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FRONTLINE; Crime Of Insanity, A


Outpost Symphony Edit 1 output; 2105K1 insanity on _line seq.08

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Crime Of Insanity, A
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered January 1983 Since January 1983, FRONTLINE has served as American public television's - PBS - flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its television broadcast debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature over 23 years is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience. Series release date: 1/1983

Program Description

In December 1994, Ralph Tortorici, a 26-year-old psychology student at the State University of New York, walked into a classroom, pulled out a hunting knife and a high-powered rifle, and announced that he was taking the class hostage. During a three-hour standoff with police negotiators, Tortorici - a paranoid schizophrenic who believed the government had implanted tracking devices in his body - demanded to speak to the president, the governor and the Supreme Court. Shots were fired, leaving one student seriously wounded and Tortorici charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping and attempted murder. That Ralph Tortorici was mentally ill was apparent to everyone. What was not so clear was how the courts should deal with his case. In "A Crime of Insanity," FRONTLINE examines the controversial case of Ralph Tortorici. Through interviews with Tortorici's family and the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge charged with trying his case, the one-hour documentary explores the personal, political and societal fallout that occurs when the legal and psychiatric worlds collide.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Public Affairs
Chicago: “FRONTLINE; Crime Of Insanity, A,” 10/09/2002, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 19, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6EEFD8FD7A4245EE887404902BA39989.
MLA: “FRONTLINE; Crime Of Insanity, A.” 10/09/2002. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 19, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6EEFD8FD7A4245EE887404902BA39989>.
APA: FRONTLINE; Crime Of Insanity, A. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6EEFD8FD7A4245EE887404902BA39989
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