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Jun 19, 2019


June is Postraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month! In this episode we interview Dr. John Liebert, an expert in military-related and civilian PTSD. 

Dr. Liebert is a psychiatrist in Scottsdale, Arizona. He received his medical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. His special interests include complex mood, impulse and anxiety disorders for both adult, child, and geriatric populations.  Dr Liebert is a graduate of The US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and served as a Flight Surgeon in charge of Human Reliability Program for transportation of nuclear warheads worldwide. 

 His book "Wounded Minds: Understanding and Solving the Growing Menace of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Wounded-Minds-Understanding-Post-Traumatic-Disorder/dp/1634502876

 His textbook: Psychiatric Criminology, which has a section on special problems of veterans in Chapter 9 can be found here:https://www.amazon.com/Psychiatric-Criminology-Roadmap-Rapid-Assessment/dp/149871417X 


Computerized Clinical Decision Support System: 

High-Quality Knowledge Resource to facilitate the Practice of Evidence Based Medicine  

Arnaert, A.1, Ahmad, H.1, Debe, Z.1, Arnaert, S.2, Liebert, J.3

1 McGill Ingram School of Nursing, Canada

2 Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

3 Private Practice of Psychiatry, USA


The Murdered Children of Atlanta, In Press.   

In this deadly series of murders in Atlanta nearly four decades ago, there was a delay in both following the evidence and conceptualizing the murder series as Black on Black Serial Lust Murder; Wayne Williams was ultimately arrested and convicted of many - but not all - of the missing and murdered children pictured on the cover of this forthcoming book. The evidence could have led more rapidly to detecting the connections between the killer(s) and the victims, many of whom knew each other and were in the vicinity of Atlanta's Omnidome where the killer was also reported to be seen. I believe the concept for this series of kidnappings and murders is that of serial lust murder dependent upon procurement of male prostitutes or kids vulnerable to seduction or kidnapping into the lair of Wayne Williams. As such, the concept was that of John Gacy in Chicago, but it was concealed by both interracial overtones of white on black terror and the apparent randomness of disappearance or murders of "street kids".  

So, how does that inform the investigation of Black on Black violence of our inner cities today?  As discussed in this book, there was the critical coincidence of psychological studies being performed on the cohort of victims in Atlanta before there were any headlines that would have terrorized their parents or them. This study is known as "City One", and it showed robust emotional and behavioral disturbances in the cohort of inner-city Atlanta children studied. When the headlines of terror did strike, the psychologist repeated the studies but included controls in other comparable communities in urban US; this was called "City Two". The findings revealed little if no correlation between headline terror of the Atlanta Case and manifest psychological disturbance in the City One cohort. The psychologist explained this lack of correlation on "Caste-based Status" of the cohorts in both City One and City Two; she theorized that the subjects within both cohorts studied were already so traumatized by their life circumstances that the headline terror of The Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children Case did not evoke measurable psychological disturbances. The author theorizes that The City Two cohorts are now the grandparents of the epidemic of Black on Black violence in our inner cities, like Milwaukee. As Margaret Spencer, the psychologist who performed these studies stated, we were erroneously led to believe that the Civil Rights Act of 1966 would somehow in and of itself change the lives and intergenerational epigenetic transmission of centuries of trauma in the "City Two Study". 

Current Milwaukee Victims, mostly cold homicide cases. http://archive.jsonline.com/news/crime/homicides-soar-along-with-many-theories-on-cause-b99653861z1-366891381.html/         


