Spectral Evidence: The Ramona Case: Incest, Memory, and Truth on Trial in Napa Valley

By Moira Johnston | Go to book overview

10
The Gathering of Evidence

In a two-day psychiatric exam her father had forced Holly to take in late November 1991 as part of discovery in her lawsuit, she was asked, "What would you hope would happen to your father?"

"I would hope that he would end up going into therapy and getting help . . . I hope that he will stay away from children."

"What are your hopes and expectations about your mother?"

"I hope that she'll get on with her life and put this behind her, get married again, and be happy."

With the series of family lawsuits now moving forward like a juggernaut, it was a naive hope. The legal war machine took on a shape and life of its own, an engine that could not be stopped, dragging the traumatized Ramonas along with it. But to the attorneys being called to defend the two therapists and the hospital, the lawsuits were not about the Ramona family; they were about insurance.

In the bottom-line world of managed health care, the subjective art of psychotherapy was being forced, for the first time, to show measurable positive results. It had to be cost-effective. Gary Ramona was suing for $8.5 million. Nothing would stop recovered memory therapy faster than expensive lawsuits. If Gary were to win his malpractice suit, it would be far more than vindication. A multimillion-dollar award to a third party would be a surgical strike at the most vital and vulnerable part of the profession. For it was the insurance companies, not Marche Isabella or Richard Rose, who would pay. Insurance was psychotherapy's fuel. It paid most patients' bills as well as the costs of lawsuits. Even if the companies started getting badly hurt by recov

-172-

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Spectral Evidence: The Ramona Case: Incest, Memory, and Truth on Trial in Napa Valley
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Prologue the Memory Wars 1
  • A Perfect Family 11
  • 1 - A World of Women 13
  • 2 - The Birth of a Salesman 34
  • 3 - The Family Table 51
  • 4 - Flashbacks 76
  • 5 - Confrontation 96
  • Discovery 105
  • 6 - A Family Falls Apart 107
  • 7 - A Mother Knows 122
  • 8 - The Christmas Present 141
  • 9 - This Thing Called Repression 155
  • 10 - The Gathering of Evidence 172
  • 11 - The Gathering of Witnesses 189
  • 12 - The Memory Lesson 210
  • The Trial 233
  • 13 - Courtroom B 235
  • 14 - The Great Recovered Memory Debate 256
  • 15 - The Power of Suggestion 270
  • 16 - Holly's Day in Court 290
  • 17 - The T-Graph 317
  • 18 - The Debate Continues 333
  • 19 - Verdict 351
  • Epilogue the Impact 379
  • The Process 401
  • Notes 404
  • Selected Bibliography 428
  • Acknowledgments 434
  • Index 436
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