Latest Entry: American Pravda and New York's Sixth Crime Family     Latest Comments: Talk Back Here

« Score Four More For The Good Guys | Main | Q&A: Therapeutic cloning »

February 8, 2005

2004, Psychiatric Expert Witness profiles Michael Schiavo

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

In response to several reader's emails asking if a psychiatrist had ever profiled Michael Schiavo's demeaner or possible psychiatric  problems, I offer the following 2004 expert witness testimony. Mindful that this is an expert witness in behalf of the Schindler's position and therefore prejudicial to Michael's case. However, according to Dr. Lieberman's testimony, Michael's own psychiatrist warned the Schindlers to call the police. 

--- "Michael has been under psychiatric care, including being prescribed several psychotropic medications. One of his treating therapists, Dr. Peter Kaplan, told Terri's father that he should have called the police after Michael argued with Terri's sister, Susanne, and Michael tried to attack her. This occurred right after Terri's collapse, when they were all in a house together. Terri's father told Susanne to lock her door and keep a hammer nearby."

---  "Michael fits the profile of an abusive husband. He should most definitely be investigated as the perpetrator of the 'incident' that caused Terri's collapse and her current condition."

Testimony of Carole Lieberman, M.D., M.P.H., Psychiatrist/Expert Witness
Diplomat, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
Clinical Faculty, UCLA Department of Psychiatry
247 South Beverly Drive, Suite 202
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

July 12, 2004

Preliminary Thoughts On How Terri Schiavo's Husband, Michael, Fits The Profile Of A Wife Abuser.

Based upon my interviews of Terri's father, Robert Schindler, and my research into media accounts of her case, I can provide the following preliminary opinions at this time:

--As the author of the book, Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them and When to Leave Them, I have studied men who exhibit pathology in their relationships with women. Profiles of the twelve different types of bad boys are explained. Michael Schiavo fits the profile, described in the book as the Prince of Darkness (see chapter 13). O.J. Simpson was cited as a classic example of this type, and there are indeed similarities between the two men. It is especially significant to note that O.J. flew into a homicidal rage when he realized that Nicole was totally abandoning him, as is characteristic of these impulsive men who most dread being abandoned by their woman. Similarly, Michael Schiavo was likely to have known that Terri had begun making plans to divorce him, since she had told a coworker and family member. Stalking is characteristic of this type of man, as well. And a girlfriend of Michael's, Cindy, accused him of stalking her in 2001.

--Terri's personality fits that of a woman who would have been attracted (and attractive) to such a man. She was a loner as a child. In high school she was overweight and not popular with boys. She had low self-esteem. She was extremely compassionate, nurturing and subservient. They met when Terri was 20 years old, and married by the time she was 21. Such whirlwind courtships are typical of these men, who are able to spot a vulnerable woman they can dominate, and eager to seal her commitment to him.

Terri was frightened to object to Michael's pathologically controlling behavior. For example, he would monitor her odometer to control where she went. He tried to isolate her from her friends and family. She had to account for every penny, though they often lived on her income, since he would be fired, sometimes only after two weeks. He would splurge on $400 suits for himself, while she had to economize. He called her at work 3-4 times a day, often complaining of hating his job because no one appreciated him. He was often observed scolding her.

--Terri's family observed black and blue marks on her before the incident that plunged her into her current state. Medical records and/or experts have revealed that her neck injury was consistent with strangulation. A bone scan revealed multiple fractures occurring within 1-2 months before or after the incident, which has been described as equivalent to her being "hit by a mack truck". Michael has given three different explanations of how he found Terri after the incident.

--Michael has had Terri's jewelry re-set into a ring for himself. Terri had two beloved cats that she adopted from an animal shelter, where they'd landed after being mistreated. When he moved in with his girlfriend, Cindy, he had Terri's cats euthanized. Psychologically, this is symbolic of what he is trying to do now to Terri.

--Michael has been under psychiatric care, including being prescribed several psychotropic medications. One of his treating therapists, Dr. Peter Kaplan, told Terri's father that he should have called the police after Michael argued with Terri's sister, Susanne, and Michael tried to attack her. This occurred right after Terri's collapse, when they were all in a house together. Terri's father told Susanne to lock her door and keep a hammer nearby.

