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Dec-09-2009 19:49printcomments

PTSD, Insanity and Murder: Supreme Court Affirms the Connection

There is only one good thing about this tragedy, Jessie Bratcher MAY now get proper care probably at a special PTSD Veterans facility in Los Angeles called New Directions.

Judge gavel

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - On Nov. 3, 2009 I posted a similarly titled preliminary article in on the Trial of Jessie Bratcher, a two deployment PTSD Veteran from Iraq where he suffered severe psychological and physical trauma. He was on 100% disability for PTSD by the Veterans Administration. His two tours permanently changed him.

When his future wife told him she had been raped by a neighbor, he “flipped out” and killed the rapist. In flipping, he didn’t have far to go. The Army trained him to kill in a microsecond when threatened.

The Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Joslin derided his PTSD that he was “faking it” just to get a disability pension. What a scurrilous insult. He must have watched too many cowboy movies.

A million or more combat battle veterans will tell Attorney Joslin that combat was the worst experience of their lives if they can talk about it at all. MOST CAN’T!!

My Merck Manual, the standard medical reference includes PTSD as a Psychiatric/Anxiety disorder. It is different from immediate battle terror/anxiety and stays with the victim sometimes for years. Some WWII Vets still have it 65 years later.

Jessie Bratcher is a two tour Iraq War Vet

The Oregonian printed the sentencing part of the trial December 8, 2009. Jessie Bratcher’s defense was led by Attorney Maarku Sario and was aided by Dr. William Brown, Ph.D. Psychologist. He is a Vietnam Veteran and Professor of Criminology at Western State University in Monmouth, Oregon. Dr. Rubert Stanulis, also a Ph.D. Psychologist in Portland testified about the reality of PTSD.

Several war veterans testified about the miserable mistreatment of PTSD Veteran Victims by the VA system. These testimonies moved the jury to the verdict of murder during temporary insanity.

The judge, William D. Cramer was not notably kind to Jessie Bratcher. He did thank him for his service but curiously admonished him with “in undertaking to become a soldier and protect this country you brought violence to this community”.

Judge Cramer apparently did not understand nor consider the miserable lack of treatment for PTSD Veterans by the VA which is the worst tragedy of this whole mess.

Judge Cramer’s comments went even further regarding Bratcher’s flashbacks referring to an episode in which a psychologist “touched” his shoulder and Bratcher flipped. If it had been me I would have decked the “shrink”. I doubt he’ll try that again.

There is only one good thing about this tragedy, Jessie Bratcher MAY now get proper care probably at a special PTSD Veterans facility in Los Angeles called New Directions.

This is hopeful. He most certainly will not get adequate care in Oregon. The VA hospital has a miserable record and I don’t believe the Oregon State Hospital is much better. I have PTSD patients from both places.


Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist.

Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon.

Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him:

More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".

Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII

If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

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Osotan; December 10, 2009 4:36 am (Pacific time)

if the mans wife was raped by the one who was killed, Mr.Bratcher's reaction seems normal.,"flipped out"?.,what would any one of us have done?

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