‘Satan made me’: NSW nursing home murderer, The rescue of Amanda Berry, suspected ritual murder, wants Family Court investigated by Royal Commission, DAUBERT FRYE CRITIQUE #1: LOST IN THE MALL, BY LOFTUS, ET. AL., Paedo probe at Catholic schools
May 27, 2013 Comments Off on ‘Satan made me’: NSW nursing home murderer, The rescue of Amanda Berry, suspected ritual murder, wants Family Court investigated by Royal Commission, DAUBERT FRYE CRITIQUE #1: LOST IN THE MALL, BY LOFTUS, ET. AL., Paedo probe at Catholic schools
– ‘Satan made me’: NSW nursing home murderer
– The rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight: 30 minutes that ended a decade of nightmares
– Fear grips residents of Ahanta West over suspected ritual murder
– Child protection advocate Hetty Johnstone wants Family Court investigated by Royal Commission
– NEW ENGLAND LAW|BOSTON, JD/PHD PROJECT
DAUBERT FRYE CRITIQUE #1: LOST IN THE MALL, BY LOFTUS, ET. AL. By: Wendy Murphy, JD…
– Paedo probe at Catholic schools: 20 priests and teachers to be quizzed by detectives
‘Satan made me’: NSW nursing home murderer May 27, 2013
A registered nurse has become the worst mass murderer in New South Wales history, pleading guilty today to killing 11 elderly residents. Their nurse, Roger Dean….
On the first day of his Supreme Court trial on Monday, Dean, 37, pleaded guilty to the murders of 11 elderly residents who died as a result of the fires he lit at the home on November 18, 2011.
He also admitted to causing grievous bodily harm to a further eight residents who were injured in the blaze, described by paramedics and firefighters as one of the worst scenes they had ever come across.
According to crown documents, the registered nurse had stolen more than 200 pills from the nursing home the night before and police officers were called to the home during his November 18 night shift to investigate the theft….
He was arrested and charged later that evening, telling police, “It was Satan telling him to do it”.
As Dean stood up in court and softly said “guilty” to the 11 counts of murder, his victims’ families wept and one woman left court sobbing loudly….
The rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight: 30 minutes that ended a decade of nightmares (video, slideshow)
by Henry J. Gomez, Plain Dealer Politics Writer May 13, 2013
In these tense and emotional minutes of Monday, May 6 is the story of how bravery and swift action ended a decade-long nightmare. The heroes are the neighbors, the police officers and the women. Berry especially. Tonight, after 10 years, two weeks and one day of cruel incarceration inside Ariel Castro’s Seymour Avenue home, she summons her courage….
Castro had jumped into his blue sports car, leaving behind the women as he always does. Sometimes he takes the child — the 6-year-old girl who calls him Daddy. But not this evening.
Inside the house, Berry stares at the front door. Castro has left it unlocked. Is he testing her? He does that sometimes. She thinks about it some more. Will she have another opportunity? She moves toward the door, pulls it open. Another door. A storm door. Chained or bolted so it can’t open wide enough for her to escape.
Berry sees people outside on a neighbor’s porch. She cries out and reaches through the crack. “Help get me out of here!”….
Fear grips residents of Ahanta West over suspected ritual murder
Regional News of Monday, 27 May 2013 Source: GNA
Fear has gripped residents of Ahanta West District in the Western Region over suspected ritual murders of four innocent citizens in the area.
The victims were gruesomely murdered with parts of their body removed, and their corpses badly mutilated in what looks like a ritual murder.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Mr. Joseph Dofoyenah, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the strange deaths had occurred within a period of three months.
Child protection advocate Hetty Johnstone wants Family Court investigated by Royal Commission
by: Michael Madigan From: The Courier-Mail May 27, 2013
A FATHER winning custody of a daughter despite evidence he had sexually abused the toddler was just one of the cases warranting the Family Court’s inclusion in the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, an advocacy group says.
Child sexual assault victims will suffer on in silence unless the Family Law Court is investigated by the Royal Commission, according to child protection advocate Hetty Johnston.
The founder and executive director of Bravehearts says the inquiry contains a glaring omission in its terms of reference.
The Family Law Court often hears disturbing allegations of sexual abuse.
“Every week in Australia the family courts are ordering children into contact with, and even into the custody of parents who are dangerous, toxic and abusive because Family Courts do not have the powers, expertise and resources to competently investigate allegations of child abuse,” Ms Johnston said….
NEW ENGLAND LAW|BOSTON, JD/PHD PROJECT
DAUBERT FRYE CRITIQUE #1: LOST IN THE MALL, BY LOFTUS, ET. AL. By: Wendy Murphy, JD; Megan Mitchell, JD (expected 2013); Alexa Sardina, PhD (expected 2014)
Study Name and citation:
Loftus, E. & Pickrell, J. E. (1995). The Formation of False Memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25(12), 720-725.
(Commonly known as the “Lost in the Mall” study).
Theory Advanced by the Study:
False childhood memories can be implanted into adults by repeatedly stating the false memory as true.
Conclusion: The study’s theory and methodology are not reliable under either Frye or Daubert standards.
Overarching Observation: Irrespective of scientific reliability, no study should be admitted as evidence in a court of law, whether directly or via the testimony of an expert relying on that study, unless it is relevant to an issue legitimately in dispute in a particular legal controversy.
Relevancy standards applicable to scientific and “specialized” testimony and evidence refer to this as the “fitness” factor, which means the proposed evidence “fits” the facts because it will help to elucidate the truth on a disputed issue. For example, any attempt to use the Lost in the Mall study to prove or disprove that a person is telling the truth about sexual abuse should be unsuccessful simply because memories about getting lost in a mall have nothing to do with memories of being sexually or physically violated.
Put another way, the capacity to make a person falsely believe they were once lost in a mall does not “fit” and bears no relevance in a dispute over whether a person can be made to falsely believe they were sexually abused as a child. This argument should be made first, before addressing more complicated scientific arguments about how the “Lost in the Mall” study was designed a nd conducted. It should be made clear to the judge that if a particular study, or proposed expert testimony relying on that study, is not relevant because it does not “fit” with the facts in dispute, there is no need to undertake a burdensome analysis of whether scientific standards were satisfied during the research process. Simply put, if it isn’t relevant, it doesn’t matter that a study is
Paedo probe at Catholic schools: 20 priests and teachers to be quizzed by detectives 25 May 2013
School where sitcom Bad Education is filmed is at centre of inquiry as Met police launch investigation after claims of sex abuse dating back to 1950s
Detectives are investigating allegations of widespread child sex abuse at schools run by a Catholic order in Britain, the Sunday People reveals today.
The Metropolitan Police paedophile unit will quiz around 20 priests and teachers over claims of abuse dating back to the 1950s.
Thirty former pupils from schools run by the Salesians of Don Bosco order have come forward with allegations, an investigation by Exaro, the news website, with the Sunday People found. The probe – launched in strict secrecy two months ago – will go beyond the Salesians to examine historical reports of sexual abuse at other Roman Catholic schools….. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paedo-probe-catholic-schools-20-1911825
Hall: victims say abused at BBC, Ritual killing accused found hanged, How Commune Became Cult Movie, Lost in the Mall Critique, Women forced into sex 25 times a day
May 4, 2013 Comments Off on Hall: victims say abused at BBC, Ritual killing accused found hanged, How Commune Became Cult Movie, Lost in the Mall Critique, Women forced into sex 25 times a day
– Stuart Hall: victims say they were abused at BBC
– Ritual killing accused found hanged
– Chile ‘Devil Baby’ Murder: Cult Leader Who Sacrificed Three-Day-Old Child Found Dead in Peru
– Movie Review How Commune Became Cult
– DAUBERT FRYE CRITIQUE #1: LOST IN THE MALL, BY LOFTUS, ET. AL.
– U.S.: Women forced into sex 25 times a day
Stuart Hall: victims say they were abused at BBC
Steven Swinford – 03 May 2013
Two of his victims have come forward to say they were sexually abused by Hall in the 1960s and 1970s after he was hired for their school prizegivings.
Hall invited both girls to the BBC’s Manchester headquarters after promising that he would help them with their careers. One victim said Hall plied her with “plenty of champagne” before raping her in his dressing room.
Another said Hall sexually assaulted her in his car after inviting her to a “mocked up” studio session at the corporation’s Manchester studios.
Both said Hall was helped by his friends, amid growing concerns that other staff at BBC may have turned a blind eye to the abuse.
Angie Bray, a Conservative member of the culture, media and sport select committee, said: “They have to look at this all over again. Depressingly, we see a pattern developing. Jimmy Savile is not just a one-off.”
The investigation into Hall’s activities began after one of his victims wrote an anonymous letter to a columnist at The Independent newspaper.
She said that she had been groomed and sexually abused by Hall after meeting him at her school prize-giving in the 1970s, when he was a presenter on Look North, a local BBC news programme.
Hall told her headmaster he was “impressed” and thought she could have a “future in television journalism”, inviting her back to the BBC’s studios.
She said:”I was young for my years and easy meat for a man like him,” the woman wrote. To have a man of my father’s age take a benevolent interest in me seemed wonderful.
“Sadly the world is too full of girls (and boys) who are looking for love, and find out too late that they have found sex with a predator instead.”….
Ritual killing accused found hanged 02 May 2013
The body of a Chilean man accused in the ritual killing of a three-day-old boy has been found hanged in an abandoned house in Peru.
Ramon Castillo, 36, was found hanging from a beam on the second floor of the house in the highlands city of Cuzco.
He was wearing jeans, a gray jacket, a cap, shoes and a backpack, General Javier Avalos, the regional police chief, said.
He said the body was identified through fingerprints that Chile sent via Interpol. He said it was too early to say whether Castillo’s death was suicide….
Chile ‘Devil Baby’ Murder: Cult Leader Who Sacrificed Three-Day-Old Child Found Dead in Peru By Drishya Nair May 3, 2013
A Chilean man accused of “sacrificing” a three-day-old baby girl has been found hanged in an abandoned house in Peru.
Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, is believed to have been the leader of a 12-member cult that declared the baby girl the anti-Christ and killed her by burning her alive.
The incident took place on 23 November, in the town of Colliguay. Gaete has been on the run since February.
Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete was found dead in the second floor of an abandoned house in Peru….
How Commune Became Cult
‘The Source Family,’ a Documentary on Father Yod
Jim Baker, also known as Father Yod, center, used his Hollywood health food restaurant to recruit members for what became the Source Family.
By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS April 30, 2013
For anyone looking to teach a master class in brainwashing techniques, “The Source Family” might be an excellent place to start. Documenting the hippy-dippy lifestyle and hedonistic principles of Hollywood’s favorite 1970s cult — led by the self-professed guru and suspected bank robber Jim Baker, a k a Father Yod — Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille’s disturbing film is an object lesson in psychological manipulation.
Working a powerful combo of personal magnetism and easy-to-digest philosophies — what young person doesn’t want to hear that marijuana-enhanced sex is the purest route to enlightenment? — Mr. Baker became the “superrich father” to a band of gorgeous devotees (not a few of them underage girls)….
NEW ENGLAND LAW|BOSTON, JD/PHD PROJECT
DAUBERT FRYE CRITIQUE #1: LOST IN THE MALL, BY LOFTUS, ET. AL.
By: Wendy Murphy, JD; Megan Mitchell, JD (expected 2013); Alexa Sardina, PhD
Study Name and citation : Loftus, E. & Pickrell, J. E. (1995). The Formation of False Memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25(12), 720-725.
(Commonly known as the “Lost in the Mall” study).
Theory Advanced by the Study: False childhood memories can be implanted into adults by repeatedly stating the false memory as true.
Conclusion: The study’s theory and methodology are not reliable under either Frye or Daubert standards.
….For example, any attempt to use the Lost in the Mall study to prove or disprove that a person is telling the truth about sexual abuse should be unsuccessful simply because memories about getting lost in a mall have nothing to do with memories of being sexually or physically violated. Put another way, the capacity to make a person falsely believe they were once lost in a mall does not “fit” and bears no relevance in a dispute over whether a person can be made to falsely believe they were sexually abused as a child.
U.S.: Women forced into sex 25 times a day
Associated Press Wed May 1, 2013 12:57 PM
NEW YORK — The young Mexican women were driven to rural New Jersey, where their handlers used threats to make them have sex with 25 farmworkers a day. Or they were confined to dingy brothels in the New York City area that advertised their services with “chica cards,” business cards passed out on street corners to attract customers. They were paid very little, or nothing at all.
U.S. authorities detailed their ordeal in a criminal complaint charging 13 people with smuggling dozens into the United States and forcing them into prostitution. Some of the defendants were to appear Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan to face multiple counts including sex trafficking and interstate transportation for prostitution.
The ring “lured their unsuspecting victims to the United States and then consigned them to a living hell,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
The investigation was among several aimed at “blockading the repugnant sex trafficking corridor” used to exploit victims from Tenancingo, Mexico, said James Hayes, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York….
December 11, 2008 Comments Off on Quotes: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
Wortman, C. and Loftus, E. Psychology. (1981) Alfred A. Knopf: New York, p. 203. Thus a young woman who is sexually attracted to her father may try to repress her disturbing incestuous desires. But her behavior may indicate that these feelings are not completely forgotten. The woman may pause or fumble for words when discussing certain things about her father and she may show other signs of anxiety such as sweating or blushing.
Loftus, G.R and Loftus, E.L. (1976). Human Memory – The Processing of Information. Lawrence Erlbaum Associated: New Jersey, p. 82-83.
A laboratory analogy to repression can be found in an experiment by A.F. Zeller.
Zeller arranged a situation so that one group of students underwent an unhappy “failure” experience right after they had successfully learned a list of nonsense syllables. When tested later, these subjects showed much poorer recall of the nonsense syllables compared to a control group, who had not experienced failure. When this same “failure” group was later allowed to succeed on the same task that they had earlier failed, their recall showed tremendous improvement. This experiment indicates that when the reason for the repression is removed, when material to be remembered is no longer associated with negative effects, a person no longer experiences retrieval failure.”
It’s not unusual for killers to have amnesia about event. Saturday, February 15, 1997, Section: News, Page: A3 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/archives/1997/9702160036.asp It is possible to commit a murder and then forget you did it, according to a leading memory researcher. A significant proportion of people who commit murders have some amnesia surrounding the event, particularly if it is a crime of passion, University of Washington psychologist Elizabeth Loftus said yesterday.
Loftus, E. (1979). Reactions to blatantly contradictory information. Memory & Cognition, 7(5), p. 371. In two experiments, subjects were shown a complex event and were later exposed to misinformation about that event. In addition, some subjects received a piece of blatantly contradictory misinformation. Blatant misinformation both was rejected by subjects and caused them to be more resistant to other misinformation . . . Second, when an attempt is made to mislead a person about a detail that is patently false the person becomes more resistant to suggestions of any kind….”
Deposition Upon Oral Examination of Elizabeth Loftus, PhD., Seignious v. Fair et al., January 22, 1998, In the Superior Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia #E-56169 p. 125
Q. Have you ever contemplated actually doing a study somewhere along the lines I was just talking about where you have no crime scene at all and then you try to convince someone there was a crime scene or crime event?
A. [Loftus] No I haven’t thought about that but that’s kind of an interesting idea.
Loftus, E. (1993, January 18). Deposition upon oral examination of Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. Carol C. Smith, vs. Richard Alton Smith, Case No. 67 52 64, Superior Court in the State of California in and for the County of Orange, 67-69.
Q: [Reading from M.R.’s report, page 53, line 20] “There are no reliable methods for sorting out which of these allegations may be true or false apart from observations from other witnesses who may be able to provide data either tending to support or tending to refute the validity of the allegations and the overall patterns of circumstances surrounding the incidents.” Do you have an opinion on that statement?
A: [Loftus] I believe you need corroboration to sort out true allegations from false ones. That part of it I agree with.
Q: In the case of Carol Smith, what corroboration would you require to enforce the reliability, the believability, of her memories?
A: I don’t know what it would look like, maybe photographs.
Q: Of what?
A: Abuse happening.
Q: You mean a Rod King video?
A: There are cases of sex abuse where there are photographs and videotapes.
Loftus, E. and Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the Defense. St. Martin’s Press: New York, p. 72. Most of the time, perhaps 99 percent of the time, the defendant is guilty; his screams are the final protest of a human being about to lost his most precious possession, his freedom.
Loftus, E. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. American Psychologist, 48, 518-537. http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/lof93.htm Some who question the authenticity of the memories of abuse do so in part because of the intensity and sincerity of the accused persons who deny the abuse . . . the current denials of those accused of sexual abuse are not proof that the allegations are false. Research with known rapists, pedophiles, and incest offenders has illustrated that they often exhibit a cognitive distortion –a tendency to justify, minimize, or rationalize their behavior (Gudjonsson, 1992). Because accused persons are motivated to verbally and even mentally deny an abusive past, simple denials cannot constitute cogent evidence that the victim’s memories are not authentic.
Loftus, E. (1986). Ten years in the life of an expert witness. Law and Human Behavior, 10(3), p. 242. . . . I now continue to battle against a growing horde of scalpel-wielding opponents . . .
Elizabeth Loftus. June 14, 2001. Toronto William James Fellow Acceptance Speech. American Psychological Society. Published in Skeptical Inquirer, November / December 2001 William James Award & Acceptance Speech 2001 http://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/SkepticalInquirerWmJamesSpeech01.doc
I am gagged at the moment and may not give you any details. But to me, that itself is the problem. Who, after all, benefits from my silence? Who benefits from keeping such investigations in the dark? My inquisitors. The only people who operate in the dark are thieves, assassins, and cowards.
Testimony – US v. Libby
United States of America v. I. Lewis Libby; Docket No. 05-394 (RBW); October 26, 2006; United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Motion hearing before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton; Elizabeth Loftus, witness for the Defendant, p. 65
Q And the question they’re asked is “the act of remembering a traumatic event was like a video recording in that one can recall details as if they had been imprinted or burned into one’s brain?” And 46 percent on the telephone say “Yes.” Forty-eight percent say “No.” And six percent say “Not sure.” Correct?
A [Loftus] Yes.
Q So a juror doesn’t necessarily think that memory is like a video recorder. . . .
A Well, that’s just one example of . . .
Q And isn’t it a fact that if you look down here in this same question
question number 11F the responses would actually show that jurors don’t understand memory to be so pristine in a video recording form? Eighty percent . . . clearly understood it is not like a tape recorder to the extent that it can’t be wrong. Eighty percent recognized it could be wrong correct? (p. 65)
A On item 11F, yes.
Q Within the same question. Yes.
No Memory Expert for Libby Trial
By Joel Seidman
NBC News Thursday 02 November 2006
But after nearly three-hours of methodical cross-examination by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, Dr. Loftus found it difficult at times even to explain her own writings. Fitzgerald had her backing away from her earlier assertions on memory. And the Special Counsel got Loftus to acknowledge – after citing several of her publications and methodology – that some of her own research was not that scientific, and that her conclusions about memory were conflicting. Fitzgerald – who read all of Loftus’s books and research himself to prepare for the hearing – found a line in one of her books that raised doubts about her research. Loftus responded, saying. “I don’t know how I let that line slip by.”
Brewer, S. (2000, April 1) Expert rips police ID methods – Defense witness admits first descriptions matched Goldberg. Houston Chronicle, p. 33.
Loftus conceded under cross examination that she’s normally paid about $400 an hour and that in this case she has relied solely on information provided by [defense attorney Dick] DeGuerin …And in some her writings, which Loftus had trouble recalling on the stand, she also frequently portrays herself as a champion of defendants wronged by bad eyewitness testimony, another factor [prosecutor Kelly] Siegler used to question the expert’s motives. In the most dramatic moment, Siegler got Loftus to acknowledge that Goldberg [the murder defendant] did, in fact, match the first basic descriptions given to police by Beckman [witness] and Ingrando’s [one of those who survived the assault] husband, Roland.
Before Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba, Presiding in the Hague Trial Chamber. (1998, December 10). Prosecutor v. Anto Furundzija. Online at: http://www.un.org/icty/furundzija/trialc2/judgement/fur-tj981210e.htm Loftus testified for Anto Furundzija – was charged with orchestrating multiple rapes of a woman to obtain information. The judge ruled: “The evidence of expert witness Dr. Loftus, who did not examine any of the witnesses, but testified in these proceedings, was submitted to demonstrate the weakness of memory, in particular where shock is involved . . . The Trial Chamber is of the view that survivors of such traumatic experiences cannot reasonably be expected to recall the precise minutiae of events, such as exact dates or times. Neither can they reasonably be expected to recall every single element of a complicated and traumatic sequence of events. In fact, inconsistencies may, in certain circumstances, indicate truthfulness and the absence of interference with witnesses. The Trial Chamber therefore attaches no particular significance to the inconsistencies in the order in which Witnesses A and D say they entered the pantry.”
