Archive for January 31st, 2012

The ‘suspended iris’ as a signal of mental instability

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


I can’t believe how much goes on here that I don’t remember having heard about. Every day the news is infused with items of mayhem, death, cruelty, random viciousness, so maybe it’s not much of a surprise that I don’t remember this incident from April 3, 2010 that happened in Malibu.


It appears to have been a tragic confluence of events that culminated with the death of 13-year-old Emily Shane of Malibu as she stood on the shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway. She was struck by car driven by the maniacal Sina Khankhanian, a suicidal motorist supposedly intent on ramming his car into a light pole, which he partially did, but in the process of doing this, struck the girl, propelling her 30 feet in the air. Khankhanian survived the accident and was eventually charged with second-degree murder charges. Khankhanian’s defense team attempted to have a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter added as an option the jury could consider in its deliberations, but the judge denied the motion. The defense claimed that this essentially put the jury in the unenviable position of voting not guilty for a man who had obviously killed a 13-yer-old girl with his vehicle. Even his attorney relented that Khankhanian was guilty of manslaughter. The jury’s predicament was not whether he ran over Emily Shane; their burden was to decide whether Khankhanian’s actions on April 3, 2010, constituted second-degree murder. Or not, in which case he walked. The defense position was that to merely give the jury only the choice of a second-degree murder conviction was unfair to them and might derail the trial since second-degree murder might have been perceived as too “harsh.”


By all accounts, Khankhanian was a pretty messed up individual. He had recently lost his job at a Winnetka animal hospital and allegedly suffered from autism. His girlfriend, Mardi Martinez, testified that he had expressed suicidal thoughts in the week prior to his vehicular rampage. On April 3, he left Martinez a suicide note and a check in her name. He expressed his intent to commit suicide by car. That Saturday he drove his Mitsubishi Lancer wildly on a 17-mile berzerk out-of-control race that elicited four emergency calls reporting his erratic driving which included speeding, tailgating, rapid lane changes, in addition to 2 after he struck the girl. If he had suicide on his mind, his behavior obviously included the possibility of a touch of homicide and Khankhanian got his wish when the young girl happened to be the only person standing between him and the light pole he so boldly averted striking devoutly enough to kill himself. For this reason alone, Khankhanian should face murder charges. Khankhanian claimed to have drunk 4 glasses of wine along with a host of other prescription pills, a real witches brew of highway hell, most of which he’d scored from his girlfriend.


Now it turns out that Judge Katherine Mader (the same judge who threw out the defense’s request of an optional manslaughter charge) has ruled a hung jury in the case after jurors were unable to reach a consensus on Khankhanian’s second-degree murder charge. The hung jury means a mistrial and the prosecutors can decide in the next month whether to pursue another trial which they most likely will. Perhaps they will now anticipate the defense oratory of insanity by autism. Whatever the case, Khankhanian has that EYE which is always a sign of bad news. Beware people whose iris floats in the upper portion of the eye leaving a glimmer of white swimming below it. Khankhanian has this.


This is the big picture:



And the hovering iris affliction. This is analogous in humans to the hissing of a rattlesnake.



What the hell is it about suspended irises that arouses and provokes such instinctual leeriness in me? I’m a firm believer in the power of physiognomy as an evolutionary tool. In other words, our physical traits coincide with deeper personality characteristics and have been for thousands of years. Enough time that we have evolved an instinctual knowledge and foretaste of human behavior signaled by typical facial and bodily characteristics. We still experience these but in our liberated, everyone-is-equal era, we refuse to believe people ever “look” the part. God forbid we “profile.” Profiling is such a bad word.


However, someone with Khankhanian’s suspended irises should be psychologically tested before getting a driver’s license, not after, at which points it’s usually too late.


In fact, I’ll go one step further. I think a repository of all abnormal and dangerous mental pathologies should be kept on file with the attendant visual physical characteristics of each. If you look the part, we are keeping on eye on you!