GUILTY FL - Calyx, 16, & Beau Schenecker, 13, shot to death, Tampa, 27 Jan 2011 #4

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Abigail

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In 2008 JS wrote letter to Calyx explaining her illness and her symptoms. Said PS understands the disease was affecting her lack of energy and her brain function. Tells her daughter she was so proud of her, she brought her a lot of joy. Said she was "free of the monster" for a few years, then it came back with a fury. Said she was a lost soul.

At time JS ended military career -- part of reason was her depression. She tried to hide it when in military. Not as severe during that time, but when she was feeling depressed, she would go off, and stay in a hotel for several days.

While being treated at USF, docs noted in records she had poor insight and poor judgement.

JS was not consistently psychotic in the 6 months leading up to the murders. In 2009, she had psychotic thoughts about impregnating herself with DNA from psychiatrists' comb, but she did not report herself as having delusional thoughts.
 

CUCKOOHEAD

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IMO this defendant really hurt her own testimony but stating that she believes almost every mother killing their kid/s is insane.

What about fathers? significant others who have raised the child? grandparents?
 

CarolinaMoon

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They just quoted bits from the letter. Can't remember details, but it was a heavy burden to put on a 14-year-old. While telling all to her daughter, it was pity-seeking, an excuse for not being a good mother.

Calyx probably didn't understand it all and probably asked a friend to help her read through it and try and understand. Apparently, at this point, Calyx had no clue as to how to discuss this with her mother. Trying to play the victim to her daughter.
 

angelainwi

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I'm not exactly sure this cross is accomplishing much other than pointing out how ignorant we are of mental illnesses.
 

Abigail

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Dr. S was deposed 3 times leading up to trial. She was continuing to read the medical and other records up until last night.

In Dr. S's opinion based on contacts and clinical interviews and testing and everything she has read, she firmly has the opinion that JS was insane at the time of the murders.

Dr. Solomon excused & leaves stand.
 

Rhozwen

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What is the point defense is trying to make with this line of questioning?

The witness is just recalling events that have already been covered, and that's it..she is just RECALLING events that happened and thoughts of the defendant, but not really adding any helpful insight - as you would expect an expert to do.

I want more out of this woman, tell us your professional opinion of this woman, not a running narrative.

"She said...."

"She said..."

"She said..she felt like a lost soul"

"She said that there were times she was so depressed when she was int he military, she would go off [i guess she would take a short leave], she would go off to a hotel room by her self, to hope she could sleep the depression away"

"the therapist and psychiatrist noted several times in reports that defendant had poor insight and poor judgement"

Doctor feels defendant was mainly in psychotic state during entire week of killings, but could come in and out of it.

Defendant believed what she was believing, therefore that is a delusion.

Nothing too compelling is coming out of this witness. IMHO
 

zoey

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9:16 AM

Twitter
ABCActionNewsCourt

@actionnewscourt

Solomon dismissed. Says she firmly believes #JulieSchenecker was insane at the time of the murders. #ScheneckerTrial
 

CarolinaMoon

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Solomon did NOT say that she based her decision on her expertise in clinical psychology with a scientific degree of certainty.

She based it mainly on what JS said to her.
 

Rhozwen

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Does anyone know anything more about this delusion? I had never heard any record of this prior to the attny asking about it:

The defense attny had asked a question about this particular delusion:

"She was trying to take from her psychiatrist 's comb and impregnate herself, in USF back in 2009..that was an indication of the psychiatrist trying to save her..."
 

zoey

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Jeff Patterson ‏@WFLAJeff · 6m
#ScheneckerTrial breaks for lunch. Back at 1:30 #wfla
 

CUCKOOHEAD

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They just quoted bits from the letter. Can't remember details, but it was a heavy burden to put on a 14-year-old. While telling all to her daughter, it was pity-seeking, an excuse for not being a good mother.

Calyx probably didn't understand it all and probably asked a friend to help her read through it and try and understand. Apparently, at this point, Calyx had no clue as to how to discuss this with her mother. Trying to play the victim to her daughter.

Agree Carolina. I can understand Calyx getting a friend's opinion on this letter and if both girls ended up laughing that is damning of their opinion about the pity seeking tone of it. What was JS thinking? The teenagers I have known were some of the MOST self absorbed creatures in the galaxy believing that all else revolved around them.
 

rabidstoat

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Calyx probably didn't understand it all and probably asked a friend to help her read through it and try and understand. Apparently, at this point, Calyx had no clue as to how to discuss this with her mother. Trying to play the victim to her daughter.

Well, she also might've showed it to a friend as a "what a freak of a mom I have!" sort of way. Teenagers aren't the most empathetic creatures, and she surely didn't have detailed knowledge of mental illness or the maturity of an adult in dealing with such issues. So, it could've gone either way. I know that, despite being a good girl growing up, I could also be an immature butthead at times.

