Hearing denied for man who blames killing on war flashback

Mail Online | 9/21/2018 | Associated Press;Dailymail.com Reporter
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New Hampshire has denied a pardon hearing request from a convicted murderer who strangled his fiancee and stabbed her seven times in the heart, which he blamed on a Vietnam War flashback.

The Executive Council voted 3-2 on Thursday not to hold a public hearing to re-examine the case of Gary Place, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of 32-year-old Wanda Olsen in 1983.

Place - US - Marines - Killing - Result

Place, who served in the US Marines, said the killing was the result of post-traumatic stress disorder after the aroma of rice cooking and the hot, muggy weather triggered a flashback to his experiences during the brutal battle of Khe Sanh in 1968.

The couple had been arguing about breaking off their engagement when the killing occurred.

Testimony - Place - Olsen - Hands - Cord

According to his own testimony, Place admitted strangling Olsen with his hands and an electrical cord and repeatedly stabbing her as she lay on her bed.

During Place's three-week trial in 1984, defense witnesses said the weather, the smell of rice cooking wafting from a nearby Chinese restaurant and the heated dispute with Olsen had triggered a response that caused the war veteran to view her as the enemy.

Arguments - Place - Defense - Attorney - Defendant

In closing arguments, Place's defense attorney said while the defendant was holding onto Olsen, he started seeing images of people in black pajamas.

Assistant Attorney General Malmberg rejected the flashback theory and relied on a psychiatric expert who said that Place suffered from a paranoid personality disorder, which was not responsible for the attack.

Place - Woman - Engagement - Ring - Extension

Place testified that he had strangled the woman when she cursed him and refused to return his engagement ring. He said he remembered grabbing an extension cord, but not wrapping it around her neck six times. He said he also remembered getting a knife from the kitchen and stabbing her.

The defense said...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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