- Saturday 16 Feb 2019
Time : 6:59 PM IST
BRAIN MATTERS: The curious case of Ken Parks
Team Udayavani, May 21, 2018, 6:59 PM IST
In the article ‘The curious case of Charles Whitman’ we saw how a brain tumour led him to commit crimes. Unfortunately, he was not alive to face the trail in the court of law. But, have you heard of a case, where a man commits murder, surrenders to the police, but the court of law considers him to be innocent and acquits him as he had committed the murder while he was ‘Sleepwalking’?
Welcome to ‘The curious case of Ken Parks’. Kenneth James Parks, a 23-year-old man from Toronto with a wife and a five-month-old daughter, was suffering from severe insomnia and anxiety owing to unemployment and gambling debts. Ken Parks was working for Revere Electric but was dismissed from service when it was found that he had stolen $32,000 from the company funds for placing bets on a horse race.
Ken was in good terms with his in-laws and had planned on meeting them to discuss his financial issues and his personal life. On the early morning of May 24th, 1987, he fell asleep while watching TV and at some point of time, he got up drove 23 km to his in-law’s house, proceeded to the bedroom and choked his father-in-law unconscious, stabbed his mother in law repeatedly with a kitchen knife to death.
After all this, he drove to the nearest police station asking for help, saying “I think I have killed some people…. I’ve just killed my mother- and father-in-law. I stabbed them to death. It’s all my fault”. He had no memory of what had happened.
When his court trial began, sleep expert Roger Broughton and his team were engaged to study his case. After careful examination of the case, Roger Broughton and team could uncover no other justification of the crime than sleepwalking. The electroencephalography (EEG) scans showed that Kenneth was suffering from acute parasomnia (a disorder characterized by the abnormal or unusual behaviour of the nervous system during sleep). The court considering the fact that there is no way to fake one’s own EEG results, with no criminal motive and serious criminal background, pronounced the judgement holding Ken not guilty of murder. The judge acquitted Kenneth James from all the charges.
This case may leave you wondering whether our conscious mind has any control over us. Some medical experts believe that our conscious mind has no control over what we do at all.
– Prakash Prabhu
[ Mr.Prakash Prabhu works for The Manipal Group as a Senior HR Manager with over 15 years of corporate experience. He has been the lead writer and contributor to CHIRP magazine. (An intra-Manipal group monthly employee magazine) An avid reader who devours one book after another, Mr.Prabhu is also a certified handwriting analyst.]
BRAIN MATTERS: Syndrome Evil!
7 months ago
On 17 July, 2018, the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra delivered a 45 page judgement on pleas by Tehseen Poonawalla and Tushar....
BRAIN MATTERS: Tip your brain too!
7 months ago
Recently, I was watching my son competing with my neighbour’s son on who will finish drinking a big mug of lemon juice first. My son did win the c....
BRAIN MATTERS: Dream or waking reality
8 months ago
A few months back, one of my close friends called me and apologized for not being able to attend a function in my house. When I brought to his notice ....
BRAIN MATTERS: THE FLOW STATE
9 months ago
Have you watched the rock climbing performance of Jyothi Raj popularly known as ‘Kothi Raju’ or ‘Monkey King’ at Chitradurga Fort without any ....
BRAIN MATTERS: Immortal Brain
10 months ago
Recently I was reading a very interesting article in a British news portal ‘Daily Mail’ on how scientists from National Institute of Polar Resear....
12 AMU students booked for sedition, internet services cut in varsity
3 days ago
Aligarh: As many as 12 students, including the university's students' union chief, were booked under sedition charges after a complaint of alleged....
Vijaya Bank merger: Condemnation meeting on Feb 20
1 week ago
Mangaluru: A condemnation meeting will be held against the proposed merger of the Vijaya Bank with the Bank of Baroda on February 20th by inviting all....
No one’s listening to the problems faced by travellers at the City Bus Stand
1 week ago
Udupi: The snail pace of the repair work of the Gents and ladies restrooms at the city bus stand is causing much undue trouble to the travellers as we....
Takeaways for Dakshina Kannada from State Budget
1 week ago
Mangaluru: Major takeaways for Dakshina Kannada district in State Budget Rs.15 crore grant for construction of fishing jetty for development of ....
Budget 2019-20 highlights
1 week ago
Bengaluru: CM HD Kumaraswamy presented the state budget even as BJP members staged a walk out while claiming that the Kumaraswamy was presenting the b....