Insanity defense: Six notorious cases when it worked

Categories: Crime, News

Bruco Eastwood
Eastwood, Bruco Strong Eagle (012178).jpg
Eastwood had a history of mental problems. After an arrest in 2002, for example, he was placed on a mental health hold because he thought voices were coming from a Nielsen ratings box attached to his television -- and he continued to hear such voices in the years that followed. He was also reportedly afraid imaginary creatures were stealing food from his stomach.

Against this backdrop, Eastwood left the Hudson home he shared with his dad around midday on February 23, 2010, and drove to Deer Creek Middle School, a short distance from Columbine High School, where he opened fire on students as school was being dismissed, seriously injuring two before he was tackled by a math teacher, Dr. David Benke, who held him down until authorities arrived.

While in custody, Eastwood exhibited plenty of bizarre behavior -- like picking at his skin in an attempt to remove the "transforming forces" from his body.

Eastwood entered a not-guilty-by-insanity plea the following July, and doctors diagnosed him as a schizophrenic whose actions were dictated by delusions and audio hallucinations. And while prosecutors made it clear they thought Eastwood had acted deliberately on that February day, the jury disagreed. In October 2011, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, after which he was confined to a state mental hospital.

Continue to read more notorious examples of when the insanity defense worked.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

The insanity defense is as effective as prosecuting a police officer . Beyond rare !...

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault