Cocaine, mental illness, trauma: What killed Carrie Fisher?

      I'm working on a memoir tentatively titled Four Murders and a Funeral.  In one of the murders, powdered cocaine plays a role. At least that's what the defendant and his attorney would like us to believe. Whether  the drug was to blame for the murder and whether addiction was involved is part of the story I tell. Cocaine  Carrie Fisher's use of cocaine never became much of a criminal justice issue. Some feel celebs get a pass for behavior that lands others of us  in … [Read more...]

Criminologist Yablonsky carried switchblade before seeing the light.

Lewis Yablonsky honored me by writing the forward to my first book as a criminologist, Dealing with Violence back in the '70s. We taught together and enjoyed one another's company. He died in 2014.As part of a series on great colleagues and teachers, I offer this obit of  Yablonsky by William Yardley.  Lewis Yablonsky, teaching at California State University, Northridge, in 1984. His books include “The Violent Gang.” CreditGary Friedman/Los Angeles TimesSociologist and criminolgist."Lewis … [Read more...]

Crim Justice takes a hit with regard to older celebs.

What happens when crim justice, lookism, and celebrity meet face to face? Lady Justice peaks from under her blindfold and renders "modified" justice. Some would call it "in" justice. Crim justice takes a hit. We've explored attractiveness and sentencing in recent posts.  Recently we looked at younger troubled stars. Here are a couple of examples of older troubled stars. That is, attractive people who've used their celebrity and wealth to game the justice system. The crim justice system pretty … [Read more...]

How US states rank regarding cyberbullying.

 Out of 46 states in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, Michigan ranks number one for having the biggest bullying problems in 2016. The study conducted by Wallethub measured, among other things, bullying and cyberbullying prevalence and the impact of anti-bullying laws in states.Michigan had total score of 60.18 percent, followed by Louisiana with 59.43 percent. The state with the least bullying problems is Massachusetts, with a total score of 23.33 percent. According to the study, … [Read more...]

Robin Williams, bipolar disorder?——II

I've studied depression and its variants all my life—as a psychology major, as a med student, and as an observer of those around me. I've chosen to weigh in on the debate over Robin Williams for that reason, and also because depression is an important theme in my memoir, Cleft Heart. Before delving further  into the Williams case,  I'll address some of feedback I've received regarding my assertion that Williams suffered from bipolar disorder. And since there have been new revelations about … [Read more...]

Robin Williams bipolar disorder?

I'm continuing my examination of Robin Williams mental state for two reasons. First, I admired his wide ranging talent and have had nothing but good feelings for him over the decades. Second, I've spent much of my life thinking about depression and related diseases since people close to me have suffered from such afflictions. I've chronicled some of this in Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal.  Funnyman-in-Chief had bipolar disorder?  Our nation has lost its Funnyman-in-Chief, and this is doubly … [Read more...]

If Williams was bipolar, he wasn’t alone.

Robin Williams I knew Robin Williams' death by hanging would be as hard for me to process as Philip Seymour Hoffman's recent tragic death at age 46. That's because a central character in my memoir, Cleft Heart, may've battled the black dog of depression as some allege Williams did. My family—and my study of psychology in college and med school—have sensitized me over the years  to the complexities of mood disorders, esp depression and manic-depression (called bipolar disorder today). My guess … [Read more...]