On March 15, 2011, 16-year-old North Port High School student and star quarterback Marcus Freeman died in a shocking car accident after going to the dentist. Over the next few weeks, two of his classmates, 16-year-old Wesley McKinley and Brittany Palumbo, killed themselves. These tragedies, occurring at such short intervals, rocked their close-knit neighborhoods in Sarasota, Florida, and it wasn’t long before questions arose as to what exactly was going on in high school.
Your answer is the principal of the school, Dr. It turned out to be hypnosis conducted by George Kenney.
Last episode of SundanceTV True Crime Story sherry, Look into my eyes (June 15, also on AMC+ and Sundance Now) is a four-part investigation into a story whose sensational accusations made it national news. For years, Kenney has been practicing hypnosis on students and recording it in one-on-one sessions, both in his psychology class and in his office. He reportedly believed that hypnosis was a therapeutic tool that could alleviate pain, stress, anxiety, and other conditions (such as Tourette-like tics), and children flocked to him for help; she has hypnotized more than 70 students during this five-year period. Among them were Freeman, McKinley, and Palumbo, and when the strange circumstances of their deaths came to light (including Freeman freezing at the wheel and McKinley and Palumbo hanging themselves without a fight), attention shifted to Kenney and his unusual rear-end. -door events.
It contains copious amounts of archival footage (including recordings of Kenney’s self-made hypnosis sessions), as well as interviews with Palumbo and McKinley’s parents, journalists, lawyers, Kenney’s fellow educators, and the large number of students going to North Harbor at the time. Look into my eyes provides a comprehensive account of this wild tale. At its center is Kenney, who is in the second half and offers his own version of events, all of which can be summed up by the statement, “I was treated very unfairly in this situation.” SundanceTV’s docuseries have strong and dissenting views, and director Brent Hodge provides ample room for both sides (almost a mistake; a little more brevity would have helped the judgment). It’s hard to imagine that many viewers remained neutral throughout the series’ finale, which was punctuated by a cunning gesture that hinted that Kenney wasn’t as trustworthy as they thought.
In new conversations and clips from Kenney’s statement in January 2014, and in comments from others, Look into my eyes She explains that Kenney had a lifelong affinity for hypnosis and was inspired to pursue it following a post-NPHS graduation fest that featured a hypnosis comedy performance. She then attended a five-day course at the Omni Hypnosis Training Center, which was enough to motivate her to try her skills on students in the classroom, at ROTC meetings, or in her private room. At these meetings, he sat directly across from the children and put them into a trance with carefully tuned suggestions, their heads falling forward to rest on (or very close to) his lap. Once in this state, Kenney installed techniques to calm or focus themselves (for example, blinking their eyes or clasping their hands) and sometimes making them revisit past events (ie, hypnotic regression).
The thing is, Kenney wasn’t a licensed therapist or medical professional (his PhD was in educational leadership), and the consent papers he eventually sent home to parents didn’t make that clear. Moreover, he was running this business on the school grounds, with no apparent serious oversight. Thus, when Freeman, McKinley, and Palumbo passed away, Kenney quickly came under suspicion. Look into my eyes It doesn’t make it seem unreasonable, considering he’s an amateur preoccupying the minds of young people. The fact that he does this without knowing anything about his subjects’ underlying emotional or psychological conditions is another indication of his reckless behavior. As NPHS graduate Arianna Wallace put it, what she did was “wrong and weird”.
Criminal negligence was a different matter, however, and Look into my eyes It allows Kenney (and his advocates) to argue that his intentions were good and that there is no way to definitively link his hypnosis to the deaths of the three students. Whether that’s true remains debatable, as Kenney – facing charges for practicing medicine without a license – pleaded guilty to pleading guilty to avoid prosecution and then filing a civil suit against the school district (which Kenney allowed him to do all of that) remains open to debate. for) ) resulted in compromise. Not being able to spend the day in court still enrages the grieving parents of McKinley and Palumbo, and ranks some NPHS alumni who have criticized Kenney’s model of lying not only about his hypnosis but also about what, when, and with whom he did it. to protect his job – something that Kenney himself admitted during his deposition.
However, multiple voices stand up for Kenney. Look into my eyesclaimed that his hypnosis was helpful, that he did nothing inappropriate, and that they “used Dr. Kenney as a scapegoat” for deaths beyond his control. There’s no conclusive gunshot to conclusively proving that Kenney was responsible for the deaths of Freeman, McKinley, and Palumbo, but nevertheless, the documentary series paints a brash and unrepentant portrait of the former headmaster, who refuses to admit that his actions were inappropriate – something that doesn’t sound true. Even if Kenney isn’t a “narcissist” (as Peggie McKinley claims), it’s hard not to see him as a reckless individual towards impressionable children he’s not authorized to counsel in this way.
Most damning, though, is a late scene in which Kenney visits the NPHS for the first time since 2011. In a memorial erected in Freeman’s memory, Kenney pays homage to the deceased youth, and in doing so, director Hodge intersects with an earlier Kenney. The interview in which she describes Freeman using exactly the same words. The meaning of this is clear: Kenney’s comments are carefully rehearsed and therefore unreliable. Look into my eyes It may be impartial, but that is not the same as not having a point of view.