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Old 04-18-2012, 03:43 AM   #751
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I know it's been mentioned here about the unlikelihood that someone would let a stranger into their house after their house had been ransacked three times. And I do agree with that. But in addition to that, there's another aspect to it that I don't think has been addressed (it may have, but I don't wish to go back over 51 pages of this thread.)

Mrs. Wacker was a FEMALE ALONE in the house at the time being, and lets in a MALE STRANGER. I could see maybe Bill letting him in if he's there alone, or one of the Wackers letting him in if they're both there. Or Whatever. But I think it's safe to say that not too many single females let male, complete strangers into their home. Unless they're wearing a uniform or something, which this guy, if he exists, clearly wasn't. And then you add that with the house being ransacked three times and Mrs. Wacker turning her back on him and his claims of his car being broke down that isn't visible. I can't say it's impossible, but like anything that comes out of Tim McClure's mouth, it's a pretty tough pill to swallow. I think if I were in that situation, I would probably call the wrecker myself, not let him in and leave the room.

And that's another thing, not only does she turn her back, but she leaves the room! She may as well just have left the house and tell him "lock up when you're done."
add to that the fact Mrs Wacker was tied and GAGGED in such a way that she was still able to YELL to the neighbor for help,and the window was open at that! (How does one yell when one is gagged? if it were planned that way,as in gagged loosely,then it's possible..) It would be fair to say,I bet the items used to bind and gag her were from within the house,and of course,anyone knows in true crime that generally means it was an inside job.think about the fact that Said Stranger would not only have to bop Mrs Wacker over the head,but hope to heaven and high hell that she did not awaken before he could find something to tie and gag her with!! and i doubt she would have let anyone in if he'd had these items on him.'oh yeah..i need to use your phone...nevermind the rope and gag i'm carrying...'.didn't happen.and Oh yea...he would need an appropriate marker to leave the message on the wall.
SO...how would said stranger even know that Ms Wacker was 1- home alone 2-that he would have enough time to accomplish these feats before Mr Wacker (or anyone) returned 3-that ms Wacker would just happen to turn her back on him 4-that she would even let him in,in the first place! 5- that the items needed to bind and gag her would be handy 6-that she would NOT awaken before he could find these items within the home and 7-that there would be a marker handy so he could write some ridiculous,nonsensical note on the wall for no reason (a big time waster,seeing as he'd already committed assault and robbery and would need to leave the home quickly).actually gagging and binding her would take as much time as a robbery,so why bother? he could have just searched for items to take in the time she was out cold and then gotten out of there,had it really happened.
OK..THAT SAID...ALL 7 factors in place...keep in mind it takes SEVEN numbers to win the lottery,and the odds ain't good...HOW likely is it that someone from outside the home actually did this??? I would say the odds are NOT very good!JAT...I don't debate,as I said earlier,so replies will not be commented on,i don't have time for it.these are just my thoughts.
ETA: I suppose you could argue that said perp might have carried some thin cord in his jacker,IF he was wearing one,but that still would require several other factors being in place,such as knowing Ms W would turn her back,that he would have enough time to pull this whole thing off (inc. the note) before anyone returned...etc.AND I find it hard to believe that the neighbors heard Ms W yell for help,yet didn't hear any attack on her.(nor see anyone coming or going).
OK...so in this instance,perp would have to bring rope,gag and marker (well,thats one very prepared perp!).parks down st where NO one sees his car.even neigbors do not see him.knows he had plenty of time and that Ms W will turn her back on him...NOT likely.

