Tell me your dreams, p.18
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       Tell Me Your Dreams, p.18

           Sidney Sheldon
 
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Chapter Eighteen

  More than three months had gone by since the beginning of the trial, and David could not remember when he had last had a full night's sleep.

  One afternoon, when they returned from the court-room, Sandra said, "David, I think I should go back to San Francisco. "

  David looked at her in surprise. "Why? We're right in the middle of - Oh, my God. " He put his arms around her. "The baby. Is it coming?"

  Sandra smiled. "Anytime now. I'd feel safer if I were back there, closer to Dr. Bailey. Mother said she'd come and stay with me. "

  "Of course. You have to go back," David said. "I lost track of time. He's due in three weeks, isn't he?"

  "Yes. " He grimaced. "And I can't be there with you. "

  Sandra took his hand. "Don't be upset, darling. This trial's going to be over soon. "

  "This goddamn trial is ruining our lives. "

  "David, we're going to be fine. My old job's waiting for me. After the baby comes, I can - " David said, "I'm so sorry, Sandra. I wish - "

  "David, don't ever be sorry for doing something you believe is right. "

  "I love you. "

  "I love you. "

  He stroked her stomach. "I love you both. " He sighed. "All right I'll help you pack. I'll drive you back to San Francisco tonight and - "

  "No," Sandra said firmly. "You can't leave here. I'll ask Emily to come and pick me up. "

  "Ask her if she can join us here for dinner tonight. "

  "All right. "

  Emily had been delighted. "Of course I'll come to pick you up. " And she had arrived in San Jose two hours later.

  The three of them had dinner that evening at Chai Jane.

  "It's terrible timing," Emily said. "I hate to see you two away from each other right now. "

  "The trial's almost over," David said hopefully. "Maybe it will end before the baby comes. " Emily smiled. "We'll have a double celebration. "

  It was time to go. David held Sandra in his arms. "I'll talk to you every night," he said.

  "Please don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I love you very much. " Sandra looked at him and said, "Take care of yourself, David. You look tired. "

  It wasn't until Sandra left that David realized how utterly alone he was.

  Court was in session.

  Mickey Brennan rose and addressed the court. "I would like to call Dr. Lawrence Larkin as my next witness. "

  A distinguished gray-haired man was sworn in and took the stand.

  "I want to thank you for being here. Dr. Larkin. I know your time is very valuable. Would you tell us a little about your background?"

  "I have a successful practice in Chicago. I'm a past resident of the Chicago Psychiatric Association. "

  "How many years have you been in practice, Doctor?"

  "Approximately thirty years. "

  "And as a psychiatrist, I imagine you've seen many cases of multiple personality disorder?"

  "No. "

  Brennan frowned. "When you say no, you mean you haven't seen a lot of them? Maybe a dozen?"

  "I've never seen one case of multiple personality disorder. "

  Brennan looked at the jury in mock dismay, then back at the doctor. "In thirty years of working with mentally disturbed patients, you have never seen a single case of multiple personality disorder?"

  "That's correct. "

  "I'm amazed. How do you explain that?"

  "It's very simple. I don't think that multiple personality disorder exists. "

  "Well, I'm puzzled. Doctor. Haven't cases of multiple personality disorder been reported?"

  Dr. Larkin snorted. "Being reported doesn't mean they're real. You see, what some doctors believe is MPD, they're confusing with schizophrenia, depressions and various other anxiety disorders. "

  "That's very interesting. So in your opinion, as an expert psychiatrist, you don't believe that multiple personality disorder even exists?"

  "That is correct. "

  "Thank you. Doctor. " Mickey Brennan turned to David. "Your witness. "

  David rose and walked over to the witness box. "You are a past president of the Chicago Psychiatric Association, Dr. Larkin?"

  "Yes. "

  "You must have met a great many of your peers. "

  "Yes. I'm proud to say that I have. "

  "Do you know Dr. Royce Salem?"

  "Yes. I know him very well. "

  "Is he a good psychiatrist?"

  "Excellent. One of the best. "

  "Did you ever meet Dr. Clyde Donovan?"

  "Yes. Many times. "

  "Would you say that he's a good psychiatrist?"

  "I would use him" - a small chuckle - "if I needed one. "

  "And what about Dr. Ingram? Do you know him?"

  "Ray Ingram? Indeed, I do. Fine man. "

  "Competent psychiatrist?"

  "Oh, yes. "

  "Tell me, do all psychiatrists agree on every mental condition?"

  "No. Of course we have some disagreements. Psychiatry is not an exact science. "

  "That's interesting. Doctor. Because Dr. Salem, Dr. Donovan and Dr. Ingram are going to come here and testify that they have treated cases of multiple personality disorder. Perhaps none of them is as competent as you are. That's all. No further questions. " Judge Williams turned to Brennan. "Redirect?" Brennan got to his feet and walked over to the witness box.

  "Dr. Larkin, do you believe that because these other doctors disagree with your opinion about MPD that that makes them right and you wrong?"

  "No. I could produce dozens of psychiatrists who don't believe in MPD. "

  "Thank you. Doctor. No more questions. "

  Mickey Brennan said, "Dr. Upton, we've heard testimony that sometimes what is thought to be multiple personality disorder is really confused with other disorders. What are the tests that prove multiple personality disorder isn't one of those other conditions?"

