On September 17, 2006, Susan Polk started direct testimony in narrative form to try to prove that she killed her husband Dr. Felix Polk in self defense at the pool house of their Orinda home on about October 13, 2002.
During the morning court session in Martinez, California, Susan Polk showed the jury pictures of her three sons, Adam, Eli and Gabriel and described how their idyllic childhood in Berkeley and Piedmont erupted as they got older into their engaging in verbal and sometimes physical fights at school.
She explained that at her 40th birthday party she realized that all the persons attending were her psychologist/husband’s colleagues or patients, and that he had “dual relationships” with some patients -- "dual relationships" means his patients were also his personal friends.
Susan realized she wanted to know who she was and live her own life. She also realized her sons were beginning to act more like their father as they reached adolescence, in that they were aggressive, violent and had ideas identical to those of father. Susan said, “I felt I must intercede or they would think it’s okay to abuse women.”
At that time the two apartment houses the Polks owned produced profits of $100,000 per year and Dr. Polk’s yearly professional income exceeded $100,000. They had purchased an Orinda home for $1.85 million. Susan felt she had the financial freedom to be herself for the first time in her life. She wanted to end her relationship with her husband.
Susan explained the escalation of violence in her household. She testified Dr. Polk verbally and physically abused her repeatedly. She provided specific details -- pushing, shoving, dragging her upstairs by the hair, egging on her son Eli to punch her in the face.
As her independent outlook grew, she explained she took trips with Eli to Paris and with Gabriel to Thailand and with both boys to Hawaii in an attempt to influence them against being violent and to bring them closer to her. She rented a cottage in Stinson Beach in the spring of 2001 experiencing a trial separation from her husband. She felt at peace alone on the beach, but she missed her sons. Months passed. Finally Adam and Gabriel urged her to return to the Orinda home and live with them and their father. She did, but she came to regret it.
Susan testified that Dr. Polk’s violence and verbal abuse of her continued. In September 2001, she finally left Felix Polk and drove to Montana with her sons Eli and Gabriel and their dogs. Within a few months Eli drove home to Orinda in his own car after a dispute with his mother about the rules of the house. Gabriel was also homesick and Susan sent him home by airplane. Her lease was up in Montana and she decided to follow them back to her Orinda home.
When she arrived, at first Dr. Polk was delighted to have her and their sons all home again. She testified it was like a "honeymoon". But soon Dr. Polk’s verbal and physical abuse of her resumed. He told her sons she was crazy and delusional. She tried to hold the family together. She did not leave him again until September 2002, when she returned to Montana to look for a permanent place to live. She wanted to buy a house.
During the afternoon court session, Susan Polk’s testimony was one bombshell after another.
She testified that in October 2002, while house-hunting in Montana, she learned Dr. Polk had obtained an ex parte temporary custody order from the Contra Costa Superior Court. The order gave him custody of Gabriel, then age 14 and reduced her spousal support of $7,500 per month to $1,700 per month. At that time, Eli Polk was doing a six month sentence at the Bryon Boy’s camp, and Adam was ready to commence studies at UCLA.
From Montana, Susan sent a letter to seven Contra Costa Judges. She testified she faxed this letter to the judges about a week before Felix Polk was killed. Susan read the letter to the jury and it was admitted into evidence. The letter contained a diary entry Susan had made near the time she was in a trance prior to 9/11. Susan explained to the jury that she used the Code name "Alice", after Alice Little, the child who was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's book Alice in Wonderland. Susan chose that name when her husband asked her during a trance session what code name she desired. Susan signed the letter to the judges as “A. Little, General Delivery, Jackson Wyoming”.
In the letter she referred to her husband as “F”, and her sons by the first letter of their first names. The letter stated that a Mossad agent failed to provide a warning he had about 9/11, and that “F”, should brace himself because he’s in for a shock. The letter said a Mossad agent and his “cell” were influencing the Contra Costa County Court, and that the Mossad cell included persons like “M” stationed in Germany, and “B” who was going on field trips in Pakistan.
The letter referred to a child custody litigation in Contra Costa County and gave the initials of two of her sons. Susan opined to the jury that the letter was quite recognizable as referring to Dr. Felix Polk and herself and their divorce litigation. It directly implied Dr. Polk was a Mossad agent. In the letter, she challenged, “Why did this agent not warn about 9/11?” She said the targets were named by a person placed in a trance by the Mossad, and targets were identified during this trance, including the Pentagon and World Trade Center. The person in a trance stated a plane would be hijacked and flown into these buildings. The specific date of the attack, 9/11, was provided in this trance. The letter questioned whether persons in this Mossad cell had any loyalty to the United States because they did not tell US authorities about the prediction of the 9/11 attack. The letter included the political position of the writer which implied that the United States favored Israel over Palestine and that this policy would lead to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which would further Israel’s purposes.
