When author and Georgetown University Professor of Psychiatry Anne Speckhard recently spoke to students in her hometown of Wausau, the students in attendance got something more than they expected.
It wasn't your typical homecoming. Author and criminal psychiatric specialist Anne Speckhard hadn't been back to Wausau West High School since she graduated in 1976. “It was lovely coming back,” says Speckhard. “It was wonderful to see the students. The students looked on top of their game.”
Students asked Speckhard what her most bizarre case was. She told them it was serving on the defense team for Lorena Bobbitt. “They're young enough that they don't know who that was, so I had to tell them what the case was. Her crime was that she cut off her husband's penis, and they gasped and got quite flustered.”
They asked her about her most recent book, “Warrior Princess.”
“It's the story of a U.S. Navy Seal who I met as a man, and he pulled his phone out of his back pocket and showed me a picture of himself as a woman,” says Speckhard.
They also asked about her earlier book, “Talking to Terrorists”: “They asked me what it was like to sleep in a terrorist's home, and I told them, surprisingly, it was quite normal, that the terrorists fed us, and seemed to love their children and were quite nice people,” she says.
And Speckhard told them about serving on the defense team of a Milwaukee woman portrayed in her book “Fetal Abduction”: “A woman cut a baby out of another pregnant woman and tried to pass it off as her own child.”
How did the students at Wausau West react to that and to Anne Speckhard's other stories? “I think they were horrified,” Speckhard says. “And they asked me, 'Do you get nightmares from the kind of work you do? And how do you sleep at night?' And I told them if I feel I was part of the solution, I can sleep.”
Anne Speckhard returned home to raise money for the Wausau School Foundation.