Last edited by scc1222 : 04-18-2012 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #752
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I think the reason some do not believe that the wackers are behind it all is because they just can't fathom grandma and grandpa making something up like this just for kicks. I mean, most people associate the elderly with honesty and being incapable of maliciousness. It's a stereotype. But even liars, crooks, and con men grow old. sure, neither of them has a record (as far as I know), but it could very well be they've made up wild tales before.
I've known people who told obvious lies for attention and just because. Thats just the way some people are.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:01 PM   #753
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Somebody wondered if the phone was checked for prints. I'm sure the cops would have. They likely didnt find any, which is a good reason for the police not to believe in this tale. Why they made it all up, we'll never know. Could be because they were starving for attention. Could have been a game to them. Could be the onset of dementia, or even mental illness.
I think they are lieing. And as I said earlier, Dorothy could have fallen, which would explain the skull lacerations.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:31 PM   #754
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBumble
Somebody wondered if the phone was checked for prints. I'm sure the cops would have. They likely didnt find any, which is a good reason for the police not to believe in this tale. Why they made it all up, we'll never know. Could be because they were starving for attention. Could have been a game to them. Could be the onset of dementia, or even mental illness.
I think they are lieing. And as I said earlier, Dorothy could have fallen, which would explain the skull lacerations.

You are entitled to your opinion, but its not right to state that the Wackers fabricated this like its a known fact. There is no proof that they did. And there was nothing to indicate that the Wackers had any history of mental illness or instability. For an old couple to carry on a staged harrassment campaign for years is not a common thing.

In short, you can no more legitimately slander the Wackers and accuse them of being liars and fabricaters anymore than you can accuse someone of actually carrying out the incidents against them.

And you are just assuming two things, that the police dusted the phone for fingerprints, and that they didn't find any even if they did. Given that fingerprints databases were still developing in 1985, its highly likely they could have found fingerprints on the phone and simply were not able to match them to anyone they had on file. I am quite certain there was no national database for fingerprints in 1985, so it would have to have been someone incarcerated by their department whose prints would have to be on file. Or, the perpetrator could very well have wiped the phone clean while Dorothy was unconcious. Without more information, we simply have no way of knowing.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #755
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There is too much being made out of Dorothy letting the attacker in her house when she was home alone, IMO. The Wackers were older, from a different time when everyone was trusting and deals were made with handshakes. I honestly think her guard was down. Her house was ransacked three different times, but there was never a threat of physical violence. She may have thought that some punk teenagers were behind all of the ransackings. And IIRC, the attacker showed up at her house in the middle of the day (or possibly morning), so maybe that did in fact let her guard down and she actually believed the man had car trouble. Put yourself in Dorothy's shoes for a second. Your house was broken into and ransacked three different times. Six months go by, there's a knock at your door and there's a strange man asking to use the phone because of car trouble...honestly who would be that quick-minded to make the connection that maybe this is the guy behind the break-ins? She probably figured whoever was behind the break-ins wouldn't be brazen enough to return when someone was home, so she let him in.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:13 PM   #756
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First of all, libel is the correct term- not slander (yes, I know, semantics). Second, just because you haven't heard of another 'old couple' making up a harrassment story doesn't mean it isn't common. I've been around enough elderly, mentally ill, and liars to know that sort of thing is more common than you think. yeah, I've been around quite a few humdingers in my life.

Of course UM wouldnt delve into the possibility the wackers may have had a mental illness or anything else. It wouldnt fit into what the show was about. nor would they be apt to to allow the detective who appeared on the show to give out cut and dry evidence that it was the wackers behind it all. I love UM, but at the end of the day their mission was to drum up ratings. they achieved this by creating mystery, even if some of the stories had definitive evidence. Its telling the cops and neighbors didnt buy it. That means something was likely left out.
again, I think people are getting caught up in the fact these are two elderly folks. Nobody wants to believe grandma and grandpa are snickering about all the trouble they're causing.
Has anyone tried contacting the police dept up there about getting more information? with this being years old and both parties deceased, they may talk.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:43 PM   #757
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Since I'm coming from the perspective that I don't believe the perp exists, I'm trying to approach this from a place where I question the tactics of the potential perp if only to debate against the presence/existence of one....

