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Joyce Wishart Murder

schizophrenic murder sarasota

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#1    petermattson

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:13 PM

Here is an article on the case:

http://www.sptimes.c...o_suspect.shtml

This case fascinates me in at least 3 ways:

1. The delineation between "crazy" and "insane" in the eyes of the law.

2. To my knowledge, there is not a better peek into the mind of a schizophrenic than the story of Elton Murphy.

3. During the time of this disturbing murder, I was working and socializing in the downtown Sarasota area where the crime occurred. The people who worked in the Main St. area lived in terror for months.

For those with patience/high interest in the case, here is a radio interview with the author:

http://www.blogtalkr...-michael-benson

If you'd prefer to read/skim the book detailing the life story of a schizophrenic killer, here is the Google Books preview of Evil Season by Michael Benson:

http://books.google....florida&f=false

(My apologies to any of you who may have seen this in the Chicago Xmass Decapitation thread, as I posted it there as well.)

Just to be clear, I looked for a thread in the forums about Joyce Wishart without any results. If this has already been discussed, feel free to link me to that thread.


#2    lindsea

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:32 AM

Hmm. Schizophrenia is sooo wildly interesting to me, especially knowing someone diagnosed. According to the Herald...

"At a 2006 hearing, he called himself "The Lord God Elton Brutus Murphy" and told the judge he was not mentally ill and his trial should start as soon as possible.

But psychologists then reported he talked about aliens, saying that he had 1,000 followers who are under his control and that he had replaced the soul of his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Adam Tebrugge, by surrounding him with books and magazines."


#3    petermattson

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:07 PM

View Postlindsea, on 06 January 2014 - 04:32 AM, said:

Hmm. Schizophrenia is sooo wildly interesting to me, especially knowing someone diagnosed. According to the Herald...

"At a 2006 hearing, he called himself "The Lord God Elton Brutus Murphy" and told the judge he was not mentally ill and his trial should start as soon as possible.

But psychologists then reported he talked about aliens, saying that he had 1,000 followers who are under his control and that he had replaced the soul of his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Adam Tebrugge, by surrounding him with books and magazines."

While working as a barber he felt he had mastered the art of hypnosis and he would hypnotize his clients into giving bigger tips or would steal money from them. He also claims that he would grope women unbeknownst to them (because they were hypnotized).
The book is a fascinating examination of the schizophrenic mind. It's tragic he didn't get serious help or permanently locked up before he committed this incredibly brutal crime.


#4    Vincennes

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:27 PM

This is horrible but it makes me think of the Johnny Depp movie where he played the barber that had the trap door under the chair.

I always thought that Schizophrenia was multiple-personality disorder.  Never realized the difference until I worked for a minute in the juvenile prison system Psych Dept.  What I did learn there was that their cunning and their physical strength is INCREDIBLE !   We got one, a twelve year old, who was at twelve very small in stature and weight probably 4'6" and not even 100 lbs.   We got him in maximum security because no one else could handle him.  His original offence was for breaking into an empty warehouse.  Should have been nothing but a slap on the wrist and a lesson.  Well it wasn't.  He could get out of any straight jacket they put him in.  OK, they said his size enabled him to do that.  They ordered special ones for his size.  Didn't work.  They went to restraints.  Full body restraints ordered for just his size.  Could get out of them also.  So they had to put him with an individual guard.  One of those guards, an older experienced one at that, told me that at this size, this kid could bench press 350 lbs. with his legs.  The other kids had told the guard that and he didn't believe it until he saw the kid do it.

We actually did have really good Psych staff, who really cared and they tried everything.  What happened to him ?  Well, as I said, we were maximum security with one unit being the top, state of the art design for individual control.  He engineered a plan and managed to get one of the guards into his cell......and to lock the door behind him...(Cunning~ At 14 he managed to figure out how to use their own state-of -the-art security system against them)... so there was no way the other guards could even get in and assist.  Then he went at him with a couple of ball point pens with such strength there were incredible injuries.

At 14 that kid was transferred to the adult system with a life sentence for attempted murder.  That's where he needed to be and we all prayed the other adult prisoners would manage to control him.  Harsh, yeah, but I will always be glad he didn't get to walk the streets again.  The guard, a really nice lady, was also severely mentally damaged and went on to suffer a nervous breakdown.

Edited by Vincennes, 06 January 2014 - 05:32 PM.


#5    petermattson

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 07:39 PM

View PostVincennes, on 06 January 2014 - 05:27 PM, said:

This is horrible but it makes me think of the Johnny Depp movie where he played the barber that had the trap door under the chair.