--As a psychiatric expert witness, I have had experience performing psychiatric examinations of men like Michael Schiavo, and testifying in court about similar cases. The above is simply meant to illustrate some of the indications that Michael fits the profile of an abusive husband. He should most definitely be investigated as the perpetrator of the 'incident' that caused Terri's collapse and her current condition. If Terri were to be allowed to die, as Michael has been desperately struggling to achieve for years, it could help him escape detection. This would be a grave miscarriage of justice.

For more information, you may contact Dr. Carole Lieberman at (310) 456-2458 or via email at

Posted by Hyscience at February 8, 2005 12:34 PM

That Michael Schiavo is nothing but pure EVIL!


Posted by: Fran V. at February 10, 2005 9:24 AM


Posted by: Mrs. Mary LaFrancis RN (retired) at February 10, 2005 9:59 AM

God does not want the (spiritual)death of the sinner, but repentance. I am praying daily for the conversion and salvation of Michael and the spiritual and physical protection of Terri. I wrote a letter to the Arch Bishop of the St. Petersburg Diocese begging for their intervention. Doesn't anyone know that "thou shall not kill" is not a suggestion, nor an option, but a commandment and that food does not constitute extra ordinary life support? It is easy to be in support of euthanasia if you're not the one being killed! May God have mercy on our Country and all of the misguided men and women who support the evil of abortion or euthanasia or assisted suicide! A.M.D.G. Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Ozog at February 10, 2005 11:22 AM





Posted by: Mrs. Mary LaFrancis RN (retired) at February 10, 2005 11:55 AM

Since Michael doesnt want Terri, why doesnt he let Terrri's parents take her...?? THey choose life!

Posted by: Maureen at February 10, 2005 4:40 PM

Michael is certainly a tragic figure. It would seem that initially his sole purpose was to kill Terri, so that he could inherit all the money that was originally earmaked for Terri's rehabilitation. Almost all of that money is gone now in paying legal fees so that the courts will permit Terri to be starved to death; a death that would be painful, just the same as if you or I were starved to death in a similar way.

We really must wonder what his motive is to keep wanting to have her killed.

Hopefully he will repent and turn to the Lord.

Paul Copeland

Posted by: Paul Copeland at February 13, 2005 6:23 AM

May we continue to offer a prayer for Terri that our Heavenly Father will intervene in this affair for those making decisions in her regards will realize the importance of the issue and do the right thing. May these men and women realize that they will stand before a Holy God someday to give an account for this decision and realize that they do not have to authority to act as God. May this event cause us, as Christians, everywhere, to realize the fight against evil is a constant life and death struggle, and one to be committed to. May God grant us all a measure of wisdom to pray and do the right thing.

Posted by: Shery at March 4, 2005 2:00 AM

His motive is obvious -- personal survival. Granted he no longer will get all the money but if Terri recovers she can witness against him and Florida prisons are NO picnic -- especially for the wife-beater types.

Amazing, no doubt some poor black or cuban kid is serving time in juvie for boosting a CD from a local store while creeps like Michael get a free ride.

Perhaps some of the Million dollars found its way into the judge's pocket. He seems highly and irrationally motivated to kill her as well. I suspect Michael has threatened to sing about a bribe if he does not pull this off.

Carl Street

Posted by: Carl Street at March 18, 2005 11:58 PM

I hope that someday both Michael Schiavo and judge Greer are in a position where someone can remover their feeding tubes. And I hope that they are aware of what's happening, and suffer accordingly.

Posted by: Danny Schmidt at March 19, 2005 2:40 AM

Why on earth would Michael want to kill Terri to avoid her testifying? Honestly, meaningful recovery for Terri - a person with severe brain damage - is likely to mean she *might* one day feed herself. This is not a case where if evil Michael is forced to allow treatment that three years from now, Terri is going to walk into court and say " hey folks, thanks for saving my life and yes this all happened because Michael tried to kill me repeatedly."

I'm not saying Michael's a nice guy. I'm saying that there's been 14 years and ample time and opportunity for a case to be made that he tried to strangle his wife. The parents of Terri didn't exactly, in 1991, turn and say "it was him!" did they? No, all of the whispered allegations that it was really Michael and not Terri's anorexia started seven years later when the court cases for Terri's feeding tube began. If they thought that he tried to murder their daughter, why weren't they saying that to the police in 1991?

This is a tough case, made tougher by nasty insinuations, but rest assured, whether Terri lives or dies, she's never going to make a dramatic entrance into court and say " My husband strangled me" and if the proof wasn't there in 1991, its not going to be there in 2005. Sadly, I have a very strong feeling that if Terri does die, that her parents are going to continue to make these allegations for years to come.