What I can't get over with is that despite the sporadic nature of these attacks, we have to believe that Dorothy was naive enough to let a complete stranger into her home when she was ALONE after heart surgery. After all of these break-in burglaries and veiled threats, at what point do you approach situations with more caution? Trusting a complete stranger who looks harmless isn't out of the realm of possibility, but it seems like a stretch after what they'd been through. Doesn't seem logical.

Ditto the scenario of the second attack. I understand dogs have to be let out before bed, but a little old lady going outside alone in the dark at night, when there is an unknown person "getting his kicks" out of messing with them who could potentially strike at any moment, seems silly to me, regardless of how long ago the last attack or contact was. Why risk it? And on this one night, Dorothy goes out alone, and is somehow attacked from behind by this sporadic stalker(maybe she surprises him, what have you etc), who himself has only intermittently attacked them? There are alot of things here that have to go along at once that are far from a coincidence in my books. Figuring it all in, Dorothy lets her guard down alone at night, gets attacked from behind on a night when the stalker just so happens to have targeted them(given that he would leave them alone for x amount of time between attacks). Statistically, it feels a little far-fetched for me.

Another issue I have with these two attacks is that she wasn't more severely injured, which to me feels like they were measured, calculated attacks that an unknown perp could not been sure to achieve, even if they weren't his original intention(lets say the moment struck him or he was spooked etc) I've studied elder abuse in victimology and this age demographic is highly susceptible to secondary injuries that are offshoots of the initial attack. This lady absorbs TWO attacks and has skull lacerations in the second, but nothing too severe with regards to the other potential outcomes? Seems controlled and directed, without intent to harm, that an attacker could not truly account for without a large margin for error.

I'm not 100% certain here by any stretch, but these are some of the more minute issues I have with the unknown perp argument and I can't really see too much supporting, corroborative evidence that is definatively from another party.

PS, I'm REALLY enjoying this conversation and love that I've found the time to get on these boards!!!!

Thank you for your thoughts and analysis. I understand and appreciate your concerns about the nuances regarding the assaults and the unlikelihood of Dorothy putting herself in these situations.

To approach this from a different tack for a minute, can I ask what your theory is with regard to the whole case?

I have read all sorts of suggestions ranging from Mr. Wacker being abusive to his wife and the incidents as a cover for abuse, to Mrs. Wacker suffering from Munchhausen syndrome and self injuring, to the Wackers out and out fabricating the incidents for attention from family or the media.

For me, the biggest stumbling block is trying to figure out which of these theories could be correct based on the totality of the circumstances.

Another problem I have is that a lot of the debate over fake vs. real with regard to the harassment is based on little nuances from the segment - the kitchen window being open, the dog not barking, etc. Basically, little details that are difficult to verify or assess without knowing other variables.

That being said, I'm not accusing you, LaurierCrimmajor, directly of doing this. However, if you go back and read some of this thread, you are likely to find examples of some of the little "nitpick" type details I'm talking about. The focus on such minutia is typically the foundation of these "Wackers are guilty" theories and I find this alarming, as it seems awfully flimsy.

Perhaps if I was to hear a plausible theory explaining all of the evidence, how it was faked, who was behind it - Mr. Wacker, Mrs. Wacker, or both - and why, I would better understand the other perspective.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:26 PM   #758
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Oh geez, I’m really having a helluva fun time developing a personal theory on this one, it’s just so lush with possibilities and I don’t want to bog this down with clinical speak from a bunch of stiff textbooks....hardening my insights into a sound theory is kind of a trip! Please keep in mind, this is just my own jab at it....

To begin, I’ll have to eliminate the unknown assailant. When applying my own criminological training (which anyone could proclaim to have here I suppose...), I just see too many statistical improbabilities for these actions to be perpetrated by someone outside of the couple. And when I say this, imagine tallying up every single one of the bizarre occurrences which have happened over the years to this couple by their alleged perpetrator. Here, when all lined up beside each other, I cannot mathematically fathom that these instances and actions committed by both this unknown assailant AND the actions which have befallen the couple could ALL correlate/coalesce with each other as it stands. To streamline my stance here, when you look at all of the extraordinary pieces of this case, to buy into the Wacker’s story, you have to ask yourself, “What are the chances” that all of these things could happen to one couple, without further corroborating proof? Statistically it’s astronomical.

