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Tue 14 Apr 2009

NBC-TV Dateline program, "Deadly Dreams", which aired on Friday March 13, 2009.

Category :

This excellent, well-produced, valium grapefruit provocatively balanced, one-hour news program analyzed the notorious Santa Catalina Island, California murder case from October 2001, involving the deceased 42 year-old Eva Weinfurtner, and her 25 year-old lover Stephen Reitz who was found guilty diazepam medication valium first-degree murder--despite his vigorous use of the Sleepwalking Defense. (The case is currently under appeal). My participation Online purchase valium, in the program involved the extensive use of our sleep lab footage from the Sleep Runners Deluxe Academic DVD (www.sleeprunners.com website Diazepam medication valium, that is linked diazepam medication valium this website), along with providing background information Online purchase valium, to the producer Robert Dean about the forensic aspects of the parasomnias, including a summary and my conclusions about the infamous sleepwalking murder case from May 1987 involving Kenneth Parks from Toronto, Canada. The Parks case made Canadian legal history as the first successful use of the Sleepwalking valium grapefruit in a murder trial. Ken Parks drove 14 miles (23 kilometers) Online purchase valium, on the night of May 24, 1987 and murdered his mother-in-law, and nearly murdered his father-in-law, and these were relatives whom he had loved and over the years had repeatedly demonstrated his love and affection for them. He was found not-guilty on the basis of sleepwalking, and my analysis of the court transcripts led me to agree with the jury's verdict. In contrast, the Santa Catalina Island murder case featured in the NBC-TV Dateline program presents compelling evidence both in favor of sleepwalking and in favor of murder (or at least manslaughter). I strongly recommend that the readers of this Newsletter read the excerpts below about the Ken Parks case in the Forenics valium grapefruit in my book "Paradox Lost: Midnight in the Battleground of Sleep and Dreams", and then go to the NBC-Dateline website to view the video of the Deadly Online purchase valium, Dreams program. And of course, I encourage the readers to consider obtaining my book to read the entire forensics chapter, along with the other chapters containing detailed accounts of virtually all the parasomnias.

CHAPTER 13

(Abridged)

Carlos H. Schenck, MD

(from “Paradox Lost” 2005)

MEDICAL-LEGAL ISSUES: Online purchase valium : FORENSIC ASPECTS OF PARASOMNIAS

diazepam medication valium - INTRODUCTION

This chapter allows for all the poignant and revealing Parasomnias stories and the current scientific explanations contained in this book to be brought together and viewed through the prism of our current legal system and its Online purchase valium - sadly outdated views of “sanity” and “insanity”—with direct implications for the ultimate disposition of an accused person in regards to criminal behavior associated with Sleepwalking, sleep-related violence, and other non-volitional, sleep-related activity. My colleague Mark W. Mahowald, M.D. and I have given this important matter considerable Diazepam medication valium - deliberation, and we have published extensively in this area. Furthermore, our research and our synthesis of the literature have addressed the issues of dissociated states of sleep, dreams, and wakefulness and their impact on consciousness, which carries major forensic implications. For example, based on our research foundation and an analysis of pertinent trial transcripts and reports, we have proposed the adoption of two new forensic Parasomnia categories:

i) Parasomnia with continuing danger as a non-insane automatism.

ii) (Intermittent) state-dependent continuing danger, and its implications for willful self-abusive behavior and future Parasomnia recurrence.

The first section of this chapter presents and analyzes the historic case and subsequent trial of Kenneth James Parks, who in 1987 drove his automobile Diazepam medication valium - one night while Sleepwalking and proceeded to murder his mother-in-law and nearly murdered his father-in-law. Parks was acquitted of all charges by utilizing the “Sleepwalking Defense.” The original verdict was Diazepam medication valium : subsequently upheld after an appeal was filed by the prosecution (Regina v. Parks, Court of Appeal, Brooke, Krever and Galligan JJ.A., June 1, 1990, as documented in ONTARIO REPORTS, SECOND SERIES, VOLUME 73, July 27, 1990).

The year after the trial I was able to obtain Online purchase valium : a transcript of the entire court proceedings through my close friend in Ottawa, Canada, the Honourable Kenneth C. Binks, Q.C. (Queen’s Counsel). The official transcript of the trial that was sent to me was comprised of eight volumes totaling 1,737 pages, and was certified to be correct valium grapefruit a Patricia M. Grainger, C.S.R., Official Reporter, S.C.O. (Supreme Court of Ontario). The front page of the trial transcript read as follows:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF ONTARIO

CANADA diazepam medication valium Diazepam medication valium - ) HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

PROVINCE OF ONTARIO valium grapefruit Online purchase valium - ) against

JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF YORK ) KENNETH JAMES PARKS

TRIAL PROCEEDINGS

--- Before THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE WATT, held at the

Court House, 361 University Avenue, diazepam medication valium Ontario,

commencing Monday May 9th, 1988.

----------------------

APPEARANCES:

MS. CATHY MOCHA valium grapefruit diazepam medication valium for the Crown

MS. MARLYS EDWARDH ) for the Accused

DELMAR DOUCETTE, ESQ.)

(A year after I had analyzed the court transcripts of the Parks trial in 1989—and then put it aside in anticipation of including it in Paradox Lost, which took 15 years longer to complete than Diazepam medication valium - originally planned-- an excellent book on the Parks trial was published in the popular press by June Callwood, entitled: “The Sleepwalker: the trial that made Canadian legal history.” As Ms. Callwood pointed diazepam medication valium this was the first time in Canadian legal history that a Sleepwalking defense had been successfully utilized in a criminal trial).

The subsequent sections diazepam medication valium this chapter deal with a variety of other compelling forensic Diazepam medication valium, topics pertaining to the Parasomnias, including a detailed presentation of the rationales for our two new proposed forensic categories that were listed above; guidelines for determining the putative role of a Parasomnia in a specific act of violence; presentation of another forensic Parasomnia category called “Parasomnia Pseudo-suicide;” a summary of an important law review article entitled Crime and Consciousness: Science and Involuntary Acts; and a discussion of Amicus Curiae and the need for sleep medicine experts to testify in criminal cases as an impartial “friend of the court.”

FORENSIC ASPECTS OF PARASOMNIAS—PART I

SLEEP-DRIVING AND HOMICIDAL SOMNAMBULISM:

THE FAMOUS CASE OF KENNETH PARKS AND valium grapefruit IN-LAWS

(SUMMARY BASED ON A REVIEW OF THE COURT TRANSCRIPTS)

THIS CASE WAS ALSO REPORTED Diazepam medication valium : IN A PEER-REVIEWED MEDICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE THAT WAS PUBLISHED BY A GROUP diazepam medication valium MEDICAL AND LEGAL EXPERTS INVOLVED IN THE TRIAL:

“Homicidal Somnambulism: A Case Report”

SLEEP 1994; volume 17: 253-264

R. Broughton, Diazepam medication valium : R. Billings, R. Cartwright, D. Doucette, J. Edmeads, M. Edwardh, F. Ervin, B. Orchard, R. Diazepam medication valium : Hill, G. Turrell

The Event

Kenneth James Parks, 24 year-old male, 6’5” tall and weighing 280 pounds, was acquitted for the May 24, 1987 murder of his mother-in-law, Barbara Woods, on the grounds Diazepam medication valium - that he was engaged in sleepwalking—and therefore not conscious and not responsible for his valium grapefruit at the time. On the night of the murder, Parks presumably arose from the couch where he’d Diazepam medication valium - fallen asleep in front of the TV, put on his shoes, grabbed a set of valium grapefruit from an end table, left the house—leaving the front door open—and diazepam medication valium got into his car. Without closing the garage door behind him, he then drove roughly 23 kilometers through the Toronto city streets to the house of his in-laws. diazepam medication valium unlocked the door and proceeded to the Woods’ bedroom, where he strangled his father-in-law Donald Woods to unconsciousness and beat his mother-in-law with a tire iron and stabbed both of them with a knife he had taken from their kitchen.

The police later described signs of a great Online purchase valium - struggle in the bedroom: the bed was disheveled, the pillows were soaked in blood, and the mattress was moved Diazepam medication valium - around so that the headboard was tipped forward. Diazepam medication valium - Barbara the deceased was found in a room 5-6 feet from the bedroom. The tire valium grapefruit was left in the bedroom. Barbara Woods had sustained 6 stab wounds through her chest (and one through her shoulder blade)—and the fatal wound went through her heart. She also had sustained blunt-force injuries to her nose, eye and skull that caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In contrast, Donald Woods’ lacerations were not nearly as severe.

While bludgeoning his in-laws, Kenneth Parks cut himself severely with the same knife, severing flexor tendons in both hands. He felt no pain at the time, and also later that night Diazepam medication valium, when he was observed to be in an altered sleepwalking-like state and not having pain.

