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Category Archives: Forensic Psychiatry

Crime and Science Radio: Inside The Creative Mind: An Interview With Psychotherapist, Screenwriter, and Novelist Dennis Palumbo

Join Jan Burke and DP Lyle on Saturday 10-18-14 at 10 a.m. Pacific as they discuss psychology and storytelling in both novels and on the screen with veteran screenwriter/novelists Dennis Palumbo

DPalumbo

BIO: Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year; Welcome Back, Kotter, etc.), Dennis Palumbo is now a licensed psychotherapist and author of Writing From the Inside Out (John Wiley). His work helping writers has been profiled in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, GQ and other publications, as well as on CNN, NPR and PBS. He also blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

His mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand and elsewhere, and is collected in From Crime to Crime (Tallfellow Press). His acclaimed series of crime novels (Mirror Image, Fever Dream, Night Terrors and the upcoming Phantom Limb) feature psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, a trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh Police.  All are from Poisoned Pen Press.

LISTENhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/09/30/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-dennis-palumbo

LINKS:

Website: http://dennispalumbo.com

YOU SEE DEAD PEOPLE? BIG DEAL. JOIN THE CLUB: http://dennispalumbo.com/articles-dennis-palumbo/you-see-dead-people/

Taking The Mystery Out Of Writing Mysteries: http://dennispalumbo.com/take-the-mystery-out-of-writing/

Is Your Psycho Killer Just . . . Psycho?: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-palumbo/writing-tips-for-mystery-books_b_1450589.html

From Spec Script to the Big Screen—It Can Happen To You!: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-palumbo/from-spec-script-to-the-b_b_4881332.html

Who (And What) Defines Normal?: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-palumbo/definition-of-normal_b_1149362.html

Hollywood On The Couch: Going the Distance: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-palumbo/hollywood-on-the-couch-go_b_779917.html

Through A Glass Darkly: Crime Fiction as a Window on American Culture: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-palumbo/through-a-glass-darkly-cr_b_494065.html

BOOKS:

NightTerrorsfrontforaupromo copy

http://www.poisonedpenpress.com/night-terrors/

http://www.amazon.com/Night-Terrors-Daniel-Rinaldi-Mystery/dp/1464201315

PhantomLimbcover copy

http://www.poisonedpenpress.com/phantom-limb/

http://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Limb-Daniel-Rinaldi-Mystery/dp/1464202567

 

Frankenstein and Creativity

Dr. Frakenstein

An interesting article recently appeared in The Atlantic on the origins of creativity and whether it is innate or can be learned: “Can Creativity Be Learned?” by Cody C. Delistraty. It makes for interesting reading and raises some intriguing questions. For example, creative folks tend to have more grey matter in the right posterior middle temporal area of their brain. Is this what makes them creative or does this result from them flexing their “creative muscle”? Chicken or egg?

Temporal Lobe

The author uses Mary Shelly and her classic horror story Frankenstein to underline his points.

In a past post on this blog I briefly talked about how Mary Shelly’s classic story came about. Here is an except:

On a literary and historical note, Frankenstein might never have been written had it not been for a volcanic eruption on the other side of the world. In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted with such force that it filled the air with millions of tons of ejected particulate matter. This rose into the high atmosphere, dropped world temperatures for many months and resulted in 1816 being called the “Year Without Summer.” Snow fell in New England in July!

During that summer, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, her lover and future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron settled into Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva. The summer was so cold and wet that they spent much of their time in the villa talking and telling stories. They decided to have a writing contest and see who could write the best short story. Mary’s story evolved into the classic Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus.

There has long been controversy over how Mary came up with such a story, She said it came to her in a “waking dream,” but some have suggested that her father had told her stories of a doctor who did such experiments and others have suggested that she and Shelley had actually visited Castle Frankenstein, the birthplace of Johann Conrad Dippel, a physician and alchemist who did indeed perform reanimation experiments on corpses. Either way she wrote a kick-ass story that has survived for nearly two centuries and will survive for many more.

