The First Sin of Ross Michael Carlson: A Psychiatrist's Personal Account

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Ross Michael Carlson spent months preparing for an evening drive in the family car. To this day questions remain about whether he was in his right mind that night--the night he forced his parents out of the car, ordered them to lie facedown on the side of the road, lowered a .38 Special just two feet from their heads, and pulled the trigger: "bang, bang," as he would later describe it. The case against Carlson would prove to be the longest and most controversial in Colorado history--despite the fact that the ...
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Overview

Ross Michael Carlson spent months preparing for an evening drive in the family car. To this day questions remain about whether he was in his right mind that night--the night he forced his parents out of the car, ordered them to lie facedown on the side of the road, lowered a .38 Special just two feet from their heads, and pulled the trigger: "bang, bang," as he would later describe it. The case against Carlson would prove to be the longest and most controversial in Colorado history--despite the fact that the evidence was irrefutable. There was no question that Carlson pulled the trigger. The question became, which Ross Michael Carlson? Carlson was diagnosed as suffering from multiple personality disorder--and was defended on that basis. Carlson, it was argued, was not even present at the scene of the crime. Only one of the seven personalities inhabiting his body--Black; the protector--was there, and pulled the trigger. How could Carlson be held responsible for a crime that was committed by a separate personality? But then other evidence began to surface, and other theories. Is it possible that Carlson was faking MPD? Did he study the symptoms in advance, in order to give himself an insanity defense in case he was caught? Based on his personal involvement with the case and his own sessions with Carlson as well as his wealth of experience in psychiatry, Dr. Michael Weissberg discovers not only the truth behind Carlson's MPD, but digs deeper to uncover the startling, tragic causes of what drove this bright, handsome boy-next-door to commit the ultimate act of rebellion. The First Sin of Ross Michael Carlson is a book of profound courtroom drama and searing psychological intensity. Dr. Weissberg's insight into the psyche of the killer--and the family he felt compelled to destroy--is enlightening, disturbing, and always compelling.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Denver resident Carlson, 19, fatally shot his schoolteacher parents in 1983; he displayed no regret or remorse for his action. The defense argued that he had multiple personalities, which Weissberg, head of the psychiatry department at Colorado State Hospital, asserts was the trendy mental disorder of the day. Carlson--intelligent, handsome, articulate, a talented actor--convinced several lawyers and psychiatrists that he suffered from MPD; Weissberg was a witness for the prosecution. After Carlson was institutionalized for five years, experts determined that he was competent to stand trial for murder. Before the trial could begin, however, he died of leukemia. Weissberg offers an interesting analysis of the possible motives for the crime, a theory that he cautions is ``informed speculation'' but which is convincing nonetheless. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385305365
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/1992
  • Pages: 304

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