The Strange Case of Thomas Quick

51GLkF8W9mL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200__editedThis book is published by Portabello Books and describes how a petty criminal became convinced that he was a serial killer because of the school of psychotherapy practiced at the psychiatric prison in which he was incarcerated. This school of pychotherapy was lead by a woman who practiced recovered memory therapy and sought to find evidence of sexual abuse in all her clients
If true, this is terrible. But I suspect that it may not be true because the writer of The strange case of Thomas Quick inherited his interest in the case from another deseased journalist who had links with the false memory movement before he even met the person who called himself Thomas Quick. This persons name is mentioned in a UK false memory newsletter from 2005 (1)
In other words, the book can be seen as the result of an agenda in seach of a story ( arbeit a very good story) rather than the other way round.
The book has structural similarities with another classic piece of false memory literature by Debbie Nathan called Sybil Exposed. Both books tell a gripping story about a vulnerable hero who meets a psychotherapist who encourages them to remember things that had not happened and make up stories about multple personalities that do not exist.  At first the hero knows that they are making things up but eventually they get sucked into the therapist’s vortex.  The hero changes their name and cuts themselves off from their family.
In other words, the book’s structure can be seen as an example of standard false memory movement genre
One problem I have with the book is that the publishers blurb says he was a petty criminal before he received psychotherapy from the wicked therapists.
According to my reading of the book he had comitted the following acts before having therapy
  • numerous sexual assauts against minors
  • threats to kill minors if they told of these assaults
  • two instances of attempted murder, one of them against a minor
  • one instance of grooming a minor over a period of four years and getting him to commit arson and armed robbery
  • arson
  • armed robbery
  • holding a family hostage at gunpoint over a period of many hours – including a baby ( as part of the armed robbery )
  • numerous drug offences
  • forgery
Maybe there has been some kind of mistake in the translation. Or perhaps these crimes are seen as petty in Sweden


(This link no longer works. The organisation’s archive is held at the Centre for Memory and Law, City University, London)

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