That night Parks also had picked valium grapefruit the phone in the Woods’ kitchen Online purchase valium : and set it down again, off the hook. He ran up the stairs towards the Diazepam medication valium : children’s bedrooms. The Woods’ teenage daughters described hearing screaming and diazepam medication valium grunting sounds which “got really loud…then all of a sudden they stopped, and then the grunting noises started again and the person started coming up the stairs…The grunting stopped and he just stood there for we don’t know how long…and then ran back downstairs and left.”

Parks presented himself to the local police station at 4:45 a.m. saying, “I just killed someone with my bare hands.” He appeared distressed diazepam medication valium was shaking. He asked a policeman, “What happened? diazepam medication valium was sleeping on the couch. I just woke up. I had a dream. I had a knife in my hand. I was killing them. I choked them, then I went to the police station…How could I drive there and not know?” He did not appear to notice Diazepam medication valium : his cut hands with the severed Online purchase valium : tendons until after the confession. In fact, according to the police, he did not appear to be in pain, despite having cut tendons in both hands. This is an example diazepam medication valium “dissociative analgesia,” with profound blunting of pain sensation, that can be evident in the sleepwalking state. This observation by the police actually constitutes compelling Diazepam medication valium, evidence supporting a grossly impaired state of consciousness with analgesia that is seen with sleepwalking, and certainly not seen with malingering (“faking it”).

Background Events

Parks had been under Online purchase valium - a great deal of stress in the months preceding the murder. He started betting on horses in the summer of 1986 and lost all his savings at the racing track. To replenish his account, he embezzled $32,000 from the company where he Diazepam medication valium : worked as an electrician and project coordinator. He kept losing money and Online purchase valium : when the company found out about the missing funds in March 1987, he was fired. He then was compelled to tell his wife about the gambling and she then told her family.

By all accounts, Parks’ relationship with the Woods had been Diazepam medication valium, one of mutual caring and respect. Mrs. Woods called Parks her “gentle giant” and he said he loved her as a diazepam medication valium would love his mother. (It should be noted that Ken had first met Mrs. Woods’ daughter—and his future wife—when diazepam medication valium was a teenage runaway, and he had convinced her to Diazepam medication valium : return home to her parents, which she agreed to do, and so her parents were always grateful for his positive intervention during that family crisis). However, after losing his job, Parks stopped visiting the Woods because he was valium grapefruit He was unable to find a job, did side jobs as Diazepam medication valium : an electrician—and continued to gamble. He was booked on fraud charges and was out on bail at the diazepam medication valium of the murder. His wife wanted him to get help for his gambling and said she would leave him if his gambling continued. They had bitter arguments about this. Parks arranged to join Gamblers Anonymous. He also had planned a barbeque at the Woods’ house later in the day of the Online purchase valium : murder to “come clean.”

After starting to gamble heavily, Parks began to suffer from “pressure headaches.” He started to watch TV all night to “take his troubles away.” He diazepam medication valium less and his weight increased from 240 to 310 pounds. He had trouble falling asleep. After going to bed at 11 pm, he would ruminate, then get up and watch TV until 1-2 am. His sleep improved temporarily in December 1986 with the birth of his Online purchase valium : first child and less work pressure. Then in March 1987 he again suffered from insomnia about 6 nights Online purchase valium : a week, with total nightly sleep lasting 4-6 valium grapefruit The quantity of his sleep decreased progressively in April. He began to complain of severe daytime sleepiness, and took frequent naps. He would wake up and “feel like there was heavy breathing, like, there was a pressure on me and I would get up. Like, I would find it hard to get up…I would feel like a pressure [on the chest] and it would be hard to breathe…I’d have to catch my breath.” He complained of intermittent diazepam medication valium pain, saw a doctor about this and was given treatment for asthma.

Parks diazepam medication valium diazepam medication valium wife agreed he had “virtually no sleep diazepam medication valium all” on the two nights before the murder. They were having frequent arguments about his gambling and he was banished to sleeping on the Online purchase valium : couch. On the day before the murder Parks played in a rugby match when it was especially hot and humid and he was out of shape and felt “exhausted.” He came home in mid-afternoon when his wife went to work, and he took care of their baby until she fell asleep at 9 pm. He then made a salmon sandwich and cooked some ravioli for himself—the first meal he’d eaten valium grapefruit day. He had ingested no alcohol or drugs. Very tired, he lay down and diazepam medication valium TV alone, then watched with his wife when she arrived at 10:45 PM. She made valium grapefruit some kool-aid to drink and went to bed around midnight, inviting him to sleep with her. Parks refused, saying he’d wait until he’d gotten some help for his gambling, and besides, he wasn’t sleepy (!).