Susan said that when Felix learned about this letter he was enraged. She had inadvertently faxed it to him on October 3, 2002. She testified that she then confronted him and accused him of being a Mossad agent. He did not deny it. He did not say “no”. He told her “You’re getting me into a lot of trouble."
Susan Polk decided not to buy a house in Montana and returned to Orinda. She moved into the house on Miner Road and her husband moved into the adjoining pool house. Only one son, Gabriel, age 14, was home with them.
On October 14, 2002, Dr. Polk’s son Gabriel said he found him found dead in a pool of blood in the pool house. He had been stabbed.
Before the day in court ended, Susan told the jury she felt her husband had betrayed American interests by not telling authorities before 9/11 that she had predicted the attacks. She testified, “I have a gift and it should have been used to spare their lives.”
Susan testified that her prediction of the 9/11 attack before it happened was the last prediction she made for her husband while under a trance he induced.
How did Susan and Felix get into the realm of trances and predictions?
Susan testified how she became a “medium” for her husband and for "them" -- his group of colleagues.
She said that when she was 14-years-old she attended Clayton Valley High School in Concord. She suddenly stopped going to school on several occasions, because she liked to stay home and read books. One day, a group of students were selected for an "experiment". She was selected. They were taken to a room where several University of California "grad students" tested them for psychic ability. The grad students told them to draw pictures of what items were hidden in a black box. Susan drew many items she believed were in the box. One of the grad students gave her a "hard look". She had a high test score. Shortly thereafter, the school suggested to her mother that she be sent her to be “evaluated” by Dr. Felix Polk, ostensibly for truancy.
Her mother took the advice. After all, Dr. Polk was recommended as an expert in adolescent psychology. Susan visited Dr. Polk at his office in Berkeley. Immediately, he talked to her about her psychic ability and gave her a cup of “herbal tea” and hypnotized her. Susan fell into a trance easily. She experienced her trances as her being either totally unconscious or sometimes slightly conscious and she was able to observe her trance-induced thoughts to some degree during the trances. Susan learned years later that during these trances induced in psychotherapy sessions during her adolescence, she told Dr. Polk what she “saw”. She didn’t realize at the time that she was reporting to Dr. Polk what she saw during the trances. She testified going into a trance was like "dying", "losing time", and "losing pieces of herself". After therapy sessions, she began to feel panic, fear and anxiety. She felt she "resisted" while being in a trance, but Dr. Polk overcame her resistance.
Susan told her mother about one incident. In her testimony at the commencement of the defense case, Helen Bolling testified that her daughter told her she sat on Dr. Polk’s lap during sessions. Helen confronted him about this. He assured her he would act properly in the future. Helen believed him. She testified at trial she will always feel guilty that she didn’t report the incident to authorities.
Susan continued psychotherapy sessions with Dr. Polk throughout her adolescence and into her early twenties. Later in life, in her forties, she realized Dr. Polk began having sexual relations with her during the trances when she was only 14-years-old and continued to do so. She believed the cup of tea he served contained an unidentified drug -- possibly an hallucinogen. In later years, she "flashed back" to these sessions. Eventually during a group therapy session Dr. Polk held for young adults, Susan announced to the group, “Dr. Polk is my lover.” He was furious. She "came out". He told her he could lose his license. He threatened her.
Susan told the jury that in the third grade she had a boyfriend, a fellow third-grader and they kissed once and it just felt “funny”. After third grade, she said the only other boyfriend in her life was Dr. Polk, who married her when she was 24 years old.
Susan’s fidelity toward Dr. Polk has never been questioned during this trial, whereas Dr. Polk’s fidelity toward her has been at issue. Susan testified that Dr. Polk wanted a “doll” to control and dominate. During the trance sessions he was dictatorial and mean. Outside the trance sessions he was a different person. No individuality was allowed during trances. He engaged in guided visualizations, some of which were simple in nature. However, some were terrifying. He pushed her into trancelike visualizations about her falling and then getting hurt and falling again. He induced visualizations about her father killing someone and her mother’s involvement in this. He had had her visualize Satanists and their activities. He forced her during trances to see her sons getting into trouble and told her she could not help them. Dr. Polk was extremely aggressive toward her sexually.
Starting at age 17, Susan became his secretary and handled his billing and finances. He was so careless about money that he sometimes dropped checks payable to him in the trash and suffered anxiety attacks when he had to pay bills, especially alimony.
Susan did not return to high school. She passed the GED high school equivalency test, took the SAT, scored high, and obtained a scholarship to Mills College. She transferred to San Francisco State University and graduated Magnum Cum Laude with a B.A. in English. While in college, Susan never seriously dated another man. She stopped the therapy sessions while in college but continued to see Dr. Polk and began living with him at age 22. In 1982, at age 24, Susan married Dr. Polk, age 50, in a non traditional Jewish wedding. A Cantor tried to convince her to convert to Judaism. She would not.
Immediately after marriage, Dr. Polk informed his wife that if she did not have sex with him whenever he wanted it and that if she left him he would kill her. She did not leave him. She was in love with him.
