Dietz, Park

views updated

Dietz, Park

AMERICAN
FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST

Park Dietz is one of the most well known forensic psychiatrists in the United States, and possibly in the world. Dietz earned an M.D. degree, a Master's in Public Health, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University. Dietz's approach to forensic psychiatry is that of the rigorous scientist; he utilizes extensive and detailed study of the subject matter at hand in an effort to develop an understanding of the underlying patterns, whether the subject is serial killing, sexual sadism, spree killing, psychopathic crime, celebrity stalking, or product tampering . His case preparation style is somewhat unique. Dietz not only employs minutely detailed inspection and analysis of employment documents, such as military records; journals, diaries, books, and letters, photos, police reports, and crime-related information, he frequently examines the murder and burial sites as well. Dietz has earned a reputation as an expert who is able to relate information in layman's terms, comprehensible to the media, to juries, and to law enforcement personnel.

Some of the more high-profile cases in which he has been involved are the trial of Presidential shooter (and would-be assassin) John Hinckley, Jr., the trial of Unabomber Theodore (Ted) Kaczynski, the investigation of Tawana Brawley, the sieges at Waco and at Ruby Ridge, the trials of serial murderers Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Ng, and the search for the Atlanta Olympics bomber. In the latter case, Dietz was able to tie the blast to two other explosions in Atlanta (one at an abortion clinic and one at a nightclub frequented by lesbians), and to one at a clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Dietz developed a sufficiently detailed profile of the bomber that it helped lead to the identification of Eric Rudolph as a suspect; he later confessed to the crimes.

Park Dietz continues his work as a noted forensic psychiatrist through two different forums. Park Dietz & Associates (PD&A) is a large forensic consulting firm whose specialty is a team approach to case evaluation and assessment; the Threat Assessment Group (TAG) is an expert training and consultation and firm dedicated to the prevention of school and workplace violence.

see also Accident reconstruction; Autopsy; Criminal responsibility, historical concepts.

About this article

Dietz, Park

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article