Intermural eyewitness suggestion
Inquiry Regarding Thomas Sophonow, click on “Problems Noted by Dr. Loftus,” at http://angel-diaz-florida.blogspot.com/2006/12/inquiry-regarding-thomas-sophonow.html (December 2, 2006). For example, [Loftus] testified that when, as here, there are multiple witnesses who participated in the preparation of a composite drawing, those witnesses have an opportunity to influence one another. They often inadvertently supply each other with erroneous information. This is true even if they are not together in the room when the composite is being prepared. This, she noted, created problems with the identification made by Mrs. Janower. (Inquiry, Vol. 51, pages 8947-8949).
State of Missouri v. Ryan William Ferguson, Case No. 04CR165368-01, In the Circuit Court of Boone County, Missouri, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, DivisionIII, Honorable Ellen S. Roper, Judge, Cross examination of Elizabeth Loftus by prosecuting attorney Crane, p. 2031
Q Are we in agreement that there was no suggestion by anyone or anything to Mr. Erickson that he or Mr. Ferguson committed this crime? Are we in agreement on that?
A [Loftus] The only suggestion was in the mind of Mr. Erickson.
Q That’s not a suggestion
A Yes, it –it can be auto suggestion.
Q Suggesting it to himself”
A Exactly. It’s called auto suggestion.
Q Well, how about this then. There was no external suggestion.
A None that I saw. Correct.
Cross-examined on Inconsistency between findings and conclusion in Loftus and Burns (1982)
Deposition of Elizabeth F. Loftus, December 21, 2006 and January 4, 2007, Paul Liano v. The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Phoenix, an Arizona corporation’ Thomas O’Brien, Former Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix; Father Michael O’[Grady, Father Patrick Colleary, John Does 1-10 In the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for 6the County of Maricopa, p. 180
Q. But is it possible that by referring to the football jersey number as a key event and the conclusions of the paper that this might end up giving a distorted impress or bias to the conclusions of the study?
A [Loftus] Well, the data are all presented there and they speak for themselves, so if people wanted to have a different conclusion, they can try to do that.
Cross-examined on Inconsistency in Loftus, Miller and Burns (1978)
Deposition of Elizabeth F. Loftus, December 21, 2006 and January 4, 2007, Paul Liano v. The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Phoenix, an Arizona corporation’ Thomas O’Brien, Former Biship of the Diocese of Phoenix; Father Michael O’[Grady, Father Patrick Colleary, John Does 1-10 In the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for 6the County of Maricopa, P. 180
Q Didn’t they conclude that your findings in the red Datsun study showed the rate of acceptance of misinformation in your study was exaggerated and it was in part an artifact of a research design that fails to control for response bias?
A [Loftus] Well, I don’t remember exactly what they claim, but what they did was to give people a very peculiar test and not allow them to say what they wanted to say, so they didn’t even give people an opportunity to say they saw a screwdriver.
Cross-examined on Inconsistencies in Loftus and Pickrell (1995)
Deposition of Elizabeth F. Loftus, December 21, 2006 and January 4, 2007, Paul Liano v. The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Phoenix, an Arizona corporation’ Thomas O’Brien, Former Biship of the Diocese of Phoenix; Father Michael O’[Grady, Father Patrick Colleary, John Does 1-10 In the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for 6the County of Maricopa
Q But in that [mall] study did you control for demand characteristics?
A [Loftus] I don’t remember what we did to address the demand characteristic issue.
Q Did you control for response bias?
A I don’t remember that we did that.
Q Isn’t it true that only two of the 24 subjects fully accepted the false lost in the mall suggestion?
A Well, our report was that 25 percent accepted all or part of it.
Q. Wasn’t it in fact at 29 percent rather than 25 percent accepted all or part?
A Well, I usually use the more conservative figure of saying a quarter.
A But is it more accurate, though, to say that only two accepted the false lost in the mall suggestion; in other words, fully accepted that as a memory they adopted?
A We wouldn’t have reported 25 if—I don’t know what you mean by fully, and I would have to go back and read the paper because it’s 12 years ago.
Q You would agree with me that if it were two out of the 24 and not the—I guess basically the six that you’re suggesting if it’s one-fourth that the acceptance rate should be a lot lower than your published acceptance rates?
A First of all numerous other researchers have gone on to adopt this methodology and they get much higher rates of subjects falling for the suggestion so I don’t have to defend the 25 percent rate when other people I mean are getting three percent or 50 percent false memory rate in these studies.
Feels like Schindler
Kahn, J. P. (1994, December 14). Trial by memory: Stung by daughters’ claims of abuse, a writer lashes back. Boston Globe , p. 80.
“I feel like Oskar Schindler, “ Loftus muses, referring to the German financier who rescued doomed Jews from the Nazis. ‘There is this desperate drive to work as fast as I can.”
Didn’t refer to herself as Schindler
Loftus, E. (1998, April 27). Testimony. Rodriguez et al. v. Perez et al. King County Superior Court Cause No.: 98-2-07404-3
Q. And isn’t it true that you have, uh, identified yourself, uh, as somewhat of a crusader for what we refer to as the falsely accused?
