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Teen beating – insanity or revenge?

Photo of Josie Lou Ratley - Teen beating - insanity or revenge? Wayne Treacy allegedly beat 15-year old Josie Lou Ratley and broke every bone in her body.
Photo of Josie Lou Ratley - Teen beating - insanity or revenge? Wayne Treacy allegedly beat 15-year old Josie Lou Ratley and broke every bone in her body.
Photo of Josie Lou Ratley – Teen beating – insanity or revenge? Wayne Treacy allegedly beat 15-year old Josie Lou Ratley and broke every bone in her body.

The following is a transcript of Russ Morley, host of 850 WFTL radio interviewing Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. about Wayne Treacy, a 15-year old Deerfield Beach High School student, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted first-degree murder and is being tried as an adult. Wayne Treacy allegedly beat 15-year old Josie Lou Ratley and broke every bone in her body.

Russ: I appreciate you having us on this morning, 8:13 on this Monday, May 17, about 78 degrees in South Florida.

On Friday, we learned that a few hours before the savage beating at Deerfield Beach Middle School back on March 17, the teen charged in the attack, told friends via text messages that he planned to snap Josie Lou Ratley’s neck and stomp on her skull to kill her for badmouthing his dead brother. Here’s a quote from one of the texts, “Snap her neck then stomp her skull is the fastest way I could think of.” Another choice one was, “This bitch ran her mouth about my bro who she knew was dead, now I want her head.” And he got it he broke every bone in her face, still undergoing therapy as of this morning. We’re not really sure of the condition of this young lady ‑ this 15-year-old Josie Lou Ratley. But what is his test – I think there was some plea of temporary insanity. He said he’s not guilty of this crime. What does that say about that and what does it say about this young man?

Joining us this morning is Human Behavior expert and Celebrity Life Coach, Dr. Patrick Wanis from Miami. Dr. Wanis, good morning.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: Good morning, Russ.

Russ: You’ve had a chance to look at some of these texts out there. What do you see about this Wayne Treacy? What do you see about this kid?

Dr. Patrick Wanis: I think the first thing that is definitely clear is that this is a clear case of revenge. He’s seeking revenge. He’s seeking what he believes to be justice. It’s going to be very hard for the attorney to prove either insanity or temporary insanity because the first thing is: he has to prove that the defendant was diminished in mental capacity. That means that he couldn’t understand the nature or quality of his behavior. And second: that the defendant couldn’t differentiate between basic ideas of right or wrong when he was actually beating her. That’s a very hard thing to prove because if you look at the actual chronological list of events…as early as 11:30 in the morning, Wayne Treacy is saying, “I’m going to hurt someone and I know I’m going to jail for it.” One of his texts just says, “I’m going to jail for murder.” That’s before he’d done something. That’s three hours before. Then he proceeds, throughout the day intermittently to say, “I’m going to hurt her. I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that.” Then after he does it, he says, “I’m going to jail because I tried to kill someone.”

Russ: It doesn’t sound like he’s insane. Well, yes, it does sound like he’s insane, but not what the law says…

Dr. Patrick Wanis: Not in the definition of insanity.

Russ: And there’s also premeditation here too, obviously.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: There’s going to be information that you and I don’t know about. There’s going to be information that hasn’t been released, and, of course, there are other circumstances that need to be looked at. Apparently, it is true that the defendant here, Wayne Treacy, had witnessed the hanging of his brother or witnessed his brother hanging ‑ that’s means after he was dead, his suicide. And that was I think back in October.

Now, what effect that has on him, I don’t know. It’s possible that he’s still going through the grieving process. It’s possible that he does have anger. But anger isn’t the same as rage because what Wayne Treacy allegedly did with this girl that allegedly said bad things about his dead brother is equal to rage, not anger.

The other thing I would be interested to know is, since the death of his brother (the suicide) and since witnessing the death of his brother, has Wayne Treacy been undergoing some sort of counseling, some sort of psychiatric counseling? And if so, has he also been given any medication? Here’s why I’m asking that question.

Russ: Uh-hum.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: Recently, its’ been revealed that there are numerous lawsuits against Accutane. Accutane by La Roche is actually an anti-acne drug. Interestingly, there’s been a number of settlements of people who’ve had their bowels and even colon removed because of Accutane. But also, there’s another class action lawsuit by users of Accutane claiming that they wanted to commit suicide; that they were going into deep depression. And one of those people involved in that lawsuit are the parents of the 15-year-old Tampa boy who tried to fly his plane or a plane into a skyscraper. Do you recall that story?

