When Dr. Joel Gold started practicing medicine at Bellvue Hospital, he came across several patients suffering from what he calls The Truman Show Delusion: believing that everyone around you is watching you and recording your life. What do delusions like this tell us about how the brain functions and how are delusions related to society? In a society where social media is everywhere and the government is indeed watching and listening in on your life, how can we tell who is having delusions and who is sane? What do we know about how anti-psychotic drugs work? Dr. Gold is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. His new book, written with Ian Gold, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry and McGill University is titled: Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness, The Truman Show Delusion and Other Strange Beliefs.
Several hundred unidentified bodies are found in the United States every year. About a half have died of natural causes or of self-inflicted deaths. The rest have been murdered. Though local forensic labs and police departments work long and hard to put a name and identification to these bodies, many remain cold cases. In recent years, a dedicated group of amateurs armed only with computers and a knack for remembering details and faces have aided authorities by matching missing person reports with these unidentified bodies. Tonight on Inquiry we learn all about these amateur sleuths and how they work when we talk with journalist and science writer Deborah Halber about her wild new book The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths are Solving America's Coldest Cases.