The week was filled with a lot of medical jargon, difficult for a lay person to understand, however, the jurors were paying attention and taking notes. So far, nothing in the “experts” FASD testimony offers a clue as to why Urdialis savagely murdered eight women. What set Urdiales off…no possible reasons yet.
The defense began it’s scientific presentation this week. “Expert” witnesses were Janet Willler – VA psychologist, Kenneth Lyon Jones – pediatric physician specializing in FASD body characteristics, and, Paul Connor – neuropsychologist
I believe the last two are professional witnesses associated with two other witnesses testifying later.
A doctor recommended Urdiales to the VA doctor, Janet Willer, for an HIV test. Willer treated Urdiales 106 times from 1991 to 1996, during the period of several of his California serial murders in the years 1986 to 1996. Urdiales was treated for a variety of problems such as anger management, sexual disorder – erectile dysfunction,, depression, vocational issues and mild touretts’ syndrome — some of the problems probably common for many Desert Storm veterans. Urdiales was a Marine for six years, released with an honorable discharge in 1994.
At the last session, Urdiales yelled at the doctor, “All women are whores!” Speculation that the doctor was getting to close to discovering his murder binge. He never returned.
The next two “experts” were highly educated, professionally respected in their specialties. The prosecutor respected their professional standing but vigorously questioned their conclusions based on their separate examinations, tests and diagnosis of Urdiales.
Dr Jones verified/confirmed Urdiales’ physical appearance-abnormalities of an FASD victim. Dr Connor confirmed the behavioral characteristics.
The prosecutor specifically questioned the time spent with Urdiales – testing and interview – and time with the family, school and Marine supervisors who knew him. How much of their written opinion that Urdiales has FASD and it’s behavioral temperment was the result from their own work, and, how many conclusions from other specialists drawn from textbooks and learned papers? The implication to me is that the prosecutor suggests that, being paid professional “experts,” much of their work is production line with some cut and paste from other sources.
What’s it all boil down to? The conclusions of the “key” witness of this cycle of experts, Dr Connor, a clinical neuro-psychologist (called a Philosophiae Doctor – look it up,) sums it up. The appearance, mental capacity and social skills of a growing Urdiales appear normal, no indications of FASD which should begin to show in the formative years and K-3. To the lay man like me, he may have it but he sure does not act like it. Connors answers to the prosecutor’s list of behavioral characteristics:
Prenatal growth problems No
Development delay No
Nothing structurally wrong with brain Yes
Normal head, weight, height at birth Yes
Hyperactive as child No
Disruptive as child No
Memory, motor control, impulsive Normal
Education No known problems in K-to high school. Graduated from high school in the mid-academic range
IQ slightly above 100, normal range.
Marines Passed induction testing – accepted. No FASD characteristics noted.