Murder in the madhouse

In the summer of 2004 an older women went missing from the psychiatric hospital, Pines Place. This mental institution was build at the end of the nineteenth century and contains several pavilions. Until the seventies the inmates were physically locked in. The use of psychotropic medications gave the patients freedom of movement at the expense of their freedom to think and feel.

After about three weeks, the decomposing body of this lady was found. Her remains had been laying all this time in the bushes outside the chambers of the directorship, located on the ground floor. Although their last meetings took place with open windows, it was a beautiful summer, no one of the attendees had recognized the smell of death and decay.

The woman had been murdered. The board of directors was secretly placing the criminally insane with the non-criminal ones. Both groups are subjected to court orders; they must have lost track of the differences.


It was 15 december 2004, late in the evening, when Goldy Silverfall got a call from the Pines-Resort. They told her that her mother, who had been staying there for the last three years, wasn’t in her room. She was missing.

Three weeks prior Goldy also got a call. That time she was warned about the condition of her mother. They explained how mother ended up with one side of her face lying open. It looked like mother was dragged across the asphalt with her face down. Mother repeated verbatim the story of the institution. She had fallen down outside the domain of the institution. It was the last time that Goldy saw her mother.

Mother was compliant. Being very low on energy, she rarely spoke and caused no disruptions or disturbances. Nevertheless, once a week the workforce jumped her, pinned her onto the ground and pulled her pants down. A nurse would then inject some ‘good medicine’ in her buttock. When her daughter complained about this treatment she was told that otherwise mother would be kicked out on the street. Two months before the disappearance, the daughter was informed that they were going to use a new medicine. She falsely assumed that this drug would replace the old one.

After Goldy Silverfall was informed of the disappearance of her mother, she hit a wall. The mental institution refused to give any information and seemed annoyed when Goldy contacted them to inquire if her mother had already returned. The police refused to write up a rapport.

It took an official statement before the police and the hospital started to act as if they were cooperative. “The family would in no way hold the hospital responsible or liable for whatever had happened to Mrs. Silverfall.” They obviously weren’t afraid of being held accountable by the judge who ordered mother to be placed in their care.

After three weeks the care-facility gave mother’s room to another patient. Goldy had to retrieve her mother’s belongings. She contacted papers and tv programs but her missing mother was overshadowed by the many disappearances and victims of the Tsunami. She knew and felt that her mother was no longer alive but her mother would appear in her dreams, asking for help. Goldy couldn’t relax or enjoy anything without instantly and physically being overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, worries and stress.

On april fools’ days 2005, Goldy Silverfall received a call from the police. A body was said to be found just off the shore of the lake close to Pines Place. The relief Goldy felt when the remains of her dead mother were found still fills her with frustrated anger. The realization that she was manipulated and coerced into being a complicit to the cover-up of possible criminal behavior towards her own mother, haunts her until today.

Mother Silverfall didn’t speak much. If she was asked a question, it took her forever to come up with an answer. The answers would be appropriated and coherent and mostly that she didn’t know. Two months before her vanishing, mother thanked Goldy for taking such good care of her. This was followed by a heartbreaking admission that she hadn’t been taking such good care of her mother. Grandma reached the age of ninety-three while mothers’ life ended at the age of sixty-two.