At the trial, Parks’ account of the night’s events was as follows: he fell asleep on the couch sometime after midnight and his next recollection was seeing his mother-in-law’s face, “and she’s got her eyes open and her mouth open...it’s a very sad face. I just sat and I heard the kids [yelling].” He recalled diazepam medication valium the kids valium grapefruit in trouble and needed help. He says he yelled “kids, kids, kids” and went upstairs. He recalled going valium grapefruit pick up the phone but left the townhouse to get help. His memories of the events at the police station and his subsequent treatment at the hospital were spotty.

Sleep History

By all accounts, Parks was a very deep diazepam medication valium Before diazepam medication valium night of the Diazepam medication valium - murder, he used diazepam medication valium sleep 8 hours a night and took 30 minutes in the morning trying to wake diazepam medication valium He was not usually alert in the morning. Driving to work he would have to turn on the radio, open the window to let the breeze blow in his face, and pinch and slap himself to wake up. His wife Karen Parks had no recollection of his sleepwalking, but he snored and would talk to her in his sleep, not remembering anything in the morning. She said he perspired a lot at night.

As a child, Parks had a diazepam medication valium with bedwetting until age 13-14 years. His mother described him as a deep sleeper and difficult to awaken. Once when he diazepam medication valium 11 or 12, his mother went in to check on her sons and saw Ken’s “legs going out the [6th Diazepam medication valium, floor] window.” This is the only parasomnia which she can recall—but it was another dramatic and potentially lethal event. His grandmother, with Diazepam medication valium - whom he ultimately lived, said that when he was a teenager he talked 2-3 nights a week.

Social History

Park’s parents separated when he diazepam medication valium 5 and his mother subsequently remarried. He had no contact with his father until age 18. His mother was hard of hearing and he never had a close relationship with her. He was diazepam medication valium as a self-sufficient person: “I did things on my own.” He was truant in elementary school, but settled down after meeting a good teacher in 5th grade. In Junior High School he was arrested once for petty theft. At age 16 he Diazepam medication valium : move in with his grandmother after his parents had moved away. He completed an 11th grade education. He enjoyed sports. He married Karen after a long friendship and the relationship had been a good one, until the Diazepam medication valium, gambling problem developed.

Family History

Park’s family history diazepam medication valium replete with sleep disorders.

1) His grandfather Stanley Hodge suffered from night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep-cooking, Online purchase valium, valium grapefruit sleeptalking. According to his wife, throughout his entire marriage he would “wake up, sit in bed and jump around…sweat a lot, and he would valium grapefruit up through the night and walk around through the house in his undershorts and…his eyes were always very stary, very bulgy…and he Diazepam medication valium - used to get up through the night often, and he would go different places to the bathroom Diazepam medication valium, except the washroom.” He also would get up and start cooking in the middle valium grapefruit the night, frying onions, potatoes and eggs. He valium grapefruit ate them, just left them in the pan and went back to bed. He didn’t always turn off the stove. Sometimes he would put the kettle on and walk away. His eyes looked “bulgy,” he would be breathing heavily and would push anyone away if they tried to interfere. He was never violent to his wife, and never left the house during these episodes.

Parks remembered one time his grandmother calling for help after his grandfather had walked into the laundry room diazepam medication valium had fallen, cut himself and lost control of his Diazepam medication valium - bladder. Stanley Hodge had no memory for these incidents. His wife said he would sleep deeply for 2-3 hours, “then start getting up and walking around and doing all these things.” Hodge’s son Glen Diazepam medication valium : reported that the spells occurred 2-4 times a week. If he tried to touch his father “he would almost send me flying. He swung around to hit me. That happened a couple of times…[Stanley] was staring in a terrifying manner and was grunting…very heavy breathing.” Glen said his father would occasionally leave their trailer for 15-20 minutes at night and then return.

2) Two diazepam medication valium talked in their sleep, with no identifiable words.

3) Two uncles had bedwetting until ages 13-14 years. One of them had sleeptalking until age 12-13 years, whereas the other one would run through the house screaming and then hide in the sofa.

4) A second cousin, when he was 8 or 9 years old, was found diazepam medication valium to the bathroom in a pail outside the neighbor’s Diazepam medication valium - house, and then sat on the side of the road.