Enormous resources were invested in the Atlanta Case for fear it was either a race war or could lead to one. It was, however, known to be an epidemic of kidnappings and murders of Atlanta youth, the vast majority being male. Ultimately connections were made between the victims and between the victims and the perpetrator, Wayne Williams, and I believe it must be conceptualized as seduction and literal procurement of young inner city Atlanta males, either already prostituted or vulnerable to such for sexually deviant purposes of lust killing. As such, The Atlanta Case was the mirror image of the John Gacy case in Chicago.  I believe such resources must now be invested in the investigation of this epidemic of Black on Black violence, because, as discovered late in the Atlanta homicide epidemic, there are likely connections among victims and perpetrators that require identification and investigation. This is reminiscent of the epidemic of homicides in the Itallian immigrant community of Milwaukee a hundred years ago. The police did not understand the interpersonal connections and motivations for murder within this immigrant cohort until they had detectives who could interview witnesses and understand the connections - in that case, connection imported from the old country.  Similarly, I believe the connectedness between victims and perpetrators in this epidemic must be identified and investigated. It's going to take the type of investment made to solve the Atlanta Case - likely resources from Department of Justice. I believe the motivation driving homicides in most of these cases is not aberrant sex, as in Atlanta Case, but likely money - big money. In the words of Bobby Dylan, "Ev’rybody singin’ a sorrowful tune..Somebody better investigate soon "

Contact Editor for update: https://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781498714174

Health Professionals' Education in the Age of Clinical Information Systems, Mobile Computing and Social Networks", Elsevier, August 2017

"Transformative Technology: What accounts for the limited use of Clinical Decision Support Systems in Nursing Practice when compared to Medicine?" 

Antonia Arnaert1, Norma Ponzoni1, John Liebert2, Zoumanan Debe3

1 Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

2 Private Practice of Psychiatry

3 Consultant

...........Health Professionals' Education in the Age of Clinical Information Systems, Mobile Computing and Social Networks - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128053621, 9780128093214

This book is state of the art for current healthcare education demands on graduates to document and communicate via IT.  Chapter 7 is by our team developing The Digital Clinician for Computerized Clinical Decision Support.  What is the future of Clinical Decision Support?  Everything, as we demonstrate, is the future, as there is no "now".  Use link to see Table of Contents: 


Solving the Unsolved: "Bundy and Williams, Same Coin, Flip Sides".  Case studies of Ted Bundy and the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children Case.  Editor: Detective Kenneth Mains
Solving the Unsolved
Hailed as "A League of Superheroes”; "A Society of Sherlock’s”; "Cold Case Conquerors” – all adulation's bestowed upon members of The American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC). AISOCC is an elite group of experts assisting law enforcement in solving cold cases to ensure no victim is forgotten and justice prevails. Solving the Unsolved allows you to delve into the minds of some of the best crime fighters and truth seekers in the world.  Every page allows the reader to explore cold cases from inside the brilliant minds of some of the world’s renowned forensic pathologists, criminal profilers, DNA experts, legendary detectives and other AISOCC experts. Solving the Unsolved features chapter written by Dr. Cyril Wecht, Mark Safarik, Dr. Claire Ferguson, Suzanna Ryan, Anthony Meoli, Alice de Sturler, and Dr. John Liebert, with a forward written by Detective Kenneth Mains.
Psychiatric Criminology: A Roadmap for Rapid Assessment 
Taylor & Francis/CRC, Medical Textbook Division, Neuroscience/Neurology Section: June 2016. 

Attorney and investigative reporter, Bill Birnes, co-author of Riverman about Ted Bundy's theory of the Green River Murders, and I have been researching and publishing on the epidemic of trauma, violence and suicide in this country since Cho Seung-hui chained the doors of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech in 2007, massacring 32 people and injuring 23 before shooting himself.  Since that disaster, the incidence of suicidal rampage murders has doubled; the Pacific Northwest has not been spared.  The authors have taken a new perspective on trauma and violence in this country by framing it as consequences of undetected or untreated "unremitting clinical states of human destructiveness".  We profile such festering cases of homelessness in the Café Racer suicidal mass murder and failed interventions with Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard suicidal rampage murderer after his first known shooting incident on Capitol Hill prior to military enlistment, and Aaron Ybarra, perpetrator of the Seattle Pacific University suicidal rampage murder as proxies for deeper issues in both military recruitment and retention and college health services, respectively. I will bring my experience as a Flight Surgeon for Military Airlift Command to bear on the problems of aviation safety, using the Germanwings suicidal mass murder as a proxy for broader safety issues in commercial aviation.  We have uniquely profiled the pilots commandeering the  Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean - namely hijacker, Ahmad Ibrahim Ali al-Haznawi and Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, respectively.

