Microsoft word - teenage violence press release.doc

News Release
Contact: Sarah Kocks
The Correlation Between Youth Violence and Mental Health: Lawyer and
Former Psychologist Discusses How Youth Violence Can Emanate from Insanity

In March 2005, 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed his grandfather and companion, went to
school and killed a teacher, a security guard, five students and himself, leaving a total of 10 dead. Was this a
reaction to his home life or were mental problems to blame? As a result of recent young perpetrators like
Weise, discoveries now point to nature as opposed to nurture as the igniter for violent crimes. Studies have
found a strong correlation between mental disorder and violent crimes.
Mental disorders are often manifested in young people in the form of aggression, deep depression,
difficult temperament, impulsivity and narcissism. However, in recent cases, officials blame commonly
prescribed antidepressants of developing short-term mania in children and youth.
In April 1999, two seniors at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. murdered 14 students, one
teacher and injured 20 students. The perpetrators, 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold
committed suicide after the rampage. A few days later, the Washington Post confirmed that Eric Harris was
taking the psychiatric drug Luvox at the time of the murders.
Dr. John Dicke, a doctor of psychology and criminal defense lawyer, says that, “Issues such as violent
manic episodes in children and teens induced by anti-depressants validate the plea of insanity in many cases,
such as the shootings at Columbine.”
Reports indicate that Eric Harris had a very stable family life. According to Peter R. Breggin M.D., it may
be evident that Harris was suffering from a “temporarily insane,” drug-induced manic reaction caused by an
antidepressant. These children may kill out of hatred, revenge or rage exacerbated by anti-depressants.
Dicke has appeared as an expert witness in more than 60 trials. He was an expert commentator in the
Columbine shootings, providing on-camera analysis of the tragedy for “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Dateline
NBC,” “The Fox Report with Shepard Smith,” MSNBC and CBS.
Dicke’s past experience as a psychologist and trial lawyer led him to the publish a page-turning thriller,
“Proof Evident.” The novel is a realistic courtroom suspense that takes the “who done it” formula to a
whole new level as he merges the excitement of a murder mystery with the intensity of a courtroom drama
involving a desperate plea of insanity.
Dicke lives in the foothills of Colorado with his wife, Cari. For more information about Dicke, please
To schedule an interview with Dr. John Dicke, or to request a review copy of “Proof Evident,” please
contact Sarah Kocks at (512) 478-2028 ext. 222 or [email protected].


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