Taking into account then, all of these extraordinary occurrences, my theory would argue that this most resembles a case of Munchausen’s on the part of Mrs. Wacker. When you delve into the varying facets of the psychological disorder and the depths and diversity of it, I believe it most reasonably explains what has occurred. For myself, this would explain how ALL of these extraordinary occurrences could statistically take place with the surrounding mystique. I recommend a deeper study into Munchausen Syndrome and its various offshoots to grasp how this could all have happened, but it sits best with me. It explains how there is no independent corroboration, no hardcore evidence(any evidence), how Mr. Wacker was so deeply concerned/committed(I think he believed every word of the unknown assailant theory as she pathologically convinced him hook, line and sinker), why law enforcement would look at the couple after smelling BS(but not having the psychological training to identify this)....

I’m not 100% positive and am completely open to being incorrect. However, given my studies I’m fairly comfortable with this opinion.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:49 PM   #759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurierCrimmajor
Oh geez, I’m really having a helluva fun time developing a personal theory on this one, it’s just so lush with possibilities and I don’t want to bog this down with clinical speak from a bunch of stiff textbooks....hardening my insights into a sound theory is kind of a trip! Please keep in mind, this is just my own jab at it....

To begin, I’ll have to eliminate the unknown assailant. When applying my own criminological training (which anyone could proclaim to have here I suppose...), I just see too many statistical improbabilities for these actions to be perpetrated by someone outside of the couple. And when I say this, imagine tallying up every single one of the bizarre occurrences which have happened over the years to this couple by their alleged perpetrator. Here, when all lined up beside each other, I cannot mathematically fathom that these instances and actions committed by both this unknown assailant AND the actions which have befallen the couple could ALL correlate/coalesce with each other as it stands. To streamline my stance here, when you look at all of the extraordinary pieces of this case, to buy into the Wacker’s story, you have to ask yourself, “What are the chances” that all of these things could happen to one couple, without further corroborating proof? Statistically it’s astronomical.

Taking into account then, all of these extraordinary occurrences, my theory would argue that this most resembles a case of Munchausen’s on the part of Mrs. Wacker. When you delve into the varying facets of the psychological disorder and the depths and diversity of it, I believe it most reasonably explains what has occurred. For myself, this would explain how ALL of these extraordinary occurrences could statistically take place with the surrounding mystique. I recommend a deeper study into Munchausen Syndrome and its various offshoots to grasp how this could all have happened, but it sits best with me. It explains how there is no independent corroboration, no hardcore evidence(any evidence), how Mr. Wacker was so deeply concerned/committed(I think he believed every word of the unknown assailant theory as she pathologically convinced him hook, line and sinker), why law enforcement would look at the couple after smelling BS(but not having the psychological training to identify this)....

I’m not 100% positive and am completely open to being incorrect. However, given my studies I’m fairly comfortable with this opinion.

This is probably the best attempt I've seen to explain the Munchausen's syndrome theory.

The only problem I see is that some of the events were witnessed by both the Wackers and the family members. Consider the pounding on the walls, for instance. Both Bill and Dorothy were in the room together and reported this.

Also, there was the stakeout conducted by the family. I'll have to watch it again to be sure, but I thought Bill was outside in a trailer with his two sons-in-law and Dorothy was inside with the daughter when the rock was thrown.

To me, this suggests Dorothy could not have acted alone.

I could understand Dorothy having Munchausen's and Bill being in denial but he would have to take an active role himself either by orchestrating some of the incidents or, at a minimum, by lying that anything took place.

Moreover, you would probably have to include the sons-in-law and daughter in the scheme as well since they not only witnessed the one incident, but apparently willingly went along with the idea of having the stakeout in the first place.