I always thought that Schizophrenia was multiple-personality disorder.  Never realized the difference until I worked for a minute in the juvenile prison system Psych Dept.  What I did learn there was that their cunning and their physical strength is INCREDIBLE !   We got one, a twelve year old, who was at twelve very small in stature and weight probably 4'6" and not even 100 lbs.   We got him in maximum security because no one else could handle him.  His original offence was for breaking into an empty warehouse.  Should have been nothing but a slap on the wrist and a lesson.  Well it wasn't.  He could get out of any straight jacket they put him in.  OK, they said his size enabled him to do that.  They ordered special ones for his size.  Didn't work.  They went to restraints.  Full body restraints ordered for just his size.  Could get out of them also.  So they had to put him with an individual guard.  One of those guards, an older experienced one at that, told me that at this size, this kid could bench press 350 lbs. with his legs.  The other kids had told the guard that and he didn't believe it until he saw the kid do it.

We actually did have really good Psych staff, who really cared and they tried everything.  What happened to him ?  Well, as I said, we were maximum security with one unit being the top, state of the art design for individual control.  He engineered a plan and managed to get one of the guards into his cell......and to lock the door behind him...(Cunning~ At 14 he managed to figure out how to use their own state-of -the-art security system against them)... so there was no way the other guards could even get in and assist.  Then he went at him with a couple of ball point pens with such strength there were incredible injuries.

At 14 that kid was transferred to the adult system with a life sentence for attempted murder.  That's where he needed to be and we all prayed the other adult prisoners would manage to control him.  Harsh, yeah, but I will always be glad he didn't get to walk the streets again.  The guard, a really nice lady, was also severely mentally damaged and went on to suffer a nervous breakdown.

Good lord.


#6    lindsea

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:45 AM

View Postpetermattson, on 06 January 2014 - 07:39 PM, said:



Good lord.

MTE. Which is one more example of why I am fascinated. It's similar to stories of people who have adrenaline rushes and can lift cars or whatever. I wonder if adrenaline plays a part in schizophrenic episodes where people exhibit extra strength, but then are worn out and catatonic (drained after exertion). If anyone has any personal insight as opposed to just Google results, that'd be cool. Especially if it can correspond with this case and the guy's mental manipulation!


#7    Vincennes

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:07 PM

View Postlindsea, on 07 January 2014 - 01:45 AM, said:

MTE. Which is one more example of why I am fascinated. It's similar to stories of people who have adrenaline rushes and can lift cars or whatever. I wonder if adrenaline plays a part in schizophrenic episodes where people exhibit extra strength, but then are worn out and catatonic (drained after exertion). If anyone has any personal insight as opposed to just Google results, that'd be cool. Especially if it can correspond with this case and the guy's mental manipulation!

I don't know but I do know the guard who saw him bench press that was one of the most experienced and believable.  One other thing I didn't mention that you have to also consider.  During the times we had to put him in full restrains, he was also medicated !   None of it had much of an effect on him perhaps only slow him down for a minute until he adjusted to it.

Makes me also remember a time we caught him on audio video and he was leading a group of kids around a corner to surprise some or achieve something he wanted and we heard him say, "Now, guys, remember what I taught you! "  Cunning enough to be teaching others even though I doubt he had much going on in the way of literacy.

We had another one who was far less dangerous, who used to mail threats to the President.  Every once in a while we would look up and there would be the FBI to talk to him.  LOL   One time he had sent off several and when they got there to question him they found another letter in his room, a threat to the Governor.  When they asked him why he didn't mail that one, he said, "Well I didn't have his zip code. "  " Do you have his zip code?"  He usually always had a pretty good plan to, just how he was going to do it.  Good enough to bring in the FBI

Here again, I think 15, with probably not more than 3 grades in school , perhaps able to function socially on perhaps a 30% level of normal.  What interested me the most with him is one time they found a letter that seemed to be some kind of code to the guard who found it.  It was most of a full page neatly printed.  All of a sudden it struck me what the code was, I held it up and it was mirror writing, perfectly done.......and they didn't have any mirrors in the dorms for safety reasons.

Edited by Vincennes, 07 January 2014 - 01:18 PM.


#8    petermattson

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:41 PM

View PostVincennes, on 07 January 2014 - 01:07 PM, said:

I don't know but I do know the guard who saw him bench press that was one of the most experienced and believable.  One other thing I didn't mention that you have to also consider.  During the times we had to put him in full restrains, he was also medicated !   None of it had much of an effect on him perhaps only slow him down for a minute until he adjusted to it.

Makes me also remember a time we caught him on audio video and he was leading a group of kids around a corner to surprise some or achieve something he wanted and we heard him say, "Now, guys, remember what I taught you! "  Cunning enough to be teaching others even though I doubt he had much going on in the way of literacy.

We had another one who was far less dangerous, who used to mail threats to the President.  Every once in a while we would look up and there would be the FBI to talk to him.  LOL   One time he had sent off several and when they got there to question him they found another letter in his room, a threat to the Governor.  When they asked him why he didn't mail that one, he said, "Well I didn't have his zip code. "  " Do you have his zip code?"  He usually always had a pretty good plan to, just how he was going to do it.  Good enough to bring in the FBI

Here again, I think 15, with probably not more than 3 grades in school , perhaps able to function socially on perhaps a 30% level of normal.  What interested me the most with him is one time they found a letter that seemed to be some kind of code to the guard who found it.  It was most of a full page neatly printed.  All of a sudden it struck me what the code was, I held it up and it was mirror writing, perfectly done.......and they didn't have any mirrors in the dorms for safety reasons.