The full post can be found here: http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/more-decapitation-and-reanimating-the-dead/

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Forensic Psychiatry, Medical Issues, Writing

 

Mom Knows You’re Lying

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Remember how it seemed that your Mom always knew when you were lying? 

No, I swear, I didn’t do it. 

And then she’d give you that look. The one that melted all your protestations of innocence. Seems to be a universal thing.

In a recent article in Psychology Today, titled “A 9-Item Test to Find Out Who’s Lying to You,” Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne discusses the clues that reveal deception.

I’m sure my Mom knew all of these. Heck, she probably could have written this article.

 

Visine and Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

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Visine is a useful medication. I use it all the time. When the Santa Ana’s blow in SoCal and the temperature rises, the humidity falls, and eyes dry out, Visine works very well. When used properly it is very safe and effective—-but, if used improperly, it can be a deadly poison.

Actually, anything can be deadly. The difference between a drug and a poison is simply a matter of dose. What can cure, can harm; what can harm, can kill. It’s really that simple.

The active, and dangerous, ingredient in Visine is tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride. If ingested in sufficient amounts, it can cause an elevation in blood pressure, a drop in heart rate, a reduction in body temperature, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, blurred vision, seizures, coma, and death, to name a few effects.

The case of Samantha Elizabeth Unger underlines this danger. Seems she poisoned her two children by adding the medication to their juice. And may have done so multiple times—-which could indicate that this is a case of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy—a psychiatric disorder in which parents harm children in order to garner attention and sympathy. Odd, but not rare.

Recently on Crime and Science Radio, Jan Burke and I interviewed Beatrice Yorker, the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Los Angeles and a renowned expert in Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy. Take a listen and check out some of the links for more info on the fascinating topic.

 

 

Crime and Science Radio: The Art and Science of Law Enforcement: An Interview with Robin Burcell

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Saturday 6-14-14 at 10 a.m. PDT, join DP Lyle and Jan Burke in conversation with Robin Burcell, who is the author of award-winning crime fiction — including this year’s The Kill Order, featuring FBI Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick.  Robin also spent nearly three decades working in law enforcement: she has worked as a police officer, a forensic artist, a hostage negotiator, and a detective.

 

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LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/05/09/crime-and-science-radio-with-robin-burcell

LINKS:

Robin Burcell’s Website: http://www.robinburcell.com

HOSTAGE NEGOTIATION:

How Stuff Works: Hostage Negotiation: http://people.howstuffworks.com/hostage-negotiation.htm

PoliceOne.com: Hostage negotiations: Psychological Strategies For Resolving Crises: http://www.policeone.com/standoff/articles/1247470-Hostage-negotiations-Psychological-strategies-for-resolving-crises/

International Association of Hostage Negotiators: http://www.hostagenegotiation.com

Time: 6 Hostage Negotiation Techniques That Will Get You What You Want: http://time.com/38796/6-hostage-negotiation-techniques-that-will-get-you-what-you-want/

Hostage Negotiation: Psychological Principles and Practices: https://www.psychceu.com/miller/Miller_Hostage_Neg.pdf

Psychology Today: Active Listening Techniques of Hostage & Crisis Negotiators: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201311/active-listening-techniques-hostage-crisis-negotiators

FORENSIC ART:

International Association for Identification: https://theiai.org

ForensicArtist.com: http://www.forensicartist.com

Crime Library: Forensic Art: http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/forensics/art/1.html

History of Forensic Art: http://www.forensicartist.com/history/

You Tube: Forensic Art: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T_2YCpZMyA

Forensic Faces Institute: http://forensicfaces.weebly.com/index.html

 

 

Crime and Science Radio: Deadly Doctors, Killer Nurses and other Medical Miscreants

photo 2012 cas

 

Join Jan Burke and I for a lively interview with Bea Yorker. We will delve into the very odd and not all that rare Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome as well as healthcare professionals who commit serial murders.

