Tuesday, May 19, 1998
2 pm. First Session with Logan Marcas. I was uneasy when I received the message from Malcolm Spunt that I was to evaluate an employee involved in an altercation and make a recommendation to the company as to whether or not to retain him. My orientation has always been as a doctor for a patient, rather than as some company oracle to make decisions about employee fitness. However, I acknowledged that the company did have a dilemma, and I felt I had no reasonable alternative. I was told that Mr. Marcas, a recent hire to the newly created post of co-director of security, had assaulted his co-director, Ms. Brenda Wolfe, during a meeting. Apparently, he injured her severely enough that she required hospitalization. I was also told that he was an exceptionally talented young man whose services were very important to the company. Mr. Marcas came across as very professional during our session. But he also seemed emotionally detached. While he professed remorse for his actions, he clearly was trying to tell me what he thought I wanted to hear. What was uppermost on his agenda was having me sign off on his competency to return to work. He described with a certain crisp efficiency the actions that he took in assaulting Ms. Wolfe. He didn't try to minimize what he had done, describing in detail the exact movements that led to her injuries. He didn't overstate the magnitude of Ms. Wolfe's provocation, either. In fact, his description of what she had done to trigger his violent response was all about her attempting to block his access to a file during a meeting, not anything to do with her motivations and intentions. When I asked Logan about whether Ms. Wolfe felt threatened by the fact of his hire, he refused to speculate on what she might be feeling. I got the fleeting impression that Mr. Marcas might not even acknowledge the existence of other people's internal emotional states, but I may be reading too much into what may just have been his attempt to be guarded in his responses. His presence was very commanding yet calm. He had a deep, mesmerizing voice--perhaps he would make a good hypnotist. During the session, I felt I was being evaluated. He seemed very focused and never really took his gaze off of me. Most patients look around the room, especially while they're talking. Mr. Marcas just kept looking directly at me, even as he responded to my queries.

Monday, May 25, 1998
9 am. I received this morning a memo to the file by Malcolm Spunt. The memo details the incident which occurred on May 18th between Logan Marcas and Ms. Brenda Wolfe. While Mr. Spunt carefully condemns the violent behavior of Mr. Marcas, in reading the memo I got the feeling both that he was impressed by the demonstration of Mr. Marcas' combat skills and that, on some level, he thought Ms. Wolfe deserved it. I think that Mr. Marcas has a powerful ally in Mr. Spunt. Mr. Spunt is seeking a report from me saying that Mr. Marcas is no danger to himself or others. Of course, I can't give such an unqualified report on anybody, especially one who's been the agressor in a physical assault against a co-worker. I'll give him what I can give him, and we'll see if that satisfies him.

Tuesday, May 26, 1998
2 pm. Second Session with Logan Marcas. Mr. Marcas began to open up to the sessions this time, although he was still exceptionally guarded. He expressed a desire to keep the sessions on a strictly professional, rather than personal, basis. I'm not quite sure how to do that, but I went along with his desire that I address him as "Mr. Marcas." Mr. Marcas is concerned with the specter of a security director in therapy, but I reminded him that he was here as a result of a violent, relatively unprovoked physical assault. He took my point. Mr. Marcas is single. He took the job at SII about two months ago, and hasn't had a chance to unpack his moving boxes yet. He does have a penchant for military art--insignia and drawings decorating the nose cones of airplanes, that kind of thing. He also likes automobiles. Mr. Spunt visited Mr. Marcas at Mr. Marcas' home on Saturday. Mr. Marcas was embarrassed to find himself speaking to his superior in sweatpants and no shirt. But Mr. Spunt is indeed a champion of Mr. Marcas. He is allowing Mr. Marcas to telecommute until his permanant status with SII is resolved. Mr. Marcas served in the Army for five years, although he is a little vague about what he did there. He did say that he was with the 82nd and 101st airborne units. After the military, he went to MIT and became interested in corporate and computerized security systems. His father is still alive and lives in Missouri. His mother died three years ago of a surprise aneurysm. He has one older sister who's a partner in a law firm in North Carolina. There is a smattering of cousins and an aunt and uncle with whom he stays in touch via e-mail. Mr. Spunt gave Mr. Marcas leave to write a letter of apology to Ms. Wolfe, which he did. But I'm no closer today than I was at the end of our first session to understanding under what circumstances Mr. Marcas can be triggered to inappropriate violence.

