Understanding Forensic Psychiatry from One of the Best, William Reid, MD, MPH

Understanding Forensic Psychiatry from One of the Best, William Reid, MD, MPH

Dr. William H. Reid is board-certified in general and forensic psychiatry, a professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas Dell Medical School.

In this episode we discussed “forensic psychiatry 101” in general, to set the context for better understanding his work, and in particular, we will discuss his latest book, A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings.

We have known each other for likely two decades and even co-authored a little here-and-there together, and in this episode chat about an overview or “101” of forensic psychiatry, including the M’Naghten Rule and how it came about, NGRI and how insanity is a legal not psychiatric term, the concept of guilty but insane, the forensic unit of Elgin State Hospital and getting patients fit to stand trial and mental health court, infanticide and that in England the maximum charge is manslaughter if withing 12 months post-partum but it’s the most common charge those in our maximum security state hospital for women in Illinois, that Kansas, Montana and Utah have abolished the insanity defense, and more.

Bill’s latest book, A Dark Night in Aurora, has been described by Daniel Patinkin, author of The Trigger: Narratives of the American Shooter said about your book, “Stunning, scrupulous, and relentlessly gripping . . . a triumphant work of investigative nonfiction . . . Reid is brilliant—as deft a storyteller as he is a scientific communicator.” New York Times Best Selling author, Robert Kolker, said “anyone searching for insight into our nation’s crisis of mass shootings should start here.”

Bill had a very rare and broad level of access to James Holmes—hew was the only psychiatrist allowed to video interviews, he worked with the case for over a year, reviewed 75,000 pages of material and hundreds of CDs and DVDs, interviewed dozens of witnesses and other sources, and he spent over 23 hours interviewing Holmes himself on video. He shares how he got involved with the case, and we do a deep dive in to all aspects of the case, his work, and the book and what spurred him to write it.

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