A. Uh, I do care an awful lot about the falsely accused, yes.
Q. And haven’t you made public statements and referred to yourself as the Oscar Schindler of [the] falsely accused?
A. That, that is absolutely false. It’s been taken out context and distorted.
Q. So you don’t, you don’t regard yourself in that light, is that correct?
A. Well, if you’d like the truth of exactly what I said, I’d be happy to provide that.
Q. I’ll let Mr. Beecher delve into that.
On Ted Bundy – Loftus testified as a defense expert for Bundy in 1976, Bundy was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping
Loftus, E. and Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the Defense. St. Martin’s Press: New York. The thought had occurred to me as I was flying to Salt Lake City earlier that day that Ted Bundy might offer to let me stay in his apartment” (p. 74).
Loftus, E. and Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the Defense. St. Martin’s Press: New York. In court the next morning I sat at a table in the judge’s chambers. On the other side of the table, close enough for me to reach across and touch him, sat Ted Bundy. He’s adorable, I thought, surprised at my first impression, because I’d pictured him in my mind as brooding, dark, intense disdain (p. 83).
November 15, 2008 § Leave a comment
A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus
Lynn Crook, M.Ed.
The lost- in- a-shopping-mall study (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995) provided initial scientific support for the claim that child sexual abuse accusations are false memories planted by therapists. However, the mall study researchers faced a problem early on—the participants could tell the difference between the true and false memories.
1989 – Washington State became the first to allow adults who recovered long-buried memories of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits to recover damages.
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a psychology professor at the University of Washington who testified as an expert on eyewitness testimony, described the challenge these lawsuits presented for psychologists. “The challenge,” she said, was to show that “an entirely false, traumatic memory” could be planted in someone’s mind. (See: http://www.fathom.com/feature/60814/ )
1992 – James Coan, a student of Loftus’, was assigned as chief co-investigator for the mall study. The subjects’ family members were asked to provide Coan with three true childhood stories about the subjects, and to describe a typical family shopping trip. Based on the shopping trip descriptions, a false story was created for each subject about getting lost as a child during a shopping trip. (See: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/loftus.mem.html )
The subjects were informed that their family members said the events “had happened.” (See: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/IssuesInScienceTechnology02%20vol%2018.pdf ) The participants were asked to repeat the stories and to try to remember more details. Finally, the subjects were told one of the memories was false, and asked to choose the false memory (Loftus and Pickrell, p. 722).
1993 – The first indication the study might not live up to the challenge became public in 1993. Coan reported in his honors thesis that six subjects had completed the study, and “all subjects were able to correctly identify the false memory.” (Coan, 1993, p. 16.) Coan was assigned to another professor, and Loftus appointed Jacqueline Pickrell, Maryanne Garry and Chuck Manning to conduct the study. In a January 24, 1994, deposition for Crook v. Murphy, attorney Barbara Jo Levy asked Loftus, “If you are asked to testify about your experiments of implanting false memories, would you use those first six?” Loftus replied, “No, I don’t think I will use the first six” (Transcript, p. 61).
1994 – The mall study was completed in 1994. Loftus reported the results at a conference: “About 10 percent of adults [2 of the 24 subjects] will come up with a specific elaborated memory.” (See: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F07E6DD133BF932A05756C0A962958260) Loftus also reported the 2-subject finding in a status report to the University of Washington Human Subjects Committee dated June 1, 1994: “24 subjects have been run. About “8-9%  have formed false positive memories.”
NOTE: The 2-subject finding may not be accurate. The two subjects are mentioned on page 723 of the mall study. The first subject is described as “convinced.” However, according to Loftus, Feldman and Dashiell (1995), this subject recounted to the researchers what appears to be an actual experience of getting lost at K-Mart, and then went on to correct the false memory she was told. (See: http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1065&Itemid=17) Although Loftus et al.(1995) say the subject “embraced much of the information, and expanded upon it,” this does not appear to be the case. The second subject is described as “misled.” Yet when she was asked to choose the false memory, she chose the mall memory (Loftus and Pickrell, p. 723). Thus, it appears that no false memories were planted in the mall study. (Crook, 2008, United Nations Conference).
1995 – In June, evidence of possible research misconduct in an earlier study was reported in a journal of the American Psychological Association. Koss, Tromp and Tharan (1995, p. 120) demonstrated that the data in Loftus and Burns (1982, p. 320) did not support the authors’ claim that “those who saw the mentally shocking version showed poorer retention of the details of the films” (Loftus and Burns, p. 318). Instead, the data indicated poorer retention for one unimportant detail. (See:
In December, two women filed ethics complaints against Loftus with the American Psychological Association claiming she had misrepresented their successful recalled memory lawsuits to the media. (See: www.astraeasweb.net/politics/loftus.html )
In December, the mall study was published. The 2-subject findings reported in 1994 became five subjects in the published study. Loftus and Pickrell (1995, p. 723) reported: “Of the 24 total, 19 subjects correctly chose the getting-lost memory as the false one, while the remaining five incorrectly thought that one of the true events was the false one.” The authors concluded, “These findings reveal that people can be led to believe that entire events happened to them after suggestions to that effect” (Loftus and Pickrell, p. 723). (See: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/IssuesInScienceTechnology02%20vol%2018.pdf ) Loftus reports the 5-subject finding in her expert witness testimony.
1996 – In 1996, Loftus began criticizing the character, rather than the ideas, of those who questioned her ideas.
In January, Loftus resigned from the American Psychological Association. As a result, the Association did not investigate the two ethics complaints.