Posted by: Rap at March 19, 2005 11:22 AM

It is a sad commentary on modern Americans that a vile creature like Judge Greer is given life-or-death authority over a helpless woman; and, in judicial collusion with the brutish, psychopath Micheal Shiavo, can order her murder.
What kind of animal would aid and abet such criminality?--The 'just-doing-my-job' American who lives in fear of losing his pension for failing to obey a low dog like Greer and imagine himself a fine fellow for 'feeling real bad about it'.

Posted by: Leo Womble at March 19, 2005 11:31 AM

Interesting to note the "learned medical opinions" of posters regarding whether or not Terri could ever testify. When, in fact, there are numerous cases of substantial recoveries where medical experts have stated there "is no hope".

The "caring" Michael has denied Terri ANY and ALL therapy even in the face of nearly unanimous medical opinion that her condition could be improved substantially through its use. The fact that the hospital has refused to remove her feeding tube shows that it is being done AMA -- Against Medical Advice.

One must wonder WHY such a denial took place. Certainly it is/was NOT:

* Money -- even if he was unwilling to part with her own money there are numerous others willing to pay.
* Commitment -- even if he was unwilling to fulfill his marriage vows (in sickness and in health), her parents, and virtually unlimited numbers of volunteers have been willing to assume personal responsiblity.

As a trained investigator, I learned a long time ago that if something does not make sense, the REAL truth is being hidden. Micheal has not passively endured his wife's condition; he has ACTIVELY and AGGRESSIVELY denied her therapy and blocked every attempt to improve it.

It does NOT take a rocket scientist to see that Michael's actions, inactions, and denial of others to attempt to aid her defy the logical activities of one who is "committed" to his wife's happiness. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that his motivatton lies elsewhere.

Moving beyond the circumstantial evidence of his activities (BTW, the standard of proof to arrive at a death sentence in the Peterson case) one must also consider the TANGIBLE evidence of abuse. This evidence consists of testimomy, psychological profiles, AND, most damning of all -- medical evidence of both impact and strangulation injuries.

It would be interesting to see what a thorough IRS audit of Both Michael and the judge would turn up. I suspect that the judge has had some "magical" fund finding even as Michael's resources have been depleted -- and ALL THAT IMPLIES.

Posted by: Carl Street at March 19, 2005 12:11 PM

Point me to the near unanimous multitude of doctors that agree that with therepy, Terri will be able to walk, talk and testify against her husband and not just sit up on her own and feed herself and I will gladly listen.

In the meantime, I wonder if people realize that the great whisper campaign of "Michael wants his wife dead because he tried to kill her" is one of the reasons that the pro-life crowd looks bad in this case. Again - 14 years and no charges and no accusations from Terri's family until this right to die mess started. If they really thought that Michael tried to murder their daughter, why were they silent for 7 years? I've seen some of their statements and to listen to them, Michael was showing off his horns and tail so why the wait?

I know thats probably not a popular opinion here, but its just not helping Terri for people to run around suggesting that at some point "the truth that Michael was trying to murder Terri" is going to magically come out.

Posted by: Rap at March 19, 2005 12:24 PM

Since it was necessary to misquote me in order to make your point I can only conlude either you are illiterate or intellectually dishonest.

Assuming the latter is NOT the case, I suggest re-reading my post will clarify what I actually said -- your apology is accepted.

If the latter IS the case, then your cover is blown and your public embarassment speaks for itself in a way I could not.

Have a nice day....

Posted by: Carl Street at March 19, 2005 2:45 PM

Carl - my point is not to offend you, so I am sorry if you were. I just think that the "Michael is a murderer and he wants to kill Terri to shut her up forever" line of thinking is hurting the attempt to save her life. Take a look at Shery's post. That is the mentality I'm talking about, that all of this therepy that Michael has denied is somehow going to cure Terri of permanent brain damage. My objection to removing Terri's feeding tube is that she's not brain dead and there's no written instruction concerning her wishes. As you suggest in your post, the money's gone at this point so what's his motivation to force this issue? Sure, he could be an abusive monster who strangled his wife - and I don't discount the possibility - but at this point, after court case after court case and all of these hearings, where's the hard core evidence? There's a LOT of people looking at this man pretty damn hard and at Terri's case, so why isn't any concrete evidence that Michael tried to murder her being found? I would also like to see an IRS audit done - and I have no doubt it will be done because the litigation in this case is going to continue for years - but honestly? Considering the level of media attention this case is receiving, Judge Greer and Michael would be total fools to be doing anything dirty with the money.

