Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Short, Unhappy Life Of Ralph Tortorici. Part One.

The Short, Unhappy Life Of Ralph Tortorici. Part One.

With the announcement this week that Ralph Tortorici’s family was awarded a substantial amount of money in a settlement with the State of New York over Tortorici’s suicide in 1999 while in prison, the last chapter in Ralph Tortorici’s tortured life may very well have been written.

If you have forgotten who Tortorici was, he was the mentally ill, college student who held a class hostage at The University of Albany in 1994. He was finally overpowered by three students. One of them, Jason McEnaney was injured when the gun went off during the struggle.

Tortorici was a popular, intelligent, athletic young man who at age 16 began to show signs of being delusional and paranoid. His mental health deteriorated to the point he believed that a device had been planted in his penis whereby he received messages that told him to do certain things. On more than one occasion he was hospitalized. He sought out help on a number of occasions by walking into hospitals and police stations and asking for it.

I hope to write a series of posts about Ralph Tortorici over the next week or so. Although Tortorici is dead, the issues involved in the prosecution, incarceration and treatment of mentally ill defendants is still very much a live issue.

Possible posts include:

Lost Boys of the Capital District--Ralph Tortorici and Jon Romano.

“A Good D.A. Convicts The Guilty, A Great D.A. Convicts The Innocent”--A Look At Patricia DeAngelis & Cheryl Coleman.

Ralph Tortorici & Frontline.

Minds On Trial--Book Published By Oxford Has Chapter On Tortorici.

Mike Gallagher & Jason McEnaney. Did Popular Talk Show Host Endanger Victim’s Life?

I may not write these posts on consecutive days, as there are other issues I would like to write about. I also just purchased a digital camera so I want to experiment with uploading some local photographs to Upstream.

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