In April, Barbara Jo Levy and others (unnamed by the News) said in their response to Loftus’ article in the Washington State Bar News: “These studies [we cited] demonstrate time and time again that a personally experienced traumatic event may result in partial or total memory less of the traumatic event. Loftus herself was victim to such a traumatic memory loss, as she describes it on page 149 of her book, Witness for the Defense.” Loftus replied to Levy and the others: “The lack of common decency shown by Levy et al. in raising the subject of my own experience at age 6 of sexual abuse by a baby-sitter is beyond measure. Why Levy chose to mislead readers by distorting the description of my experience would only be speculation” (Loftus, 1996).
In June, at a NATO conference, Loftus told a colleague to stop defending one of the women who filed an ethics complaint against her. (See: http://www.rememberingdangerously.com/)
In July, testifying as an expert in Turner v. Honker, Loftus commented on Charles Whitfield (“he makes stuff up,” p. 84), Karen Olio (she’s a therapist who has been harassing me for years,” p. 142) and Bessel van der Kolk (“acted nice to me and then said some, unfair and nasty things…he misbehaved,” p. 153). (Transcript)
Loftus commented on the ethics of Ken Pope in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. A year later, the journal published a correction and an apology for Loftus’ “false statement disparaging Dr. Pope’s ethics.” (Correction notice and apology, 1997)
1997 – The raw data from the mall study were subpoenaed by the defense in Burgus v. Braun et al. Loftus obtained a gag order for data. The case settled on October 31, 1997, and the data were returned to Loftus.
Pezdek, Finger, Hodge (1997) planted false memories of getting lost in a mall in three subjects, and failed to convince subjects they had an enema as a child. This study is often cited as a replication of the mall study, even though the participants were interviewed by family members, not researchers. The findings provide evidence to suggest that a family member may be able to plant a false memory of child sexual abuse in another family member if the incident is perceived as only mildly frightening, and the incident is combined with a familiar event (such as a typical family shopping trip).
In May, David Corwin and Erna Olafson published a case study of a videotaped, spontaneously-recovered memory of child sexual abuse (Corwin and Olafson, 1997). The videotape provided evidence to suggest that a repressed memory of childhood abuse could be recalled. (See http://data.memberclicks.com/site/apsac/jane_doe.pdf). Loftus hired Shapiro Investigations to assist in the investigation, and travelled to California to interview Doe’s family members, allegedly introducing herself as the supervisor of David Corwin whom Jane Doe knew and trusted. In 1999, Jane Doe filed an ethics complaint against Loftus with the University of Washington. In July 2001, the University completed a 20-month investigation during which Loftus was not allowed to discuss the case. The University required Loftus to complete an ethics course and to restrict her relationship with Jane Doe’s mother. In June 2002, Loftus was hired by the University of California at Irvine as a Distinguished Professor. In 2002, Loftus and Melvin Guyer published “Who Abused Jane Doe?” in the Skeptical Inquirer. (See: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/JaneDoe.htm) In February 2003, Nicole Taus (Jane Doe) filed a lawsuit against Elizabeth Loftus, Melvin Guyer, Carol Tavris, Shapiro Investigations, Skeptical Inquirer, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and the University of Washington charging invasion of privacy, defamation libel per se, and slander per se, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and damages. In February 2007, the California Supreme Court dismissed all but the invasion of privacy charge. (See:
In August 2007, ten years after Corwin and Olafson’s article was published, Loftus accepted Taus’ settlement offer. Taus was 29-years-old at the time. While numerous publications have reported Loftus’ viewpoint of the lawsuit, no publication has reported Navy Lieutenant Taus’ view of her experience. .
1998 – In an article for American Psychologist, Loftus commented on the work of Laura Brown: “The extent to which my ideas were repeatedly and grossly misrepresented makes it difficult to conclude that some accident or misunderstanding occurred” (Loftus, 1998). Brown responded, “Readers who carefully check the original published sources will find that in my article I quoted Loftus accurately and in context.” (Brown, 1998).
1999 – Crook and Dean (1999) provided evidence to suggest that Loftus had misrepresented the published mall study findings as six subjects, not five, in expert witness testimony. (See: http://users.owt.com/crook/memory/ )
In her response, Loftus (1999, p. 51) questioned the competence of Crook and Dean and the journal’s peer review process. (See: www.questia.com/PM.qst?a+o&d=95748824)
2001 – In June, during an award acceptance speech at an American Psychological Society conference, Loftus described the University of Washington’s ethics investigators:
I am gagged at the moment and may not give you any details. But to me, that itself is the problem. Who, after all, benefits from my silence? Who benefits from keeping such investigations in the dark? My inquisitors. The only people who operate in the dark are thieves, assassins, and cowards. (See: http://www.fmsfonline.org/fmsf01.702.html )
2002 – In a September newspaper interview, Loftus claimed that people like Neil Brick are a “menace to society.” (See http://www.rickross.com/reference/satanism/satanism86.html)
A reply to the above newspaper article is at http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/survivor-letters-to-the-hartford-advocate/
2003 – The American Psychological Association released Psychologists Defying the Crowd in which Loftus (2003, p. 109) commented on Judith Herman, Diana Russell, Lenore Walker and Mary Harvey who had critiqued her work. She stated, “It was quite another thing when the attacks came from individuals who were supposed to be respectable professionals” (p. 109). (See:
In April, a reporter for the UC Irvine student newspaper stated, incorrectly, “Loftus also said that Crook has been harassing her for the past several years and has even gone to such extreme measures such as to registering herself under a false name in one of Loftus’ classes to monitor her.” (See: http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/loftus-lawsuit.htm)
In August, the American Psychological Association named Loftus for its Distinguished Scientific Contribution for the Applications of Psychology Award.