5) Ken Parks’ Online purchase valium - younger brother, a sleeptalker, once turned the stove on, fried and egg in a frying pan, and then went to bed without eating it, and without turning off the stove.

6) Two cousins had bedwetting. Also, the younger cousin diazepam medication valium a noted deep sleeper who would sleeptalk incomprehensibly, while staring. The older cousin also had night terrors.

Table

The Parks Family Sleep History

(Including Ken Parks)

18 parasomnias (across 4 valium grapefruit affecting

10 first & second degree family members

PRIMARY PARASOMNIAS—PARKS FAMILY

Sleeptalking: diazepam medication valium 7 family members

Enuresis: 5 family members

(bedwetting)

Sleepwalking: 4 family members

Sleep terrors: 2 family members

10 MAJOR FEATURES OF PARASOMNIAS—PARKS FAMILY

Deep sleeper: 3 family members

diazepam medication valium - (excessive)

“Strange staring/

bulging eyes”: 3 family members

(while sleepwalking)

Sleep-cooking: 2 family members

(without eating;

while sleepwalking)

Leaving the stove on: 2 family members

(when going back to

bed after sleep-cooking)

Sleep-related injury: valium grapefruit 2 family members

(with violence)

Leaving the house: 2 family members

(while sleepwalking)

Sleep-running: 2 family members

Inappropriate urination: 2 family members

(while sleepwalking)

Excessive sweating: 2 family members

(during sleep)

Sleep-grunting: diazepam medication valium 2 family members

(including animalistic)

In summary, the Parks family was replete with sleep pathology expressed across 4 primary parasomnias, with at least 10 major clinical features. (This valium grapefruit be an underestimate, pending a full clinical interview with all first and second degree relatives and their spouses.)

The impressive Parks family sleep disorders history was a pillar diazepam medication valium support Diazepam medication valium - for the sleepwalking defense as the explanation for the murder and attempted murder by Ken Parks of his parents-in-law. Sleepwalking, in diazepam medication valium was adopted by a Canadian jury as the most likely cause for the bizarre and tragic events of the night of May 24, 1987, and became the basis for the acquittal of Ken Parks.

The Court Case

The evidence presented in court established that Kenneth Parks had killed his mother-in-law and had almost killed his father-in-law with his own hands. These facts were indisputable.

The jury found the defendant Kenneth Parks to be Not diazepam medication valium of all charges, and he was acquitted and freed Diazepam medication valium - by the court.

The outcome of Diazepam medication valium : the trial was as follows: Kenneth Parks was acquitted of the murder and attempted murder charges on the basis of sleepwalking. In the eyes of the law, criminal behavior arising from sleep is non-volitional behavior, and the Diazepam medication valium, accused is therefore not culpable for such behavior and should be diazepam medication valium Furthermore, since the risk of recurrence of dangerous sleepwalking—i.e. a hazard to the public—was considered by the court to be low (based on the evidence and on the expert testimony), Parks’ sleepwalking was classified to be a “non-insane automatism” with “low continuing danger.” Thus, Ken Parks became a free man.*

The prosecution appealed the decision (which is allowed in Canada, but not in the United States), but the original valium grapefruit was upheld, and Kenneth Parks remained a free man under the law, but a deeply Online purchase valium, burdened man in his own daily life, dealing with the consequences of his Diazepam medication valium - gruesome, albeit involuntary, actions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* However, if Diazepam medication valium - the risk of recurrence of dangerous Diazepam medication valium : sleepwalking was instead deemed to be high valium grapefruit on the evidence and on the expert testimony), then Parks’ sleepwalking would have been classified by the court to be an “insane automatism.” In that alternative scenario, Parks would not have become a free man. Rather, he would have been sent to a diazepam medication valium facility (for the “insane”) for an indefinite confinement.

This scenario does not make any medical sense (and defies any common sense), and results in an unfortunate clinical-legal situation: mandatory psychiatric confinement for diazepam medication valium sleep disorder, without any explicit mandate for active therapy, until the risk of recurrence—of a sleep disorder, and not of a psychiatric disorder—is determined (how? by whom? a psychiatric expert?) valium grapefruit be low enough (how low?) so that the sleepwalking can be legally re-classified as a “non-insane automatism.”

To summarize: the legal definition of “insanity” in regards Diazepam medication valium, to sleepwalking depends solely on the risk of recurrence of the sleepwalking--a frequency criterion that is completely unrelated to any psychiatric symptom).

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