So why is Michael not just releasing Terri into her parents care? It certainly would be the easy thing to do. Is it possible, just possible, that a wife might have discussed the right to die with her husband and not sent a certified letter to her folks? Yes, it is. It's also possible Michael tried to kill her - but we don't have proof of either option, and the experts on *both* sides are so politicized at this point that I don't trust their opinions.

I don't think it's intellectually dishonest to want to see some actual proof before we all convict this man of murder. Please, and I mean this, if there's some sort of hard evidence of attempted murder out there, direct me to it.

Posted by: Rap at March 19, 2005 3:53 PM

Thank you for a considered response.

Now that we dispensed with the the argumentum ad hominen, perhaps we can address the issues:

1. There is HARD medical evidence that Terri has suffered attempted strangulation. However, statute of limitations requirements preclude it being introduced at this point without her testimony.
2. With respect to "not wanting to risk being dirty in the spotlight" (paraphrased, but I believe accurately), in my opinion I believe both Michael and the Judge have a tiger by the tail. Initially, they probably thought this would be aother "closet murder"; but now that they are in the spotlight they have NO real alternative but to try and tough it out.

Unlike Television copaganda shows, in real life people can and DO get away with murder. Unfortunatley, they can and do use the state as their surrogate in the process. This case smacks of all the elemnts inherent in such.

Noted rehabilitation medical experts (including one Nobel Prize Winner (have volunteered to examine and work with Terri over the past few years -- WITHOUT CHARGE. But, both Michael and Judge have denied them EVEN ACCESS for examination, much less theraputic attempts.

The ONLY beneficiary of such a policy has been the legal stance of Michael and the Judge who seems to be acting, not as an independent jurist; but rather as Michael's legal advocate. Consequently, claims that there is "NO EVIDENCE" must be evaluated in the context of the fact that the opportunity to even attempt to determine the existence of such evidence has been aggressively, resolutely and repeatedly denied.

And, given Michael's history, the clouded circustances and unsupported allegations regarding Terri's wishes, ONE MUST ASK WHY.

In Fact, there is MORE circumstantial evidence and CONSIDERABLY MORE TANGIBLE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE even with these legal constraints than there is in the Peterson case. A case that was decided largely on purley circumstantial evidence and resulted in the DEATH PENALTY.

In summary, there is NO compelling economic, legal, or rational basis to deny independent medical experts access PRIOR to starving Terri to death. Unless, of course, the advocates of starvation have a hidden agenda that would be threatened by such access.

I rest my case...

Posted by: Carl Street at March 19, 2005 4:31 PM

Michael Schiavo is EVIL. He has something to hide and I can't believe he is going to get away with this. If he had nothing to hide he would not want her dead so badly. He has a new family and kids. He would not let her have treatment. Even if she had an infection he would not allow it to be treated. He had hoped is was going to kill her. He admitted it in court. God works in mysterious ways, he will get his!!

Posted by: Stacey in Canada at March 22, 2005 9:59 AM

I'm taking an online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life at this website. I'm asking for over (2) million signatures on my online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life. If any one wants to sign my online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life, they are very much welcome to sign my online petition to save Terri
Schiavo's life. My online petition is at this website.

Posted by: Miss Kelli Taylor at March 22, 2005 8:17 PM

I'm taking an online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life. I'm asking for over (2) millions
signatures on my online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life. I'm praying for Terri Schiavo, her families, sisters, brothers and her friends.
There are now:(14,263) signatures against Judge George W.Greer to impeach him and to get him off
the bench. I was also told that there is a petition against Judge James Whittemore to impeach him and to get him off the bench too. If
anyone wants to sign my online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life, go to this website to sign
my online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life.
I am asking for over (2) millions signatures on my online petition to save Terri Schiavo's life.

Posted by: Miss Kelli Taylor at March 22, 2005 8:25 PM

When a so called loving husband says that "He" will care for his ill stricken wife for the rest of her life and then turns completely around after a medical malpratice settlement that "He" has total control of and say's that his wife would not wish to live on in her ill condition, is in my opinion is someone who's word's can not be trusted.
Terri's mother,father and family love her and they most certainly can and would take care of her for the rest of her life without hesitation unlike her husband who want's her very DEAD for some reason.
Any judge worth his salt would return Terri's guardianship and care over to her parents and remove her loving husband [NOT] from her life FOREVER.
What her husband and the courts have done to this poor woman over the years is just cruel and
obscene. Justice is not only blind but obviously stupid as well.

