If you are one (or the other) of the regular readers of this blog you know that in my spare time (ha!) I am collecting information about historical "werewolf trials," legal proceedings in which the defendant claims to be a werewolf. I am interested in the way these proceedings generated a kind of "diminished capacity" legal defense which usually resulted in a reduced sentence. I had imagined that these trials were exclusively of the distant past (the medieval and early modern periods), but just through idle mouse-clicking I discovered some eight cases in the US just in 2011. These were mostly in the realm of the banal but more or less harmless - from a fellow who hid in portapotties to ambush tennis players in a public park to a couple of lassies who lured a man across country and then held him against his will and played violent sex games with him.
This case was different. If, as the medieval witch-sniffers had it, becoming a werewolf is a willful abdication of the moral strictures that govern human life, the Pistey case is a keen, if horrifying, example. But the outcome was eerily similar to those medieval events - Pistey has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial, while one of her accomplices plead no contest to second degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years. Interestingly, another of her accomplices hoped to be also found incompetent to stand trial, but his gambit failed, and he is facing further charges.
Read more, if you can stomach it, here.