Friday, December 4, 2009
an incredible story
Terrance J. Shaw, #138254
Waiver Request attachment for #10.
Before I describe the terrible crime and events that led up to it, I need to say that I am eternally sorrowful for me raping and murdering Mrs. Erickson back in 1981. I am guilty and I accept responsibility for the crime. Now that I have had many years of treatment in the WDOC, and have also been diagnosed with Vietnam PTSD as a factor at the time of my crime, I now understand the dynamics behind what was psychologically going on with me at the moment in time when I acted out and did the crime that one afternoon in 1981. But before I go on to explain all about it, first I need to say how terribly sorry I am for the crime. Now I will go on to explain what you request of me in #10.
The description of the crime is that I was driving around having an argument in my car with my soon to be ex-wife, but she wasn't there in the car, as I was hallucinating on LSD and imagining it. When I drove past a house I saw a woman, whom I believed to be my wife, in the picture window, but it was Mrs.Erickson. I stopped my car and went straight into the house and started cursing Mrs. Erickson using the name of my wife, Valerie. I punched her, knocking her down. I raped her and tied her up with my jungle combat boot laces and went to use the bathroom. When I came back Mrs. Erickson had freed herself and was standing there in the dining room as I came out of the bathroom.
I believe she thought I had left the house instead being in the bathroom because when I came out of the bathroom she got startled and grabbed a kitchen knife off the counter to defend herself and we fought over the knife when my combat training kicked in so that I overpowered her and killed her with the knife. This is the physical description of the crime. Now I will go on to explain the circumstances surrounding the crime and why I committed the crime, etc.
To give you an overview of exactly what the Vietnam PTSD factor I was going through at the time of my crime is the following: I was going through a bankruptcy, divorce, and a death of my uncle Bernie, who was the closest thing I had to a part-time father growing up. He got diagnosed with throat cancer, shrunk down to 51-pounds and died within the year. Prior to the afternoon I did the crime for which I am still incarcerated, I took out my Vietnamese flag and pinned it to my living room wall, started wearing my jungle combat clothes, loaded up all my guns and stationed them around the house, pulled all the drapes and started drinking bourbon out of a milk glass while rocking in my rocking chair with a loaded rifle across my lap. Emotionally I felt I was under attack again, but I couldn't identify who the enemy was. I was having a Vietnam PTSD type episode, but I didn't know what PTSD was at the time, until after I was convicted and in prison at CCI where I was getting one-on-one treatment therapy by Dr. Richard Arnesen who helped me discover the dynamics of what was going on with me at the time I committed the crime.
Eventually CCl's Psychiatrist, Dr. Arnesen, asked me to join his group therapy and I agreed. I was in his weekly group therapy sessions, plus still getting one-on-one therapy with Dr.Arnesen for over two (2) years. This is all documented in my prison psychiatric files. I subsequently had a Ph.D. doctor from the Woods Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee come into the prison at CCI and evaluate me and also diagnosed me with having the Vietnam PTSD. His name is Dr. S.H. Friedman, and this is also documented in my prison files. I am currently accepted into the Vietnam PTSD residential treatment program
at the Tomah Veterans Hospital to receive the residential PTSD treatment program. I am an Honorably Discharged, service-connected disabled Vietnam veteran.
Another new factor that was not known at the time of my crime, trial and sentencing that also had to do with the acting out of the crime I committed in 1981 is the following: All the child abuse I suffered growing up (that I will go on to explain to you here) I had compartmentalized and dissociated
from, but it was unknowingly subconsciously effecting me, and it all came out in my crime. CCl's Dr. Arnesen also helped me to admit and understand the dynamics of it all and how it effected me and the crime I committed as an adult.
The following is a brief overview of some of these factors. I was born and abandoned in an orphanage by an unwed mother in LaCrosse, so I had abandonment issues I wasn't consciously aware of. The married couple that adopted me from the Catholic Social Services shortly after I was born (the Shaws) had the husband die within the same year I was adopted, and the mother must have gone a little crazy because all through my preschool and grade school years, almost daily, she beat me with a belt to the point that I would have large white whip welt marks raised up all over my little naked body from head to toe. She continually threatened to send me back to the orphanage for being a "bad" little boy, and I believed her, which resulted in me fearing abandonment some more. She frequently feigned running away from home numerous times,
(Below: Terrance At 7.)
which also terrified me and made me cry, because I believed her every time, since I was too little to know any better and that eventually she would have to come home because that is where she lived too. I was also dipped in scalding hot water, tied up, locked in the closet. Some of my adopted aunts also abused me. One aunt, aunt Corniellia, eventually got taken away in a straight jacket after her electricity was cut off, but before that she had babysat me numerous times and abused me terribly in several traumatic ways.
