SODIUM AMYTAL for Jordan Chandler

  by Helena on

Jordan´s interview with Dr. Richard Gardner points to July 16, 1993 as the date whey Evan Chandler put the boy to sleep in order to take his tooth out. After Jordy regained consciousness his father asked him whether anything had happened between him and Michael and the boy said “yes” for the first time. Up till then Jordy had never claimed there was anything improper between the two of them — so the drug under which Jordan started talking was later called the serum that helped reveal the truth (the truth serum).

Only four days earlier, on July 12, the private investigator Anthony Pellicano interviewed Jordan Chandler when he was alone at Michael´s Century City apartment and asked him very direct, specific questions for 45 minutes about his relationship with Michael Jackson. In her book “The King of Pop´s Darkest Hour” Lisa D. Campbell says: “The boy answered “NO” to each and every question. Pellicano asked if he had ever seen Michael´s body, and the boy said “NO”, but he did lift his shirt once to show him the blotches on his skin. Jordy then complained that his father always wanted him to sit in the house and write screenplays, and that his father just wanted money”. Pellicano explained that it was important to him to know for himself if this had ever happened because it had he would have turned Michael in himself. It was after Jordan denied any wrongdoing on the part of Michael Jackson that Anthony Pellicano became involved in the case on behalf of Michael.

So DID JORDAN SPEAK THE TRUTH UNDER THAT DRUG and WAS THE TRUTH SERUM GIVEN TO HIM AT ALL? Searching for an answer I decided to look into what others say about it:

Diane Dimond says she obtained information from confidential sources, the boy´s uncle, Ray Chandler, and documents including the anesthesiologist´s own report, that show Jordan Chandler was not, in fact, given sodium amytal that day. According to the anesthesiologist´s records, there is no reference to the barbiturate sodium amytal. The purchase of sodium amytal requires the filing of specific forms with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). No such forms were ever located by anyone in law enforcement or the media.
She says that “questions about whether Dr. Chandler implanted the molestation in Jordie´s subconscious while the boy was under the influence of anesthesia first surfaced in a story that ran in GQ magazine” (Mary Fischer´s article, October, 1994).

Yan Halperin says that D. Dimond may be unaware that in fact the allegations were first reported not by Fischer, but by a newsman for KCBS-TV five months earlier. The reporter asked Evan Chandler whether he had used the drug on his son. Rather than denying sodium amytal was involved, Chandler claimed he had used a drug only to pull his son´s tooth out and that while under that drug´s influence, the boy came out with the allegation.

Mary Fischer, however, was not content to rely on the KCBS-TV report. She preferred to go straight to the source and ask Mark Torbiner whether he used sodium amytal during Jordan Chandler´s procedure. Rather than deny it, he told Fischer, “If I used it, it was for dental purposes”.

Geraldine Hughes (who is defending Michae´s innocence in her Redemption book) on the other hand does not believe in the sodium amytal theory: “No, I think that´s their story on how they found out. I really believe that the whole thing was plotted and planned [ ]. They made it look like they just happened to take the boy to the psychiatrist and that´s where he got the information. Then I´m hearing the sodium thing, so I thought, first you said the psychiatrist is the one that got the information and then now you´re saying, the father put him under a truth serum and I´m like, which one is it?”

However Jordan´s uncle Ray Chandler, provided a transcript of his nephew´s interview with a psychiatrist where Jordan Chandler said: “My father had to pull my tooth out one time, like, while I was there. And I don´t like pain, so I said could you put me to sleep? And he said sure. So his friend put me to sleep; he´s an anesthesiologist. And um, when I woke up my tooth was out, and I was alright — a little out of it but conscious. And my Dad said — and his friend was gone, it was just him and me — and my dad said, ´I just want you to let me know, did anything happen between you and Michael?´ And I said ´Yes,´ and he gave me a big hug and that was it.”

Let me review the facts once again not to mess things up:

1) Michael´s accuser Evan Chandler admitted on TV he had used the drug to pull Jordan´s tooth out.
2) His friend Mark Torbiner, the anesthesiologist, more or less agreed with this statement saying “If I used it, it was for dental purposes”.
3) Jordan said to his psychiatrist that he was put to sleep before having his tooth pulled out.
4) Ray Chandler said one thing to D.Diamond and another to everyone else by providing Jordan´s interview with the psychiatrist where Jordan speaks about his tooth taken under a sedative.
5) Michael´s defender Geraldine Hughes doubts Evan´s story though the use of a mind-altering drug seems to come in handy to prove Michael´s innocence.

Well, all this is terribly confusing… To try and shed some light onto the problem I´ve started looking for the description of sodium amytal and the way it works.

Here is what I found:

Intelligence Encyclopedia says, “The term ´truth serum´ has been applied to drugs that are used in narcoanalysis. This term is a misnomer in two ways: the drugs used are not serums and truthfulness is not guaranteed. Although inhibitions are generally reduced, persons under the influence of truth serums are still able to lie and even tend to fantasize. Courts have ruled that information obtained from narcoanalysis is inadmissible.

