Jerome Joseph Relkin - Psychologist

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Jerome Joseph Relkin - Psychologist

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 6:14 pm

THE COURT: Next witness, please.


JEROME JOSEPH RELKIN , a witness called on behalf of defendant Gertrude Baniszewski,
being duly sworn by the court, testified as follows:


Q. State your name, sir.

A. Jerome Joseph Relkin.

Q. Where do you live, sir?

A. 4651 Hinesley Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Q. What is your education, Mr. Relkin?

A. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Rutger's University in 1950 and a Master's Degree from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1959, in Psychology. I completed all the course work in clinical psychology except the dissertation at Purdue University.

Q. What year?

A. I completed the course work in '62, completed the clinical internship at LaRue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis in 1963 in psychology.

Q. Have you ever worked in any place as a staff psychologist?

A. I worked as staff psychologist in maximum security division of Beatty Memorial Hospital at Westville, Indiana, so called the criminally insane, in which we saw a lot of patients.

Q. When was that, Doctor, I mean Mr. Relkin?

A. From July '59 to September of 1960 and two subsequent summers.

Q. And while there did you have occasion to psychoanalyze any of the patients up there at Beatty?

A. I evaluated many, many patients.

Q. What do you mean by many, many? About how many?

A. It would be hard to say.

Q. Would you say fifty?

A. Much more than that, a few hundred.

Q. Now, you have done research in the area of criminal psychology?

A. My dissertation is on criminal psychology, specifically in aggressive behavior, and impulsive behavior.

Q. Now, Mr. Relkin, do you belong to any psychological associations?

A. Yes.

Q. How many and which ones?

A. I believe the American Psychological Association.

Q. When did you Join?

A. 1959.

Q. Anything else?

A. I belong the Midwest Psychological Association.

Q. Where is the headquarters?

A. It is a subsection of American Psychological Association covering the midwest area.

Q. When did you join that?

A. I think 1965.

Q. Anything else?

A. I belong to the Indiana Psychological Association.

Q. When did you join that?

A. 1962.

Q. Anything else?

A. We recently formed a Central Indiana Psychological Association in this area.

Q. Did you graduate with honors?

A. I graduated from Rutger's University with honors, yes.

Q. Did you ever receive a State scholarship?

A. Yes.

Q. When and where?

A. I received a State scholarship for undergraduate work and I received an Indiana Mental Health stipend which is the same as a scholarship toward a Ph. D. course work, under the terms I am to work with the Community Health Clinic of Indiana which does not now have a psychologist.

Q. Pursuant to my request, did you make an examination of Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. I examined her Sunday.

Q. Who paid you?

A. You did, sir.

Q. When did you make this examination?

A. This past Sunday.

Q. How long did it take?

A. About three hours.

Q. Last Sunday, you mean the 8th?

A. Yes.

Q. Of May?

A. May.

Q. 1966. Where did it take place?

A. At the 5th floor of the City-County Building.

Q. And how long did it take?

A. About three hours.

Q. What was the purpose of that examination?

A. The purpose of the examination was to make an evaluation of Mrs. Baniszewski, a psychological evaluation.

Q. In response to my request, what did you do when you examined her?

A. I interviewed her rather intensively and gave her some psychological tests.

Q. Among them did you give the Thematic Apperception test?

A. Yes.

Q. What is that?

A. A series of pictures of various scenes and the person is supposed to make up a story associated with each picture. The person does not really know the purpose of the examination, does not know what she is revealing by telling the story. She is revealing, of course, something of her own personality, her own conflicts.

Q. Did you also give her the hand test?

A. Yes, these are a series of pictures of hands that I have been using in my own research. It is a relatively new test and aimed specifically at the prediction of overt aggressive behavior, the potentiality for committing overt aggressive behavior.

Q. You say you interviewed her too, is that right?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. How long did the interview take?

A. I saw her from about 1:00 to 2:30 and she was pretty upset so I let her rest about a half hour. I saw her again from 3:00 to 4:30 and the latter part was mostly giving the tests. The first hour and a half was interview.

Q. What were your findings on her two tests, Doctor? I mean Mr. Relkin?

A. The test data and the interview were both highly consistent.

Q. What do you mean - consistent?

A. Well, in other words, she told me how she felt and everything that happened to her and, of course, a person can - may or may not be telling the truth in this, but it is highly improbable she could be sophisticated enough to simulate or fool me on the test and the test data was very consistent with the interview data. She is a very passive, dependent person and rather than being sadistic she is masochistic.

Q. What does that mean - masochistic?

A. She has need to be punished herself, allow people to take advantage of her. She is a passive, dependent person, I would say generally not psychotic, has not any thinking disorder, knows right from wrong, but from her present personality, as I view it, I think it is highly consistent with her story of what happened in the basement was true.

Q. What story did she give you?

A. She became overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of all the children, with essentially no help from anyone at all and she has a very great need for love and attention and she was unable to exercise adequate discipline. I think it is hard enough to have a husband and wife taking care of a few children to do it adequately. In her case, essentially it was all she could do to take care of all the children by herself with no profession, no very good income to help her. She became overwhelmed and when these things started happening, when the children started taking over, I really believe her that she went on drugs to sort of withdraw. She did not have the strength to exercise the authority when she should have done that. This is just a sign of weakness, in my opinion. She is not a strong person. It would take an extremely strong person to adequately supervise sufficient control over all the children by herself.

