Parricide Authority Lends Insights to TV Discussion
Dr. Denise Paquette Boots Appears as Criminology Expert on Dr. Phil Show
Dec. 12, 2008
Millions of people have tuned in to the Dr. Phil show for advice, but this week the Dr. Phil show turned to one UT Dallas professor for counsel.
Dr. Phil producers called Dr. Denise Paquette Boots for an upcoming episode about several high-profile homicides, some involving juvenile offenders. Boots, a criminologist in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, flew to Los Angeles this week to tape the episode, which is scheduled to air Monday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. Dallas time on KTVT-TV (Channel 11).
Boots is an expert in parricides – children who kill their parents. Her work in criminology is unique because she studies issues of violence from a life-course perspective. This developmental approach enables her to examine predictors of violent behavior in youth, such as mental health, gender, race and family factors.
On the show, she serves as the criminology expert, discussing the dynamics of the specific homicide cases, the child abuse that can lead to parricide, and the consequences of juveniles becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
“Parricide is one of the last taboos in our society and garners great attention in the media as people try to make sense of these tragic cases,” said Boots. “In the case of juvenile parricide offenders, it is common to find a long history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse that served as a catalyst to the homicidal event.”
Other guests on the show included Paul Mones, a lawyer who specializes in defending kids who kill their parents; television personality, legal commentator and former prosecutor Nancy Grace (via satellite); and a recently released youth offender who was wrongfully convicted of killing his brother-in-law and served six years in prison.
“It was a terrific experience to be on the show and represent the Criminology Program here at UT Dallas. It was fascinating to see how many people, from the hair and makeup crew to the producers, are involved in making the show come together every day.”
The Criminology Program, in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences has enjoyed growing popularity and enrollment since it began in 1999. The program added master and doctoral programs in 2006, creating the first research-based criminology graduate degrees in the State of Texas.