Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Murder: By Reason of Insanity was inspired by a disastrous series of events occurring in New York State in 1979. Candice Bergen portrays a Polish immigrant housewife whose husband Jurgen Prochnow has subjected her to years of physical abuse. At first, she tells herself that he is acting out of frustration over his business failures, but the attacks become increasingly life-threatening. Adjudged mentally unbalanced, Prochnow cannot be sent to prison, but instead is checked into a hospital. Thanks to bureaucratic oversights and sheer laxity, Prochnow walks out of the hospital, fully intending to carry out his death threat against his wife. Despite her frenzied phone calls to the authorities, and the many empty restraining orders issued by the courts, Ms. Bergen's ultimate fate is inexorable. Made for television, Murder: By Reason of Insanity has been released to videocassette under the irresponsibly antiseptic title My Sweet Victim.
immigrant, spouse-abuse, wife, death-threat, hospital, husband, mental-health, Polish [nationality]