Narcoanalysis is not used in the United States as an interrogation method. The unethical use of truth drugs is classified as a form of torture according to international law. However, they are used in the evaluation of psychotic patients in the practice of psychiatry.

Truth serums are divided into classes according to the duration of sedation: ultrashort, short, intermediate, and long. SODIUM AMYTAL is an intermediate-acting barbiturate. Sedation occurs in one hour or longer and lasts for 10 to 12 hours. Sodium amytal depresses the central nervous system. It is used as a sedative, hypnotic, and anticonvulsive and for narcoanalysis. When sodium amytal is used for narcoanalysis it may be called an “Amytal interview.”

An even more informative source is a CIA study of special interrogation methods by means of truth serums. This is what their report says about Sodium Amytal:

Sodium amytal can be given orally but it would be difficult to achieve and maintain the proper dose using the oral route. So for narcoanalysis the only method of administration used is intravenous injection.

A subject coming under the influence of a sodium amytal injected intravenously goes through all the stages of progressive drunkenness. Outwardly the sedation effect is dramatic — the patient´s features slacken, his body relaxes. Some people are momentarily excited; a few become silly and giggly. This usually passes, and most subjects fall asleep, emerging later in disoriented semi-wakefulness. The descent into narcosis and beyond with progressively larger doses can be divided as follows:

III. UNCONSCIOUSNESS, WITHOUT REFLEX EVEN TO PAINFUL STIMULI. At this stage consciousness is lost and coma follows. The subject no longer responds even to noxious stimuli, and cannot be roused.
IV. DEATH. In the last stage, respiration ceases.

Whether all these stages can be distinguished in any given subject depends largely on the dose and the rapidity with which the drug is induced. In anesthesia, stages I and II may last only two or three seconds.

The first or SEDATIVE STAGE can be further divided:
Plane 1. No evident effect, or slight sedative effect.
Plane 2. Cloudiness, calmness, amnesia. (Upon recovery, the subject will not remember what happened at this or “lower” planes or stages.)
Plane 3. Slurred speech, old thought patterns disrupted, inability to integrate or learn new patterns. Poor coordination. Subject becomes unaware of painful stimuli.

PLANE 3 of the Sedative stage is the psychiatric “work” stage. It may last only a few minutes, but it can be extended by further slow injection of the drug. The usual practice is to bring the subject quickly to Stage II and to conduct the interview as he passes back into the sedative stage on the way to full consciousness.

Administering drugs requires clinical judgment. Knowing what to expect and how to react appropriately to the unexpected takes both technical and clinical skill. The process calls for qualified medical personnel, and sober reflection on the depths of barbituric (sodium amytal) anesthesia will confirm that it would not be enough merely to have access to a local physician.

… The subject was kept in twilight consciousness. In it his speech was thick, mumbling, and disconnected, but his discretion was markedly reduced. This valuable interrogation period, lasting only five to ten minutes at a time, could be reinduced by injecting more amytal and putting the patient back to sleep.

Several patients revealed fantasies, fears, and delusions approaching delirium, much of which could readily be distinguished from reality. But sometimes there was no way for the examiner to distinguish truth from fantasy except by reference to other sources.

One subject claimed to have a child that did not exist, another threatened to kill on sight a stepfather who had been dead a year, and yet another confessed to participating in a robbery when in fact he had only purchased goods from the participants.

During the follow-up interview nine of the 17 admitted the validity of their confessions; eight repudiated their confessions and reaffirmed their earlier accounts. The results showed that normal individuals who had good defenses and no overt pathological traits could stick to their invented stories and refuse confession.

Neurotic individuals with strong unconscious self-punitive tendencies, on the other hand, both confessed more easily and were inclined to substitute fantasy for the truth, confessing to offenses never actually committed.

J.M.MacDonald, who as a psychiatrist for the District Courts of Denver has had extensive experience with narcoanalysis, says that drug interrogation is of doubtful value. Criminal suspects under the influence of barbiturates may falsely confess to crimes they did not commit. And the tendency against which an interrogator must guard in the interrogatee to give the responses that seem to be wanted without regard for facts will be heightened by drugs: the literature abounds with warnings that a subject in narcosis is extremely suggestible. In the drunken state of narcoanalysis patients are prone to accept the therapist´s false constructions.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency

I know that the above study did not bring us any closer to the solution of the problem. However it provoked me to ask some questions:

COULD Evan Chandler use this type of drug for interrogating his son?

WAS there any other way for him to find out whether the awful suspicions ravaging his brain were justified — when all his got from his son was a stubborn denial of any misconduct on Michael´s part?

WAS he able to cope with his imagination killing his mind for several months by then?

COULD he resist the temptation to finally get answers to all those damning questions while Jordan was asleep?

DID he take special care to formulate questions in an neutral way or did he ask them point blank and make them as specific as possible?

WHAT was the result he got?

WHY did he ask his first and only question after his son came to about anything between him and Michael?

Thank you Helena for your generosity sharing your investigation!