Allow us to disabuse the pro-abusers. Dr. Richard Gardner’s son told the New York Times that his father committed suicide. Contrary to false assertions made by the father’s rights movement, Richard Gardner most certainly did not die peacefully in his sleep.
It was far uglier than that.
The Bergen County (New Jersey) Medical Examiner reported that Dr. Richard Gardner died a gory, bloody and violent death – from his own hand. Gardner took an overdose of prescription medication while stabbing himself several times in the neck and chest. Gardner plunged a butcher knife deep into his heart.
The medical examiner removed the knife from Gardner’s chest and listed the stabbing wounds as the cause of death.
(Here is Gardner’s autopsy report and the NY Times obituary.)
Dr. Richard Gardner’s Complete Autopsy Report
Dr. Richard Gardner, M.D.
born April 28, 1931
May 25, 2003
“CAUSE OF DEATH:
Incised wounds of chest and neck.”
County Of Bergen
Department of Public Safety
Medical Examiner Autopsy Report
May 27, 2003
GARDNER, Richard A.
New York Times
June 9, 2003, Monday
Richard Gardner, 72, Dies;
Cast Doubt on Abuse Claims
By STUART LAVIETES
“Dr. Richard A. Gardner, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who developed a theory about parental alienation syndrome, which he said could lead children in high-conflict custody cases to falsely accuse a parent of abuse, died on May 25 at his home in Tenafly, N.J. He was 72.
The cause was suicide, said Dr. Gardner’s son, Andrew, who said his father had been distraught over the advancing symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a painful neurological syndrome.
Dr. Gardner, who testified in more than 400 child custody cases, maintained that children who suffered from parental alienation syndrome had been indoctrinated by a vindictive parent and obsessively denigrated the other parent without cause.
In severe cases, he recommended that courts remove children from the homes of the alienating parents and place them in the custody of the parents accused of abuse.
His theory has provoked vehement opposition from some mental health professionals, child abuse experts and lawyers. Critics argue that it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome.
They also say that the theory is biased against women, as allegations of abuse are usually directed at fathers, and that it is used as a weapon by lawyers seeking to undermine a mother’s credibility in court.” …
… “His marriage to Lee Gardner ended in divorce. In addition to his son, of Cherry Hill, N.J., he is survived by two daughters, Nancy Gardner Rubin of Potomac, Md., and Julie Gardner Mandelcorn, of Newton, Mass.; his mother, Amelia Gardner of Manhattan; eight grandchildren; and his partner, Natalie Weiss.
Correction: June 14, 2003, Saturday An obituary on Monday about Dr. Richard A. Gardner, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, misstated his position at Columbia University. He was a clinical professor of psychiatry in the division of child and adolescent psychiatry — an unpaid volunteer — not a professor of child psychiatry.”
End of Obituary Excerpt
A comment about Dr. Richard Gardner’s suicide released by the last man to cross examine him, attorney Richard Ducote:
¬Ý¬ÝJune 1, 2003
“Parental Alienation Syndrome is a bogus, pro-pedophillic fraud concocted by Richard Gardner. I was the last attorney to cross examine Gardner. In Paterson, NJ, he admitted that he has not spoken to the Dean of Columbia’s medical school for over 15 years, and has not had hospital admitting privileges for over 25 years.
He has not been court appointed to do anything for decades.
The only two appellate courts in the country who have considered the question of whether PAS meets the Frye test, i.e., whether it is generally accepted in the scientific community, said it does not. As Dr. Paul Fink, former president of the American Psychiatric Association has stated, Dr. Gardner and PAS should be only a “pathetic footnote” in psychiatric history. Gardner and his bogus theory have done untold damage to sexually and physically abused children and their protective parents. PAS has been rejected by every reputable organization considering it.
In a Florida case in which I was recently involved, when the judge insisted on a Frye hearing, Gardner simply did not show up. Perhaps because he finally realized that the entire nation was on to his scam, he committed suicide on May 25. Let’s pray that his ridiculous, dangerous PAS foolishness died with him.”
attorney at law
New Orleans, LADr. Richard Gardner, seen here at age 67 in February 1999, authored the money making PAS theory that made him a very rich man. Gardner committed suicide on May 25, 2003, plunging a seven inch butcher knife into his neck and heart.
Gardner testified mostly for men, charging $500 per hour, routinely recommending custody to abusers, deprogramming children and threat therapy for mothers. Gardner was against society’s overly moralistic and punitive reaction to pedophiles.
To get a better understanding of the damage Dr. Richard Gardner did in his lifetime, go to this link:
“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1820