“Yes, Nalia Oletwa killed her father, the Chief of Otongwe, Babu Ntolela Oletwa.”
The court room went silent as all eyes jolted from Nalia to me.
Being an outsider, I hated having to testify against the Chiefs daughter but I had an obligation to do so as the head of criminal psychology in the country as well as this county.
It was my duty, not only to the Chief but to my government, to make sure that this draw back didn’t affect our treaty with the county.
On one side I had the pressure from the higher ups to close this case fast but when a young woman’s life lays in wait I couldn’t sit and watch her die all to save on time.
If you had told me a year ago I would be in this position I would have said you need to get checked.
To my closest friends, I had it all. The leading job in my department, the perfect husband and the best kids in the world.
I did have it all but when the government gave me my new assignment in the far east, I had no choice but to say my goodbyes and head over to a little village that had just finally agreed for our government to educate their local police department in criminal psychology.
I remember the first day I got here like it was yesterday. The chief was a bit too friendly, his staff even more so but what caught my attention was his daughter.
She was quiet, withdrawn but when spoken too she was rough when her eyes pleaded not to mention the way she looked at me.
I couldn’t tell if it was jealousy or envy but with much beauty and coming from an affluent family I disregarded it as nothing.
Like many aboriginal people family closeness was normal and I understood the need for the chief to keep her close but many of my colleagues found this peculiar and the more I was around them the more uncomfortable I got.
“Being the lead criminal psychologist in the country and having interviewed the suspect, please explain to us how you reached these conclusions.”
The night I got the phone call never in my wildest dreams did I think the case would be that of the Chief with his own daughter as the main suspect.
“Having examined the evidence and spoken to the suspect I came to the firm conclusion that while the suspect did kill the chief, my assessment also showed that she is innocent of the crime.”
The courtroom came alive , some confused, others angered that I, an outsider, brought such allegations to the forefront of what was a peaceful community and the majority disissing me because the Chief had favored me and made sure not to hide this from anybody.
When I first saw her I didn’t believe she did it. She was cold, sure, but she didn’t have the disposition to commit such a heinous crime.
She barely talked when I sat down on the opposite side of the table and hardly batted an eye when I called her name. But I knew she was different almost childlike. So I observed her mannerisms and after a while put a paper and some coloring pens in front of her and what happened next astounded me.
“Nalia suffers from what we like to call ‘multiple personality disorder’. A disease of the mind that manifests itself after a traumatic incident in one’s life. Using a few sound techniques I was able to draw out each persona when I needed to.”
To speak of such things shocked the locals who most often the not believed that those who suffered from mental problems were possessed by demons. My broaching the subject only made this case that more difficult.
“Having interviewed the suspect I found that she had three alter personas that I know of to date. Leana, a five-year-old girl that represents her younger self, Biko a father like figure that protected her and Liana and Nalia the person who you see before us now.”
Having been around the Chief and his daughter a lot over the past year spotting the personas didn’t take me much time. It always surprises me the different characteristic they all have and how the smallest thing such a shuffling can link them together.
Liana was a shy, friendly girl who still had her innocence with her. But even so she was plagued by the darkness that existed around her and lived in an imaginary world in her head.
Liana was Nalia before the abuse started and from what I gathered it began when her mother and father passed away and she was handed over to the chief who was the fathers only living relative. But who would have thought…..
“Dr. Smith, I asked if you could explain what you meant when you said she did and did not do it.”
Firstly, the person who killed the Chief is her male alter, Biko. But to say he killed him would be a lie. It was self-defense without a shadow of doubt.
Biko represents the protector that Nalia lost when her parents passed away. Having spoken with him I deduced that his actions were justifiable.”
“While it saddens me to say this, the chief was sexually abusing Nalia. From the age of five when he took her in as his child, I learned from Biko that soon after, the abuse began and the disassociation took place.
At that point Nalia became a woman and she took to protect her innocence by creating an illusion of escape through the mind of Liana and when the torment became too much, Biko would take over and that is when the violent outbursts occurred.
I didn’t quite understand it at first but now it all makes sense.
For years, this child has been crying out to us all to help her. For years, she has suffered in silence, disillusioned by a community she doesn’t know and a man and new life that she had to call home and not once did we stop to ask her how she was doing.
We blindly followed the complaints of a chief who was trying to cover his tracks and labeled her a troublesome brat.
So yes, she killed him but in light of this, does she deserve to be punished for something that she could not control?
Isn’t her voice just as important as the dead man we all respected because h was Chief?”