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psychiatry Causes Senseless Violence

November 8, 2007 8 comments

Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International has a data base of hundreds of cases of violence that span the last 15 years. The following are but a few examples:

(1) On March 6, 1985, Atlanta postal worker Steven W. Brownlee, pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot and killed a supervisor and a clerk. Another clerk was wounded. Brownlee had received treatment and psychotropic drugs at the Grady Memorial Psychiatric Unit.34

(2) On November 20, 1986, 14-year-old Rod Mathews beat a classmate to death with a bat in the woods near his home in Canton, Massachusetts. He had been prescribed Ritalin since the third grade.35

(3) William Cruse was charged with killing six people in a shooting rampage on April 23, 1987, in Palm Bay, Florida. Cruse had been seeing a Kentucky psychiatrist and stated he had been taking psychiatric drugs for several years.36

(4) Bartley Dobben killed his two young children on November 26, 1987, by casting them in a 1,300 degree foundry ladle. He had been placed on a regimen of psychiatric drugs in 1985.37

(5) On May 20, 1988, Laurie Dann walked into a Winnetka, Illinois second grade classroom carrying three pistols and began shooting innocent little children, killing one and wounding five others before killing herself. Subsequent blood tests revealed that both Lithium and the antidepressant Anafranil were in her bloodstream at the time the murder was committed.38

(6) On September 26, 1988, 19-year-old James Wilson took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school in Greenwood, South Carolina, and started shooting schoolchildren, killing two 8-year-old girls and wounding seven other children and two teachers. Wilson had been in and out of the hands of psychiatrists for years and within eight months of the killings he had been on several psychiatric drugs which can generate violent behavior. Since the age of 14 he had been given psychiatric drugs, including Xanax, Valium, Thorazine and Haldol.39

(7) On January 17, 1989, Patrick Purdy opened fire on a school yard full of young children in Stockton, California. During his vicious and unprovoked assault, Purdy killed five schoolchildren and wounded thirty others before killing himself. During the two years prior to the murders of the Stockton children, Purdy had been on two strong psychiatric drugs of categories known to cause violence.40

(8) On April 28, 1992, Kenneth Seguin drugged his two children, aged 7 and 5, took them to a pond, slashed their wrists and dumped their bodies in the water. He then drove home and killed his wife with an ax while she slept. He was on Prozac at the time.41

(9) In November 1992, Lynwood Drake III, in San Luis Obisbo and Morro Bay, California, shot and killed six people with a hand gun before he killed himself. Metabolized Prozac and Valium were both found in his system.42

(10) In December 1993, Steven Leith of Chelsea, Michigan, walked back into a school meeting and fatally shot the school superintendent and wounded two others including a fellow teacher. He was on Prozac at the time of the shootings.43

(11) Sixteen-year-old Brian Pruitt, who fatally stabbed his grandparents in 1995, had a history of psychiatric treatment and had been prescribed psychiatric drugs.44

(12) On November 3, 1995, Sergeant Steven B. Christian, a twenty-five-year commended veteran of the Dallas police force drove to a police sub-station and seriously wounded an officer outside in his attempt to get inside and shoot others. Christian was shot and killed by two fellow Dallas police officers. The autopsy revealed high levels of an antidepressant in his blood.45

(13) In Connecticut on March 6, 1998, Mathew Beck, a lottery accountant, reported promptly to his job, hung up his coat and methodically gunned down four of his bosses, one of whom he chased through a parking lot before he turned the gun on himself. Beck had been seeing a psychiatrist and taking three types of medication.46

(14) On May 28, 1998, Brynn Hartman murdered her husband, comic Phil Hartman, then committed suicide. She had been prescribed and had been taking the antidepressant drug Zoloft, which the coroner found in her system along with alcohol and cocaine.47

(15) On February 19, 1996, 10-year-old Timmy Becton grabbed his 3-year-old niece as a shield and aimed a shotgun at a Sheriff’s deputy who had accompanied a truant officer to his Florida home. Becton had been taken to a psychiatrist in January and had been put on a psychiatric drug.48

(16) While on vacation, on May 25, 1997, in Las Vegas, 18-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer raped and murdered a 7-year-old girl in the ladies rest room in a casino. He had been diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Dexedrine. He had begun taking the drug a week before the killing.49

(17) On September 27, 1997, 16-year-old Sam Manzie raped and strangled another boy to death. At the time of the killing the younger boy had been selling candy door to door for the local PTA. Manzie was under psychiatric care and was being medicated.50

(18) On May 21, 1998, 14-year-old Kip Kinkel shot and killed his parents and then went on a wild shooting spree at his Springfield, Oregon, high school that left two dead and twenty-two injured. He was reportedly taking Prozac and Ritalin and had been attending anger management classes.51

(19) On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris, one of two Colorado high school seniors who went on a deadly rampage, entered his school shooting students and faculty and setting off explosives. Twelve students and one teacher were killed, along with the two gunmen who ended the rampage by killing themselves, while twenty-three others were wounded. A toxicology report revealed Luvox, an antidepressant, in Harris’ system.52

(20) On May 4, 1999, Steven Allen Abrams rammed his car into a preschool playground in Costa Mesa, California, killing two and injuring five. He had been placed on probation in 1994 which required him to see a psychiatrist and take Lithium.53

CONCLUSION

Horror stories all. On the surface, the idea of tranquilizers or antidepressants creating hostility and violence may not make sense. After all, they are supposed to make people calm and quiet. But the reality is that they can and do create such adverse effects. The scientific evidence, only a part of which is presented above, is overwhelming.

Psychiatric drugs and treatments do create violence and the sooner we recognize this and do something about it, the sooner these kinds of killings will stop.

These are facts that psychiatrists and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) refuse to confront. Psychiatrists for obvious reasonsthey could and should be held liable for crimes committed by their toxically drugged patientsand NAMI because, according to the New York Post, it is awash in money from drug companies–$3.2 million per year from nine such companies–that manufacture these often mind-crippling drugs.54

The above is a small sample of hundreds of cases of murders, suicides, and senseless violence documented in the files of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Psychiatric drugs create violence. Not everyone who takes a psychiatric drug commits acts of violence, but clearly some do. The research is unequivocal. How many more Littleton, Colorados, will there be before something is done?

CCHR urges that government officials and/or law enforcement bodies, armed with the information contained in this report:

1) Hold legislative hearings to fully investigate the correlation between psychiatric drugs and violence (and suicide);

2) Call for mandatory toxicology reports that specify a testing for psychiatric drugs in anyone who has committed a homicide or serious violent crime;

3) Ensure that where psychiatric mind-altering drugs are implicated in such a crime, the psychiatrist prescribing the drugs be held accountable.

1. Robert Whitaker, Lure of riches fuels testing, The Boston Globe, 17 Nov. 1998.2. Lawrence H. Diller, M.D., Running on Ritalin, the Book, Internet website, http://www.docdiller.com/html/running.htm (accessed 7 May 1999); DEA Report Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Internet website, http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/abuse/chap4/stimula/methylph.htmhttp://165.112.78.61/DrugsofAbuse.html (accessed 7 May 1999). (accessed 7 May 1999); NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), Commonly Abused Drugs, Internet website, 3. Public Schools: Pushing Drugs? Gov’t Money May Have Sparked Surge in Ritalin Use, Investor’s Business Daily, 16 Oct. 1997.

4. Physician’s Desk Reference, PDR 52 Edition 1998, p. 1897.

5. Katy Muldoon, Shooting Spurs Debate on Prozac’s Use by Kids, The Oregonian, 1 Jun. 1998

6. Summary of FDA’s Adverse Drug Reaction Reports for Prozac, 1988-1992, obtained through Freedom of Information Act by CCHR.

7. Anti-Depressants (SSRI’s), The International Coalition for Drug Awareness, Internet website, http://www.drugawareness.org/ssri.html; Letters: The Mood Molecule, Time, 20 Oct. 1997.

8. Littleton Gunman Tests Positive for Manic-Inducing Drug, ABC’s Colorado Affiliate KNBC News 4 reports, 4 May 1999, Goddard’s Journal: http://www.erols.com/igoddard/journal.htm, May 1999.

9. Internet website, http://www.breggin.com/luvox.html (accessed 1 May 1999); Precautions, Physician’s Desk Reference, 1998, p. 2892.

10. Gregg Birnbaum, Science or Abuse? State Testing Prozac on 6-Year-Olds, New York Post, 31 Jan. 1999.

11. Robert A. King, M.D., et al., Emergence of Self-Destructive Phenomena in Children and Adolescents during Fluoxetine Treatment, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 30:2, Mar. 1991.

12. Lecomte D, Fornes P Suicide among youth and young adults, 15 through 24 years of age. A report of 392 cases from Paris, 1989-1996, Journal of Forensic Science, 1998 September: 43(5):964-8; Internet website, http://www.nebi.nlm.nih.gov (accessed 1 May 1999).

13. Frygt for misbrugs-epidemi, Politiken, 13 Jun. 1995, reported in CCHR Denmark’s White paper to the Council of Europe and the Danish Government and Parliamentary Committees, entitled Denmark’s Law on Deprivation of Liberty and Other Coercive Measures in PsychiatryCausing Violence, 16 Oct. 1996.

14. D.G. Workman, M.D. and D.G. Cunningham, Effects of Psychotropic Drugs on Aggression in a Prison Setting, Canadian Family Physician, Nov., 1975, pp. 63-66.

15. Daniel S. Chaffin, Phenothiazine-Induced Acute Psychotic Reaction: The ‘Psychotoxicity’ of a Drug, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 121, No. 1, Jul. 1964, pp. 26-32.

16. Richard I. Shader and Alberto DiMascio, Psychotropic Drug Side Effects, (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1970), p. 134.

17. Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, et al., Emergence of Hostility During Alprazolam [Xanax] Treatment, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 141, No. 6, Jun. 1984, pp. 792-93.

18. David L. Gardner and Rex W. Cowdry, Alprazolam-Induced Dyscontrol in Borderline Personality Disorder, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 142, No. 1, Jan. 1985.

19. Theodore Van Putten, The Many Faces of Akathisia, Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol. 16, No. 1, Jan./Feb. 1975, pp. 43-47.

20. Ibid.

21. Prozac, Townsend Letter for Doctors, Feb./Mar. 1993, p.179.

22. Paul H. Soloff, et al., Paradoxical Effects of Amitriptyline on Borderline Patients, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 143, No. 12, Dec. 1986, pp. 1603-05.

23. Javad H. Kashani, M.D., et al., Hypomanic reaction to amitriptyline in a depressed child, Psychosomatics, Vol. 21, No. 10, Oct. 1980, pp. 867, 872.

24. Jerome L. Schulte, Homicide and Suicide Associated with Akathisia and Haloperidol [Haldol], American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1985, pp. 3-7.

25. Martin H. Teicher, et al., Emergence of Intense Suicidal Preoccupation During Fluoxetine Treatment, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 147, No. 2, Feb. 1990.

26. Prakash Masand, et al., Suicidal Ideation Related To Fluoxetine Treatment, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 324, No. 6, 7 Feb. 1991.

27. David Grounds, et al., Antidepressants and Side Effects, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 29, No. 1 Apr. 1995, pp. 156-57.

28. John N. Herrera and others, High Potency Neuroleptics and Violence in Schizophrenics, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 176, No. 9, Sept. 1988, pp. 558-61.

29. Walter A. Keckich, Violence as a Manifestation of Akathisia, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 240, No. 20, Nov. 1978, p. 2185.

30. Kvart Mill danskere er pillenarkomaner, Ekstra Bladet, 13 Feb. 1995.

31. Acute Drug Withdrawal, PreMeC Medicines Information Bulletin, August 1996, Internet website, http://www.premec.org.nz/bulletins/53.htm (accessed 18 Mar. 1999).

32. Statement on file at CCHR International.

33. Chris Willman, Long Distance Winner, Entertainment Weekly, 1 May 1998.

34. Duane Riner, Postal Worker Who Killed 2 in ’85 to Go Free, The Atlanta Journal, 8 Aug. 1989.

35. Katy Corneel, Parents find clue to why their son killed, The Patriot Ledger, 19 Sept. 1987; 15-year-old sentenced to life for killing classmate for kicks, Times Picayune, 11 Mar. 1988.

36. Lynne Bumpus-Hooper, Cruse says he was insane during Palm Bay killings, Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, 7 Jul. 1987.

37. Jack F. Love, How can state compel mentally ill to seek and maintain treatment?, Ann Arbor News, 16 Oct. 1989; Psychiatrist says foundry-murder suspect suffered from delusions, strange behavior, 1989 news article.

38. Did Prescription Drugs Help Trigger Winnetka Shootings?, The Doctor’s People Medical Newsletter for Consumers, Vol. 1, No. 1; Experimental drug was used by child’s killer, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jun. 1988; Suit against Laurie Dann’s parents to proceed, UPI Executive News Service, 8 Feb. 1990.

39. Gunman Kills Girl, Wounds 10 at School, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sept. 1988; School shooting probe continues, The Newton Kansan, 27 Sept. 1988; Psychiatric Drugs Create Killer, Freedom, Nov./Dec. 1988.

40. David Harpster and Kathleen Salamon, Schoolyard Massacre, 5 Kids Die In Shooting, Gunman Injures 30 Others, Then Kills Himself, The Sacramento Union, 18 Jan. 1989; Chronological Life History of Patrick Edward Purdy, prepared by Special Agents Allen Benitez and Phil Lee, Bureau of Investigation, California, Dept. of Justice, 1989, p. 17.

41. Bryan Sierra, Defense says computer exec ‘psychotic’ when he killed family, UP News Wire, 8 Jan. 1993.

42. CVT Central Valley Toxicology, Toxicology Report on drugs found in Lynwood Drake’s system dated 13 Nov. 1992; Dave Wilcox, Drake said to be suicidal, on drugs, The County Telegram-Tribune, 13 Nov. 1992.

43. Jeffri Chadiha, Suspect was found with gun loaded, Ann Arbor News, 19 Dec. 1993.

44. Ken Holloway, Pruitt found guilty of murder, Commercial News, Danvill, IL, 15 Jun. 1996

45. Todd Bensman and Jason Sickles, Police sergeant is killed after shooting officer, The Dallas Morning News, 5 Nov. 1995.

46. Jonathan Rabinovitz, Father of Lottery Killer Agonizes Over Son’s ‘Monstrous’ Act, The New York Times, 9 Mar. 1998.

47. In The Valley, TV Guide, No. 37; Andrew Blankstein and Solomon Moore, Hartman’s Wife Had Alcohol, Cocaine in Her System, Coroner Finds, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jun. 1998.

48. Lisa Holewa, Associated Press Wire, 8 Mar. 1996.

49. Nora Zamichow, The Fractured Life of Jeremy, Los Angeles Times Special Reports, http://www.latimes.com/, 19 Jul. 1998.

50. Manzie to plead insane in killing of Jackson Township 11-year-old, The Boston Globe, Associated Press, 27 Apr. 1998.

51. Maureen Sielaff, Prozac implicated in Oregon shooting, Vigo Examiner, Maureen@Vigo-Examiner.com; transcript of 20/20 national TV show reporting on the Kip Kinkel Oregon Shooting, 22 May 1998.

52. Patrick O’Driscoll, Colo. prosecutors retract that an arrest is imminent, USA Today, 30 Apr. 1999; Robert Lusetich, School killer was on drugs, The Australian, 30 Apr. 1999.

53. Peter Larsen and Tony Saavedra, Investigation: The man wanted to exact revenge for his spurned advances toward a married neighbor, officials say, The Orange County Register, 5 May 1999.

54. Gregg Birnbaum, Patients group getting $3M a year from firms, New York Post, 28 Feb. 1999.

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