Movie Review: The Syndrome

A couple weeks ago, I sat down to watch the most terrifying horror movie I have ever seen. It is called “The Syndrome.” It is far more scary than any dream demon or zombie apocalypse or slasher villain because it is true. Real people went to prison for crimes that never happened – crimes that were invented by unethical “scientists” and pursued by deeply corrupt prosecutors more concerned about “wins” than justice.

I was angry, terrified and sad at the same time. These poor people lost their baby suddenly and tragically and then the legal system destroys them and blames them for the death. Real people sought medical care for a baby only to be accused of abusing their baby. As the father of two sons myself, I cannot imagine how horrific that would be for a grieving or worried parent.

Let’s get into this right away: It is not possible to shake a baby so hard as to cause brain damage without causing a neck injury. If there is no neck injury, then shaken baby syndrome did not happen and could not have happened. It should not take a scientist or doctor to explain this, because this is common sense to anyone who thinks about it for more than 30 seconds. It is obvious to anyone who has ever held a baby.

I had to stop watching 23 minutes in. I had no idea that some of the charlatans responsible for the “satanic abuse” hoax are also prime movers in the “shaken baby” cases. My blood was boiling and I needed a break. But I knew this: There are a lot of people who need to be in prison for these hoaxes, as in life without the possibility of parole. We should show no mercy. None.

When I started watching again a week later, I was angry and ready to quit again ten minutes in.

The “shaken baby” cult denies that children can die from a short fall, but they can. Even adults can die from a short fall. One such case was the tragic death of Natasha Richardson, who died after a relatively minor fall while skiing. No one would have imagined that fall would be fatal, especially since she was jocular afterward. Assuming abuse has happened leads to cases of terrible injustice.

One brave doctor had been called to testify in a number of “shaken baby” cases, resulting in wins for the defense. A corrupt prosecutor charged Dr. John Plunkett with for “perjury” for a minor memory lapse that did not impact his testimony at all – a vindictive retaliation move that was utterly ridiculous. A prosecutor bitter that he was contradicted attempted to cover up of junk science, not worried about truth or justice. This is an example of how prosecutors have way too much power and not nearly enough accountability.

I would urge everyone to watch this movie, especially parents of babies, child care workers and people who hope to be parents. It should be mandatory for all elected prosecutors, assistant prosecutors, and judges in criminal cases to watch this movie.

Final Grade: A+