Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Depression & Suicide - The Murderer's Defense


July 1, 2008
Dear Blog Readers,

I want to give you all a warning. Don't ever become depressed. Don't go to see your doctor and say you are depressed. Don't ever take medication if you are depressed. You've had a baby and are suffering from postpartum depression? Don't give a hint of it to anyone. Most of all don't let your husband know if you are depressed. Should you come up dead, your murderer just may try the "suicide" theory.

Lana Clarkson had been depressed. She'd suffered a major setback in her career when she broke both wrists and couldn't go on auditions. By the time she died of an intra-oral gunshot wound on February 3, 2002 at the crumbling Alhambra Castle of media mogul Phil Spector, she was feeling a lot better. She'd gotten six new pairs of shoes for her new job at the House of Blues. Her wrists were weak, but healed. She was working on her career.

In her closing argument to the jury, attorney Linda Kenny-Baden claimed that Lana had committed "accidental suicide" due to her depression. There was no way, she stated, that Mr. Spector, with his history of drunken gun-slinging with women alone with him, locked in his house, would have harmed a flea. Oh, and Adriano de Sousa's excellent understanding of the English language made it impossible to believe that he'd heard Spector, gun in hand, say, "I think I killed somebody."

Nope, Lana was depressed and she committed suicide.

Even earlier, we have a Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin housewife by the name of Julie Jensen. She died in her bed on December 3, 1998. Her husband, Mark Jensen who went on trial in January 2008 claimed that his wife had come from an unfortunate family background of alcoholism, suicide, and depression. He claimed that Julie had suffered from bouts of major depression over the years. Even worse, he claimed that his wife plotted her suicide to frame him for murder.

Jensen's attorney Craig Albee fought mightily for the jury to overlook some "slight imperfections" in his client's character. The jury was to forget about all the pornographic photographs he left around the house to torment his wife. They were to ignore the thousands of penis pictures on his computer. They were to overlook the affair with Kelly LaBonte, his current wife.

No way did he feed his wife ethylene glycol. She was depressed and vindictive; she put the spotlight on her husband in her letter. She committed suicide so her husband could go to prison for life and Kelly could raise her children.

Next on the list of "depressed" women we have Rachel Entwistle. Well, perhaps she was depressed. Defense attorney Elliot Weinstein shocked the viewing audience in his closing arguments by stating that she was possibly depressed and killed her infant child and herself. It's possible she told her best friend Joanna Gately that she was depressed.

Of course, Mr. Weinstein wanted the jury to ignore a few facts. Neil was broke but was on a tremendous spending spree with an expensive house and BMW. He never spent cash; he just maxed out his credit cards. The jury was to ignore his kinky exploits and obvious fraud using the internet. The jury was to forget about the wallet and wedding ring tossed in the trash basket of the home. Heaven forbid any juror thought that Rachel had possibly told Joanna about her disillusionment with a husband who had lied to her throughout their marriage.

No way, Jose! Rachel was depressed and committed suicide.

Now we have another case in the same courthouse in Boston. 34-year-old James Keown is waiting for his fate to be decided by a jury. His defense? His wife, Julie was depressed because she had maxed out her credit cards and drank an ethylene glycol laced Gatorade to commit suicide.

Seems we've come full circle today. Will this jury buy the "she-committed-suicide-because-she-was-depressed" theory, or will they look to the lying, deceptive husband?

Let's hope today ends the waiting on this defense and we can move on back to the Spector case. Will his new attorney, Doron Weinberg be able to successfully foist the depressed woman defense theory on a second jury?

I hope not. Perhaps I've been a bit facetious here, but the fact remains that blaming depression as a cause for suicide in the face of obvious murder is getting tired at this point. For me, "I think I killed somebody." does the trick.


Thanks ritanita!


Katherine Stone said...

As an advocate for women with PPD, I was horrified when Neil Entwistle's attorneys blamed the deaths on Rachel and potential PPD. Those lawyers are the lowest of the low as far as I'm concerned. I wrote about it here: http://postpartumprogress.typepad.com/weblog/2008/06/boston-defense.html

Anakerie said...

Thank you, Ritanita... You wrote a lot of what I've been saying to myself about these cases. These defense attorneys blow me away with the suicide defense theories. Especially when there hasn't been any evidence of the so-called depression. And the really scary part is reading message boards and seeing posts that completely agree with the "suicide defense" while ignoring all other facts that have been testified to and put into evidence. Scary, I tell ya.. Scary.