Dangerous Obsession

by Richard Hunter






Chapter Twenty Four



The judge sat quietly, listening to the oral arguments in his chambers as the prosecutor ridiculed the defense attorney’s outline of his defense and motions for the inclusion of certain evidence in the case. Exasperated, the prosecutor asked the public defender for proof of his claim.

Bringing in a respected and eminent psychiatrist from the California University Medical School, the public defender posed the very direct question. “Is Mr. Brown responsible for his actions?”

The psychiatrist sat for a moment, thoughtfully. “The short answer would, of course, have to be no.”

The prosecutor guffawed at the ludicrousness of the statement and the judge glanced at him sternly in a warning to remain silent. This was, after all, simply a meeting and a discussion of the means by which any trial would proceed, and not a courtroom proceeding for objections.

The psychiatrist continued. “The man, Brian Brown, is a caring, compassionate and feeling man who is devoted to his elderly mother, deeply cares for the safety of his students and is dedicated to them. However, within the body of the man we know as Brian Brown, there exists three very separate and very distinct personalities. They are unknown to Brian Brown and he has not previously been aware that he suffers from the condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder.”

“He is aware at this time?” the judge inquired.

“He is. And he desperately wants help and treatment. When I talk with Brian Brown, he is heartbroken over what has happened and the terrible pain that has been inflicted. He is mired in grief and wants only a chance for a normal life.”

“Tell us about the other personalities, doctor.”

“His first alter - the term we use for an additional alternative personality - is a young man named Duke. He is a vicious, hateful man who despises gay men and women and feels it almost a duty to rid the world of them. When Brian was seven years old, his father discovered him in the backyard tree house with a neighbor friend who was nine years old. The boys had taken off their pants and were comparing their bodies and discovering the sensations that could be produced. Brian’s father was a mean spirited man who beat his son mercilessly because of what he had done and called him a little faggot. That is when Duke was born out of a need which Brian had mentally to protect himself from the pain of his father’s rejection by becoming the same kind of man that his father seemed to be. The trigger came when he observed two boys having sex at the beach and all of those pent up feelings and hatreds that he had learned came forward and set him on a path of murderous intentions.”

The doctor paused for a moment to let his words sink in, then continued. “The second alter is a fifteen year old boy named Billy. When Brian was fourteen years of age, his father passed away from a lingering ailment, having been reduced to a mere shadow of his former self. Brian saw the weakness in his father and could not reconcile it to the strong, abusive man he had been. At the same time, he had some unresolved sexual feelings from his childhood that remained buried and suppressed by the alter of Duke. Triggering the birth of Billy at that time, was his beloved mother’s grief and loneliness that evolved into a short-lived incestuous sexual relationship. Billy carries the memories of this but Brian remains unaware of the occurrence or even the event with his childhood friend when his father discovered him and physically and mentally abused him.

“Brian, as a personality, is quite normal. It is the murderous rage of Duke and the unfulfilled sexual longings of Billy that are both unhealthy and which pose a real or potential danger to the public. Consequently, when I am asked is Brian Brown is responsible for his actions - his actions being defined as applying to the mind or personality rather than the body - I say no. But Duke Bowman is by his own admission the personality that murdered two young gay men in this community and assaulted a third and attempted to murder that third young man.”

“What would your recommendation be for Mr. Brown?” The defense attorney was not certain of what legal standing a defense of Multiple Personality Disorder would have as he had only learned of the condition from the doctor an hour earlier.

“Mr. Brown needs to be confined in a secure medical treatment facility that specializes in helping people with MPD. We must not allow him to function in society until we can be assured that his alters have been eliminated and that only the personality of Brian Brown survives. This is by no means a simple treatment plan nor are there any guarantees. It could take many years to successfully treat this condition and there is the possibility that he may never be cured and may never be able to be released back into society. But, to punish the personality of Brian Brown for crimes, however heinous, committed by Duke Bowman, would be a serious miscarriage of justice.”

The judge thought for a few moments and then dismissed the assembled attorneys, clerks, and assorted personnel stating he would make a decision and announce that decision within the week. He wanted to conduct some research of his own and speak with other medical professionals with whom he had previously had dealings and developed a deep respect for their opinions.

It was Friday before the judge calmly announced that given the evidence, the overwhelming weight of medical opinion and the admission of one of the alters of Brian Brown to the crime, he was concluding that a trial for the murders was not appropriate to the circumstances and that Brian Brown was to be committed to the State Psychiatric Hospital until such time as a panel of medical doctors expert in the evaluation and treatment of MPD adjudged him of no further danger to society. Quieting the babble of the crowd, the judge also placed the further condition that before release could be made, those doctors would be required to present testimony and evidence to the court in support of their conclusions and only the judge of the court could issue the release. His medical advisers had dutifully warned the magistrate that some physicians were quick to pronounce a cure in attempting to embellish their own medical credentials and accomplishments and care must be taken to prevent such from taking place.

With his pronouncement made, the judge adjourned the court and made his way to chambers as the crowds of onlookers filed out, astounded by the decision. Drew and Robbie were among the observers in the courtroom and were crestfallen at the lack of a punishment they deemed harsh enough to satisfy their thirst for revenge against the man that had taken two beautiful people from their lives. As they spoke briefly outside the courtroom, the resolved that they would put it behind them and move on with their lives and not allow the perceived unfairness of the ruling to cast a shadow or a pall over them and embitter them.