Posted by: Louis Aubuchont at March 22, 2005 9:49 PM

WHO IS Michael Schiavo? What does he do for a living, now?

Why hasn't he been charged with attempted murder, spousal abuse, polygamy, fraud...

WHY does Michael want Terri to die?

Posted by: Tammy Waters at March 23, 2005 1:12 PM

"Revenge is mine said the Lord". He will have His moment with the evil in this world. There will be no place to hide, no place to run and definately no place of relief from the "Wrath of God".
Have mercy on Terri Lord. Not my will but Thy Will Be Done.

Posted by: Dawn at March 24, 2005 6:21 PM

I am so sick about all this!! I had a husband exactly like Terri that I took care of for 9 years until the Lord took him of natural causes.
I cannot believe this is happening. Divorces come and go and 5-6 years is not enough to know someone that well----families are there when divorces happen to hold their child's hand. Mike Schiavo is another Scott Peterson.
Laws need to be changed. Which one of us would want someone who was married to OUR daughter, tell us we could not care for her and we could see HE wasn't and had another woman. It totally sickens me to know this inhumane thing could happen to each and every one of us.
I cannot believe ONE MAN has the right to starve someone. He isn't even allowing her to have ice cubes or meds to help. He is going to cremate her so noone will ever be able to prove anything happened between him and her. I PRAY WITH ALL MY HEART that he gets what he deserves! I guess Terri is giving her life for the rest of us who are too niave to stand up for her---niave that this could happen to our families. Adults, I found when my husband was like Terri, cannot handle a disabled person. I would get nasty comments like"If I was like that I wish I were dead"---instead of any hope. They cannot face it because they are fearful of it themselves. My children's friends were the only ones that could accept our family and were our blessings to keep us going, and now they are adults who are caring people. God Bless them. My husband lost all his friends (they just couldn't face him)and even his relatives were "shy" of him because he was not able to talk to them. Everyone was afraid to give him a chance except the young people who catered to him and helped me take him fishing and places with us. I only wish adults could be so kind.
I shake my head at this----God would have taken her when it was time-----MAN SHOULD NOT---and especially ONE MAN who would starve a baby obviously!! All I can say is, Good luck to his new wife to be----he is abusive!

Posted by: IOne Lentz at March 26, 2005 10:02 PM

After being a registered nures for 30 years I am appalled at what is happeing to Ms Shiavo. Yes, we do stop feedings, ventilatiors, respirators, etc. When the person is terminal and actually in the dying process. When the body is so wore out and debillitated there is nothing left. In Ms. Shiavo's case this seems not to be so.She wasn't dying. She was a healthy woman. If this was not so, her heart would have stopped in 3 to 4 days after cessation of food and water. I saw the films, Ms. Shiavo did smile at her family. She did get some joy from the balloon. I don't know why Mr Shiavo wants to end her life. He could have gone on and let family care for her without his divorcing her. I hope that all circumstances surrounding her ordeal from start to finish are investigated. OBRA regulations state all residents of Long Term Care, Hospice, etc are to have a standard of care. Turning, positioning, dignity, cleanliness, social interaction no matter their condition. These are federal regulations. How did the administrator of any care center allow her basic standard of care not be given. No one has the right to deny a resident these rights. If nothing else, the life the the facility gravitates around these standards...

Posted by: Sharon at March 27, 2005 2:37 AM

I think its about time that we let Terri go home to god.. And I also think that Terri's parents should stop putting Michael down and stop trying to get money from people and my opionon is that the parent should stop there crap and start coming to terms that shes going to die and there is nothing more can be done.

Posted by: kristine at March 29, 2005 9:35 PM

Some of the judges cronies are whining that his
critics are endangering his life. pooooor baaby.

Posted by: charles nickalapoulos at April 3, 2005 5:06 PM

A couple of lawyers have suggested that because
Judge Greer is a judge , and Terri Schiavo was
nothing but a comotose vegetable , his life is
mote important than hers.
They were claiming Greers critics were endanging
his life.

Posted by: charles nickalopoulos at April 3, 2005 5:25 PM

Articles Related to Terri Schiavo's Life Counts: