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The top 5 things we've learned about James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson from Andrew Spanswick
August 13th, 2013
04:45 PM ET

The top 5 things we've learned about James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson from Andrew Spanswick

Coming up this evening at 9, "Piers Morgan Live" welcomes the return of Andrew Spanswick, a friend and former camping buddy of the late James DiMaggio.

In advance of his fourth visit with Piers Morgan in less than a week, we've compiled a collection of some of the lessons learned during Spanswick's visits:

1. James DiMaggio's traumatic childhood could be seen as foreshadowing for a dangerous adult life:

“They [James and sister Laura] were emotionally and physically abused by their father who had an extreme problem with methamphetamine use," Spanswick revealed to Morgan on Monday. "Jim was basically abandoned as a child. And after the mother died, it was really up to Jim to take on the father role for Laura.”

2. James DiMaggio's father committed suicide in 1998, an incident that may have impacted his own actions exactly 15 years later:

"It's bone-chilling information when I heard it that potentially he's had a plan," Spanswick told Morgan, in the process calling upon his own work with patients suffering from mental illness. "They make a suicide pact or plan, that they've hidden from other people. It relates very much to the anniversaries of the traumatic event, and I think that's very much what we're seeing here. There might be a possible link between the anniversary date of his father's disappearance and eventual suicide."

3. Throughout the course of the manhunt, DiMaggio's family always feared the worst:

"When I spoke to Laura, his sister, last night at length, two times, she expressed that, you know, the only result she could see from this is Jim ending up coming home in a body bag," Spanswick told Morgan last Thursday. "Because, either one, he was going to get profiled and someone was going to shoot him, or something terrible has happened to him and maybe he was taken from the home."

4. James DiMaggio offered subtle signs of his intentions, including traveling with his beloved pet:

“I'm positive that he had a suicidal plan. The fact that he took his cat out into the wilderness with him, that he had saved before," Spanswick explained on Monday night. "When people have a suicidal plan, they'll often take things with them, that they want to die and go with them.”

5. A therapist and CEO of a behavioral health company, Spanswick never discounted the possibility that DiMaggio may have suffered a psychotic episode:

"There's always a possibility that somebody could have a break. I heard some rumors on the media that he had been smoking marijuana recently," noted the "Piers Morgan Live" guest. "There's always the possibility with the potency of marijuana these days, that people could have drug-induced psychosis that might relate to some of this behavior."

Join "Piers Morgan Live" at 9 as Spanswick returns to the program for a live interview.
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soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. david

    Piers Morgan is such an idiot. Why is he even on cnn? The guy is a moron!

    August 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Modupe Sarratt

    Reference: Debate
    I see life that we are different to make life enjoyable. I know this is not what many want to hear, I am happy that we are different. Equality to me means being different, but equal as a human, and being a human is to treat another human the way you want to be treated, no one wants to ostracized or hated is the debate for law to be equal for what apply to black, apply to white and any other race in America. If a law is to curb crime, the law is equal in application to all races in the USA.

    August 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joe

    comment on gun control. Piers Morgan could not answer question about gun control on his own wife being assaulted. I feel sorry for his wife. If he doesn't like our gun control he can go back to Great Britain. CNN I wont watch your channel anymore as long as Piers Morgan is a host. I will post across the web how he feels about women defending themselves and their children. I watched CNN everyday but not anymore since this moran is on your channel

    August 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Michelle

    I am a mother and will protect my children in anyway including a firearm. Piers Morgan would change his mind if his family was in danger. He would wish he had protection... What an idiot. CNN should be ashamed for having this guy host a show on your network

    August 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Roxie

    CNN is being blatantly biased when its articles show empathy for Whites who commit crime.
    Had DiMaggio survived, the Andersen family would likely not have gotten justice–at least if the jury were all White.

    August 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mister Peebles

    "The Grill" guest tonight did nothing to further his position, other than playing on fears and pandering to people's paranoia.

    We should be asking ourselves how crime can be prevented, not neutralized the instant it takes place. If crime is prevented, the need to be armed would decrease dramatically.

    The vast majority of crime has economic motivations. If a better job market, viable careers for young adults, after school programs, stronger support for community mental health, universal healthcare, and proper funding for troubled areas are secured crime will become a thing of the past.

    August 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roxie

      Dear Mister
      You are correct
      However, the media never cites those reasons when Blacks or HIspanics commit crime.

      August 14, 2013 at 3:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tommy McLemore

      I completely agree with you on this subject.

      August 14, 2013 at 5:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rick

    Idiot therapist. Marijuana does not cause VIOLENT "drug-induced psychosis."

    August 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • rh

      Look up


      and you'll see that they have proven a connection between marijuana and psychosis. Doesn't mean everyone who smokes pot will be psychotic, but for some, that does happen.

      And the guy was obviously upset about the foreclosure, and it was very likely he asked his best friend for money and the wife put the kibosh on it.

      August 15, 2013 at 10:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. KSwiss

    I saw Spanswick's first interview with Morgan. He said that DiMaggio was the kindest guy in the world, and that when he learned a dog had died in the fire he knew that wasn't DiMaggio. I thought, WHAT ABOUT THE WOMAN AND CHILD? Why is it impossible that DiMaggio had killed a dog but not that he had killed a woman and her son? Now he's speculating that DiMaggio planned to kill a teenage girl, too?

    What a doofus. The only thing I liked was his "Let's not rush to judgement" comment–we really didn't know what had happened–and his gentle promptings for DiMaggio to contact him, which might have avoided a bad outcome for Hannah.

    August 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Gigi

    WOW! CNN should have done homework before interviewing A. Spanswick. My path crossed his about 18 years ago and he was a shyster then and seems now he continues to exploit others for his own benefit. I'm sickened by his blatant disclosure of his clinical hypothesis when in actuality he has spent the majority of his "career" climbing the private for profit ladder and creating/managing sub-par mental health programs that abuse Medicare and private insurance dollars and give minimal concern to clinical outcomes of the patient. He is hardly a clinical expert, but is definitely an expert in finding ways to take advantage of others for his own gain.......good luck A. Spanswick stay away from New Orleans, we are better off without the likes of you.

    August 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • iwoks98

      Whether you like Spanswick or not, doesn't take away from the fact that he was close friends with James DiMaggio & went on many camping trips with him. Personally, I don't think Piers does a very good job of interviewing people. I could have thought of a lot more questions I'd like to have asked, not only of Spanswick, but I'd also like to see someone interview Hannah & ask her a lot of tough questions, because based on her askfm account (now closed) she gave a lot of conflicting statements that don't make sense.

      August 29, 2013 at 7:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
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