Tuesday, June 9, 1998
2 pm. Third Session with Logan Marcas. Mr. Marcas seemed in good spirits and was at ease during this session. He didn't mention anything negative about therapy itself. I had a feeling that Logan opened up a bit during this session. Because he was allowed to return back to work without my recommendation, he wasn't as guarded with me--he didn't feel that he needed me as much as before. Although we didn't plumb any particular emotional depth, I did get a feeling that there was genuine remorse for his actions in assaulting Ms. Wolfe. We spoke a bit about Logan's lack of interest in a social life. He apparently "forgot" to call a waitress who gave him her phone number even though he found her both attractive and desirable. He excused himself by referring to the press of work--which included working on his motorcycle. His powerful friendship with Mr. Spunt does seem to have solidified somewhat--Mr. Spunt went so far as to tell Logan that he would have been reinstated by now except for the "legalities" involved. Logan was called in to fix some computer related security problem and does seem to be working well with his co-workers, except for Ms. Wolfe who, until recently, remained in the hospital. I think that it is unlikely to be a harmonious work situation with the two of them sharing power and working side by side. Apparently, my sessions with Mr. Marcas are mostly for form. This way, the company can take the posture that it did all it could after Mr. Marcas' outburst. It was the suddenness of the outburst itself that is most troubling to me. Most people give lots of warning when they are reaching that critical point where anger turns to violence. But Mr. Marcas remained completely cool up to and through his attack. There was no warning. It was as if a switch was pulled: calm professional executive to efficient killer. I don't believe that Ms. Wolfe was trying to goad Logan into a violent altercation. But his emotional reserve right up to the point where he erupted in violence didn't give her the warnings she needed to know when to back down. I assume I'll still be required to generate a report. I have to come to the conclusion that nothing we've done in the past three sessions have changed Mr. Marcas' potential for violence. However, I believe that Mr. Marcas is feeling genuine remorse for what he's done and perhaps that, alone, will deter him from adopting violent solutions to future workplace disputes.

Tuesday, June 23, 1998
2 pm. Fourth Session with Logan Marcas. This was my last evaluative session for Logan Marcas. I found him cooperative and self-assured. We talked about creating a social life and the dangers of becoming a workaholic. I pressed him to see if I could make him angry, but while he questioned what I was doing, he remained unfazed. Generally, I've been impressed by Logan's willingness to face what he did without flinching. He hasn't been overly anxious to try to justify or excuse his conduct. He genuinely seems to realize the gravity of his offense. What currently most concerns me is his obsession with personal control. Logan is not one to blow off steam and his carefully maintained exterior has a cost. I'm concerned that he might again find himself in a flashpoint situation. But Logan himself recognizes that danger, especially with respect to Ms. Wolfe, and he is prepared to embark on a consciously structured strategy of mostly written communication with Ms. Wolfe to try to alieviate the "cold, unspoken tension" that he felt with her. Logan is very intelligent and he probably could intuit the appropriate attitudes to adopt with me in order to garner a favorable report. That's always a risk. Logan clearly did a little of that in our conversations--telling me what I wanted to hear. But I think I could separate out the patently insincere parts of our sessions together. Underneath is a very controlled young man whom I believe was genuinely surprised and alarmed by his sudden burst of violence. While I think it is clear that he still dislikes Ms. Wolfe, I think she will likely be safe from physical harm at his hands. Of course, I'll generate a formal report, but the conclusion will be that Mr. Marcas currently poses a minimal risk of harm to others. He should be reinstated at work.


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