Halifax FP

Season 1 Episode 6

Lies of the Mind

Aired Unknown Jul 19, 1995 on The Nine Network
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Episode Summary

Lies of the Mind
Jane is called on to assess wealthy socialite, Sharon Sinclair, charged with the murder of her father, Sir Edward and her step-mother. Sharon claims she is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, but Jane discovers that Sharon's own psychiatrist is writing a book on the condition and may be biased. If found medically unfit to stand trial, Sharon stands to inherit eighty million dollars. Jane's attraction to Detective Paul Santos develops into a passionate involvement, but as a result of this distraction, she misses a vital clue. Blaming herself, she ends the relationship with Paul.During her investigation, Jane discovers that there is more to Sharon Sinclair and her family than meets the eye.moreless

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  • When the young socialite daughter of a wealthy man murders her father and step-mother in cold blood, Jane is called on to assess her after she claims to know nothing about the crimes she is accused of.moreless

    Sir Edward Sinclair (Gareth Wilding-Forbes) and his second wife, Yvonne (Suzy Cato) are found murdered at their mansion by Sir Edward's secretary, Anthea Bower, (Angela Punch McGregor). The couple have been brutally slain, particularly Sir Edward who suffered several major blows with a heavy object. Anthea is in no doubt who committed the crimes for she saw Sir Edward's spoiled and rebellios daughter, Sharon, (Jacqueline McKenzie) driving away from the scene at great speed in her expensive red sports car.

    After the police have finished at the crime scene, it is up to Sergeant Paul Santos (Richard Roxburgh)to track down the elusive young woman and question her about the crimes. Finding her in her studio apartment, surrounded by art works she has painted, Sharon seems completely stunned and disbelieving when she is told of the murders. Furthermore, she claims to have no recollection of being at her father's house for several days and has no idea how the secretary saw her driving away from the house.

    Taken to the local station for questioning, Dr. Halifax is called in when the accused claims that she can verify her own movements during the time of the murder, but she can't speak for 'the others'. When pressed to explain further, she says 'There are always others, Sergeant.' Sharon, it seems, is a diagnosed sufferer of MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder, now more commonly known as 'Diasssociative Personality Disorder'). Her psychiatrist, Dr. Dale Counahan, (Marshall Napier) has been treating her for the condition for quite some time.

    Jane is somewhat skeptical with regard to the doctor's diagnosis as genuine cases of MPD are very rare and are always associated with extreme childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse. The good doctors assures Jane that his patient meets the criteria absolutely as she was sexually abused by her father from an early age and that her mother's sudden death when Sharon was young added to the trauma she was already experiencing. According to the doctor, Sharon has several alter-egos, including "Little Sweetie"; a young child, and "Joey", an aggressive male personality who 'comes through' to protect Sharon when she is particularly stressed.

    When Jane assesses Sharon for herself, she is able to access several of the alter-egos in question and speak to them. They assure her that Sharon suffered a great deal at her father's hands - in his study, with the door locked. Jane's doubts are further enhanced when she speaks to Sir Edward's secretary again and is assured that there was never a lock on the study door in question and that Sir Edward spoiled and indulged his only child rather than abuse her in any way.

    Jane is further convinced that Sharon has fooled her doctor and is faking her illness when she learns that he used as technique known as "Repressed Memory Therapy" to uncover the abuse she suffered. To add to this, he is writing a book about Sharon Sinclair as a definitive study of MPD and his own efforts and successes while treating her. With all of this evidence, Jane informs Santos that Sharon is sane and fit to plead to the charges against her.

    With Sharon and her psychiatrist furiously denying that she is fit to stand trial for the double murder, and the police determined to see that she pays for what she did, the climax of this episode will keep you on the edge of your seat and wondering if Sharon really is guilty or, in fact, a victim after all.

    This episode was received to wide critical acclaim as one of the best in the series. The superb performance of Jacqueline McKenzie as the young killer was particularly mentioned as being outstanding in every respect. Another 'must see' episode and a fantastic way to end the first series of the show.moreless

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