Finally, they took the whole affair to prime time on Unsolved Mysteries. Why take it so far if the whole thing is bogus? Why go through all of this when they could have just handled the matter privately and gotten Dorothy and/or Bill some help?

I suppose the whole family could be suffering from some kind of mental illness, but with no corroborating evidence, it's an awfully big assumption to make.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justins5256
This is probably the best attempt I've seen to explain the Munchausen's syndrome theory.

The only problem I see is that some of the events were witnessed by both the Wackers and the family members. Consider the pounding on the walls, for instance. Both Bill and Dorothy were in the room together and reported this.

Also, there was the stakeout conducted by the family. I'll have to watch it again to be sure, but I thought Bill was outside in a trailer with his two sons-in-law and Dorothy was inside with the daughter when the rock was thrown.

To me, this suggests Dorothy could not have acted alone.

I could understand Dorothy having Munchausen's and Bill being in denial but he would have to take an active role himself either by orchestrating some of the incidents or, at a minimum, by lying that anything took place.

Moreover, you would probably have to include the sons-in-law and daughter in the scheme as well since they not only witnessed the one incident, but apparently willingly went along with the idea of having the stakeout in the first place.

Finally, they took the whole affair to prime time on Unsolved Mysteries. Why take it so far if the whole thing is bogus? Why go through all of this when they could have just handled the matter privately and gotten Dorothy and/or Bill some help?

I suppose the whole family could be suffering from some kind of mental illness, but with no corroborating evidence, it's an awfully big assumption to make.

You know, as soon as I posted I thought long and hard about Mr. Wacker's involvement or at least, complicancy while BBQing. I could perceive a situation of sheer codependency and him being a willing participant in aiding the facade.

I don't believe their children and in-laws would necessarily have to be in on it, as it is my holding that if Mrs Wacker with or without Mr. Wacker(and I tend to think he WOULD have to have some hand of at least going along) could have succeeded in pulling one over on them, as we would be talking about a situation where pathological lying could be achieved at a horrifyingly realistic level. I remember in the episode that "somehow, during the stakeout, the assailant found a blind spot"....for me, if their family wasn't looking at them as culprits, they could've done it themselves. Normally in instances of munchausen, the closest family members are fooled and ultimately burned, this could be an instance where these kids wanted to help their parents out on a stakeout and just didn't know what to look for(meaning, one or the other pulling something). I'd compare it to going to a magic show and just going along with the show against specifically watching for the magician to palm stuff and use gimmicks etc. If you're not actively looking for it, there's a great probability you won't notice it.


I wouldn't even rule out that Mrs Wacker suffered from a somatoform disorder, where even she herself was not cognitively aware of her actions. That said, I believe that possessing attention seeking traits where she plays the role of the victim, possibly nutured or someotherwise accepted by her husband would elevate the situation to where the most closest loved ones could be fooled.
I'd recommend the fascinating case of Ashley Kirlow, as an example of "munchausen by internet" to understand the lengths certain people would go to for attention under this disorder.

From here, I believe that is why they chose to go onto the show, due to the rush and near histrionic need for attention, which would thoroughly sate the appetite of a munchausen patient. The scrutiny always being placed by PD on Mr. Wacker feels as though they really missed the boat here, for self-mutilation and malingering should not have been so easily discounted.

Psychologically speaking, I believe there is much more that meets the eye that we here would never possibly be privy to, in order to grasp a more concise and thorough appreciation, however I think that a good criminal behaviourist could've at the time, knocked this case down had there been one present.

REALLY enjoying the conversation. I do agree with the fact that under this theory, factoring Mr. Wacker into the equation is no breeze, however I still feel that there is a greater probability of his involvement, cohesion/complicacy than an unknown assailiant and think that factoring in his involvement takes fewer leaps than it would for myself to accept it occurred outside of the couple.

