To: MIT.EDU!witchhunt Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 17:44 EDT (c) UPI, Oct. 11, 1994 Hypnosis facto
From: romulus.ehs.uiuc.edu!m-net.arbornet.org!aaron (Aaron Larson)
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 17:44 EDT
(c) UPI, Oct. 11, 1994
Hypnosis factor in Franklin trial
A psychologist said Tuesday a study of the transcript of the murder trial of
George Franklin shows his daughter's recollection of the death of her playmate
20 years earlier was enhanced by therapists using hyponosis. The findings by
University of California, Berkeley social psychologist Richard Ofshe
contradict testimony by the therapists, and have rekindled the debate over
the use of repressed memory in court suits.
In the Franklin case, which was made into a best-selling novel and made-for-
television movie, Eileen Franklin came forward after several years of
extensive therapy to accuse her father of killing a playmate when she was a
young child. The testimony was enough for a San Mateo County jury in 1990 to
convict Franklin, who is serving a life prison sentence for the 1969
bludgeoning death of Susan Nason, 8, in Foster City.
During the trial, Eileen Franklin's therapists testified that hyponosis did
not play a role in her recollections. However, Ofshe said the trial transcript
and a detailed study of Franklin's treatment schedule revealed that hyponosis
played a major role in her testimony. "This was hypnotically refreshed
memory -- no question about it," the researcher said.
Ofshe's research also countered another crucial prosecution claim that Eileen
Franklin had pulled so much hair from her head in an unconscious imitation of
her dead friend's head wound that her own head developed a bloody bald spot.
The researcher said Eileen's mother, Leah, has denied her daughter even
developed such a bald spot.
Ofshe said he did not believe Eileen Franklin intended to fabricate a story
about her father and being at the murder scene. Rather, he said, she was led
to believe that her visualizations during her trance-like therapy sessions
were real. "These horrendous errors are doing damage to tens of thousands of
people," said Ofshe of repressed memory therapy. "The serious people
(therapists) have lost control to the quacks."
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank