Accused Cannibal Tyree Smith Considered Eating His Psychiatrist
July 9, 2013
Distressed after losing his job at Starbucks in December 2010, accused cannibal Tyree Lincoln Smith asked his brother-in-law to get him a gun.
"He was hearing voices that were instructing him to kill certain people: a pedophile priest, a cop in Bridgeport he thought was involved in drugs," Yale University psychiatrist Dr. Reena Kapoor testified Monday.
Kapoor testified that Smith's behavior so frightened his family they reported the incident to officials in California, where he was living, and officials took his young son away from Smith. Kapoor's testimony is the crux of the defense case to prove Smith was insane when he killed and cannibalized Angel "Tun Tun" Gonzalez.
The police officer and priest were not identified.
The 35-year-old Smith is before a three-judge panel in state Superior Court, charged with murder in the Dec. 15, 2011, slaying of Gonzalez, a homeless man staying in a vacant apartment on Brooks Street. Police said Smith hacked up Gonzalez with an ax, then cannibalized the body, which was discovered 39 days later.
During Monday's testimony, Smith, a large wet stain on the front of his shirt, sat staring straight ahead at the defense table while his lawyer, public defender Joseph Bruckmann, questioned the psychiatrist.
Kapoor testified that losing his son added further stress to Smith and he spent the next several months in and out of psychiatric care in California, where she said one therapist described Smith as "the most severely mentally ill person he had ever treated."
During this time, she said Smith was writing a book he titled "The Book of Michael."
"The book is nonsensical. You can't discern any kind of meaning from it," she testified.
But even after his arrest for killing Gonzalez, Kapoor said Smith had only two concerns: "When he will get a chance to work on the book again." And eating people.
"I want to eat others because I have already crossed that line," Kapoor said Smith told prison treatment providers in April 2012. "I found out later that he even considered eating me."
Born in Bridgeport, Smith moved with his family to Ansonia when he was 12. He attended public school there, where Kapoor described him as an above average student until 11th grade, when his grades fell and Smith dropped out. She said during that time he was once found outside in the middle of winter dressed only in his underwear.
After a short stay at the Yale Psychiatric Institute, Smith was sent by his mother to live with an uncle in Sacramento, Calif. While there, he fathered two sons with different women and worked at several coffee shops and as a manager of a videogame store.
In July 2011 he moved to Lynn Haven, Fla., where he lived with a girlfriend. But things got worse.
"He said he was hearing ... voices and they were telling him to kill people," Kapoor testified.
She is to return to the witness stand Tuesday morning.
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