On March 13, 2003, Jeremy Perkins, a 28 year old untreated schizophrenic, stabbed his mother Elli 77 times. She bled to death in her own home. Jeremy was under the care of the Church of Scientology at the time.
He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia a number of years before the incident, however Elli Perkins (a senior auditor at the Church of Scientology in Buffalo, New York) had refused traditional mental health care for her son.
The official diagnoses had come after Jeremy had been found trespassing outside of the University at Buffalo in 2001. He was arrested and remanded to a local hospital and a subsequent court-ordered psychiatric exam confirmed that he had schizophrenia.
After his arrest Elli Perkins convinced the court to release her son into her custody, where instead of pursuing the recommended course of treatment and psychiatric care she instead followed the rules of the church.
Scientology doesn’t believe in psychiatry or allows the use of anti-psychotic medications by its members.
In fact some pro-Scientology materials declare that psychiatrists are not only useless, but evil, their medications nothing but poisons.
Elli was instructed to follow treatment in accordance with Scientology, and after various failed treatments for Jeremy, (including a spell with the Sea Organization in California) sought the help of a Dr. Conrad Maulfair, an osteopathic physician and fellow Scientologist.
According to Jeremy’s defense attorney, that despite all the evidence to the contrary, Dr. Maulfair concluded that Jeremy “was suffering from certain digestive problems, that he had certain chemical toxins in his body, and he needed to be purged of it.”
Maulfair had said he simply needed to be “energized” through vitamin therapy.”
As Jeremy’s condition worsened due to not having the right kind of care, he began to think his mother was trying to poison him.
Among Jeremy’s explanations for his actions was the fact “she makes me take these vitamins everyday.”
On the day of the attack, Elli and Jeremy had had an argument. To calm him down, Elli told her son to take a shower, which he did.
When he finished his shower, Jeremy found his mother in the kitchen talking on the phone. He retrieved a steak knife and attacked his mother as she spoke to her friend.
According to a statement given to the police, Jeremy Perkins stated:
I tried to slit my wrists after the shower … but I wouldn’t die so I decided to do my mom in instead…She was screaming, ‘No, Jeremy, don’t.’ I stabbed her about four to five times before she fell down. … I then stabbed her about ten more times in the stomach after she fell to the ground. I knew she was a goner. … I believe that I have lived different lives for the past thousand years, and wished I was in another life now.
Other explanations included, “she gets mad at me when I play my drums in my room. When she made me take the shower this morning this was the last straw.”
Autopsy reports confirmed that Elli Perkins was stabbed 77 times. Jeremy had also tried to stab out one of her eyes, as he believed it was evil.
In June 2003, Jeremy Perkins pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal weapons and second degree murder based on diminished responsibility.
He is currently being held at Rochester Psychiatric Center, having been found not responsible for Elli’s murder by reason of mental disease or defect.