Dr. Park E. Dietz was retained by NXIVM to conduct a psychiatric evaluation of India Oxenberg in order to determine her competency to take more of Executive Success Programs’ (ESP) classes but not to determine her competency to be a member of DOS.
India Oxenberg [right] with her slave master, Allison Mack.
Dr. Dietz has testified as an expert witness in many high profile US criminal cases.
He was the prosecution witness in the trial of John Hinckley, Jr., for his attempted assassination of President Reagan on March 30, 1981. Dietz diagnosed Hinckley with narcissistic, schizoid, and a mixed personality disorder with passive-aggressive and borderline traits. Dietz told the jury that, despite these issues, Hinckley knew what he was doing, knew it was wrong, and had the capacity to control his behavior. Thus, he was not legally insane.
The jury disagreed with Dietz and found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity.
Dietz testified for the prosecution in the case of Arthur Shawcross, who was tried for 11 murders. Shawcross pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis, for the defense, testified that Shawcross suffered from brain damage, multiple personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder – and that he had been sexually abused as a child.
Jurors were shown videotapes of him being interviewed under hypnosis by Dr. Lewis. He switched in and out of a high-pitched woman’s voice and told Lewis he had once been a cannibal in medieval England. He described childhood incestuous relations with a sister and cannibalism in Vietnam. He told Lewis his mother’s voice told him to kill his victims.
In videotaped interviews with Dietz, Shawcross said he never heard voices or had different personalities. Dietz argued that Shawcross was faking mental illness to avoid prison. Jurors rejected the insanity defense. Shawcross was convicted of 11 murders.
Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 boys and men from 1978 to 1991. Dahmer’s defense was “guilty but insane.”
Dietz, for the prosecution, evaluated Dahmer, then told the jury Dahmer had sexual disorders but was responsible for his acts and not criminally insane.
Dietz said that Dahmer kept the skulls of 11 victims and admitted he knew his ‘keepsakes, [meant he was taking] a very big risk of being detected for all these serious crimes” and that he “used a condom, and that he had …to get himself drunk to overcome the revulsion of the killing.”
This showed Dahmer knew what he was doing was wrong and a crime. Dahmer was convicted of 15 murders and received 15 life sentences. Dietz was paid $39,000 for his testimony.
In an interview with Psychology Today, Dietz said “With rare exceptions, people are responsible for what they do…. Killers may be disturbed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t tell right from wrong or are compelled to maim or murder.”
Park Dietz was an expert witness in the grand jury investigation of Tawana Brawley, a young black woman who claimed to have been abducted and raped by a gang of white men. Dietz testified that “Tawana Brawley’s physical appearance when she was found is consistent with self-infliction and a false accusation.” The grand jury agreed with Dietz and found her claims to be untrue.
Erik and Lyle Menendez
The “imperfect self-defense” theory was at the center of the defense in the first trial of the Menedez brothers and convinced some jurors to vote to convict the brothers of manslaughter instead of murder.
In the retrial, Dietz testified for the prosecution that Erik did not suffer from any disorder that would impair his ability to make rational decisions on the night that he murdered his parents. Dietz pointed out that Erik bought two shotguns, loaded his weapon, and went to the shooting range to learn how to fire the weapon.
O J Simpson civil trial
Dietz testified Simpson would have continued to abuse Nicole Simpson, but that he would not necessarily have killed her.
During the search for the Atlanta Olympics bomber, Dietz helped tie the explosion to two others in the city at a lesbian nightclub and an abortion clinic and to one at a clinic in Birmingham, and constructed a “profile” of the bomber that led to the identification of Eric Rudolph as a suspect.
Robert Bardo was an obsessive fan who stalked then shot to death television actress Rebecca Schaeffer when she answered the door of her Los Angeles apartment in 1989.
Bardo’s attorneys argued he was mentally ill. Dietz, for the defense, said Bardo was schizophrenic and acted in a moment of unpremeditated rage and was not guilty by reason of insanity. His illness led him to commit the murder.
Elisabeth Anne Broderick was accused of killing her ex-husband and his second wife. The first trial ended in a hung jury, with 10 jurors favoring a murder conviction and two holding out for manslaughter.
During the second trial, the prosecution hired Dietz who testified Broderick suffered from narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders, but unlike an insane or mentally ill person, “the disorder is not controlling her.”
He testified that Broderick was capable of intending to shoot her ex-husband and his new wife in their bedroom. The jury found Broderick guilty of second-degree murder.
Dietz was paid $50,000 fee for his testimony.
Ken Seguin 1993
Kenneth Seguin killed his wife and children. The defense argued he committed the murders under the psychotic delusion that they were in great danger and would be safe only in heaven.
Dietz, for the prosecution, told the jury that Seguin’s actions on the night he committed the crime, suggested not someone in the grip of psychotic delusion, but a murderer carefully planning his crime. The jury convicted Seguin.
Joel Rifkin confessed to killing 17 women he picked up on streets in Manhattan. He said he paid them for sex, then strangled them and disposed of their bodies.
Long Island psychiatrist Barbara Kirwin, for the defense, deemed Rifkin’s psychological test results “the most pathological” she had seen in 20 years of practice.
Dietz, for the prosecution, said Rifkin had “extreme sadistic fantasies about inflicting pain and suffering on people” and that his “fantasies eventually became reality,” but that one of the 17 murders was “spontaneous” and Rifkin planned each carefully and took great pains “not to get caught.”
Dietz found Rifkin “sick but not insane. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he did it.”
Jurors agreed with Dietz. They convicted Rifkin of murder. He was sentenced to 203 years in prison.
Dietz was paid $3,000/day, to cover travel expenses, and $250 an hour.
2002 Andrea Yates
Dietz was the prosecution’s witness in the trial of Andrea Yates who drowned her five children in a bathtub. Dietz testified that shortly before Yates committed the crime, the television crime show Law & Order aired an episode about a woman who drowned her children and was found innocent by reason of insanity.
Dietz’s testimony was the foundation for an inference that the defendant had concocted an insanity defense based upon a television episode. She was convicted of murdering her five children.
It was later discovered that no such Law & Order episode existed. Dietz had “falsely remembered” a non-existent episode of the series.
The conviction was reversed upon appeal on the sole ground of Dietz’s erroneous testimony. Upon re-trial, the defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Deanna Laney 2003
Deanna Laney was charged with bludgeoning two of her children to death in 2003. Laney said she was acting under orders from God.
Dietz, for the prosecution, concluded that Laney was “a textbook case” of insanity. Laney was found not guilty.
Gilberto Valle, the so-called Cannibal Cop, was arrested after his wife discovered he was spending time in chat rooms describing detailed plans to abduct, torture, rape and cannibalize her and more than 100 other women. Valle claimed all scenarios he described were mere fantasy. Dietz examined Valle and concluded he had no interest in actually acting out his fetish of killing and eating women.
“He’s the nicest guy you’d ever meet,” Dietz said.
The defense did not call Dietz. Valle was found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap. The judge overturned Valle’s conviction saying the evidence supported his contention that he was engaged in only “fantasy role-play.”
It is not known how much Dr. Dietz is being paid to evaluate India Oxenberg or why he is not evaluating her competency for being a member of DOS.