The public health needs, solutions and benefits of such solutions complete the book, after an in-depth study of the psychosocial issues are explored in proxy cases that create transparency for larger and overarching systemic public health and safety problems. We are not simply telling stories with high profile case narratives.  Ironically, advances in technology - particularly mobile communications and biotechnology - are countervailing trends to otherwise regressive social and government policies that are more rhetorical solutions than epidemiologically-informed.  Despite the good intentions, for example, of Obamacare, primary care doctors would need to spend 20 hours per day fulfilling the promises of the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile Emergency Rooms, Jails, Prisons, police departments, college health services and Military/VA medical centers must compete for resources, both financial and human, that simply don't exist.  The authors present practical - if not politically popular - solutions to these multiple crises in public health and safety whose ugly heads reveal in all cases, that the devil is in their unexamined details.

Click here to order: https://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781498714174

Hearts of Darkness, Why Kids Are Becoming Mass Murderers and How We Can Stop It
Skyhorse Press

Click here to order: http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/book/?GCOI=60239109152070

Publication Date:   May 2014

In Hearts of Darkness, Drs. Liebert and Birnes demonstrate that although mass murder/suicides have plagued the workplace and schoolyard for decades, certainly from the late 1990s, these crimes have spread in a near-epidemic fashion. After 2005, newspapers were reporting almost weekly occurrences of mass murders with suicidal intent. In workplaces, shopping malls, school buildings in the United States, in sleepy villages in Afghanistan, and even on a secluded island for teenage campers in Norway. Spree shootings have taken hundreds of innocent lives and shocked the public consciousness. What is behind this worldwide spread of mass murder/suicide events?

Medical specialists know that epidemics need not be huge numbers of new cases within a limited timeframe, but a steep curve of acceleration in new cases with serious medical consequences. In this case, the consequences are lethal. Because perpetrators of these massacres are primarily from the seriously mentally ill cohort of our general population rather than from the "criminal element,” authorities are unable to take any preemptive measures to prevent resultant disasters. How, for example, could a small city police department be prepared for the bizarre zoological suicidal mass murder that just occurred in Zanesville, Ohio, when a recently paroled convict released his wolves, lions, and tigers on to a defenseless community before killing himself? This wasn’t a case of a lone shooter taking aim at students from a tower, but a mentally ill individual employing a novel and, heretofore, unknown method of wreaking mass violence on the general population he was targeting.

Police, of course, are entirely befuddled by this type of crime. What can they do to prevent it? The authors site these unexpected scenarios as also played out in aviation with the psychotic Jet Blue Pilot intent on crashing a commercial airliner in flight: http://abcnews.go.com/US/jetblue-pilot-berserk-suffered-psychotic-episode-hospital/story?id=16967151 ; an intoxicated driver intent on suicidal mass murder, waiting for a commercial plane to land and then breaching security for high speed head on crash - http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Rogue-Jeep-Drives-on-to-Philly-International-Runway-141051513.html - or the suicidal mass murder, avenging perceived injustice by IRS - http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,586581,00.html

Police are, by law, reactive, not proactive, and can usually only move once a crime is underway or has been completed. Unfortunately, as well, the public health system is inadequate to prevent these crimes. What we need is a new medical-legal approach to understanding and addressing mass murder/suicide before cases such as the wanna-be zoologist in Zanesville, Jared Loughner in Tucson, Sergeant Robert Bales in Afghanistan, Anders Breivik in Norway, or Cho Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech become even more rampant than the weekly suicidal mass murders that we are witnessing today.

The authors call this series of mass murder/suicides an epidemic. Biological epidemics spread virally, the authors demonstrate, because the pathogens that cause the illness are transmitted from host to host by any number of different carriers. The Bubonic and Pneumonic plagues of the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries in Europe, for example, were spread by fleas on the bodies of infected rats that bred in the filth-infested streets of medieval and Renaissance cities. Pneumonic plague, as its name implies, was spread by airborne bacteria. What might be the carrier of the epidemic of mass murder with suicidal intent?