Q. Did she give you her history?

A. She gave me a general idea of what was happening. She was out from drugs most of the time and really did not know. She said when she woke up things were out of control and she would take more drugs and go back to sleep. She said she did she did know about the writing and at that time should have reported it to the police but in view of her personality structure, I feel that actually she was afraid to, she felt she would lose the love of the children - on which she so much depended - and she did not do this and certainly she is guilty in this respect, of not going to the police when she should have, but this, as I say, is just a weakness of hers. She does not have strength of character and was overwhelmed psychologically by all the stresses and I explained to her even at this point she is afraid to confront her children, oppose them. She is still afraid of losing the love of the children even though they quite obviously can hurt her very seriously.

Q. Now, you say she attempted to withdraw completely, or would withdraw completely?

A. Well, some people in extremely stressful situations just withdraw or they flee. Some people fight.

Q. What did - in your examination what was her psychological reaction on stress and strain?

A. I think she just withdrew. Some people withdraw into psychosis. She did not become psychotic. She just would withdraw psychologically by taking drugs.

Q. Now, basing your answer on the interview you had for three hours and the conversation you had with her and the psychological evaluation you made of her, would you say her personality structure is inconsistent with that of a person who would intentionally harm anybody?

A. I think it is very inconsistent. I, as I said, on the contrary, she does things to have herself harmed. She explained how her boyfriend beat her.

Q. Her boyfriend?

A. Yes, Mr. Wright, and she still loves him, probably would still take him back, let him beat her up again too, if he would only give her a little bit of affection.

Q. Would you say she has a dependent personality?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you say she is aggressive?

A. No.

Q. Would you say she is passive in relation to other people?

A. I would say so.

Q. How would you describe the word passive?

A. Well, passive is - a person will not become aggressive when the situation calls for aggression. They let people step all over them.

Q. Did she appear depressed?

A. Oh, yes, she broke down and cried on many occasions.

Q. Now, did you make any findings with reference to her contact with reality at the present time?

A. I think her contact with reality is still appropriate, but she expressed some doubts about the reality of the situation - in a way she can't believe this is all happening. If this doubt becomes too strong she might become psychotic under the stress and strain.

Q. She could become psychotic?

A. Every person has a breaking point.

Q. Would you say she is sadistic?

A. Not at all.

Q. Would you say she is the opposite?

A. I would say so.

Q. That is what you mean by masochistic?

A. Yes.

Q. Just what is plain everyday language is meant by that?

A. Masochistic? A person - well, who really enjoys being hurt or allows himself to be hurt. Froyd used the term in a sexual way mostly, but used it in sexual activity, being hurt sexually. It can be used in a general way too.

Q. If the person liked you, you say she would allow people to abuse her if you give love and affection in return?

A. I think so.

Q. Would that apply to her boyfriend you talked about?

A. I think so.

Q. Would it apply to her children?

A. I think so.

Q. Would it apply to anybody?

A. Well, how do you mean?

Q. Anybody she comes in contact with?

A. I think other elements have to be present. A person would have to have the potential of giving her love and affection for her to tolerate the abuse.

Q. In other words, it could not be a stranger. It would have to be somebody that sustains a relationship?

A. I think a stranger whom she felt had a potential to give her love and affection - she would have, I think develop a relationship and she would suffer indignities from that person if she derived some potential of affection from him.

Q. I think you said it was difficult for an unsophisticated person to fool you?

A. That is the purpose for which the test is designed.

Q. There is no chance of feigning?

A. I don't say no chance. I have worked with very sophisticated criminals, very con-wise, as we say, and I won't say I could not be fooled. Some people have fooled me in the past. Mrs. Baniszewski is relatively unsophisticated. She is not a con-wise criminal. I would doubt very much, she would know anything about the theory of the projected test, recognize what is being tapped by the test I gave her.

Q. As a result of your examination of the defendant, would you be able to reach a finding with reasonable psychological certainty now as to the defendants mental condition October 26, 1965?

A. In view of my evaluation of her current functioning I would accept her story, that under the stresses at that time she just withdrew and did not exercise the proper authority that she should have. She realizes this.

Q. Did she ever discuss with you her use of barbiturates?

A. She said she took eight or ten phenobarbitals and this could put her out. When she awoke she realized things were chaotic and she would take more drugs to put her back to sleep.

Q. How was this masochistic type characterized, Mr. Relkin?

A. Well, we find a certain percentage of criminals are masochistic. In other words, they do things to got caught. They leave clues so they will get caught and so get punished. They have a need to be punished. They don't admit it to themselves. They go through all their lives being punished this way. It derives from feelings of guilt in many cases and many cases from a feeling of inadequacy. The test I gave to Mrs. Baniszewski, she never felt close to her own parents and own family and felt an inadequacy on her own part, not very pretty, not very lovable. From this she would go to any lengths probably to get affection, would pay a very heavy price.

Q. She tried to compensate herself for these shortcomings?

A. I think so, yes.

Q. Did she ever discuss to you any pregnancies of her children?

A. Well, she mentioned the oldest child just had a child, the older daughter, and she felt that it was sexual behavior going on among the other children too.

Q. Did she ever discuss a miscarriage she had?

A. That she had?

Q. Yes.

A. I don't remember her saying it. She might have. Could I refer to my notes?

Q. Did she ever describe any sensation of any kind to you?

A. What type of sensation do you mean?

Q. Physical sensation?

A. She said she was very sick physically, had lung congestion, was very physically worn out. She described her nervous condition in the throat so she could not eat properly.

