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True Murder

True Murder


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On March 1, 2004, Shuvender (Shubi) Sem, at the Maharishi University, stabbed another student in the face with a pen during a class. Told by university staff that he did not require medical attention, the injured student drove himself to the hospital where he received seven stitches. University officials consulted a psychologist and decided that Sem would have to leave the university-but didn't report the incident to police. Sem didn't appear dangerous or agitated and was taken by Joel Wysong, the school's dean of men, to his on-campus apartment until he could take a flight home the next morning. Left unattended, Sem took a paring knife from Wysong's kitchen and went to the university's dining hall. Wysong followed and watched while Sem interacted with other students, but did not take him back into custody. Ten minutes later and without provocation, Sem stabbed another student, freshman Levi Butler, four times in the chest, killing him.

Sem, who was a diagnosed schizophrenic, reportedly had been off his medication for months at the time of the murder. After initially being declared incompetent, Sem was subsequently deemed competent to stand trial. The judge ruled Sem not guilty by reason of insanity.

Murder and Misunderstanding offers unparalleled insight into the experience of paranoid schizophrenia.

Sem's strained relationship with his father ultimately set in motion a chain of events which led to his downward spiral. He began to have auditory hallucinations and wrestled with schizophrenia for years, falling further into madness and then-murder. MURDER AND MISUNDERSTANDING-ONE MAN'S ESCAPE FROM INSANITY-Shubi Sem