One summer an adult female baby sitter my mother had hired to baby sit me while my mother was at work when I was four (4) years old, and this woman repeatedly raped and tortured me (squeezing my testicles and shoving pencils and popsicle sticks up my rectum) hurt me and made me cry many times. She made me touch her private parts too and it scared me and made me cry every time she attacked me. The crime I did in 1981 is almost a copy of acting out of this childhood rape when I snapped on the victim in my crime in 1981.
I was sexually abused in preschool. In grade school the Catholic nuns repeatedly beat me and verbally/emotionally abused me and made me cry in front of the class over the period of all of my grade school years. I learned in treatment with Dr.Arnesen, that I had compartmentalized and dissociated all my baby and childhood pain and traumas, until circumstances all lined up in my life to the point in time in 1981 where one final abandonment (trigger) when my wife took my grade school aged children and left me for another man, I snapped, like a time bomb, and went off. Since I was adopted, my children were the only blood relation I had on planet earth, and that was the straw/trigger that finally broke the camels back. I believe all my childhood beatings, verbal and emotional abuse, can be a contributing factor to my crime somewhat similar to the battered woman's syndrome, only applied to me and my long years of childhood beatings and abuse. None of these factors were known at the time of my crime, trial and sentencing. It wasn't until after I was in prison at CCI and psychiatrist Dr. Arnesen helped me with treatment so that I could understand the dynamics of everything and how it all played-out in my 1 981 crime.
Within the same hour that afternoon in 1981 when I did my crime, I almost committed suicide. But at the last second, instead of my anger being taken out on myself in the form of suicide, my anger flashed out on someone else, (for which I am so very sorry).
Another factor that may be important to the board to take into consideration on whether you decide to give me a waiver, or not, (which I also didn't know was going on with me at the time of rny trial and sentencing) is that at the time of my arrest I did not admit guilt because back in my screwed up Vietnam PTSD shocked state of mind, the military had trained me not to cooperate with my captors. The military had trained me that it was my DUTY to resist and not cooperate with my captors.
I was convicted in December 1982 and in my 1982-1983 prison files, when I came through the WDOC's Assessment & Evaluation (A&E) the documents TEM-60. TEM-62,TEM-63 and DOC-221 indicate that the WDOC's professional evaluator recommends that I "participate" in sot to understand the dynamics of what was behind my crime, which is exactly what I explained to you in this waiver request that I learned in therapy with CCl's Dr. Amesen, and it is exactly what the WCI Dr. Ankarlo 02-07-03 Sex Offender Treatment report shows that I successfully did. NOTHING HAS CHANGED WITH ME OR THE SEVERITY OF MY CRIME SINCE I WAS CONVICTED AND SENTENCED IN 1982. Therefore, the years of treatment I had with Dr.Arnesen, and the three years of SOT that I’ve already had with Dr Arkarlo At WCI has satisfied my original A&E programming requirement to lower my risk of dangerousness and release back into society again. If the Board. GRANTS me a waiver to apply for Clemency, then you should also check my 02-97-03 SOT report for me having successfully "participated" in SOT and you will see that I currently have NO HIGH TREATMENT NEED AREAS AT THIS TIME. You will see the chief psychologist's written evaluation of me on the back of the 2003 DOC-1423 where he states, “Mr Shaw has benefited greatly from his participation in SOT and has displayed his understanding of the treatment principles in his self-disclosure and feedback.Dr. Ankarlo also states, "Clinical judgment alone would suggest that he has made sufficient progress in those areas to have completed his SOT need."
In closing, I would like to state that the circumstances tending to establish my suitability for a waiver on an executive clemency application are, that I do not possess a violent crime committed while a juvenile; I have a stable social history and prior (full time) tax paying work record; I have shown remorse; I committed the crime as a result of significant stress in my life and the significant stress had built over a long period of time; I lack any significant history of violent crime; this is my only felony and first time in prison; at 60-years old I am now of an age that reduces the probability of recidivism; I have made realistic plans for release back into society; plus I have developed new marketable skills (that accommodate my various disabilities) through taking extensive correspondence courses while in prison during these past 27+ years; and I have engaged in institutional activities that indicate an enhanced ability to function within the Law upon release.
Here I have shown uncontradicted evidence of my rehabilitation and there is no other evidence that I currently posses a danger to society. My current behavior during my many years since my offense, and my current mental state, demonstrate that my past offense is no longer a realistic indicator of my "current" dangerousness.
I have engaged in extensive rehabilitation through the DOC and on my own for my own personal enrichment, gained insight into my offense, expressed remorse, and made realistic plans for employment upon release. Mere recitation of the circumstances of the commitment offense, fails to provide the required "modicum of evidence" of unsuitability for release back into society again.
For all of the above reasons I respectfully request the Governor's Pardon Advisory Board to grant me a waiver so I may apply for executive clemency.