Let’s Have a Look – Crazy, Criminal or Insane? #Documentary Commentation

Welcome back to my ‘Let’s Have a Look’ series where I talk about random subjects that grab my attention and give me pause. In today’s segment I want to talk about a question posed from a documentary I watched called Crazy, Not Insane.

 

This doc was created from the writings of forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis who worked on many cases involving serial killers and murderers. Dr. Lewis was a pioneer who began to question the makings of murderers – both notorious and not, stating that people aren’t born evil, but states when physically abused from childhood, those children grow up damaged, either recoiling from the world with their inflictions or taking on multiple personalities summoned by the child to help them endure living the nightmares of abuse. She was one of the first doctors to bring up the diagnosis of multiple personalities killers, diagnosing cases of Multiple Personality Disorder (aka Dissociative Identity Disorder). Dr. Lewis was summoned to many court cases to offer her opinion and diagnosis. She also believes that many killers who were physically abused had been left with integral parts of the brain damaged, which in part contributes to a killer’s motivations. For Dr. Lewis, it was all about the ‘why’ of the crime, more than the crime itself.

 

Dr. Lewis had taken a lot of flack for her diagnosis of multiple personalities over the years, and in this doc, she indicates – those in question of her work have been touted as heretics who believe the humanity of killers is non relevant.

 

Dr. Lewis basically states that her intentions when evaluating violent criminals are to assess where the rage stems from – because it always does stem from something, and she states that the criminal system is a one stop shop – prosecute, jail or execute without taking into consideration mental health inclusions. She by no means advocates to free these killers, but mostly speaks up about the decisions of execution. For the multitude of criminals in the system, they are punished for life and/or executed where she feels many of them should have been sent to a mental institution instead of executed.

 

This is all a very touchy situation as I can well understand that as a doctor of psychiatry that she would wish to get to the root of a convicted killer’s motivations, while at the same time states about the over abundance of criminals in the system where concern is not something that’s recognized in most cases about why someone acts out in violence, but resolve is to punish. This is the stance Dr. Lewis takes. Despite the skepticism of some of the doctor’s analysis of crazed killers, many agree that punishing by death penalty is not always just.

 

 

Below is the trailer for the documentary

 

I suppose the matter in question is that Lewis being called upon to testify in several reknowned serial killer cases with her expertise on such murderers seems confusing because she is asked for her professional opinions on such cases and feels as though her testimonials don’t figure into the punishments, whereby most of these types of trial outcomes never factor in any rehabilitation for these criminals, only punishment. Honestly, this is a toughie because in essence, the criminal justice system works to put murderers away as a justice, yet nobody seems to care about the whys of the criminals. I feel like the situations are double-edged swords, but the bottom line is to take these dangerous people off the streets. Sadly, these types of criminals aren’t usually seeking physciatric help before they kill, and once they kill, it’s understandable the people seek justice. If I put myself in the shoes of the loved ones left behind seeking justice for the murder of their loved ones, I should think that I too would be concentrating on justice, despite my agreeing that these killers obviously are damaged from some incidence.

 

Comments are open for opinions.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Sunday Book Review – Warning Signs – #Thriller – Carol Balawyder

The Sunday Book Review today is for Carol Balawyder’s new release – Warning Signs. A psychological thriller that kept me gripped all the way with intrigue, and happy to add – without gore. I recently had Carol over for interview HERE at my blog where she shared her expertise in a criminology background which spurred her to write this book.

 

 

 

Blurb:

Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her saviour from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together?
Detective Van Ray is out on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection.
Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological thriller about human frailty and loneliness.

 

My 5 Star Review

I’m a fan of this author’s women’s fiction and because of her expertise in a background of criminology, I was eager to read her first psychological thriller, and it did not disappoint.

Detective Darren Van Ray is upset that’s he’s been taken off the big necktie serial killer’s case for arresting the wrong man and allowing the killer to continue his spree. But thanks to his good friendship with lead detective, Alice Virioli, he keeps abreast of the case that he’s put so much time into and finds he can’t distance himself from the case.

Angie suffers a low self-esteem and lives with her drug-addicted mother. Eugene is the serial killer who is murdering young girls newly released from a Youth Center Group, using the logic that those girl’s lives are pretty much ended for disaster with a life of debauchery, so he thinks he is sparing them a miserable life. At the same time, he is doing research about the psychology of killers to try and learn why he has these urges to kill. He gets closer to Detective Van Ray by offering him his take from research on serial killers, thinking if he befriends him he’ll take the scent of himself. But the detective smells a rat. And once again the detective finds he can’t steer away from this case.

Insecure Angie meets Eugene (a.k.a. Niko – his real name) and they fall in love. Angie finally feeling worthy of herself and Niko wanting someone all for himself – until later in the book when Angie discovers who Eugene really is! As the case continues, we learn more about Eugene and where his killing instinct comes from. Things heat up when Detective Van Ray becomes curiously interested in Angie and her connection to Eugene after Eugene is mysteriously killed but a photo of Angie is found in his apartment.

This book gives us an interesting look into a serial killer’s mind, expertly written through this author’s background studies in police and criminology studies. It was an interesting read, and happy to say that as one who doesn’t appreciate reading blood and gore, the book is focused on the psychological aspect of the hunt and the kill more than focusing on the gory remains. An excellent thriller!

 

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