“NO EVIDENCE OF DESTRUCTIVE URGES”
WERE OPPORTUNITIES MISSED WHEN JERRY BRUDOS WAS ADMITTED TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL?
Jerry Brudos was committed to Oregon State Hospital in 1956, following a brutal, sexually motivated attack on a teenage girl. Police feared he had the makings of a sadistic sex criminal. The psychiatrists who examined Brudos claimed he presented as a relatively normal teenage boy. One report noted, “The boy does not appear to be grossly mentally ill… There is no evidence of suicide, homicide, or destructive urges.” Brudos was diagnosed with “adjustment reaction of adolescence with sexual deviation, fetishism” and doctors concluded that he was not dangerous. The main advice was that he should “grow up”.
The examining team appears to have normalised Brudos’s disturbed and violent behaviour and dismissed the testimony of his victims. It seems astonishing that a boy referred to them after a violent sexual assault should be classed as posing no threat. It’s possible that lives could have been saved if correct intervention was made at this point.