Q. Did she exhibit anxiety or nervousness or tenseness during your interview?

A. Yes, I would certainly say she was very upset and very depressed.

Q. Did she discuss her children with you?

A. Yes, she did.

Q. How long?

A. Pardon?

Q. How long did she talk about them?

A. How long did she talk about her children?

Q. Yes.

A. I'd say about a half an hour.

Q. Do you think she has anxieties, complexes or any other complexes about her children?

A. I think she feels quite guilty about not being able to authorize proper authority over her children. As I say, it is very difficult thing to bring up children and her case, especially, with all the children and no one to help her.

Q. Could she have simulated or feigned any reaction you told us about?

A. As I say, she - it would be possible for her to lie to me at the interview. I think it highly improbable for her to give the same picture on the tests as she gave in the interview if she did, because she did not have the psychological sophistication to do that, an average person with average education.

Q. Was this type of conversation you had with her natural with her background?

A. I don't quite understand the question.

Q. Well, you went to her background, history?

A. Not too much. I say it would take an awful lot of time to try to trace the course of her development, as to why she is what she is. I was mostly concentrating on evaluating her present status.

Q. What significance is there, if any, from a psychological standpoint, the story the defendant related to you?

A. Could you rephrase that, please?

Q. Well, the defendant's story to you, her conversation to you - did it indicate any kind of personality structure consistent with your findings?

A. Yes, I think her story is very consistent with the testimony.

Q. What - did she attach any significance to anything in her story to you?

A. Do you mean how much understanding she has?

Q. Yes.

A. She has a certain amount of self understanding. I don't think she understands why she is so afraid to confront her children. I don't think she understands why she allows herself to be in a situation where she is taken advantage of.

Q. Do you think she creates situations where she is taken advantage of?

A. She certainly contributes to it.

Q. In what way?

A. Well, if a person does not allow himself to be taken advantage of, usually he is not taken advantage of.

Q. What do you mean taken advantage of?

A. For example, she took in two children. It seems to me she was in no position to take care of more children. She had more than she could do to take care of her own, even with the small amount of money given her. Yet it seems people more or less pressured her into accepting the children. Perhaps she thought she might get attention and affection from these children she took, I don't know. She was sort of a pushover. I don't see why people put such children in such situations. I would never put my children in such a situation.

Q. In your opinion, based upon a reasonable psychological certainty and as a result of your examination, evaluation and tests, was there any connection between the psychological statement of the defendant, as you described her and her conduct towards the deceased the night of October 26, 1965?

A. I did not go into her conduct towards the deceased. All I know is what she told me, she woke up and knew about the writing and at that time she realized she should have reported it at that time but she took more drugs and went back to sleep.

Q. Did she make any statement about the decedent?

A. Yes, she said Sylvia had a right to live as much as any other girl. She felt guilty about not taking proper action. She felt if she had, it might have prevented Sylvia's death. At the time she was too overwhelmed to be able to do anything about it and I don't think she realized fully at the time Sylvia would die.

Q. Did the defendant's mental condition, as you have described it here affect her actions any way October 26, 1965, yes or no?

A. She did not take any action, really.

Q. Did it affect her inaction?

A. Yes.

Q. How?

A. As I say, the terms of her personality structure and the situation and stress, she would withdraw and not take any action when she should. Other persons with more personality strength would not allow anything like that to build up in the first place and any crisis that did develop, they would take a strong decisive action to prevent anything from happening.

Q. What then were the defendant's acts or lack of acts attributable to, would you say, Doctor?

A. I would say things just piled up enormously and she was trying to take care of all the children alone with very, very little help and she just crumbled and they took over.

Q. In your experience and in your work in these maximum security division at Beatty Memorial Hospital and from your schooling and your work in psychology, have you ever had occasion to do any research on drugs, with reference to drugs and it's effect on memory?

A. No, I have not done any drug research myself.

Q. Have you ever done any research as to the effect of tension, excitement and stress on memory?

A. Well, I have not done research. I think most people agree when a person is very upset and excited things don't get into the memory like they should. I mean if you are upset you can't sit down and relax and study something. You are too upset to do this. There is a sort of maximum level. If you are slightly anxious, that is the best state in which to study something, like before an examination. If you get too tense, too upset, you are too upset to really retain it very well and in her case, she was asleep so things never got in - in the first place. You are out, unconscious, if you are asleep.

MR. ERBECKER: You may cross examine.

THE COURT: It is 12:00 o'clock. Let's recess till 1:30. By agreement of counsel and with the consent of the State and defendants, made in open court, the jury is permitted to separate. Be back in the jury room at 1:30 today. During this recess, please don't talk among yourselves and don't let anyone talk to you about this case or any subject connected therewith. Don't form or express an opinion on this case till it is finally submitted to you. Don't read any newspaper articles that may appear about the case and don't watch anything or listen to anything that may be broadcast about the case. Jury is excused till 1:30 today.



THE COURT: Bring in that witness, Mr. Erbecker, please.


THE COURT: Are you ready for the jury?

MR. ERBECKER: Defendant Gertrude Baniszewski is ready.

THE COURT: Bring in the jury.


THE COURT: The State may cross examine the witness.


Q. Mr. Relkin, you are not a doctor, is that correct?

A. That is correct. I am not a medical doctor.

Q. You do not have a Doctor's Degree?

A. I do not have a PH. D.

Q. You do not hold -

A. I have not completed my dissertation. That is the only requirement.

Q. You have not been issued a Doctor's Degree?

A. No, sir.

Q. Now, ordinarily a psychologist makes tests and supplies a psychiatrist with information, does he not?

A. This has been so in the past. It is changing.

Q. Normally that is done, isn't it?

A. More and more we are becoming recognized as a profession in our own right, not subservient to the psychiatrist.

Q. Are they medical?

A. They are medical specialists.

Q. Are you suggesting the capability of the psychologist is equal to those of every psychiatrist?

A. That depends on the person. It is very important.

Q. Let's say in the profession. Would you say those holding Doctor's degrees are not?

A. In psychology?

Q. Psychiatry.

A. They are all doctors.

Q. How about their proficiency as compared to a psychologist?

A. How can you compare apples and oranges?

Q. Can you?

A. No, I would not try it.

Q. Now then, Mr. Relkin, you stated you made a three hour examination of Mrs. Baniszewski?

A. Yes.

Q. I did not get your answer?

A. Yes.

Q. You stated also that that was the only time you saw her, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, who else did you talk with to verify what she told you?

A. No one.

Q. No one else?

A. No.

Q. So your entire conclusion is based upon the combination of your interview with the subject you were evaluating and the test you gave her?

A. Yes.

Q. And the test you gave her, I believe you said, Mr. Relkin, was the Thematic Apperception Test and a test of your own device?

A. No the test was developed by Wagner and Petrasky, well known psychologists in the field.

Q. When was the test developed?

A. It was published three years ago.

Q. So it's use has been in the psychological field no more than three years?

A. Roughly.

Q. Now, do you recognize the Rorschack Test as a valuable test?

A. The Rorschack Test has been in use a long time.

Q. How much longer than the test involving the hands?

A. There are fifteen thousand studies in Rorschack, most of them inconclusive.

Q. Tell the jury why you did not use this test?

A. I preferred not. I use it when I suspect thought disorder. I did not suspect that here.

Q. What did you base that on?

A. On my interview.

Q. Did you do the interview first?

A. Yes.

Q. So you found no thought disorder when you talked to her last Sunday?

A. No.

Q. However, you did find her agitated sufficiently you allowed her to rest before you continued?

A. Yes, it is a very stressful situation.

Q. What is?

A. Being interviewed by a psychologist?

Q. Is that your conclusion or hers?

A. I think both of ours.

Q. Why is it stressful to talk to a psychologist?

A. Well you go through the whole thing, she has to face herself, so to speak. I suggest things to her perhaps she has not thought about.

Q. It could not be because she might have been lying to you?

A. Anything is possible.

Q. Is that possibly?

A. It certainly is possible.

Q. That may be why she was distressed more than the mere fact she was talking to a psychologist?

A. It is possibly. I think it is highly improbable.

Q. That is your conclusion?

A. Yes, I am not a doctor.

Q. You stated that you found no aggressive behavior pattern?

A. No, her pattern is quite the opposite.

Q. No impulsive behavior pattern? Is that what you said?

A. I would not consider it impulsive, no.

Q. On the contrary, you found her withdrawn?

A. I did not give a test for impulsitity.

Q. You did not?

A. I did not consider her impulsive and I did not give the test.

Q. Is that a pure guess?

A. I don't guess. I evaluate.

Q. What did you base this evaluation on?

A. My interview.

Q. You did interview with that in mind?

A. What, whether she was impulsive?

Q. My question is - what you looked for?

A. I looked for many traits. Most psychologists look for many traits.

Q. That is what you did?

A. Certainly.

Q. Therefore you found, based upon what she told you and your test, that she was rather retiring and withdrawn?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, sir, have you been in the courtroom to hear the testimony of the State's witnesses?

A. No, I have not.

Q. What Mrs. Baniszewski has done? Now, sir, I will hand you what has been marked and introduced in evidence as State's Exhibit No. 19 and ask you to look at that object, the markings, bruises, cuts, scalding, gouges, craters and various other markings. Now, sir, there has been testimony and evidence in the record that Mrs. Baniszewski burned and scalded this girl. I will ask you to look at State's Exhibit No. 3. I will ask you to look at that and notice where the skin is missing, the gouges, bruises, brands, mutilations. There has been testimony a part of that was done by this retiring and withdrawn person you evaluated. I will hand you further what has been marked State's Exhibit No. 4 and ask you to examine that. There has been testimony here that she was observed putting scalding water on this person. Did she tell you any of that?

A. Did she tell me she did this? Is that what you are asking me?

Q. Did she tell you anything about it?

A. She told me she did not do anything.

Q. Then you did discuss what she did do or might have done to Sylvia Likens?

A. Certainly.

Q. I thought you told Mr. Erbecker you did not?

A. I don't remember that.

Q. What did you discuss with reference to this?

A. She told me what she had remembered of that period.

Q. What did she tell you?

A. She had been taking drugs heavily and that when she would wake up and realize things were chaotic and out of hand she would take more drugs and go back to sleep.

Q. Is that all she told you?

A. Her recollection of the whole period was very vague and she did not believe she was capable of doing anything like that.

Q. What else did she tell you about what she had done to Sylvia Likens?

A. That was substantially all.

Q. Is there anything else, substantial or not, she might have told you about Sylvia Likens?

A. She said, as I had said before, Sylvia had a right to live like any other person and she was very sorry she had died.

Q. Did she tell you anything else, what she had done or not done with reference to Sylvia Likens?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A. I don't think so.

Q. Did you ask her anything else?

A. No, I don't think so.

Q. And you did not consider it important to ask - to get her reactions what she might have done or had not done in the charge of homicide?

