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.