SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Nail-biting jurors in an Orange County courtroom cried out in fear while watching 'Halloween II,' the movie thriller an accused killer blames for his stabbing attack of an elderly couple.
The jurors covered their mouths, bit their fingernails and jumped from their seats Wednesday as they watched graphic scenes of people chased down and stabbed to death by a 'homicidal maniac.'
The unusual screening came in the trial of Richard Delmer Boyer, 26, who has admitted stabbing to death an elderly Fullerton couple in 1982. He testified earlier that he had flashbacks from the grisly movie just before Francis Harbitz, 67, and his wife, Aileen, 68, were stabbed to death.
Superior Judge James Turner grimaced at movie scenes of the bloodletting spree. The courtstenographer looked away. The defendant leaned forward and gazed intently.
The movie was stopped periodically by Dr. Ronald Siegel, a UCLA psychiatrist who compared scenes in 'Halloween II' with Boyer's experiences on the night of the killings, Dec. 7, 1982.
Boyer, who pleaded innocent by reason of insanity, testified he injected himself with cocaine, smoked a PCP cigarette and drank alcoholic beverages before going the Harbitz home to borrow money.
During the visit, he said, he saw a hooded figure, shrouded in fog and holding a knife, in the couple's hallway.
Boyer said the figure was the killer who fatally stabbed more than a dozen victims in 'Halloween II.' Boyer said he blacked out after seeing the hooded figure and awoke to find the Harbitzes stabbed numerous times.
Siegel pointed out consistencies between the Harbitzes' house and the movie, including an opening scene that showed an elderly couple stabbed in their home. Siegel said Boyer has told him the figure he saw 'just took over.'