(THIS PLANET) Scientists call it, "Acquired Suggestibility Syndrome" a rare condition which prevents the human mind from separating fact from fiction. One Phoenix man with this condition died last August when a Phoenix police officer told him to "FREEZE", and .. he did. Literally. Larry King interviewed noted clinical psychologist, Dr. Ross Jenkins who has been following the Phoenix case ..
KING -> So. Can you tell me doctor how a man can literally freeze to death in the middle of August in Phoenix Arizona of all places?
JENKINS -> Everyone, Larry, to some degree is susceptible to external suggestions given to them. Hypnotists make their living capitalizing on that fact.
KING -> I'm not susceptible to suggestion Doctor.
JENKINS -> I know Larry but isn't it a little warm in here?
KING -> Now that you mention it .. Crew? Can you turn down the thermostat just a bit? Thanks. Now doctor tell me about this strange condition which .."
The mother of the suspect talked about her son in a September article by the Phoenix Sun ..
"Leon was VERY susceptible to suggestion as a child. We had to weigh every word we said. If we told him everything was ok, it was .. ok. And, I'm so ashamed of this but .. one time he wouldn't go to sleep so we told him the boogy man would come eat him. Next morning we had to rush him to ICU clinging to life. That's when we learned not to even say hello to him lest he, in his poor mind would dissect the HELL portion of the word, contemplate the letter O portion of the word and somehow go blow up Phoenix."
"Link" Nelson, the police officer who told the suspect to freeze is deeply troubled by the incident. In his mind, sources say, he still believes that if he had simply gone
"STOP FREEZING LEON"
Leon would have lived. Officer Nelson last August told his story to Phoenix Sun reporters ..
"There was a liquor store robbery over on 12th. I arrived to find a lone white male, middle 20's fleeing the scene. I didn't want to shoot so instinctively I yelled FREEZE! I had no idea that he'd actually go ahead and DO it! I'm sorry! I had no blankets or lanterns with me it being the middle of August in Phoenix Arizona ICE vapor was coming out of his mouth he kept saying 'So cold So cold' I tried to save him I tried I TRIED how would I know that ME yelling the word FREEZE would .."
Officer Nelson, currently on paid leave, contemplating life, is return to full duty soon.