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

By Moira Johnston | Go to book overview

12
The Memory Lesson

April 22, 1993. Elizabeth Loftus had barely unpacked from a trip to Philadelphia the previous week for the first conference of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), which had attracted six hundred accused parents. Now she, Park Dietz, and Harrison Pope were arriving at San Francisco's airport, renting cars, and driving up to Napa for the evidentiary hearings, the major test of strength before the opening day of the jury trial on June 7.

Three vital issues would be argued at these hearings. First, could Gary sue? Would the judge permit him to sue as a third party? His right to sue had to date survived court skirmishes and appeals. Now Molien would be definitively argued, and Judge Snowden would come to a decision. Second, would Holly's sodium amytal interview be allowed into court, given the legal restraints on the introduction of any drug- or hypnosis-altered testimony? Holly had lost her first case against her father over it. Now Harrington was fighting to keep her from testifying about the amytal interview, a ploy to keep her from testifying at all. He knew how sympathetic a jury would be to a sweet, clearly honest young woman. Finally, would Stephanie be allowed to testify about the early violence in their marriage? Any suggestion of wife battering would be a sympathetic issue and could compromise Gary with the jury.

Gary's team stayed at the Napa Sheraton, preparing there before and during the two days of hearings. Pope was thrilled to be in a room with these great minds, to be drinking good Cabernet provided by Gary, discussing strategy with Dietz, Loftus, and Harrington. Gary listened as they talked, captivated, too, by the intelligence, the ideas,

-210-

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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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