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Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Sweeny Todd of Sacramento

A parole social worker emailed me from near Sacramento saying "I am seeing a patient next week who did time for possessing 157 lbs. of human remains (e.g. a head, a chest cavity, a cache of Pap smear slides). Any suggestions as to what I should ask him?" His actual crimes were "receiving stolen property" (which I presume to mean the remains, after they were weighed) and possession of methamphetamine. He was an "autopsy assistant" who, apparently, took his work home with him. His son told the police that his dad had, at one point, brought home & dissected a fetus. He had an RN but never worked as a nurse. He reported a "measured" IQ of 140, and refused medications for Bipolar I Disorder (an often maddening mood swinging from mania to depression) because it lowered his IQ by 60 points. Under California law, he was prescribed medical marijuana. I offered a bunch of suggestions, then spent some of the afternoon discussing this with colleagues. Our learned opinion: better you than us. My further opinion: he couldn't have done enough time to be going the street.

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