Skip to comments.Psychologist details Carr's troubled childhood [Wichita Massacre]
Posted on 11/08/2002 5:01:09 AM PST by KS Flyover
WICHITA -- A forensic psychologist testified Thursday that Reginald Carr began having sexual interaction with girls at age 6 and that he was devastated when his father abandoned the family.
"Father abandonment, any parent abandonment, is a major risk factor across every study and textbook you wanted to read," psychologist Thomas Reidy said. "In this instance, Mr. Carr had a strong positive feeling about his father."
Reidy's testimony came on the third day of the penalty phase of Reginald and Jonathan Carr's capital murder trial. The brothers were convicted Monday on murder, robbery and sex crimes charges stemming from a nine-day rampage in December 2000. A total of five people were killed. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
The psychologist, who was testifying on Reginald Carr's behalf, told jurors that when Carr was 6 years old he began fondling girls his mother babysat at their home. By age 7, Carr said he had frequent sexual intercourse with a female cousin. Reidy said there also were allegations Carr and his siblings were sexually abused, but he couldn't verify those allegations.
Reidy, who acknowledged Reginald Carr knew what he was doing was wrong, said he based his testimony on interviews with Reginald Carr and other family members during the past two months. He also cited studies showing risk factors -- such as a dysfunctional family, abuse, violence and drugs -- will increase the probabilities a child will develop problems later in life.
He said Reginald Carr's moral development was stunted, and testified that children exposed to early sexual activity often have impaired sexual control and are aroused by deviant sexual behavior.
"We know deviance begins at home," Reidy said.
Drug use and violence also were prevalent in the Carr family, including marijuana and cocaine use by Reginald and Jonathan's mother, Reidy said. He said he was told the mother obtained some of her drugs from Reginald. By age 11, Reginald Carr was holding drugs for drug dealers and by age 13 he was selling them himself. At age 16, he was using alcohol heavily, Reidy said.
Violence also was prevalent in the family. As a punishment, the Carr children were made to strip naked for whippings by their mother while their siblings held them down, he said.
Reginald Carr was often in fights in elementary school, and beat up a teacher in ninth grade. He was suspended for sexually harassing a teacher in eighth grade, Reidy said. By age 13, Reginald Carr became a gang member.
In one incident Reidy recounted, the Carr brothers shot BB guns at each other when they couldn't find animals to shoot. He said Reginald Carr still has a BB lodged in his head.
The brothers' aunt, Phyllis Harding, also took the stand Thursday and testified about her observations of her sister's family. She said Jonathan Carr lived with her for a year in Brownsville, Texas, when he was about 7 years old, and later her sister and her family moved to Dodge City.
Harding, who is a pediatrician in Dodge City, testified she never saw any evidence of physical or sexual abuse of the Carr children.
"They never told me about any abuse, they never looked neglected," Harding said, adding the children looked healthy, nourished and wore decent clothes.
But Harding acknowledged later she wasn't always around the family and said she was shocked by some of the testimony offered during the trial.
She also told defense attorneys that Reginald Carr may have something mentally wrong with him -- and may have fabricated some of the abuse allegations.
At that point, defense attorney Jay Greeno told her Reginald Carr told the psychologist he had seen pornographic photos of his mother. Greeno offered to show them to Harding if she doubted Reginald Carr was telling the truth.
"I don't want to see naked pictures of my sister," Harding told him.
Jurors returned capital murder verdicts in the Dec. 15, 2000, deaths of Aaron Sander, 29, Brad Heyka, 27, Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25. All four were shot execution style in the back of the head as the knelt side-by-side in a snow-covered soccer field.
The brothers were also convicted of attempted first-degree murder of Befort's girlfriend, then a 25-year-old teacher, who also was shot in the head but survived to testify.
The brothers also were convicted of forcing the five friends to engage in sex acts with each other and repeatedly raping the women. The Carrs also were convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting of another woman, Ann Walenta, four days before the quadruple murder. She later died.
Psychologist: Abuse made Carr violentBy Ron Sylvester - The Wichita Eagle - Fri, Nov. 08, 2002
A forensic psychologist probing the mind of Reginald Carr said Thursday that he found it filled with memories of incest, clouded by drug abuse, and haunted by anger and aggression.
What Thomas Reidy said he recently learned about Reginald Carr and his family fits profiles of violent behavior developed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the surgeon general.
Testifying during the penalty phase of Reginald and Jonathan Carr's capital murder trial, Reidy said that of the list of risks that may lead to criminal behavior, the Carr family experienced nearly all of them.
Prosecutors spent hours of contentious cross-examination trying to dismiss Reidy's findings. It will be up to a jury to decide whether the Carr brothers receive the death penalty for a quadruple homicide Dec 15, 2000.
But for a community searching for answers to a heinous crime that left five people shot execution-style at a snowy soccer complex, Reidy's study proved startling in the number of problems it found in Reginald Carr's upbringing.
"These aren't meant to excuse behavior, but just to explain why people become violent," Reidy told Reginald Carr's lawyer, Jay Greeno.
While Reidy examined only Reginald Carr, another psychologist is expected early next week to testify about Jonathan Carr.
Reidy's interviews with Reginald Carr, 24, and his relatives offered a glimpse into the brothers' lives leading up to their weeklong crime spree that left five people dead.
Reidy admitted on cross-examination by Kevin O'Connor, chief litigator for the Sedgwick County District Attorney, that people often overcome a harsh childhood to become productive members of society.
"But the more risk factors there are, the more likely you are to have criminal activity," Reidy said.
It's not just that Reginald Carr grew up in a household where his parents fought violently, he said. And it's not just that Reginald Carr's father disowned him around the age of 6.
Reidy said Reginald Carr's life combined those with other traumas, including:
Incest permeating his immediate and extended family. Introduced to sex around age 6 or 7, Reginald Carr discovered pornographic pictures of his mother and a stepfather, which he kept hidden until recently.
Uncles who gave him liquor at age 11 and recruited him into their drug trade. Some of those uncles built their own criminal records.
A distant and detached mother who often left him with relatives, disappearing for days and weeks. By her own admission, she would spank them with belts. Jonathan's oldest sister said she and the brothers would sometimes take the beatings on their bare bodies. If the belts weren't around, an electric cord would do.
Seeking belonging through gangs and experiencing the loss of a cousin in Cleveland who was shot in the back of the head.
There was no stability, even at school.
Reidy found that Reginald Carr attended eight schools from kindergarten through eighth grade. By then, he had sexually harassed a teacher on one of the days he bothered showing up. He was absent 32 days that year.
During his freshman year in high school at Dodge City, Reginald Carr earned 21 detentions and suspensions. After beating up a student, he dropped out of ninth grade, Reidy testified, before the school could kick him out.
Reginald Carr earned his GED but ended up on criminal probation at age 16 and was in prison by 18.
Phyllis Harding, an aunt in Dodge City, testified Thursday that she spent most of Reginald Carr's life away from her family, attending college and pursuing a career as a pediatrician. But she remembered Reginald as full of rage and unable to hold a job for more than a few months.
Reidy uncovered details of Carr's troubled past through extensive interview processes designed by psychologists to extract painful information. Prosecutors tried to portray the stories as being invented by the Carr family to save the two brothers.
But Reidy said no one, not even Reginald Carr, volunteered the information, and some relatives denied what others said. He put together his profile, for the most part, by combining common details relayed by several separate sources.
"It was like pulling teeth," Reidy said.
Reidy added, however, that Reginald Carr was capable of making choices and understanding right from wrong.
But with such distance all his life from stable caretakers and from unconditional love, the psychologist said Reginald Carr might not have hated his victims. He may have just grown to see human relationships as insignificant and lives as disposable.
"You don't get the kind of crime you've got here without someone being damaged," Reidy said.
Reach Ron Sylvester at 268-6514 or email@example.com
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For detais about the murders see: The Wichita Massacre
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He could have gone on to say,"Yet, such abandonment is made necessary by government policies invented by liberal Democrats. In order for the welfare checks to arrive on time, the father must be well out of the picture, and we all know crackheads need those welfare checks."
The Carr family history is truly sad. How many other small children are being turned into depraved, soulless killers by being raised with less moral direction than a coyote?
To me,everything the psychologist said is just more argument in favor of execution. These people obviously reached the point of non-redemption long ago. Society will be a better place when they are dead.
Also: What Thomas Reidy said he recently learned about Reginald Carr and his family fits profiles of violent behavior developed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the surgeon general.
You know they shouldn't be profiling. < /sarcasm>
I heard the defence floated a theory that there was a third perp.
They have DNA and an eye-witness... one of the victims.
How much you wanna bet one won't get the hot needle?
50K says one will just be charged with rape!
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