A. Well, we covered that, I think. She said she did not do it.

Q. You stopped your questions at that extent?

A. On that particular issue, yes.

Q. Now, did you testify on direct examination, sir, that she had the potentiality for overt aggressive behavior?

A. I said she had a low potentiality for overt aggressive behavior. She told me about her relationships in the past where she had been beaten herself.

Q. Did she say she enjoyed that?

A. No, she did not say she enjoyed it. On the other hand, she stood it, did not leave the person or make him leave.

Q. Did you say a masochist was a person who preferred or invited injury to themselves?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You say that is what she is?

A. I think she has masochistic tendencies, yes.

Q. But she is not a masochist?

A. Well, she has indulged in masochistic activities in the past, to allow herself to be beaten by her lover, if you will, and -

Q. What else?

A. To allow her children to take over.

Q. When did they do that?

A. All along.

Q. From what period to what period?

A. I did not cover the whole period.

Q. What did you cover?

A. The whole history is one in which she would - could not exercise proper discipline over her children.

Q. Do you believe that?

A. Yes.

Q. Because she told you?

A. It has been my experience and general observation that it is hard enough when there is a man and wife and both are working together taking care of and disciplining them to bring them up properly.

Q. What does that have to do with her telling the truth?

A. Well, it makes sense to me.

Q. You believed what you wanted to believe - it made sense to you?

A. I believe if something fits into the clinical picture and I have seen the picture in the past, I believe it, yes.

Q. O.K. Did you say Mr. Erbecker employed you, paid you for your services?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, you finally - I believe you did conclude she is a masochist?

A. I believe she is masochistic as well as very passive and dependent.

Q. Which means she does invite or seek out injury to herself?

A. I think so, yes.

Q. You state the best examples you have is the beating by a previous lover and letting her children take over?

A. Yes, she said she still loves the man and if he comes back she would still let him come back and probably let him beat her up again.

Q. She would probably let him beat her up again?

A. I think so, yes.

Q. Did she tell you that?

A. No, she said she still loved him and probably would take him back.

Q. It is your opinion about the beating?

A. She told me he beat her up in the past.

Q. How about the future?

A. People do not change. She would probably continue to take the beatings.

Q. That is the reason you say she would take beatings again?

A. Unless she undergoes psychotherapy, yes.

Q. You stated on direct that she was not psychotic?

A. No, she is not.

Q. What is psychotic?

A. Well, psychotic essentially means a person is divorced from reality, their thinking does not correspond to reality, they suffer delusions, distorted thinking.

Q. Do they know right from wrong?

A. In very many cases psychotics do.

Q. She was not psychotic?

A. No, I don't think so.

Q. Do they have ability to control impulses?

A. Mostly psychotics do not.

Q. You felt she did have?

A. No, to a great extent she was not able to control her behavior. She was overwhelmed by the stress of the situation.

Q. Are you talking about the children?

A. Yes, and her physical health too and financial problems.

Q. When did that overwhelming take place, as the basis of your interview?

A. I think she was quite overwhelmed a long time.

Q. Before she had children?

A. No, I think certainly the children added to the stress and when she was left divorced she did not get much help from her former husband and was trying alone to take care of all these children - where was society when she was trying to do all this, trying to take care of the children - were they trying to help her?

Q. Were you?

A. I did not know her at the time.

Q. Mr. Relkin, you stated she was overwhelmed at the chaotic conditions, including the children around the house. Can you fix a time on that?

A. I can't fix a time. She certainly seemed overwhelmed at the time and circumstances of the murder.

Q. She would be overwhelmed if she did it - it would overwhelm her when she was apprehended, arrested, wouldn't it?

A. Well, if a person -

Q. You can answer yes or no.

A. I know I can.

Q. I'd like to have a yes or no answer.

A. If a person did commit -

Q. Just a minute. Can you answer yes or no? That would overwhelm her, wouldn't it?

A. If a person did commit a murder, -

Q. I want an answer. Then I will give you a chance to explain.

A. Would you rephrase the question?

MR. NEW: Would you read it please?


A. Your premise is if she did it?

Q. I assume you can't answer the question?

A. Some people are overwhelmed when they commit a crime and are caught, some are not.

Q. Was she?

A. I don't think she did it so I can't say.

Q. You are confident she did not do it?

A. I don't believe she did it.

Q. That is your conclusion, the first time you saw her last Sunday?

A. That is right.

Q. You have heard none of the evidence from the State?

A. I have tried to keep completely away since Mr. Erbecker told me a couple of months -

MR. NEW: I would like an answer.

THE COURT: Let the witness finish the answer.

A. Since Mr. Erbecker indicated I might be called on to evaluate Mrs. Baniszewski a couple of months ago, I tried to stay completely away from the case, not be influenced any way.

Q. Let me fill you in, if you are not aware, on October 27, Mr. Relkin, the evidence has shown that Mrs. Baniszewski told -

MR. BOWMAN: We object.

THE COURT: Let me sustain the objection of Forrest Bowman to the question, as far as defendants Coy Hubbard and John Stephan Baniszewski are concerned and overrule it as to Gertrude Baniszewski.

MR. NEDEFF: We are going to join in that motion.

MR. RICE: And Paula Baniszewski joins the motion.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury and Alternate Jurors, you will ignore the question and answer as to Paula Marie Baniszewski, John Stephan Baniszewski, Richard Hobbs and Coy Hubbard. Now ask the question, sir.

Q. Mr. Relkin, Officer Kaiser said on the 27th of October 1965 this lady you evaluated - said you were convinced was innocent - she had told her son Johnny to go get some human waste and make Sylvia Likens eat it and it was brought up in some wax paper and that she further said that she had made Paula write a note on the Sunday before the girl died because she was afraid she would tell lies on her, blame them for her sores. She stated also to Officer Kaiser she had burned her on the arm with a cigarette. She stated also that she had gotten a black eye when she had struck out at the dead girl and missed and hit herself. She further told Officer Kaiser she had seen her son Johnny burn her with matches. Did Mrs. Baniszewski tell you any of that, Mr. Relkin?

MR. ERBECKER: We object to that for several reasons. One is the record shows only that the officer testified to it, not that she stated it. Further the statement - question fails to inform the witness that she denied that, Therefore, Your Honor, it is an improper question if he does not get the response of the testimony of the defendant in that question.

THE COURT: Overruled as to defendant Gertrude Baniszewski. Objection sustained as to the other defendants.

A. May I make a comment?

THE COURT: No, answer the question. The question is, did she tell you that?

A. No, sir, she did not.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen, you will ignore the question and that answer in arriving at a verdict as to defendants Paula Marie Baniszewski, John Stephan Baniszewski, Richard Hobbs and Coy Hubbard.

MR. NEW: I think that is all.

THE COURT: Defendant Paula Marie Baniszewski may question.

MR. RICE: We have no questions of this gentleman.

THE COURT: Defendant John Stephan Baniszewski and Coy Hubbard may examine.


Q. Mr. Relkin, was Sunday the first time you saw Mrs. Baniszewski?

A. That is correct.

Q. Did she understand the purpose of your visit?

A. Yes, I explained it very carefully.

Q. She knew you were going to testify in court as to your conclusions?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she tell you her children did this?

A. Did she tell me her children did this? Essentially, she said she could not believe it happened, but said if it did happen it must have been her children.

Q. It must have been her children? Now, you have described her as passive and dependent?

A. Plus other neighbor children.

Q. You have described her as a passive, dependent type of personality, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. But - would you say in your opinion she is a truthful person?

A. Insofar as her testimony corresponded to the projected test, the result was very consistent and I would say she was.

Q. She is a truthful person then? Do you know the effects on the human body of simultaneously taking eight to ten phenobarbital tablets?

A. I am not a medical doctor.

Q. As a layman would you know?

A. Phenobarbital is a sedative. I think it would knock you out.

Q. Forty to fifty grains of phenobarbital?

A. I am not aware how many she took.

Q. Taken all at once do you think it might be enough to cause death?

A. I am not a medical doctor. I understand combined with alcohol it sometimes causes death.

Q. Would you agree then that - let me ask if you agree with this description of a passive, dependent type of personality, "In this type there is a frank expression of an absence of mature self-confidence and self-reliance. The individual is overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness and indecision. He is irresponsible and childish and may cling to others as a dependent child does to a supporting parent. He requires approval and assurance. The clinical picture may include anxiety manifestations. The passive-dependent husband may depend on his wife for all major decisions. Individuals of this type shun overt expression of aggression and withdraw from any situation likely to arouse hostility. They are passive, timid, and fearful. The underlying hostility, covered by a rigid shell of timidity and passivity is entirely unconscious". Would you agree that is a description of a passive-dependent personality type?

A. Essentially, except for the last phrase. I don't think it has to be unconscious hostility.

Q. You don't think so?

A. There might be. That is the sort of description that would cover the majority of cases. No description, a general description covers a specific person.

Q. How would this person come to have this type of personality?

A. Well, to understand this I would have to go into her childhood, into her development, quite thoroughly. It would take a long time to understand.

Q. What would you expect to find?

A. It can't be done overnight. It requires first building up confidence, establishing a relationship and a lot of things she probably does not want to admit to herself. It would take quite a long time to bring out, to fully understand herself, how she became what she is today.

Q. Would you suspect one of her parents was a passive-dependent type personality?

A. Very often we find that. For instance, the girl might emulate the mother but that would not necessarily have to be the case. As I say, there were some hints on the projected dearth of affection in the family and she felt herself to be sort of the unlovely, unloved person in the family.

Q. Is the passive-dependent type of person affectionate?

A. Very often they crave affection.

Q. Are they affectionate themselves?

A. Very often.

Q. If you can answer the question I asked you a bit ago, would you expect to find one of her parents was a passive-dependent type person?

A. As I say, sometimes you find the daughter emulates the mother or the son emulates the father. I did not go into the personality structure of the parents. It is very difficult to say.

Q. You could not draw an inference?

A. It is very risky to say what a parent is like on evaluating the daughter.

Q. Would a passive-dependent type parent be likely to bring up a child with this type of personality?

A. I would say a passive-dependent father might very well bring up a passive-dependent son, but as I say, it is difficult to state this categorically because the son might emulate the father or take the other track and after a long time change dramatically.

Q. Is it possible the son would emulate the mother?

A. Well, the children are certainly influenced by both parents. You usually find the child is influenced more by the parent of his own sex.

Q. Does that happen in failure of identity?

A. We sometimes find that a boy who has a very weak father - when you say failure of identity - becomes a homosexual, identifies with the mother and takes a homosexual trend.

Q. Necessarily at a conscious level?

A. It can be conscious or unconscious.

Q. It can be unconscious?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, you say she is also masochistic?

A. Yes.

Q. Does a masochist tend to have an unconscious need at least to inflict punishment or have punishment inflicted on him?

A. Yes.

Q. I believe you gave as an example people who commit crimes and leave clues so they are almost certain to be caught. As a matter of fact, that is a rather classical example of a masochist, to do a sloppy job so they will be caught and punished, incarcerated, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever hear of anyone resorting to any other crimes to get this punishment?