 

BIO: Beatrice Crofts Yorker is the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Los Angeles where CSULA’s forensic science program is located. She is renowned for her own research into Munchausen By Proxy, her landmark study of medical serial killers, and her publications on other topics that bring law, psychology, medicine, and ethics together.

 

LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/03/09/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-bea-yorker

 

LINKS:

Medicine Net: Munchausen Syndrome: http://www.medicinenet.com/munchausen_syndrome/article.htm

Munchausen Syndrome, Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/factitious_disorders/hic_munchausen_syndrome.aspx

Munchausen By Proxy: Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/factitious_disorders/hic_munchausen_syndrome_by_proxy.aspx

Kid’s Health: Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/munchausen.html

Medicine Net: Munchausen By Proxy: http://www.medicinenet.com/munchausen_syndrome_by_proxy/article.htm

Angels of Death: The Doctors: Crime Library: http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/weird/doctors/index_1.html

Angels of Death: The Female Nurses: Crime Library: http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/angels/female_nurses/index.html

Angels of Death: The Male Nurses: Crime Library: http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/angels/male_nurses/index.html

Serial Murder By Healthcare Professionals by BC Yorker, et al: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17199622

Serial Murder By Healthcare Professionals by BC Yorker, et al: As PDF File: http://www.chem.sc.edu/analytical/chem107/tox/chem107_toxarticle.pdf

Psychology Today: The Medical Murder Club: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-equation/201206/the-medical-murder-club

 

 

Crime and Science Radio: Sex, Lies, and Crime: An Interview With Sex Crimes Expert and Best-Selling Author Linda Fairstein

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Join Jan Burke and I as we discuss sex crimes with best-selling author Linda Fairstein.

Linda Fairstein is an honors graduate of Vassar College and the University of Virginia School of Law, a former prosecutor, and one of America’s foremost legal experts on crimes of violence against women and children. For three decades, she served in the office of the New York County District Attorney, where she was Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit for twenty-five years. She was the lead attorney in the famous the Robert Chambers “Preppy Murder” case. She is an internationally bestselling author of a series of crime novels, which feature Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Linda is also the author of a non-fiction work. Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She is a sought-after media consultant on the issue of the criminal justice system and crimes of violence against women for major networks such as CNN, MSNBC, and cable affiliates. She continues to practice law as a pro bono representative of victims of violence. She and her husband Justin Feldman live in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.

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LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/02/21/crime-and-science-radio-with-linda-fairstein

LINKS:

Linda Fairstein Website: http://www.lindafairstein.com

Linda Fairstein Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LindaFairstein

Linda on Twitter: @lindafairstein

Alex Cooper Series on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/43692-alexandra-cooper

USA Today Interview (2013): http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2013/08/16/linda-fairstein-central-park-sex-crimes/2656599/

Sex-assault Case Puts Focus on Police Unit, Not Quite as Seen on TV: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/nyregion/strauss-kahn-case-puts-focus-on-real-special-victims-squad.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Inside the NYPD’s Special Victims Division: http://www.newsweek.com/inside-nypds-special-victims-division-67761

New York’s DA’s Office Trial Division: http://manhattanda.org/trial-division

Crime Library: A Killing in Central Park: The Preppy Murder Case: http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/not_guilty/park/4.html

Jennifer Levin’s Mother Remembers “Preppy Murder” Case: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/09/02/jennifer-levins-mother-remembers-preppy-murder-case/

Murderpedia: Robert Chambers: http://murderpedia.org/male.C/c/chambers-robert.htm

Children Of The Night: http://childrenofthenight.org

Sex Slaves: The Psychology of Mastery: http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/sexual_assault/sex_slaves/1_index.html

Joyful Heart Foundation

RAINN: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

Cleveland Plain Dealer Series on Ohio’s sexual assault kit backlog investigations

Houston Chronicle article re Houston elimination sexual assault kit backlog

The Guardian’s story on Detroit Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s fight to investigate 11,000 abandoned sexual assault kits

Contra Costa Times: “California bill calls for evidence in unsolved, neglected rape cases to get attention”

Inside the Lives of American Sex Slaves: National Geographic

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking

 

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