Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Susan Mae POLK



California housewife Susan Polk studied literature, not law, in college. But she has chosen
to act as her own attorney at her murder trial, "fighting for her life," she says, against
the first-degree murder charge in her husband's death. Polk admits she stabbed her
husband Felix in 2002, but says it was in self-defense during a fight and that he
actually died from a heart attack and not his wounds. Two of her three sons say
she is "delusional" and guilty as charged.



The defendant says she first met her psychologist husband Frank "Felix" Polk in 1972,
when he was a 40-year-old Berkeley psychologist and she was a 14-year-old old
schoolgirl suffering from panic attacks. Susan Polk testified that after reviewing
her notes and memories in preparation for trial, she believes their relationship
became sexual after Felix allegedly raped her when she was 15.



Polk's 72-year-old mother, Helen Bolling, says she confronted Felix about the relationship
when she learned her teenage daughter's new boyfriend was her therapist. "I told him,
 I don't want to make trouble for you, but that's got to stop," Bolling said.
She later discovered the relationship did not end.



By 1982, Polk had left his wife, a classical pianist, and their two children, and married his former patient
Susan Mae Bolling. She was 25 and he was 50. Susan's mother says she attended the wedding, but
refused to pay for it.



As Mrs. Felix Polk, Susan handled the family's financial affairs and was a secretary
for her husband's lucrative psychology practice. While she may have appeared
to be happy, Polk claims, she was a victim of constant emotional and
physical abuse from her husband.



The Polks eventually raised three boys Adam, Eli and Gabriel. Adam and Gabriel would later
 become witnesses for the prosecution in Polk's trial; only Eli would testify on her behalf.



Susan claims Felix did not allow her to have any friends of her own and that he threatened
to kill her, himself, their three children, and even the family dogs if she ever left him.



But Gabriel, now 19, says it was his mother who spoke for years about killing his father.
"She talked about drugging him and drowning him in the pool, hitting him over the head
and drowning him in the pool, running over him with a car or tampering with his car,"
Gabriel said during four days of intense testimony.



Gabriel testified that his mother's behavior took a turn about five years before his father's
death, when she began to experience repressed memories of being molested by her own
parents. Susan Polk's mother denies the claims. Gabriel says he does not believe it
either, but points to it as more evidence of her alleged delusions. Polk says her
controlling husband, Felix, put the idea in her head.



Even the Polk children were caught up in molestation tales. The Polks once accused Adam's
day-care center of ritualistic satanic abuse, but no evidence was ever found to support the
claim. Polk says it was her husband's idea, and she played jurors a taped lecture of Dr.
Polk describing the molestation he believed Adam had endured.



Gabriel also accused his mother of falsely believing that Felix Polk was a secret agent with the Israeli
Mossad and that he was hiding millions of dollars from her in Cayman Islands bank accounts.
"There'd be times when Saturday morning, you'd be reading the newspaper and trying to find
codes," Gabriel told his mother during her murder trial.



Polk claims Felix tried to brainwash her boys against her, constantly telling them,
"Mom is crazy." She also says she caught Felix poisoning her dog Tuffy.
By 2000, the couple was talking about divorce.



On Oct. 14, 2002, Susan Polk was arrested for stabbing Felix to death with a paring knife
at the end of a nasty divorce battle, in which she appeared to be losing the family
home and custody of Gabriel. Gabriel called 911 after he found his father's partially
 naked body on the floor of the guest cottage at the couple's $1.85 million Orinda home.



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