update deskU.S. News

Psychologist: Pittsburgh synagogue shooter ‘hurt’ he didn’t receive parade

In the trial’s death-penalty phase, the defense is focused on Robert Bowers’ mental health.

A makeshift shrine to the victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Credit: Brendt A. Petersen.
A makeshift shrine to the victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Credit: Brendt A. Petersen.

The man convicted of killing 11 Jewish worshippers at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2018 thought he acted heroically, Richard Rogers, a forensic psychologist, testified in federal court.

The death penalty is under consideration for Robert Bowers, now 50, whom Rogers evaluated over four days late last year.

Rogers said on June 29 that Bowers “also wanted medals” and that he was “blatantly psychotic.” Another forensic psychologist testified the prior day that the defendant was schizophrenic, had attempted suicide as a teenager and had been committed involuntarily.

Prosecutors insist that the massacre took significant time to plan and that Bowers made his intent explicit in wanting all Jews to die.

Dr. Siddhartha Nadkarni, a neuropsychiatrist with epilepsy expertise who analyzed Bowers for four hours, disagreed. “I don’t think he’s incapable of planning it out, but I think the reasons for planning it out are not reliable in his mind—in his brain,” he said.

Michael Williams, a Butler County Prison corrections officer, testified about his observations of Bowers’ behavior. The defendant does not have a cellmate and appears coherent in discussions. He watches a lot of news programs and seems to enjoy coverage of his trial, seeming to smirk when he sees it, Williams testified. Bowers seems not to like illegal immigration and is not on medication, he added.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates