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Type of Case: Clinical

Corroboration: Physical documentary evidence

Publication Location: Science News

Related Cases:


As part of an article for Science News, Bruce Bower presents the case of "Claudia", who recovered memories of sexual abuse by her older brother which were later corroborated by physical documentary evidence. Spurred by participation in a hospital weight loss program, Claudia began to recover memories which she then continued to recover during participation in group therapy sessions. Bower reports: "After losing more than 100 pounds in a hospital weight-reduction program she had entered to battle severe obesity, Claudia experienced flashbacks of sexual abuse committed by her older brother. She joined a therapy group for incest survivors, and memories of abuse flooded back. Claudia told group members that from the time she was 4 years old to her brother’s enlistment in the Army three years later, he had regularly handcuffed her, burned her with cigarettes, and forced her to submit to a variety of sexual acts. Claudia’s brother had died in combat in Vietnam more than 15 years before her horrifying memories surfaced. Yet Claudia’s parents had left his room and his belongings untouched since then. Returning home from the hospital, Claudia searched the room. Inside a closet she found a large pornography collection, handcuffs, and a diary in which her brother had extensively planned and recorded what he called sexual ‘experiments’ with his sister." (Bower 1993)


Bower, B. (1993). “Sudden recall: adult memories of child abuse spark a heated debate.” Science News (September 18, 1993), Vol. 144 , No. 12: pp. 184-86.)

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