Forget about evidence: Bring on the "experts"

One "media psychiatrist" says Michael Schiavo is no different than "O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson."

By Julia Scott
Published March 21, 2005 11:46PM (EST)

Terri Schiavo's parents have long expressed suspicion of foul play by her husband, Michael Schiavo. In a recent radio interview with "Dr. Carole" Lieberman, M.D. (a "media psychiatrist" who entertains audiences, Dr. Laura-style, with her analyses of TV shows like "Survivor" and "Big Brother"), Richard Schindler said he and his wife had observed bruises on Terri's body prior to her collapse in 1990. Terri had begun to talk about filing for divorce, they said. To date, no evidence has emerged in support of either allegation.

Some who blame Michael Schiavo for Terri's condition cite a bone scan report from 1991 that apparently revealed injuries to her ribs, ankles and knees. Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist and author who appears on TV news shows, saw the report but did not examine Terri; he said that the injuries resulted from "some kind of trauma," adding, "The trauma could be from an auto accident, the trauma could be from a fall, or the trauma could be from some kind of beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere."

According to an opinion she provided to the Schindlers' lawyer in July, Lieberman asserts that Michael Schiavo "fits the profile of a wife-abuser -- the same profile that fit O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson," subject to "pathologically controlling behavior." (Lieberman also happens to be the psychiatrist who first suggested that Michael Jackson's young accuser had been sexually abused after seeing him in a documentary).

Earlier this month, citing a lack of new evidence, Circuit Court Judge George Greer dismissed a motion by Florida's Department of Children and Families to delay the removal of Terri's feeding tube for 60 days in order to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect while Terri has been under her husband's care.

Then again, who needs evidence in a case already so mercilessly exploited for political purposes? For his part, Tom DeLay has already accused Michael Schiavo of attempted homicide.

And Lieberman says she's highly suspicious of Michael Schiavo's stated wish to have his wife's body cremated, should she ever be allowed to die. Lieberman told War Room by phone today: "He's trying to get rid of any evidence that he was responsible for her state."

Julia Scott

San Francisco-based freelance journalist Julia Scott writes about water and energy issues for various publications. She also covers the environment for Bay Area News Group, a chain of newspapers in Northern California.

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