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Taming a defiant mind

Lori Farmer's recovery from mental illness opens window on insanity defense. Lori Farmer paces around with her guitar on open-mike night at the sandwich shop, a colorful place filled with other eager performers who don't know about her past. The song she will sing mentions him, but not what happened. Not how.

She settles down at a table, sips her coffee and skims the topic, anyway. Delving too deep, she still cries.

"I'm afraid people will persecute me. They'll say: 'Look at her. Do you know what she did?' "

Her friend Brian Rogers tells her again. He tells her often:

"You're not the same person now."

Farmer says she knows. She was sick. The voices weren't real. God would never urge her to hurt someone -- least of all her 4-year-old son, who loved Batman and used to run around in a cape that his grandma made from an old skirt.

Zane was buried in his pretend cape 10 years ago. Farmer killed him.

She believed, with a rigid certainty she can still barely express, that she was saving him. She tried to die with him. Instead, a Pierce County judge ruled her criminally insane.

Now, after a decade at Western State Hospital in Lakewood -- most of it in a locked ward with other mentally ill people sent there instead of prison after committing crimes -- she is free.

She has struggled to get hold of a defiant mind and is trying to rebuild a life.

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Posted by: SoulRiser
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Posted in: News by NewsBot on January 22, 2006 @ 12:00 AM


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