By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Jim Marzilli and mental illness

The amateur psychologist’s award for today goes to the Phoenix’s Adam Reilly, who blogged on June 5 that state Sen. Jim Marzilli’s bizarre behavior toward women could be the result of manic depression.

Now the Boston Herald’s Casey Ross reports that Marzilli, D-Arlington, is being treated at McLean Hospital for bipolar disorder, the preferred medical term for manic depression.

Ross rather cynically writes that Marzilli “could be laying the groundwork for a defense based on a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.” Well, yes. And I would imagine Marzilli will have as hard a time convincing a jury as most defendants do when they cite mental illness.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t valid — in Marzilli’s case, and in those of many other people, too.

By the way, why is Marzilli’s lawyer, Terrence Kennedy, still attacking people? Now he’s calling Wendy Murphy, the lawyer for another alleged victim, “a grandstanding ambulance-chaser,” according to Ross.

It’s true that Murphy is a heat-seeking missile when it comes to microphones and cameras. But it’s also true that she’s got a serious case to make.

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  1. Kacy

    I wish people would be more considerate towards those with a mental illness etc. It is serious condition where the patient needs compassionate understanding

  2. Anonymous

    Until Wendy Murphy apologizes for her role in the Duke Lacrosse fiasco, I will have a hard time giving her any credibility. A brief listen on the Finneran Show indicates to me that it’s just a schtick. Show biz long ago eclipsed the law for her.

  3. James

    No mention of Michelle McPhee’s appearance on Greater Boston accusing Marzilli of being treated for “sex addiction”?

  4. Dan Kennedy

    James: Consider it mentioned. I didn’t see it.

  5. Anonymous

    Sex addiction? I’m not sure what you’d call getting your kicks from saying lewd things to total strangers and maybe trying to cop a feel once in a while, but I don’t think it’s sex addiction. This is a lot weirder than that.A lot of us in Arlington have known Marzilli for many years and worked with him on various issues, and I’ve yet to find a single woman who ever had the slightest sense he had any kind of “wandering eye” or felt the least bit uncomfortable around him.Whatever one thinks of his politics, he was always an extremely nice man, gracious, slightly formal, even a bit reserved. If there weren’t a solid police report, it would be completely impossible to believe that the person who engaged in this behavior could have been Jim Marzilli.

  6. Anonymous

    Interesting questions that I’m sure will be asked if they haven’t already are has Marzilli ever been treated for a mental illness before? Was he on any medication at the time of the incidents? If the answers are No I think his case gets tougher to make.

  7. James

    Here’s the clip from Greater Boston’s Thursday show. The relevant part about Marzilli is about 80% of the way through.(McPhee is talking about Neil Entwistle and Eliot Spitzer’s sex addiction defenses)McPhee: Jimmy Marzilli is actually in… (makes air quotes) We dont know WHYRooney: YeahMcPhee: State Senator James Marzilli is currently hospitalized, but it is a psychiatric hospital, so maybe he is seeking treatment for sex addiction, we don’t know… (transitions back to talking about Neil Entwistle.)

  8. Peter Porcupine

    DK – I always thought Marzilli’s politics were bonkers, but hadn’t thought him actually bi-polar.One curious note which gets little attention. My understanding is that the Senator would leave geneel Arlington and its rarefied ladies, where he was a liberal lion, and go to Lowell where he would disguise himself as a homeless man, and prey upon lower class Hispanic women. There is an element of premeditation, and indeed, a level of droit de seigneur in that repellant behavior which argues against bona fide bi-polar disorder, which is not easily controlled and channelled like that. The repellant commentary on race, class and gender which that scenario evokes speaks for itself.

  9. mkeilp

    I spoke to Jim years ago because he was writing prohibitive gun laws and I disagreed with him. He was brutal and nasty and kept talking about keeping guns away from pedophiles…hmm maybe someone should see if he is a pedophile too. It is scary to see mentally ill people making our laws, particularly gun laws. What other damage has he done?

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