2005 – In June, Loftus was asked to submit a Clarification for a statement she made in an interview for the APS Observer. She wrote, “So ‘Making Memories’ got things mostly right, but ended up giving the impression that Alan developed a rich false memory, when in fact he did not.” (See:
In October, testifying as a defense expert in the murder trial of Missouri v. Ferguson, Loftus described how the false memories were created for the mall study: “The relatives feed the information to us, then we do the suggestive interviewing” (Transcript, p. 2021).
2006 – In October, United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald cross-examined Loftus in US v. Libby (Transcript, p. 65-66). He asked her about two apparent inconsistencies in Schmechel, O’Toole, Easterly, and Loftus (2006). In this study, Schmechel et al. claimed their survey results “demonstrate that jurors misunderstand how memory generally works” (p. 177). However, the survey results reported in the appendix of the article (pp. 206-214) demonstrate that jurors understand how memory generally works (See: https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/Schmechel%20Loftus%20Jurimetrics%202006.pdf?uniq=-z3cwuf)
2007 – In a January 4 deposition for Liano v. Diocese of Phoenix, attorney Richard Treon asked Loftus about the inconsistency between the subjects’ responses in Loftus and Burns (p. 320) and the authors’ conclusion that “those who saw the mentally shocking version showed poorer retention of the details of the films” (p. 318). Loftus replied, “Well the data are all presented there and they speak for themselves, so if people wanted to have a different conclusion, they can try to do that” (Transcript, p. 180).
Loftus was also asked if it is more accurate to say that only two participants fully accepted the false lost in a mall memory. She replied, “We wouldn’t have reported 25 if—I don’t know what you mean by fully, and I would have to go back and read the paper because it’s 12 years ago.” After a similar question, she replied, “First of all, numerous other researchers have gone on to adopt this methodology and they get much higher rates of subjects falling for the suggestion, so I don’t have to defend the 25 percent rate when other people, I mean, are getting three percent or 50 percent false memory rate in these studies” (Transcript, p. 212).
Summary: Given that (1) the mall study researchers collaborated with participants’ relatives to create a false memory, (2) the researchers told participants that their relative corroborated the false memory, (3) no replication of the mall study has been published, (4) the 5-subject finding did not hold up under examination in Liano v. Diocese of Phoenix and (5) the 2-subject finding appears doubtful—the mall study (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995) appears to indicate that planting a false memory of a child sexual abuse may be much more difficult than has been previously suggested.
The apparent inconsistencies in Loftus and Burns (1982), Loftus and Pickrell (1995) and Schmechel, O’Toole, Easterly and Loftus (2006) suggest that journal editors may need to assume a larger role in creating and enforcing policies that encourage ethical publication practices.
The character-disparaging comments that have appeared in media reports and scientific journals suggest that reporters and journal editors may need to assume a larger role in presenting such comments as one side of a two-sided debate.
Brown, L. S. (1998). Sacred space, not sacred cows, or it’s never fun being prophetic. American Psychologist, 53, 488-490.
Coan, J. (1993, August 18). “Creating False Memories.” Senior Paper, Psychology Honors Program, p. 16.
Correction notice and apology. (1997, Fall). Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 4(3).
Corwin, D., and Olafson, E. (1997). Videotaped discovery of a reportedly unrecallable memory of child sexual abuse: Comparison with a childhood interview videotaped 11 years before.” Child Maltreatment 2(2), 91-112. Online at:
Crook, L. (2008, March 4). “The Community Costs of Child Molesters.” Presentation at the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women, New York
Lost in a shopping mall—A breach of professional ethics. Ethics & Behavior, 9(1), 39-50, and Crook, L.S., & Dean, M. (1999); Logical fallacies and ethical breaches, 9(1), 61-68. Online at: http://users.owt.com/cr; ok/memory/
Koss, M. Tromp, S. and Tharan, M. (1995, June). Traumatic memories: Empirical foundations, forensic and clinical implications. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 2(2), 111-132.
Loftus, E. (1996). Repressed Memory Litigation: Court cases and scientific findings on illusory memory, Washington State Bar News, 50, 15-25. (Letter in the following issue.)
Loftus, E. (1998). The private practice of misleading deflection. American Psychologist, 53, 484-485.
Loftus, E. (1999). Lost in the mall: Misrepresentations and misunderstandings. Ethics & Behavior, 9(1), 51-60.
Online at: www.questia.com/PM.qst?a+o&d=95748824
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Loftus, E. (2003). The Dangers of Memory. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Psychologists Defying the Crowd, Washington D.C. American Psychological Association Press, p. 109. Online at:
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Pezdek, K., Finger, K., and Hodge, D. (1997). Planting false childhood memories: The role of event plausibility. Psychological Science, 8(6), 437-441.
Schmechel, R.S., O’Toole, T. P., Easterly, C. & Loftus, E.F. (2006). Beyond the Ken: Testing Juror’s Understanding of Eyewitness Reliability Evidence. Jurimetrics Journal, 46, 177-214. Online at: https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/Schmechel%20Loftus%20Jurimetrics%202006.pdf?uniq=-z3cwuf