I mean, under occam's razor, one is urged to select among competing hypotheses the one which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect(cribbed the definition from wikipedia to save some time) and from that, I think the most flip and basic response would be "They Wanted Attention"....here one would have to figure out the how's and whys, which is where I believe munchausen could be the missing link...
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #761
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Laurie, I'm enjoying your posts. You have a knack for criminology. Just want to ask: what about borderline personality disorder? Self harm, drastic acts to get attention are all there. I've heard, though, it lessens with age.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:34 PM   #762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBumble
Laurie, I'm enjoying your posts. You have a knack for criminology. Just want to ask: what about borderline personality disorder? Self harm, drastic acts to get attention are all there. I've heard, though, it lessens with age.

I've studied alot of personality disorders under DSM-IV classifications(we're transitioning currently into DSM-V as we speak, sociopathology has more or less been graphed onto psychopathy for example of the changes) and borderline personality disorder, along with several very similar disorders are certainly plausible in a situation like this and can very certainly go undiagnosed for an entire lifespan, keeping in mind that psychological/psychiatric/mental health fields have gained much traction in the medical community and went largely unnoticed/unrecognized for many years....investigators would not have been privy to this knowledge and education and wouldn't have been able to look for tells etc.

But in all honesty, any further insight of one specific personality disorder is pure speculation from me and I don't feel I have anywhere near enough information to act as an expert. I've suggested that munchausen's fits here, but it is just that, a suggestion and many other likeminded disorders COULD be regarded as potential reasoning for why this could be a staged situation.

IMO, it makes the most sense.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:04 AM   #763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurierCrimmajor
Taking into account then, all of these extraordinary occurrences, my theory would argue that this most resembles a case of Munchausen’s on the part of Mrs. Wacker.

I would agree. I cannot say if it is definitely Munchausen's in a clinical sense, but considering there has never been a single eyewitness or a shred of physical evidence, it is hard for me to believe any of this actually happened.

Also, it is widely believed Cindy James suffered from Munchausen's. In her case, I think this is almost a certainty (probably accompanied by other disorders as well, possibly DID). I am sure you have seen that segment. If not, watch it now.

There is another case that I think mental illness played the major role: that of Blair Adams. I am 99.999% positive the guy was a paranoid schizophrenic who was not diagnosed. A shame, really, as he would probably be alive today.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:27 AM   #764
XCalibur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiussat
I would agree. I cannot say if it is definitely Munchausen's in a clinical sense, but considering there has never been a single eyewitness or a shred of physical evidence, it is hard for me to believe any of this actually happened.

Also, it is widely believed Cindy James suffered from Munchausen's. In her case, I think this is almost a certainty (probably accompanied by other disorders as well, possibly DID). I am sure you have seen that segment. If not, watch it now.

There is another case that I think mental illness played the major role: that of Blair Adams. I am 99.999% positive the guy was a paranoid schizophrenic who was not diagnosed. A shame, really, as he would probably be alive today.

As I reiterated before, until you can prove the notes and ransackings were fabricated by the Wackers, which has never been proven, you can't say there is not a shred of evidence. That is evidence, not proof mind you, but evidence. And if the other family members witnessed the pounding on the window, you can't say there are no witnesses either. The injuries to Dorothy were also evidence, forensics people can tell the difference between someone who was struck in the head and someone who fell, believe me they can.

The criminal mind absoloutely adores this line of thinking though, because whether you want to believe it or not there are people out there smart enough to get away with these things and cover their tracks. Blaming the victim is always much easier then searching for an unknown assailant. Police do it everyday, I've seen it. Not that that happened in this case, cause from everything I've seen the police actually took it very seriously.

The bottom line is, sometimes you have to risk falling for the cry wolf.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:04 AM   #765
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Blair struck me as someone with bipolar disorder,what with the paranoia,pacing (he looked pretty manic in the hotel) and lack of logical thinking..leaving the country for no reason,and the way he illogically bought the tickets.jmo though.It shows someone in a manic state of mind,clearly not thinking rationally.
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