  "There is no test. "

  Brennan's mouth dropped open in surprise as he glanced at the jury. "There is no test? Are you saying that there's no way to tell whether someone who claims he has MPD is lying or malingering or using it to excuse some crime he or she doesn't want to be held responsible for?"

  "As I said, there is no test. "

  "So it's simply a matter of opinion? Some psychiatrists believe in it and some don't?"

  "That's right. "

  "Let me ask you this, Doctor. If you hypnotize someone, surely you can tell whether they really have MPD or they're pretending to have it?"

  Dr. Upton shook his head. "I'm afraid not. Even under hypnosis or with Sodium Amytal, there is no way of exposing someone if he or she is faking. "

  "That's very interesting. Thank you, Doctor. No more questions. " Brennan turned to David. "Your witness. "

  David rose and walked over to the witness box. "Dr. Upton, have you ever had patients come to you, having been diagnosed by other doctors as having MPD?"

  "Yes. Several times. "

  "And did you treat those patients?"

  "No, I didn't. "

  "Why not?"

  "I can't treat conditions that don't exist. One of the patients was an embezzler who wanted me to testify that he wasn't responsible because he had an alter who did it. Another patient was a housewife who was arrested for beating her children. She says that someone inside her made her do it. There were a few more like that with different excuses, but they were all trying to bide from something. In other words, they were faking. "

  "You seem to have a very definite opinion about this, Doctor. "

  "I do. I know I'm right. " David said, "You know you're right?"

  "Well, I mean - "

  " - that everyone else must be wrong? All the doctors who believe in MPD are all wrong?"

  "I didn't mean that - "

  "And you're the only one who's right. Thank you, Doctor. That's all. "

  Dr. Simon Raleigh was on the stand. He was
a short, bald man in his sixties.

  Brennan said, "Thank you for coming here. Doctor. You've had a long and illustrious career. You're a doctor, you're a professor, you went to school at - "

  David stood up. "The defense will stipulate to the witness's distinguished background. "

  "Thank you. " Brennan turned back to the witness. "Dr. Raleigh, what does iatrogenicity mean?"

  "That's when there's an existing illness, and medical treatment of psychotherapy aggravates it. "

  "Would you be more specific. Doctor?"

  "Well, in psychotherapy, very often the therapist influences the patient with his questions or attitude. He might make the patient feel that he has to meet the expectations of the therapist. "

  "How would that apply to MPD?"

  " "If the psychiatrist is questioning the patient about different personalities within him, the patient might make up some in order to please the therapist. It's a very tricky area. Amytal and hypnosis can mimic MPD in patients who are otherwise normal. "

  "So what you're saying is that under hypnosis the psychiatrist himself can alter the condition of the patient so that the patient believes something that is not true?"

  "That has happened, yes. "

  "Thank you. Doctor. " He looked at David. "Your witness. "

  David said, "Thank you. " He rose and walked over to the witness box. David said disarmingly, "Your credentials are very impressive. You're not only a psychiatrist, but you teach at a university. "

  "Yes. "

  "How long have you been teaching. Doctor?"

  "More than fifteen years. "

  "That's wonderful. How do you divide your time? By that I mean, do you spend half of your time teaching and the other half working as a doctor?"

  "Now, I teach full-time. "

  "Oh? How long has it been since you actually practiced medicine?"

  "About eight years. But I keep up on all the current medical literature. "

  "I have to tell you, I find that admirable. So you read up on everything. That's how you're so familiar with iatrogenicity?"

  "Yes. "

  "And in the past, a lot of patients came to you claiming they had MPD?"

  "Well, no. . . "

  "Not a lot? In the years you were practicing as a doctor, would you say you had a dozen cases who claimed they had MPD?"

  "No. "

  "Six?" Dr. Raleigh shook his head. "Four?" There was no answer.

  "Doctor, have you ever had a patient who came to you with MPD?"

  "Well, it's hard to - "

  "Yes or no. Doctor?"

  "No. "

  "So all you really know about MPD is what you've read? No further questions. "

  The prosecution called six more witnesses, and the pattern was the same with each. Mickey Brennan had assembled nine top psychiatrists from around the country, all united in their belief that MPD did not exist.

  The prosecution's case was winding to a close.

  When the last witness on the prosecution's list had been excused. Judge Williams turned to Brennan. "Do you have any more witnesses to call, Mr. Brennan?"

  "No, Your Honor. But I would like to show the jury police photographs of the death scenes from the murders F - "

  David said furiously, "Absolutely not".

  Judge Williams turned to David. "What did you say, Mr. Singer?"

  "I said" - David caught himself - "objection. The prosecution is trying to inflame the jury by - "

  "Objection overruled. The foundation was laid in a pretrial motion. " Judge Williams turned to Brennan.

  "You may show the photographs. "

  David took his seat, furious.

  Brennan walked back to his desk and picked up a stack of photographs and handed them out to the jurors. "These are not pleasant to look at, ladies and gentlemen, but this is what the trial is about. It's not about words or theories or excuses. It's not about mysterious alter egos killing people. It's about three real people who were savagely and brutally murdered. The law says that someone has to pay for those murders. It's up to each one of you to see that justice is done. "

  Brennan could see the horror on the faces of the jurors as they looked at the photographs. He turned to Judge Williams. "The State rests. " Judge Williams looked at her watch. "It's four o'clock. The court will recess for the day and begin again at ten o'clock Monday morning. Court adjourned. "

 
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