Carver: Hospital psychiatrists say a mother who killed her son is ready to be released

Medical Director Dr. Peter Wolff even calls Helen Kirk, who now goes by her maiden name Helen McLaughlin, a ‘model patient’ and the ‘social glue’ for her network of friends at Taunton State Hospital.

But the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office has been fighting McLaughlin’s release saying Tuesday during McLaughlin’s patient status hearing at Taunton District Court that she still shows delusional behavior.

Most recently in early 2011, McLaughlin experienced a major setback, that Dr. Wolff attests to, where she believed God had a mission for her to contact four men which consist of ex-boyfriends and her ex-husband. McLaughlin thought she saw Barney the dinosaur and thought he was encouraging her to contact them.

McLaughlin did attempt several times last year to contact these men. But Dr. Wolff notes that she was allowed about 80 overnight stays within one year and never tried to see her ex-husband, “Rember she’s had unsupervised passes for a vast amount of that time and has the ability to do that and hasn’t.”

And an independent psychiatrist hired by McLaughlin’s team agrees with Dr. Wolff that she can now recognize her own psychotic behavior.

“Unlike I think previously, as reflected by the record, she has a true emotional attachment to staying well,” says Dr. Mark Rudolph

But another psychiatrist, hired by the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office, says she needs to remain at the hospital, especially after 2011 when McLaughlin regressed and started seeing ‘signs’ telling her to do something, not unlike the psychotic behavior in 2005 when she thought she needed to strangle her 3-year-old son because he was the devil.

“I would be more comfortable if there were even more aggressive anti-psychotic management with an aim for more improvement,” says Dr. Russell Vasile.

McLaughlin’s ex-husband, who is the father of their late son, fears that if she is released, she will attempt to contact their daughter.

McLaughlin’s patient status is currently under advisement.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.