Dr. Polk continued to place her in trances and she continued to make predictions for him. He told her he had a government grant for a research project involving ESP. The project was for life, and she couldn’t get out of it, he said. To keep the secrets was paramount.
Soon Susan and Felix soon had three sons. She was happy at their Berkeley home and then at their Piedmont home. As children, the boys thrived. Yet, Susan continued to engage in trance sessions with Felix. Eventually, she began to understand the process. She felt she was in “cognitive dissonance” or that a hard disk crashed when she went into trances. She lived in two realities --- one was normal, the other reality had a side which was partly hidden from her consciousness. The other reality occurred during the hypnotic trance sessions with Dr. Polk. The “other side creeped her out.”
While engaged in his “project”, Felix never told her he was a spy. Susan testified that “No one said ‘I am a CIA officer!’” Yet Felix made it clear his “affiliation was with Israel.” He had dual citizenship – United States and Israel. He conditioned her not to talk about their secrets – his having sex with her when she was underage, the trances, the project, the predictions and his affiliations, all "the secrets". He told her if she talked he would kill her. Dr. Polk said “they”, meaning his associates, whom he referred to as his "family", (not his biological family) were interested in mind control and ESP, especially in obtaining predictions. When Susan didn’t produce predictions under trance, Felix grew angry. He pressured her. He used the trances to destroy her individuality. She continued to resist at times. Dr. Polk told Susan he was experimenting with the idea of multiplicity of selves and of consciousnesses and he was trying to control these with hypnosis. The process was like “remote control”.
When Dr. Polk began putting his own sons into states of “visualizations”, Susan recoiled in horror. She felt that Felix was trying to experiment on their children and destroy their independence. Fears regarding his experimenting upon their sons propelled her to think about seeking a divorce. She felt her life had been taken from her by Dr. Polk and she did not want that to happen to her sons.
Without objection by Deputy District Attorney Paul Sequeria, Susan testified in significant detail about her husband’s intelligence activities. She said that about 25 years ago she heard her husband and his associates talking about the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone before it happened on November 27, 1978. She felt that if Dr. Polk's associates whom he referred to as his "family" knew about this assassination in advance and did nothing to prevent it, her life was meaningless and that she was married to a monster.
She said Dr. Polk's "family" included Dr. Martin Blinder, the psychiatrist, who testified that supervisor/assassin Dan White’s rage which resulted in the murder of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk, was the result of swings in the level of his blood sugar from eating junk food. This became known as the “Twinkie Defense”. In 1979 Dan White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder and served only five years at Soledad State Prison.
On the stand, Susan tried to point out that Blinder’s wife stabbed him in Marin County (San Francisco Chronicle October 8, 2000) and she tried to explain the "dual" nature of the Blinders' relationship. Martin Blinder survived the stabbing. Deputy D.A. Sequeria objected on grounds of relevance of this line of questioning. Judge Laurel Brady sustained the objection, and the jury did not hear the rest of that story.
Susan continued to spell out the details of her trances. She told the jury she obtained information in a trance with Dr. Polk that a “blind cleric” was responsible for the first World Trade Center attacks on February 26, 1993. She said this tip helped the United States government find the culprit, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the "blind cleric". She claimed her trances predicted that Pope John Paul II would be shot, and he was shot on May 13, 1981. She urged her husband to warn the Vatican. He did not do so.
According to Susan, Dr. Polk monitored her during her days with him and did not permit her to have friends and associates. She did not see her mother for years. This caused her great pain. Her mother could not see her grandchildren grow up.
Susan Polk kept the secrets until she wrote a letter to seven Contra Costa Judges a week before Dr. Polk’s death, and blew his cover.
Susan Polk’s testimony before the Contra Costa Jury was mind-blowing. If true, she was her husband’s experimental subject used for trance-induced predictions that were provided to the Mossad. And she testified that, Dr. Polk threatened she could never leave him because of the secrets she knew. He would kill her if she left him. If true, Dr. Polk may have acted aggressively toward her in the pool house in retaliation for her telling the secrets in her letter to seven Contra Costa Judges. If true, her lifetime was transfixed and controlled by a series of trances induced by Dr. Polk who was an ephebophiliac, an adult who has sexual relationships with adolescents. Susan has always said she killed her husband in self-defense, when he lunged at her with a paring knife when she came home from Montana to finalize their divorce. With a kick to the groin, she says she stunned him and grabbed the knife from his hand, and stabbed him to get him off her. He suddenly stood up and said, “O my God, I am dead, and fell straight backwards. He fell dead, either by sudden coronary arrest as her expert Dr. John T. Cooper contends, or by loss of blood as the DA’s expert Brian Peterson contends.
Kathryn Joanne Dixon © 5/17/06
Note: The Mossad symbol states:
Top: "kee betachbulot ta'ase lecha milchama"
Translation: "With clandestine terrorism we will conduct war"
Translation: "The institute for the collection of Information"