Obviously regardless of what happened, the response should not be to shoot the child in the head!
 

Nymeria

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In 2008 JS wrote letter to Calyx explaining her illness and her symptoms. Said PS understands the disease was affecting her lack of energy and her brain function. Tells her daughter she was so proud of her, she brought her a lot of joy. Said she was "free of the monster" for a few years, then it came back with a fury. Said she was a lost soul.

At time JS ended military career -- part of reason was her depression. She tried to hide it when in military. Not as severe during that time, but when she was feeling depressed, she would go off, and stay in a hotel for several days.

While being treated at USF, docs noted in records she had poor insight and poor judgement.

JS was not consistently psychotic in the 6 months leading up to the murders. In 2009, she had psychotic thoughts about impregnating herself with DNA from psychiatrists' comb, but she did not report herself as having delusional thoughts.

*BBM*

When one HAS delusional thoughts how can their personal judgement be trusted to "report" them as delusional thoughts?!? :waitasec:
 

Rhozwen

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I'm not exactly sure this cross is accomplishing much other than pointing out how ignorant we are of mental illnesses.

I agree with this completely.
I sincerely hope the defense will do a better job educating the jury on mental illness with future witnesses.

I believe that she did plan the murder of her children and to kill herself, and she intended for her husband to come home to find everyone dead.
My question is, does one have to be quite insane to do such a thing?
That's not normal behavior, and therefore abnormal - so she must have a mental defect at the very least.
Unfortunately for the defendant, having a mental defect doesn't mean she is legally insane.

As per the M'Naghten Rule, the burden lies on Prosecution to disprove that the defendant:

1. Did not know what he or she was doing or its consequences, or

2. Although he or she knew what he or she was doing and its
consequences, did not know that it was wrong.

Dr. S. just testified that Julie believed what she was thinking was correct - a delusion. I personally do not see any information supporting either one of those instances in the M'Naghten Rule. It does not seem to me that the defense has offered up anything to support either of those.

This is what I was hoping to hear about from the defense expert witness:
Did anyone evaluate her to determine if she knew what she was doing was wrong?
Did anyone evaluate her to determine if she felt that killing her children was the right thing to do?
Her journal entries telling of her not wanting her children to be embarrassed and/or to grow up with mental illness does not prove to me that she murdered her children because that was the only option to save them.

If I were a juror, I would be frustrated because I would feel that the defense is not giving me the proper tools to make an educated decision.
 

04009margaret

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This woman wasn't insane at the time of the execution of her children. She was a mess pure & simple, a self inflicted mess. Yes she suffered from MI, but the driving force for this execution was a vindictive rage, caused by her heavy consumption of alcohol mixed with prescription medication.

MHO
 

CUCKOOHEAD

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Well, she also might've showed it to a friend as a "what a freak of a mom I have!" sort of way. Teenagers aren't the most empathetic creatures, and she surely didn't have detailed knowledge of mental illness or the maturity of an adult in dealing with such issues. So, it could've gone either way. I know that, despite being a good girl growing up, I could also be an immature butthead at times.

Obviously regardless of what happened, the response should not be to shoot the child in the head!

Exactly rabidstoat you don't kill someone for disrespecting you.

Don't some people build a wall to protect themselves when someone they love is abusive and appears to be under the influence? IMO the kids were reacting to the years living with JS.
 

Rhozwen

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*BBM*

When one HAS delusional thoughts how can their personal judgement be trusted to "report" them as delusional thoughts?!? :waitasec:

I will give that to the defense attny..I think she asked that so that the witness could say
"well..a delusional person can't tell you they are delusional since they are believing that their thoughts are real"

I guess a better way of describing a delusional person is that they are "ignorant of reality".
 

Bernina

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This is absolutely correct does anyone remember the movie 'A Beautiful Mind" true story of John Forbes Nash a brilliant man who was stricken with Schizophrenia?

That movie is one of the best examples I can think of that gives a glimpse of what psychosis is to anyone who has not been exposed to it.

The Prosecution took the Death Penalty off the table before the trial.........if THEY believed JS did this in cold blood, they certainly would NOT have done that.

Even the Prosecution doesn't believe it's so cut and dry............Think about that.
 

CarolinaMoon

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I suppose by now, most people have figured out I closely identify with Calyx. I was in a similar situation for a good part of my childhood, only with two parents involved in the behaviors. School was my escape to normalcy and studying was a great diversion from the chaos. My chosen escape was to go away to college and I needed the grades since there would be no parental support. I only feel bad I had to leave my younger siblings behind. We all came out of it pretty messed up. Fortunately, time and perspective helped.
 
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