Larry Christy is known as the Charles Manson of western Pennsylvania, and he’s stark, raving mad. He lived at a “hospital for the criminally insane” for most of the seven years before he killed two men in 1980. Twenty-two doctors diagnosed him as delusional, schizophrenic or the victim of an organic brain disease, and Dennis McGlynn, the mental health review officer in rural Cambria County, personally committed him half a dozen times.
Mr. Christy wore heavy metal T-shirts to trial and wagged his tongue at the press. But the jury that sentenced him to death in 1983 never saw any evidence of mental illness. The defense didn’t call the treating doctors, and the court ruled the medical reports inadmissible. Mr. McGlynn–now acting as a Cambria County prosecutor–told the jury that the defense’s failure to produce such evidence proved that there was none. The former commitment officer feigned ignorance of the medical record and accused Mr. Christy of faking his condition.
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