Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder by the book: Murder by Deception

The Truth about Demons

Dr. Joseph Bohlen testified for several hours about Harrington's state of mind at the time of the double homicide. Bohlen had not actually been Harrington's psychiatrist, but he had reviewed his case files, along with other materials in the possession of the prosecution. He stated that Harrington abused both alcohol and marijuana, and suffered from schizotypal personality disorder. His ideation was odd and eccentric, and he apparently had strange fantasies, but his condition fell short of a diagnosis of psychosis. What Harrington had said about "Dahm" was to get attention, nothing more.

Roger Harrington
Roger Harrington

Under cross examination, Dr. Bohlen refused to label Harrington's ideas as delusions and stated that he found no evidence that incidents of domestic violence in 1990 and 1992 were linked to mental illness. In short, he offered nothing that would assist Winger.

Another mental health expert, Dr. John Lauer, had treated DeAnn Schultz for a series of problems, including four suicide attempts, and had determined that the cause of her agitated psychological state were the secrets she had kept about Mark Winger. Lauer had urged her to tell her family and the police, predicting that until she did, she would fail to heal. He testified that she had first admitted what she knew about Winger in September 1998, and this statement from a professional was key to corroborating hers, and to showing that she was not just a spurned mistress seeking payback.

"She told me she was very scared of this husband," Lauer stated, "that he may come and kill her. She said she knew he was involved with the death of her girlfriend."

Two co-workers of Mark Wingers also added to the case against him. One said he had seen Winger embracing a woman other than Donnah, and the other said that despite Donnah's call to him about her harrowing ride Winger had not gone directly home but rather had remained unnecessarily in Tennessee for two extra days. Winger had also wondered out loud about what would happen to their new baby if Donnah died.

But the most important witness for the prosecution was the woman who had come forward to the police, whose story had inspired them to reopen the case.

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