Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

The following letter appeared in The New York Times on October 14, 1998.

When a Killer Blames His Doctor

To the Editor:
Why did a jury hold a psychiatrist, Myron B. Liptzin, accountable for Wendell Williamson's murderous acts (front page, Oct. 10)?

Because psychiatrists invented and perpetuate the myth of mental illness. As long as people believe in mental illness as a cause for behavior, those who receive such a "diagnosis" will be exculpated -- and someone else will be culpable.

Since psychiatrists removed the blame, it is only fitting that they should be saddled with it.

Silver Spring, Md., Oct. 10, 1998
The writer is an adjunct professor of justice, law and society at American University.

October 15, 1998

Dr. Schaler:

I was just about to e-mail you about that case. I'm not amazed that this has happened. Considering the fact that we live in a society where one can either blame nearly all their failings on 'bad' parenting, uncaring society, or have your guilt assuaged with the willing help of a psychiatrist who will in turn, blame everyone else for that person's problems, I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. For years, these psychiatrists have swarmed around our prisons, freeing four-scores of murderers, rapists and others who threaten our life, liberty and propery through the use of their so-called 'analysis. And now they're finally getting stung by their own sooth-saying. It's about time. The only thing amazing about the whole thing is that the families of slaughtered innocents weren't the first to bring suit.

RiShawn Biddle
Staff Writer, Crier Newspapers
Atlanta, GA.