A family therapist who criticized law enforcement officers for tactics used during the standoff last January at the Vickie Singer farm was even more disturbed after experiencing some of those tactics firsthand.
Elliott Landau was in Rice Stadium Monday afternoon to listen to a reproduction of electronically produced sounds that authorities blasted at Singer and 14 other people holed up in the Marion farmhouse following the bombing of an LDS chapel nearby."I am more horrified now than I was when I thought about it last January," said Landau, whom a defense attorney might call to the witness stand in an upcoming murder trial for Singer's son, John Timothy Singer, her son-in-law, Addam Swapp, and his brother, Jonathan Swapp.
The second-degree murder trial for the three men will probably begin the middle of next week before 3rd District Judge Michael R. Murphy.
Jonathan Swapp's attorney, Earl Spafford, said he may call Landau to testify that the sounds - referred to by some experts as "psychological warfare" - aggravated the standoff and contributed to the violent ending in which state Corrections Lt. Fred House was shot and killed.
In addition to the loudspeakers, federal and state law enforcement officials used helicopters, airplanes and floodlights in an attempt to force the clan's surrender.
He commended law enforcement's resolve not to use lethal force against the Singers and Swapps but said this particular alternative to force was inappropriate.
"I believe it was a method of depriving them of sleep. And it worked. They didn't get any sleep for four or five days. To hear that (noise) for four or five nights in a row, plus the helicopters and the lights, probably can drive anybody to anything."
Describing the sounds as "hellish," Addam Swapp and his brother fired upon the loudspeakers, disabling at least two of them during the standoff.