Russ: Sure. Sure.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: This kid had been using Accutane for eight months. Now, the prosecution or those involved in the lawsuit are going to have to link Accutane and this boy’s behavior. But it’s interesting that they’re even going that far.

So, I’m wondering, was Wayne Tracy on some sort of medication that may have made him violent? Again, I’m not saying that justifies it, but we need to get a better understanding of from where all of this comes. Because this isn’t just anger, it’s also rage so…

Russ: It seems to me Doc ‑ I ran into a lot of parents like this. In lieu of care and discipline out there sometimes and just doing what they’re supposed to be doing as a parent, they look for some kind of excuse or some kind of a drug to say, “Hey, my kid has got ADHD. He’s got this, got that.” I don’t think any of that is good for kids, I mean, particularly at this point in their lives.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: Well, now we’re talking about a lot of issues that definitely need to be addressed. One, of which, is the way that parents are raising their children. The second is what we teach them about violence and how to respond to issues that you’re going to face every day in your life. When someone says something you don’t like, when someone repeatedly makes remarks about you or someone you care about, that doesn’t instantly mean that you can go out there and punch them, hit them, or respond to it with violence.

We’re not being taught emotional intelligence. We’re not being taught how to control our emotions. We know this boy is 15. We know he doesn’t have all of his mental capacities in the sense that his brain hasn’t fully developed. But I think a lot of this is another example, of so many cases, Russ, where the parents are not raising their children to teach them how to handle their emotions, how to deal with situations, and who knows what else?

I don’t know this boy’s family story. I don’t know what his background is. I don’t how he was raised. I don’t know if he was in a family of violence. I don’t know if he witnessed violence as a child or if someone was violent to him. But what we’re seeing day after day is more and more of these cases of young kids who are not being taught how to handle their emotions. And it’s going to another extreme whether it’s exposure to violence in the media, TV, film, videogames or whether it’s a case of some sort of psychiatric medication or whether it’s illegal drugs, but I think you’re still going to see a lot more of it.

Russ: Let’s go back to the prescription drug angle for just a second out there. Is it standard operating procedure now for investigators to ask if they’re on any kind of prescription drug, be it Accutane or I don’t know? Are there some other ones out there that kids that are being given on regular basis could have, you know…

Dr. Patrick Wanis: Now, hold on, you said, a very important question. Is it standard procedure for them in the investigation to ask that question?

Russ: Yeah.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: I don’t think so. But there is a very well-known and respected doctor and author, Dr. Peter Breggin who’s written about this and who claims that there is a huge link between violence and people on medication, people on drug medication. I mean understand too that a lot of these companies often put out the drugs without doing years and years of testing. I mean recently there was a pharmaceutical who was fined 500 million dollars for selling a drug that hadn’t been approved. Now, the drug company doesn’t care because they just made more than one billion dollars off that drug – maybe 1.5 billion dollars, so they don’t care if they lose 500 million dollars. I mean they do care, but it’s not the same as having made profit of say one and a half billion dollars.

Russ: And I’ll tell you another one to be careful of, I’ve had two people telling me, close to me, that this stuff really makes them screwy and that’s Lyrica, which is being prescribed now regularly for any kind of nerve damage or pain, fibromyalgia, that sort of a thing out there. Both of them have had some real interesting episodes with that drug.

Dr. Patrick Wanis: As a closing comment, because I know you’re out of time, what we need to remember is that every time you’re using any sort of psychiatric medication, you are directly affecting the brain and the brain is something very complex so you’ve got to be very careful. Remember that often the medication is affecting the limbic system; the limbic system is your emotional brain. And within the limbic system, is the very core part of the brain that controls our rage; it’s part of the fight and flight syndrome where we can easily engage in rage. Now again, I’m not saying that’s the case with Wayne Treacy because I don’t know him. But there’s a possibility in every case that it should be investigated: was this person on medication? What kind of medication were they on?

Russ: All right. Catch him on Fox News from time to time and on this radio station very frequently, Dr. Patrick Wanis. If you want to check out his website, it’s PatrickWanis (W-A-N-I-S) .com and it’s a pretty doggone good one.

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