In these harsh economic times, the saga of Jaycee Lee Dugard is especially riveting to the public imagination. Our horror and revulsion unite us. Who can we blame? How could this monster hide amongst us while committing unspeakable acts against innocent children?
Our collective furor and thirst for vengeance run counter to the principles of our justice system, under which a criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Psychiatric issues will make justice especially slow for Phillip Garrido, the registered sex offender who is accused of holding Dugard hostage for 18 years, after kidnapping her in June 1991 when she was just 11. (Garrido and his wife Nancy have both denied the charges.)
Initial evidence points toward a psychosis. In an interview from jail, Garrido called Dugard's story "heartwarming" and referenced secret documents and "hundreds and hundreds of thousands" of lawsuits. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. The wonders of the internet allow us to travel back in time and enter his mind, via rambling blog posts about voices in his head, mind control, and religious delusions of himself as the savior.
Ironically, more than a year ago Garrido referenced the potential for psychotic symptoms to cause violence against children. A woman who drowned her three children in the San Francisco Bay was, he wrote, "led by a powerful internal and external (hearing) process that places the human mind under a hypnotic siege that in time leads a person to build a delusional belief system that drives them to whatever course of action they take."
My Guardian (UK) commentary continues HERE. Please feel free to add your comments and opinions at either the Guardian website or here.Excerpt from Garrido's Voices Revealed blog
August 29, 2009
My Guardian commentary on Jaycee Dugard saga
The Guardian of UK asked me to write a comment on the extraordinary saga of Jaycee Lee Dugard. I'm posting the first few paragraphs here, with a link to the Guardian website for the full article and the comments, many of which are quite interesting. (I posted a couple of my own comments to the comments.)