The Failure of Psychology

I remember, back in 1993, when Lorena Bobbitt famously cut off her husband’s penis, that there was one (1) other instance of a female assaulting a male partner, and news anchors across the country, based on these two (2) cases, wondered if this was a dangerous new trend of women assaulting men.

At that time, three women were being murdered by their partners EVERY DAY, and that figure, sadly, has not declined.

In Northampton, Massachusetts, near where I live, a woman was walking out of the courthouse where she had obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband when he shot her dead.

This illustrates, clearly, that the impulse to murder an intimate partner is larger than the instinct for self-preservation. So I ask all those who purport to be psychologists, how hard can this be to find? It’s LARGER than the instinct for SELF-PRESERVATION.

I’ve just read a book that made me really mad, The Yale Murder by Peter Meyer. It recounts the murder of Bonnie Garland by her ex-boyfriend Richard Herrin. When she told him she wanted to date other men, he smashed her skull with a hammer and then smashed her throat (she was an accomplished singer) and then fled the scene.

She lived for 20 hours. He claims he was planning to kill himself, but he seems never to have summoned the courage.

What sickens me most is the support group Herrin found at Yale, which raised $30 thousand for his defense fund. A nun from the Yale Catholic community kissed him on the lips in front of the victim’s parents. I personally think nuns should feel free to kiss whomever they want, but to me this was disgusting.

Richard Herrin was found to be under ‘severe emotional stress’ and was found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to eight years. After four years he told Meyer he thought he had suffered enough.

Had I been the prosecutor, I would have expressed deep sympathy for his emotional distress, and asked him why he didn’t kill himself first and let Bonnie go on living her life as she pleased.

I oppose the death penalty because it will always be unequally applied to poor and minority defendants, but in this instance, I would carry out a death sentence myself, even today, when Richard Herrin has supposedly rehabilitated himself.

If all that psychology can do is to excuse the barbarity of murderers, then it has failed, utterly and completely, as a science.