Based on your experiences and Michael Benson's book about Murphy, I think it's very likely schizophrenics are tapping into an "intelligence" that we regular folks don't or can't access. Thoughts?


#9    Vincennes

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:51 PM

Hard question.  I've been sitting here pondering it and listening to this writer's interview.   I think it is that they do not have the limitations that we do in regard to what they can access.  The first kid, the strong one, absolutely didn't know that he could not be that strong.  Didn't accept the fact 4-point restraints should be able to stop him.  IMO we put our limitations on our minds that are governed by our own perception of  what is "sane. " I hope that makes sense.

The other thing that struck me, listening to the interview was the different "levels," so to speak, of this disease.  I don't think either one of those kids could have ever masked themselves as normal and performed in a profession as this guy did.  Doesn't mean this guy performed well, I just don't think they could have even pulled off the pretense.  However, the strong kid was just 14 when he left us, so could he have developed that ability with age ?  I don't know.  I do know positively there was nothing that could be done for him.  NOTHNG ! .   Like the killer in this book kid was evil through and through.

The kid that wrote the mirror letter and threatened the President.  I think a real streak of brilliance that probably would have shown right through had he had an initial chance in life.  He had sustained far greater abuse and damage in his life than the other kid.  Go figure.

Edited by Vincennes, 07 January 2014 - 11:55 PM.


#10    petermattson

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:05 AM

View PostVincennes, on 07 January 2014 - 11:51 PM, said:

Hard question.  I've been sitting here pondering it and listening to this writer's interview.   I think it is that they do not have the limitations that we do in regard to what they can access.  The first kid, the strong one, absolutely didn't know that he could not be that strong.  Didn't accept the fact 4-point restraints should be able to stop him.  IMO we put our limitations on our minds that are governed by our own perception of  what is "sane. " I hope that makes sense.

The other thing that struck me, listening to the interview was the different "levels," so to speak, of this disease.  I don't think either one of those kids could have ever masked themselves as normal and performed in a profession as this guy did.  Doesn't mean this guy performed well, I just don't think they could have even pulled off the pretense.  However, the strong kid was just 14 when he left us, so could he have developed that ability with age ?  I don't know.  I do know positively there was nothing that could be done for him.  NOTHNG ! .   Like the killer in this book kid was evil through and through.

The kid that wrote the mirror letter and threatened the President.  I think a real streak of brilliance that probably would have shown right through had he had an initial chance in life.  He had sustained far greater abuse and damage in his life than the other kid.  Go figure.

Many schizophrenics don't develop symptoms until their early 20s which I believe was the case with Murphy. He was close to finishing his training to become a Marine and he was by all accounts a very skilled barber. He became an incredibly successful thief, with maybe a hundred B & Es before he was caught breaking into a dentist's office in Texas. He would break into homes and pray the people wouldn't wake up because he knew he'd have to kill them.

On the day he killed Joyce Wishart, he heard the voice of Jesus telling him to "rape and kill a woman." That's what we call crazy.


#11    Vincennes

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:08 AM

I can remember getting one file together and coming upon a report  that when he ran a little low on his meds it was the "little blue squirrels" that would tell him to kill people.  LOL It was a kid whose name I didn't even know, didn't really cause that much trouble.  I just kind of looked around really slowly and said, now would you mind just pointing this kid out to me............Yeah, pointing from a distance will be just fine  ~~~  :cry:


#12    petermattson

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:00 AM

I've heard estimates that 70-100 serial killers are operating at any one time. I wonder how many are the "functional" schizophrenics like Murphy.


#13    Vincennes

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:12 PM

View Postpetermattson, on 10 January 2014 - 01:00 AM, said:

I've heard estimates that 70-100 serial killers are operating at any one time. I wonder how many are the "functional" schizophrenics like Murphy.

Peter, I take it you read this book.  Was he able to slip back into his "normal" role or once he had gone far enough off did he just stay crazy ????


#14    petermattson

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:57 PM

View PostVincennes, on 13 January 2014 - 05:12 PM, said:

Peter, I take it you read this book.  Was he able to slip back into his "normal" role or once he had gone far enough off did he just stay crazy ????

I read the Google preview and I listened to the interview. It seems he slipped in and out of his hallucinations and paranoia but at some point he began to believe he had magical powers and his eye was a camera and he was the star of his own reality show. He was able to hold down the barber job for quite a while during this period. At some point the loud female voice in his head became too much for him to overcome and he would act on his bizarre impulses. Interestingly, his mother died of an accident in their home when he was young. His brother blamed Elton and Elton was questioned by the police but not charged.


#15    Maureen_jacobs

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:48 PM

Someone said there is a fine line between crazy and genius.  That line is schizophrenia.

@maureen_jacobs ~ twitter




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