A. Well, alcoholics, for example, who have lost families and jobs and everything - essentially they are in many cases punishing themselves.

Q. If her children - did all this, she being a passive-dependent type, would you expect her to implicate them?

A. She was very fearful of implicating them.

Q. She is timid and fearful, you say?

A. I'd say so.

Q. Did you say something with respect to how she would react to hostility directed toward her?

A. She would take it, and not fight back.

Q. Can you tell me, on the basis of that, how you would expect her to react to extended interrogation by a hostile examiner?

A. She probably would break down and cry.

Q. She would not fight him back, would she.

A. I would doubt she would be a very vigorous opponent.

Q. She would not tend to get sarcastic, demonstrative to him, raise her voice?

A. My prediction would be no.

Q. That is a part of your whole picture, her lack of participation, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, what testing techniques did you use, projective?

A. I used the Thematic Apperception Test, T.A.T. Various cards.

Q. Which cards?

A. 18 G., 18 G.F., 13 M.F., 12 F., 12 W.C., 8 G.F.

Q. 12?

A. 3.G.

Q. What else?

A. 7 G.F., 5, 4, 6 F.

Q. Did you record the responses to those?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. What was the response to 13 M.F.?

A. She said the picture was depressing; he is upset; could be doing a million things; could be death involved, like Sylvia; could be hunting his feelings.

Q. Would you say there was no sexual connotation in her responses?

A. She avoided the sexual aspect in this card.

Q. What, if any inference did you draw with respect to that?

A. It was certainly a very threatening area to her. There was probably a sexual involvement in the murder and these children were involved in sexual activity.

Q. Did you find her preoccupied by sexual matters?

A. No, I did not. In fact, she says even though she was living with a man, she has rather conventional sexual beliefs.

Q. If you found a person continually, or let's say excessively discussed, talked about purported sexual behavior of other persons, would this have any significance to you?

A. It definitely would.

Q. What significance would it have?

A. Very often you find people who are very preoccupied by sexual activities have latent inclinations, unconscious inclinations themselves they are repressing.

Q. You found none of this preoccupation in the matter of sex?

A. No.

Q. Was she depressed?

A. I would say so.

Q. Do you think she was depressed last October?

A. I think so.

Q. Does irritability often occur with depression?

A. Sometimes, especially in older people.

Q. And how is this manifested?

A. Well, usually in depression younger people - the element of irritability does not enter in. They are irritable about themselves, punishing themselves.

Q. You say if a person her age had depression you would expect not to find irritability or irascibility?

A. You find it more often in older people.

Q. Do you ever find it in younger people?

A. Oh, certainly.

Q. Would you describe her life, as you were able to develop it, learn about it, from a psychological standpoint, as frustrating?

A. As I say, I did not go into her own development.

Q. Let's talk about her situation.

A. I would say it would be frustrating to feel unloved and unwanted, not close to other people in the family.

Q. What particular way do people react to a long series of frustrations?

A. They react one of several ways. You can react with aggressive behavior or react with regression against yourself. You can become chronically anxious. There are many ways.

Q. Regression to yourself, this is depression, isn't it?

A. Very often.

Q. That is internalized aggression. Can this be directed at external objects as well?

A. It can be, but usually aggression takes one course, you aggress outwardly at others, in which case you have got trouble with the law, or if you aggress against yourself you commit suicide or punish yourself, in which case you hurt yourself. But in many cases the conflicts might be the same. It would depend on how a person attempts to resolve the conflict.

Q. Someone with a great deal of internalized aggression is depressed, suicidal?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it a fact a person who is highly suicidal also has a high potentiality for homicide?

A. I don't think so.

Q. Does Dr. Meninger?

A. He might. I don't know.

Q. Do you have an opinion as to your type of personality?

A. Certainly I do.

Q. What is it?

A. Well -

Q. Let me ask you - do you think you have a passive-dependent traits or tendencies?

A. Oh, yes.

Q. In coming to your conclusion with respect to Mrs. Baniszewski's personality type, you had to evaluate her responses to a projective test, did you?

A. Yes.

Q. What is the big danger in that?

A. In many cases a psychologist projects his own psychological test in the material. I used the hand test, research and my own research, which supports the validity of the results.

Q. This hand test -?

A. Yes.

Q. To what extent has that been validated?

A. Well, it was published a few years ago, including a lot of data. My own research, as I say, quite supports it.

Q. How extensive has your research been?

A. Part of my dissertation for PH. D. dealt with this. Would you like me to go into it?

Q. Yes, I would.

A. I was doing it at the Reformatory and I first had the inmates pick a group of very passive people and a group of very aggressive people and gave them a test and the test distinguished between the two groups very well and then I picked a group of convicts who had committed chronically very aggressive crimes, murder, rape and a group who committed very passive crimes, such as check forgery and such and again the test distinguished between the two groups.

Q. How many were involved?

A. On file in the project, thirteen aggressive crimes and thirteen passive crimes and in the research proper there were thirty aggressive crimes and thirty passive crimes. I tested thirty aggressive criminals and have tested seventeen passive criminals to date.

Q. That would be on the basis of eighty-six tests, your research has been on the basis of eighty-six tests?

A. Exactly, but the point is, the difference is between small groups. We deal with small groups. In research it is difficult to get significant differences between groups. Even though I had a small group, I had a high difference.

Q. You were using extremes?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any idea of the number of tests given by the men who developed this, to standardize this?

