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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Deaf to the Voices in Your Head

Yesterday, a woman in San Francisco was arrested after throwing her three children off of a pier into the Bay. She said that voices told her to do it.
A woman who tossed her three young children off a pier into San Francisco Bay near Fishermen's Wharf has been arrested, authorities said Thursday, and the Coast Guard searched for the bodies of two of the children....

Lashaun Harris told authorities that voices had told her to throw her children into the water, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. It was not immediately known whether she had an attorney.

Asia Powell, who identified herself as Harris' cousin, said Harris was taking medication for a mental illness...

The pier is in the Embarcadero area, which draws tourists to the historic Ferry Building within view of Coit Tower and the landmark Transamerica pyramid. It's about a mile from Fishermen's Wharf.
It was reported on FoxNews that Harris' mother was trying to gain custody of the children, presumably because of her daughter's mental illness.

While the entire story is horrifying on its own, that's not what's really bothering me about this. Someone called 911 after seeing this woman throw three children off of a pier. One at a time. After she had removed their clothing. Because voices in her head told her to do so.

If I had seen any of this, I would have heard voices in my head, as well. The voices would have screamed first for caution ('uh... why in the world is that woman taking the clothes off of her kids... that's... odd') then shear terror ('O.M.G. She just tossed that baby into the Bay!') then action. No, I wouldn't have just called 911 to report what happened. I would have stopped her. Grabbed the kids. Ran away with them and then called the police.

Why is only sane people who are deaf to the voices in their heads? Sometimes those voices are a good thing.

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