By Carol Pogash
She used to be fifteen whilst she visited the therapist; nonetheless a young person once they had intercourse. She used to be twenty-five while she married him and forty-four whilst she killed him.
In October 2002, the quiet northern California city of Orinda was once rocked by means of homicide whilst Susan Polk, the mum of 3 teenage boys, was once arrested for stabbing her husband and previous therapist, Dr. Felix Polk, to loss of life. The arrest and next trial quick grew to become some of the most referred to homicide instances within the kingdom, as spectators and newshounds realized the unusual heritage in the back of this surprising killing.
Now in Seduced via Madness, Carol Pogash--the prime journalist operating the case--has written the definitive account of the Polk relations saga, delivering a wealthy and textured new edition of this traumatic and tragic American story. analyzing the decadent tradition of California within the Seventies, Pogash seems to be at how, during this interval of gear and sexual exploration, a fifteen-year-old Susan came upon herself stuck within the grab of Felix, her therapist--who, like others within the psychological healthiness occupation, fell for each passing development in psychological health and wellbeing treatment. Culled from years of cautious study, Pogash reconstructs the obscure beginnings of the couple's sexual courting within the therapist's place of work, exploring how Felix's comfortable angle towards treatment blinded him to the complicated nature of Susan's psychological kingdom, and the way their mutual obsession with one another sealed their destiny.
With lyrical prose, Pogash skillfully strains the Polks' story--from their early yearnings for each other via their fallacious marriage, which produced 3 very smart yet emotionally divided sons. Weaving a complicated narrative of a relations who lived in multimillion buck houses yet lingered within the shadow of disorder, Pogash reassembles their lifestyles within the years and months sooner than Felix's dying, in detail describing what led this soft-spoken spouse to homicide.
Three years after Felix's loss of life, Susan Polk was once attempted for first measure homicide, and the following Pogash offers a first-hand account of the wild, media-circus trial within which Susan defended herself and cross-examined of her sons. Illustrating how the prosecution and the court docket replied to Susan's unstable habit, Pogash takes you contained in the deliberation room and uncovers how jurors reached their awesome verdict.
Filled with the main entire case proof and interviews to be had, Seduced by way of Madness bargains an exceptional examine the most beautiful homicide circumstances in fresh years.
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Additional resources for Seduced by Madness: The True Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case
It used to be an excellent a part of the school,” marveled one colleague. “That’s what we did within the tuition so scholars might event treatment and find out how it really works. ” Felix Polk was once a greatly renowned professor, even though his behavior of taking part in favorites intended that a few scholars usually felt kept away from. nonetheless, he was once famous for his openness, which he prolonged to incorporate his sufferers. as the sufferers participated willingly, Felix and different professors didn’t give some thought to it a contravention in their confidentiality, even if, as in terms of Felix Polk, the sufferers have been teenagers. The therapists thought of it a turning out to be event for his or her consumers. They believed their university used to be jam-packed with the easiest and brightest professors and that the paintings they have been doing used to be innovative. Felix Polk taught a number of classes in adolescent psychology. In his Adolescent III classification he interviewed rather basic little ones and that with interviews along with his younger consumers. It was once in that context that the professor delivered to his type a tender Susan Bolling. She might come a variety of occasions. in line with numerous those that have been there, she used to be most likely in her past due children while she and Felix all started their very public treatment periods. He provided her as a lady he had masterfully “cured” of schizophrenia. He advised the scholars that Susan got here to determine him after she ran clear of domestic and were put in a reformatory. Sheila Bryns, Felix’s former scholar and sufferer who grew to become his shut buddy and educating assistant, recollects his telling the category that Susan have been shrewdpermanent to run away since it extricated her from her mom, with whom she had had a stultifying, symbiotic courting. Felix loved exhibiting Susan off. That she used to be younger and gorgeous looked as if it would upload to his delight. scholars spotted that Susan used to be continuously Felix, which “is now not so strange for a teenaged woman in a school room jam-packed with students,” a type of scholars recalled. That Susan idolized her mentor was once visible. Felix used to be so happy with his winning remedy with Susan that he invited different professors, together with his personal mentor, to wait. (His mentor agreed to percentage his memories so long as he remained nameless. ) Observers, together with the mentor, remained skeptical: “When I listen the note treatment in psychiatric drugs, I don’t think anything,” he scoffed. “No one is ever cured. they preserve becoming concerned within the usual styles. ” an exceptional therapist, he defined, can assist a sufferer enhance coping mechanisms. “Nobody yet Felix may say he had cured her of schizophrenia. That’s so self-aggrandizing,” acknowledged a psychiatrist who knew Felix good. whilst Felix introduced Susan for mental show-and-tell, he published even more than he had meant. scholars may well see her idea method used to be a bit off. additionally they couldn’t aid yet discover that Susan and her therapist wore comparable delicate, cozy outfits and exact Wallabee footwear. They puzzled if such planned twinning symbolized whatever extra. the scholars listened, and after awhile, a few squirmed; they whispered to each other, “What’s happening right here?