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Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme’s competency was evaluated after she sought to represent herself in the 1975 attempted murder of President Gerald Ford. Under the legal standard at the time, one had to be nearly “a babbling idiot” to be found incompetent, in the words of the prosecuting attorney. In May 2014, nearly 40 years later, the

Forensic textbook profile

With more and more students turning to forensic careers, some high schools are now offering advanced courses in forensic science. In its 2012 high school textbook on advanced forensics, Cengage Learning highlights the career of a forensic psychologist. It’s rather ironic that they chose to profile me in the chapter of Forensic Science: Advanced Investigations


Fashion industry glorification of multiple-perpetrator rape        

Thomas A. Shay

Thomas Shay was one of two men convicted in a 1991 bomb explosion that killed one Boston police officer and maimed another. Prosecutors contended that the bomb was intended for Shay’s father. Shay was a troubled 20-year-old from an unstable background when he underwent a competency evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts. Although he

Australian Forensic Psychology Conference

Planning to be Down Under in August? Dr. Franklin will present a keynote address, “Global containment and escape: Alternate visions for forensic psychology,” as well as a full-day training workshop, “Diagnosis in flux: Best practices in forensic deployment of the DSM-5 and ICD-11.” Noosa is a stunning coastal town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast; register early

Psychopathy: NPR expert panel

On All Things Considered, NPR’s Alix Spiegel explores the controversial PCL-R instrument, designed to ferret out psychopaths, and its great influence over one prisoner’s parole fate. Here, a panel of experts — Karen Franklin among them — debates the test’s role in the criminal justice system. Plus, Dr. Franklin reviews Jon Ronson’s new book on

Wallowa Lake training

If you’re going to be up in the Pacific Northwest in May and want to get your Continuing Education in a picturesque setting, you’re invited to my full-day workshop on forensic diagnosis, sponsored by the Eastern Oregon Psychological Association. The event is their 26th annual Wallowa Lake Conference, at the Eagle Cap Chalet in scenic

Ethics and captive populations

That’s the title of my “Ethics Corner” column in California Psychologist, discussing some of the quagmires as well as opportunities for ethical practice behind bars. I’ve also uploaded a companion resource page here on my website. Here’s the way the column starts: A recent photo in the Los Angeles Times pictured a psychologist administering therapy

Analyzing the analyzers

Witness – Psychology Today: Analyzing the analyzers . . . There will always be the next rare event to fuel a cycle of knee-jerk response, ostensibly aimed at protecting us from every remote contingency. Hindsight bias is a powerful heuristic that obscures an unfortunate truth: It is very hard to accurately predict — much less

Desistance from sex offending

Desistance from Sex Offending: Alternatives to Throwing Away the Keys by D. Richard Laws and Tony Ward Reviewed in the online journal Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology If one set out to design an intervention program to encourage criminals to reoffend,what would it look like? It should include the converse of what helps offenders