THE POWER TO HARM Mind, Medicine, and Murder on Trial

Author: Cornwell (John)
Year: 1996
Publisher: Viking (New York)
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: NrF/NrF
ISBN: 9780670867677
Price: 5.00
Hardback. On September 14, 1989, 47yr old Joseph Wesbecker entered the Standard Gravure printing plant in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. A half hour later, he had killed or wounded 20 people, then turned the gun on himself. "Spree killings", especially in stressed workplaces, make the news every day; in the Louisville case, though, an unusual court proceeding provides that rare chance to go beyond the headlines to try to unravel the story not just of one man's actions, but also of America's approach to mental health and community responsibility. Working from extraordinary case documents, interviews, and his own coverage of events in Louisville, the author extracts Wesbecker's tragic story, embedded in the crises of blue-collar life in takeover America, as well as the larger story of the debate over human nature itself. Joe Wesbecker had been on disability leave from Standard Gravure for a year, reeling from setbacks in his personal life and on the job. Suffering from severe depression, he had begun taking Prozac, the popular antidepressant. The survivors and victims' families sued its maker, Eli Lily and Company, for compensation, and in the course of preparing their cases, attorneys for both sides created the most detailed profile of such a murderer ever assembled. The trial also painted a sobering picture of life at the high-stress print works, and showed how an increasingly troubled man could be left in murderous isolation. In the end the author focuses on the struggle, in labs and in law courts, over the definition of "identity" itself - what makes a person who he is, how much you can ever know about why he does what he does. An extraordinary courtroom drama in which human nature itself goes on trial. With Sources + Index. 321pp. 8vo h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. With small bump to head of sp. o/w Nr. F. in Nr. F. dw.


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