 behaviors such as anticipating ‘attacks’ against herself and moving defensively against them in aggressive ways, in so doing exacerbating others’ mistrust of her in the process. Esther thinks Kate is ‘out to get her,’ so she intends to take her out first. She is of a loner and becomes extremely dangerous when she feels threatened.