NBFF 2015: The Syndrome, Excellent Shaken Baby Legal Tactic Documentary, at 8 TONIGHT

A woman who was under suspicion tells how difficult it was to disprove she shook a baby who was under her care in The Syndrome.
A woman who was under suspicion tells how difficult it was to disprove she shook a baby who was under her care in The Syndrome.
Prodigy Public Relations

UPDATE, APRIL 30, 10:22 A.M.: Meryl Goldsmith's must-see documentary The Syndrome, which is based on her cousin Susan Goldsmith's reporting on the shaky shaken baby legal tactic that has put several people behind bars unjustly, plays tonight at 8 at Big Newport. Read more after the jump ...

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 27, 2:56 P.M.: One great thing about the late, great Los Angeles New Times newsweekly (a deceased cousin of OC Weekly, I suppose?) were their investigative stories. A 1998 cover package by reporter Susan Goldsmith broke the story that one of LA's most prestigious law firms was using private in-house investigators to illegally spy on litigation opponents by obtaining their confidential health and financial records. She went on to pour years of research into shaken baby syndrome, discovering that it was a creation of junk science and many were being unjustly prosecuted for it around the country. Her reporting is the basis of a documentary she collaborated on with her cousin, Meryl Goldsmith, whose The Syndrome shakes up the Newport Beach Film Festival Thursday night, April 30.

While Susan Goldsmith appears as a talking head in the picture, the real stars are the doctors, defendants, scientists and legal scholars who pierce gaping holes into shaken baby syndrome allegations. Included is Audrey Edmunds, a mother of three and prisoner of 11 years for killing a baby she never harmed.

And then there are the physicians who have turned speaking in courts, at conferences and from their own national center on shaken baby syndrome into gold--despite there being no peer-reviewed science to justify the syndrome's existence. (See the comments section below for the opposite argumenta.)

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The Syndrome slyly points out that some of those spouting off about shaken baby syndrome used to spout off about another supposed cause of murders that was also later discounted.

This should be required viewing for law students at UCI, Chapman and Whittier Law School. Heck, it should be for everyone. Susan and Meryl Goldsmith are scheduled to attend the 8 p.m. Thursday screening at Big Newport.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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