The authors argue that in an at-risk population, the seething pathological anger that suicidal perpetrators exhibit might be triggered into action by the mass media itself, stories of anger feeding upon anger and stimulating forms of copycat crimes. Violent video games, in particular, as Norway’s mass murderer Anders Breivik, told a stunned courtroom, predispose psychopathically at-risk individuals to perpetrate violence by reducing their inhibitions and, in effect, making it OK to kill. - http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Hearts-Darkness-Are-there-any-2301255.S.108128592 - Accordingly, this book presents documented scientific evidence to indicate that media itself may actually facilitate the spread of violence by disseminating the critical pathogens.

Gang killings; terrorist killings, such as suicide bombings; apocalyptic statements of perceived abuse in the workplace and in school, all of which are traumatic, stimulate other perpetrators into action. But the authors also show that theses media-borne quasi pathogens can only take root and infect an at-risk psyche. The root causes of that risk stem from what is nothing less than a neurobiological game of catch up and pre-conditioning based on a societal mindset of violence or a wartime experience of violence. In other words, the more violence in the media, both in passive media and video games, the more that violence is stimulated in at-risk individuals. It’s a vicious cycle, which, because it defies standard medical and social services intervention, is a growing menace that threatens to engulf thousands, if not tens of thousands, of innocent victims.

The basis of the author arguments in Hearts of Darkness is not only psychological, but neurological and socio-anthropological as well. The authors write that human beings, at least in American society, have not caught up to the evolution of that society from a multi-generation farm family household to an urban-based single-parent household. The single-parent or small two-parent household is a setting in which the developing child’s personality has no buffer between itself and the anger, sometimes pathological violent anger, of the parent. Fed and aggravated by violence on television – society’s new primary caregiver -- and video games, the child learns by neurological mirroring that violence, even self-inflicted violence, is a first resort to stress. The nature of the criminological approach to this dynamic and its implications for society in general and public administration in particular are the subjects of the authors’ recommendations for early detection, diagnosis and preventive interventions by criminal justice and clinical professions within the public health prevention model of identifying and eliminating the pathogens, early identification of those at risk for violence and suicide and best practices for intervention to reduce risk of catastrophic consequences. Dr Liebert lays out the model for prevention from his peer-reviewed writings on Unity in Health Care - http://www.johnliebert.com/pdfs/ToyotaWay_BulletinFeb2008.pdfand Prevention of Stress Disorders in Police and Military Personnel - http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/united-states-congress-house-committee-on-veter/viewpoints-on-veterans-affairs-and-related-issues--hearing-before-the-subcommit-tin/page-11-viewpoints-on-veterans-affairs-and-related-issues--hearing-before-the-subcommit-tin.shtml- while Dr Birnes, JD, lays out the needs and legal technicalities for judicial review when interventions require involuntary preventive detention with prescribed treatments.


Wounded Minds: Understanding and Solving the Growing Menace of Post-

Traumatic Stress Disorder

Skyhorse Press

Click here to order

Recognizing and solving the PTSD epidemic, for our soldiers and our society.

Suicide rates among Army soldiers increased 80 percent between 2004 and 2008, according to a recent report published in Injury Prevention. In the last several years, the number of soldiers returning from the Middle East with mental and physical wounds has continued to climb. According to Dr. Simon Rego, a supervising psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center, "Unlike any other time in history, U.S. military suicide rates now appear to have surpassed those among comparable civilian populations. It is therefore critical that we address this emerging public-health problem."

In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Liebert, a psychiatrist who has examined hundreds of violent offenders with combat experience, and bestselling author Dr. William Birnes uncover the disturbing truths of why post-traumatic stress injury is on the rise, how it's threatening society, and how the military is failing to properly address this serious issue. In addition, they describe the most recent research and methods that have been developed to help soldiers heal their mental and emotional wounds.