A. The number of people they have tested?

Q. Yes.

A. Various studies - I would say - I don't know exactly - five, six, seven, eight hundred.

Q. Do you have any idea how many people were used to standardize the Rorschach test?

A. Dr. Levitt from the Med Center here recently published a revised edition of Rorschach. I am not sure how many people were used in the standardization, probably a considerable number.

Q. Would you say one hundred thousand?

A. I could not say how many he used. Two thousand, perhaps.

Q. Did you find any evidence of paranoid thinking in this woman?

A. Not at all.

Q. Not at all? Did she complain of having difficulty in handling her children?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of mother would she be?

A. An inadequate mother, one who would not be able to discipline when it was needed, exercise authority when it was needed, but a very great demand was put on her. I think it is very rare the mother has to handle all this.

Q. You are thinking about in terms of the mother?

A. Yes.

Q. Think about it in terms of the child, what kind of child do you think she would be likely to raise?

A. What kind of child would she be likely to raise - very probably a child not adequately disciplined, not trained, not able to control impulses. It might be selfish. It is very difficult to characterize all the children because some even from the worst homes - some kids turn out wonderful. On the whole, we find broken homes, homes which the parents or parent is overwhelmed with financial problems - the children get in lots more trouble than children raised in so-called normal homes with adequate financing.

Q. Would you describe her as a warm, loving, affectionate person?

A. Yes.

Q. You would describe her as a warm, loving, affectionate person?

A. Yes.

Q. She is affectionate, demonstrative?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you draw any inferences as to the type of man she might marry?

A. She would probably marry a man who would take advantage of her and might beat her, who would probably be selfish.

Q. Do you think he would be a passive-dependent personality?

A. I don't think so.

Q. You don't think you would find that in him. Would he tend to be aggressive, hostile, this sort of thing?

A. He might very well be.

Q. How long did you work at LaRue Carter Hospital?

A. I worked - served a clinical internship there from July '62 to November '63.

Q. Do you think there is some danger of her becoming psychotic?

A. It is a possibility, yes.

Q. Would you describe her anxiety as neurotic?

A. No.

Q. You would not?

A. I would describe her as a passive-dependent type of neurotic.

Q. Passive-dependent type of neurotic. Do you think that is inconsistent with anxiety neurotic?

A. By anxiety neurotic, a person is very highly anxious but does not know why she is anxious or he is anxious. In other words, the reasons for anxiety are unconscious. She knew why she was having such problems, you know, everything piling up, they were reality problems.

Q. You do not find any unconsciously caused anxiety?

A. I would say that the anxiety she experienced and the depression she experienced and the feeling of despair was conscious and based on reality principles.

Q. Is it on your evaluation of her as a passive-dependent type, that you base this conclusion, she did not have any part in this?

A. Yes, I think it highly improbable a person with this personality, would indulge in aggressive, sadistic behavior.

Q. You certainly would not think she was an aggressive type of personality, would you?

A. No.

Q. Do you remember seeing State's Exhibit No. 19 here?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Well, if a person inflicted on those wounds on that girl while she was living, would you have an opinion as to the type of person who would do that?

A. I certainly would.

Q. What opinion would you have there?

A. A very sadistic person.

Q. Is that completely inconsistent with a masochistic person?

A. As I said before, sometimes you get people who are pseudo-masochistic but that is rare. Usually they are one way or another.

Q. You can get people who are both?

A. Occasionally.

MR. BOWMAN: Nothing further.

THE COURT: Defendant Richard Hobbs may examine.


Q. Mr. Relkin, did I understand you to say Gertrude Baniszewski had psychotic tendencies?

A. No, she has no thought disorder, no psychotic tendencies.

MR. NEDEFF: No other questions.

THE COURT: Re-direct?


Q. I think you, in response to Mr. New or somebody's question, said that she was an unloved person and there was a dearth of affection in the family or something like that?

A. There are hints in the projected material.

Q. Would that give rise to the fact that everybody abandoned her, her family, I mean?

A. On one of the stories, she gave this story, associated one of the pictures that this was the dominant theme -

Q. What was the dominant theme?

A. The idea that she was unloved and not very close to any of her family and unlovely.

Q. If one of the co-defendants in this case, her own daughter, who got a separate trial, would testify against her would that exemplify this dearth of affection you described?

A. If one of her daughters would testify against her? Well, since she has such a need to love, she would be very hesitant to testify against the daughter, even though the daughter could hurt her severely. It might possibly cut off a source of love or affection.

Q. She never did tell you she thought the children did it?

A. I think she did say that she felt they must of done it.

Q. Must of done it, them or the neighbor children?

A. Yes, all the children combined.

THE COURT: Recross?


Q. Based on the answer you gave just before your last one, Mr. Relkin, she would be extremely hesitant to say anything against her daughter. Would she be reluctant to call her a liar.

A. Yes.

Q. Would that include a ten-year old daughter who testified against her?

A. In fact, I discussed this with her Sunday and I said, "You will have to come to it. If you don't believe she is telling the truth, say so", and she said, "I still hate to do that". I said, "Mrs. Baniszewski, this is what you will have to do if you will help yourself".

Q. Did you encourage her to help herself?

A. Yes.

MR. NEW: Thank you very much, Mr. Relkin.

THE COURT: Any omitted questions, any re-examination on the part of any defendants?



MR. ERBECKER: One question.

Q. What did you say when she said she hated to help herself?

A. I think she said she hated to, you know, come out against her children and I said, "This is what you have to do if you are to help yourself".

MR. ERBECKER: Nothing further.


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