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Shrink Needs A Shrink

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Before you hire a psychiatrist, you’d probably want to know a few things about him. For example, where he did his training, and what he charges per hour. You might ask him about the different therapeutic techniques he’ll be using.

And, of course, you should always ask whether he’s recently been caught carrying a loaded handgun into court to protect himself from an ex-wife who he thought took out a contract to have him killed.

Psychiatrist Jerry Gelb had some explaining to do after Melbourne Magistrates Court deputies, conducting routine searches at the courthouse’s main entrance, found a loaded .22 pistol and forty-nine rounds (!) of ammunition in his backpack. Confronted, Dr. Gelb (accompanied by his bodyguard) calmly explained that he was taking the weapon to court because it was a piece of evidence in an ongoing trial. Surprisingly, the deputies weren’t buying that story (perhaps because he later claimed that he had forgotten the gun was in his bag!), and the good doctor was arrested.

So, why was Dr. Gelb packing heat? Apparently, several of his patients – who Gelb now believes were working in cahoots – convinced the doc that his ex-wife put out a contract on his life. One of the hit-men then approached Dr. Gelb, claiming to have accepted the contract, and offered not to carry it out in exchange for $5,000. Next, in a plot twist described by the judge as “bizarre” and worthy of “a soap opera,” the hit-man became Dr. Gelb’s patient, and then a trusted friend – he even attended Dr. Gelb’s second wedding! This new “friend” had given Dr. Gelb the loaded weapon for protection against the next contract killer (who, presumably, wouldn’t be as friendly).

These hitmen had really gotten to the good doctor: when police raided his home, they found a shotgun, a slingshot, and a speargun (which he needed, of course, to do battle with his ex-wife’s scuba-teams of underwater hit men).

The truth eventually came out, and the conspiracy was revealed (that is, as Dr. Gelb told the court, he “now realized” that his criminal patients made up the whole thing!), but not before Dr. Gelb pled guilty to three weapons charges, with eight more pending. He already faces up to seven years of shrinking in prison.

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