Wounded Minds dissects several high profile cases of suicide and massacre, including Staff Sergeant Robert Bales's murder of sixteen Afghan citizens and Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who opened fire on a room full of defenseless American troops. Through these stories the authors paint a clear picture of the very real threat PTSD poses to individuals and society. They then go on to explain how to diagnose and understand the brain abnormalities associated with PTSD, the diagnostic problems confronting military medicine today, and both immediate and ongoing medical solutions..



Suicidal Mass Murderers

Suicidal Mass Murderers: A Criminological Study of Why They Kill

Taylor & Francis/CRC Press
Click here to order


Discusses the epidemic of Suicidal Mass Murders with emphasis on prevention within vulnerable populations on college, university and other school campuses, along with military, healthcare and shopping campuses.  This is the only detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Virginia Tech Massacre and its perpetrator, Cho Seung-hui.  The anthrax attacks associated with the events of 9/11 are also discussed within context of an actual emergency room visit by two of the hijackers of Flight 93 to emphasize the importance of emergency medical services as first alerts of terrorist attacks by unconventional weapons of mass destruction - in this case Bioterrorism.  This case challenges the closure of the Anthrax investigation based only by inference on the suicide of person of interest, Bruce Ivins.  The case is made also for leveraging clinical specialty resources via The Virtual Clinic embedded in Telehealth platforms for special populations in great need for these services where they are unavailable - namely most college campuses, now holding 20 million young adults at high risk for first psychotic breaks and suicide attempts; emergency rooms, swamped with non-emergent and psychiatric patients using them as source of their primary care;  and military bases, way understaffed for the special injuries of this war - namely Traumatic Brain Injuries, Suicides and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.   The theories and knowledge base for both prediction of violence by clinicians and more fail-safe triaging at points of entry into our healthcare system to reduce the errors apparent in the disasters of both the Virginia Tech Massacre and events of 9/11 are discussed in detail. 
"The Misleading Statistics of Violence and Crime"  Journal of Cold Case Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, December 2015 


"Gulf War Syndrome is a Neurological Disease. There's No Treatment, but Physician and Claims Adjudicator Alike, DO NO HARM"
John Liebert, MD
Co Author, Wounded Minds
Now, when nearly one-million veterans of the War on Terror queue for disability determinations from The Department of Veterans Affairs and new claimants continue to emerge from The Vietnam War, the Veterans Administration faces another huge challenge. That is what to date has been considered a "soft diagnosis", like Fibromyalgia, Post-concussion Syndrome, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, where medical complaints and disability require astute clinical diagnosis and oftentimes draining compassion rarely supported by hard evidence from the lab or x-ray.
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"Unity in Healthcare The Toyota Way: Can Lean Engineering Fix North American Health Care?"
King County Medical Society Bulletin, February 2008
Download the bulletin here
(Discusses the internal problems of healthcare delivery and the dangerousness of simplistic solutions to their fix from either IT or fashionable management theories - i.e. Lean Engineering from the Dreamliner production line. The importance of user friendly Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems for the initial interview, workup and Triaging of patients is discussed in detail. The Digital Clinician®is cited as an example for user friendly software for optimizing service within health care.)

"Emergency Psychiatry for Emergency and Family Medicine" EMPsych
(Produced via Internet and CD-Rom and released in June 2004 for 30,000 Emergency and Family Medicine subscribers through The Challenger Corporation


 "Challenger Defensive Tactics for the Emergency Room (DETER)"


"Prevention of Stress Disorders in Military & Police Organizations "Proceedings of Critical Incident Conference
Critical Incidents in Policing, 1991
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Quantico, Virginia 1991

"Contributions of Psychiatric Consultation in the Investigation of Serial Murder"
International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology 1985

Congressional Testimony of Dr John Liebert on Prevention of Stress Disorders in Police and Military Organizations; hearing before ...
Veterans Affairs Committee, Dr Jonathan Shay and Dr John Liebert 











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