PSY 1001 Discussion Sections
As you read this case for your upcoming discussion section, please be thinking about the
Why do you think Paul confessed to the crime?
What evidence of his innocence was ignored?
Why do you think people ignored the evidence?
Content adapted from the following article:
Imagining Satan: How invented memories and
a modern-day witch hunt landed one Spokane man in prison (The Local Planet; May 8, 2003;
By Tom Grant)
Paul Ingram grew up in Spokane, oldest of seven kids in a devout Catholic family. He attended Spokane
Community College, where he met his wife, Sandy. They had six children and after 17 years in police
work, Paul became one of the top three law-enforcement officers in the Thurston County Sheriff's
Department, Chief Civil Deputy. He was chairman of the Thurston County Republican Party. He and his
wife were active members of The Church of Living Waters, a fundamentalist Protestant congregation.
But in the summer of 1988, a religious divination occurred that would destroy the Ingram family.
Lawrence Wright, who wrote about Ingram's case in The New Yorker Magazine and the book
Remembering Satan, has related this story in print and before the Washington State Clemency and
Ericka Ingram, then 21 and still living with her parents, attended a church retreat. One of the speakers
was Karla Franko, a former actress and stand-up comic turned charismatic Christian who believed she
had been given the gifts of healing and spiritual discernment.
On the last day of the retreat, Ericka seemed down and Franko said that she prayed over the girl. "Almost
immediately, she felt the Lord prompting her with information," Wright wrote in Remembering Satan.
"'You have been abused as a child, sexually abused,' Franko announced. Ericka sat quietly weeping,
unable to respond. Franko received another divine prompting, which told her, 'It's by her father, and it's
been happening for years.'"
Ericka wept, but did not say a word. However, she and her younger sister, Julie, 18, moved out of the
Ingram home shortly after returning from church camp. Six weeks later, Ericka told her mother she had
been repeatedly molested by her father. The abuse had stopped 13 years earlier in 1975, Ericka said. She
linked the abuse to poker parties at the family's old house attended by a number of Paul's friends in the
Sandy immediately confronted her husband and Paul denied it. But Julie backed up her sister, saying Paul
had molested her five years earlier. Sandy called Associate Pastor John Bratun, who had already heard
about the allegations from counselors at the retreat. "Bratun told Sandy that the charges were probably
true, because children didn't make up those kinds of things," according to Remembering Satan.
However, Ericka and Julie had a history of making unsubstantiated allegations, both of which arose out of