Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Psychiatrist Testifies Crime Was Driven By Mental Illness

Another appearance by Park Dietz, one of the leading psychiatric "whores of the court," to use Margaret Hagen's phrase. (Hagen contributed a chapter to Szasz Under Fire.)

KCCI-TV (Iowa)

Psychiatrist Testifies Crime Was Driven By Mental Illness
Tape Plays Of Huss' Arrest After Killing

A psychiatrist testified Thursday that a convicted murderer's act was driven by mental illness -- not by sex.

State prosecutors are asking a Polk County jury to declare Loren Huss a sexually violent predator.

In 1986, he killed his girlfriend, Marilyn Sheets, and then mutilated her body. If the jury finds it was a sexually motivated homicide, that could sway its decision on whether Huss is a predator.

Late Thursday, the defense played a disturbing audiotape that police recorded when they tried to take Huss into custody just after they found Sheets' body.

For several minutes, you can hear Huss repeat the same Bible passage while screaming, laughing and crying. It took five police officers to subdue him.

During this trial, Huss testified that he was delusional that night. He said he thought his girlfriend was the devil and he thought he was going after the devil.

Some physical evidence at the crime scene, including the fact that Sheets was found naked, helped lead psychiatrists hired by the state to conclude the killing was a crime partly driven by sex.

A defense psychiatrist said Thursday that the killing was driven by Huss' mental illness.

"We ask the question, is this more like the behavior of a man who was just engaged in sexual activity or is this more like the behavior of a man who had just engaged in psychotic activity? It's an easy call," said psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz.

Prosecutors argue that the homicide shows Huss acted on his sexual urges. They also point out incidents in the years before the murder, including a rape and another case when Huss attacked, stripped and badly beat a woman in a parking lot.

Prosecutors say it's a pattern. Huss said he's no longer a threat and he should be released.

KCCI (with link to video of this "news" story)


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