ST. LOUIS — The memories that came flooding back were so horrific that Lisa Nasseff says she tried to kill herself: She had been raped several times, had multiple personalities and took part in satanic rituals involving unthinkable acts. She says she only got better when she realized they weren’t real.
Nasseff, 31, is suing a suburban St. Louis treatment center where she spent 15 months being treated for anorexia, claiming one of its psychologists implanted the false memories during hypnosis sessions in order to keep her there long-term and run up a bill that eventually reached $650,000. The claims seem unbelievable, but her lawyer, Kenneth Vuylsteke, says other patients have come forward to say they, too, were brainwashed and are considering suing.
Castlewood Treatment Center’s director, Nancy Albus, and the psychologist, Mark Schwartz, deny the allegations. Albus pledged to vigorously fight the lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 21 in St. Louis County and seeks the repayment of medical expenses and punitive damages. As in repressed memory cases, which typically involve allegations of abuse that occurred during childhood, the outcome will likely hinge on the testimony of experts with starkly different views on how memory works.
Violent wind storm leaves path of destruction
PASADENA, Calif. — Violent winds that wreaked havoc in Western states eased Friday but hundreds of thousands of people remained without power and crews struggled to clean up smashed trees, toppled power lines and debris-strewn roadways.
In Southern California, where the damage was the worst, several cities maintained states of local emergency for a second day and a dozen school districts remained closed.
A street in the Los Angeles suburb of Temple City was blocked by a row of toppled power poles, their wires still attached.
About 200,000 people in Southern California and thousands more in Utah — where Thursday winds topped 100 mph — remained without electricity. Authorities said some areas might not have power restored until Sunday.
5-pound hunk of metal crashes into Mass. warehouse
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — The owners of a furniture warehouse in Plymouth, Mass., want to know the origin of a chunk of metal that plunged through the roof.
No one was hurt when the 6-inch, cylindrical piece of metal weighing about 5 pounds came through the roof Wednesday or Thursday. The chunk punched a small hole in the roof over a closet and scattered ceiling-tile debris.
Federal Aviation Administration inspectors say the piece of metal was broken at both ends and was not an airplane part.
An FAA spokeswoman says the chunk likely came from a piece of heavy machinery, possibly a wood chipper. That still doesn’t explain how it came crashing through the roof.
Police are also stumped.
The owner of Michael’s Furniture Warehouse says someone could have been killed.
Alabama postal worker charged with firing shots
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A 29-year-old postal employee was charged with two counts of attempted murder Friday after authorities said he used two guns to fire shots inside the main post office in Alabama’s capital city.
No one was injured in the shootings Thursday night. Officials weren’t disclosing a motive or whether the employee was targeting any specific employee.
Officials said the employee, Arthur Lee Darby Jr., was in the Montgomery County Jail with bond set at $1 million.
Suicide bomber kills Afghan civilian, injures 60 near US base
KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide attacker driving a truck packed with explosives tried to breach a remote U.S.-run combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan on Friday but instead detonated the powerful bomb in an adjacent civilian district center, killing one Afghan and injuring some 60 others.
The attack in Logar province south of Kabul mainly killed and injured Afghan civilians.
There were no fatalities among the NATO troops inside the base, said Maj. Jason Waggoner, a spokesman for the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force.