Experts don't believe serial killer is crazy - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Closing arguments expected in Cleveland Strangler mass murder trial

Closing arguments are expected this afternoon in the Anthony Sowell mass murder trial.

It was a long Tuesday morning for jurors, as they heard testimony until around 1PM before breaking for lunch.

The serial killer's attorney first cross-examined Dr. Diana Susan Goldstein. Dr. Goldstein is a neuro-psychologist who specializes in how physical injuries effect people's behavior.

Sowell's attorney challenged Dr. Goldstein's conclusion that Sowell is faking his mental problems. 

An exchange between Sowell's lawyer and Dr. Goldstein became tense as she objected to his use of psychological terminology. It ended with his attorney saying, "Are you saying it's normal to live in a home with rotting bodies?" She said it doesn't show Sowell crazy, rather shows he suffers from a significant "cognitive impairment."

Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. James Knoll was next on the stand. He did an extensive review of the defense produced psychiatric report on Anthony Sowell. Dr. Knoll reviewed the tape of the police interview of Anthony Sowell, watching for his behavior, mood and other characteristics. He concluded that Sowell was articulate and logical in his conversation showing no abnormal or bizarre behavior.

The prosecution is pushing the idea that the defense analysis of Sowell's mental state is flawed because it happened much after the crimes.

Dr. Knoll says 40% of violent offenders say they don't remember their actions. Prosecution says this is what Sowell is doing. He also says Sowell's defense psychiatric profile is flawed because it didn't delve far enough into Sowell "malingering" or lying.

Dr. Knoll says there has never been a case where a complex series of crimes can be tied to a specific defect in the brain.

Sowell took the stand in the death penalty phase of his trial Monday afternoon, and apologized for his actions. 

Sowell was convicted of murdering eleven women and burying their bodies in and around his Imperial Avenue home last month. The same jury that convicted him must now decide whether Sowell serves life in prison, or is put to death. 

Copyright 2011 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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