Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dr Park Dietz: Dangerous minds

Posted on Alpha Investigations, 6.20.10 - Thanks Linda!

As America’s leading forensic psychiatrist, Dr Park Dietz puts killers behind bars. Now he has another role, making TV crime dramas. He tells Andrew Gumbel why mixing fact and fiction can be deadly serious

Dr Park Dietz has an uneasy relationship with publicity, and it’s not just because of his deep, abiding familiarity with the psychological make-up of serial killers, sexual deviants, stalkers and mass murderers.

For years, America’s foremost criminal profiler – who has testified at the trials of such criminals as John Hinckley, Jeffrey Dahmer and Andrea Yates – would not let reporters give details of his home or office. He did not want his photograph in newspapers or magazines.

The reason, which he is now happy to reveal from his harbour-front office in Newport Beach, is a stalker was after him – a man who switched obsessions from a prominent British performer (whom Dietz declines to name) after seeing Dietz’s name twice in the media and deciding they shared some bond. The stalker was arrested a few years ago and imprisoned on other charges, which has given Dietz at least a few years’ breathing room.

Dietz believes such an obsession could only have been the result of a slew of television shows glorifying criminal profilers such as himself -such as Millennium, Profiler, The X-Files and NYPD Blue. He receives slightly unhinged fan mail, from people who, he says, either feel they are victims in need of his help or simply want to be him. He sees ways in which both saturation news coverage of shocking crimes and their fictional depiction in drama series can spur further acts of real-life violence.

And yet Dietz is also very much a creature of the media – understandable, given his association with just about every high-profile murder case of the past several decades. He appears regularly on television news shows. He has been profiled in all sorts of magazines and for the past several years has been a consultant on the cop show Law & Order and its offshoot Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which has just started airing a new season in Britain. (The character of Detective Robert Goren, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is based on Dietz, and they share what Dietz describes as an “idiot savant knowledge of obscure things that pop up in the relation to crimes”.)

Originally posted here in 2006 from source -The Independent.

1 comment:

val said...

And there were we - and Vincent - thinking the character was based on Sherlock Holmes!

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List of films in production.

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"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
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Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
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Filming in St Louis - TBA

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Ron Livingston as Steve
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Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
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'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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