Building a Dream
I've dreamt and dreamt about killing him, and there I was, holding him in my arms. Don't you see, all my dreams have come true?”
Ruth Ann Steinhagen sat at one end of a long table in an interrogation room at the Cook County jail. Cheerful and at ease, she enjoyed all the questions and was giddy with her new fame. The report to felony court from the psychiatrist who first interviewed Steinhagen described a young woman who appeared comfortable with her actions.
“One thing I'll say for Eddie, he always paid a lot of attention to me. ”
“When did he?” asked Dr. William Haines, the chief psychiatrist of the county behavior clinic. “When did he pay attention to you?”
“All the time. ” When we would walk down the street together he would talk to me. Not out loud, but in a mental sense, not physical. I didn't tell my mother because she would laugh at me. And if I told my father he would have sent me to a psychiatrist right away. But I did tell my girl friends.
“At no time did I actually feel him—I did mentally, but not in body. Mentally, I can recall him any time I want to. He has been in jail with me. I asked him, 'What are you going to do about me now? You wanted me to do this. ' At the present time he evades me. ”
“Does he say anything to you, Ruth Ann?”
“He says, 'Don't you think it would be better if you went to some hospital?' I kept asking him over and over again how he felt about the whole thing, but he keeps evading me, so I got mad and didn't talk to him the rest of the night. That was last night, and that's the way it is now with Eddie and me. ”