We just recently got our hands on a 1964 annual report from Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston. As readers here may remember, that's where Ayres worked from 1959-1963. Imagine our surprise when we read that Judge Baker had a staff pediatrician - as well as three nurses!!! The staff pediatrician - Josephine L. Murray is now 89 and couldn't talk to us because she is suffering from Alzheimer's and has no memory, according to our caregiver.
Still, we wanted to know if there was a staff pediatrician when Ayres was there. So we called psychologist Pauline B. Hahn, who was at Judge Baker for more than 50 years. Hahn is 86 and sharp as a tack. She's also the go- to person for people who want to know about the history of Judge Baker. Back in August, Hahn who worked at "the Baker" from the 1940s to the 1990s told us that at no time has any child psychiatrist there been permitted to give physical exams to children in therapy. Now, Hahn tells us that Judge Baker has always had a staff pediatrician!!!
Well, now. So where does that leave Ayres? Back then, was he of the mindset that pediatricians were "too quick " with exams and not thorough enough - as he actually had the gall to say at the trial in July ? Did he practise his own special brand of hands-on therapy there? It's looking increasingly likely......
And here's another interesting nugget: we talked to an educator who worked at the Manville School at Judge Baker when Ayres was there.The Manville School was the residential school for the kids at Judge Baker, and the classrooms were in the basement of the building. This man recalls that a woman named Solveig Troxel( who, in March 1962 would become Ayres' wife) taught young boys at the Manville School, and that Ayres used to come and "hang around her classroom a lot and watch the boys." I guess that's what made Solveig so attractive-like Judge Marta Diaz- she offered a pipeline to boys!!
This educator distinctly remembers that Ayres was angry at the esteemed head of Judge Baker- George E. Gardner. Gardner went to Harvard undergrad and to Harvard Medical School, had (unlike Ayres) many studies and papers published and was one of the most beloved and respected directors of Judge Baker. Still, this Judge Baker educator remembers that Ayres wrote a "scathing memo" criticizing his boss, George Gardner because Ayres thought he wasn't "paying enough attention to the Manville School." This former colleague remembers that Ayres' critical memo was circulated among the staff.
We asked former Judge Baker psychologist Pauline Hahn whether it was normal for young psychiatrists to foment dissent and be critical of Gardner. Hahn said it was unheard of. "Ayres picked the wrong person to attack!" she said. And then she told us that it was Gardner himself who had actually secured the money from a benefactor that would create the Manville School. "To say that Gardner didn't do enough for the Manville School is just NOT accurate - it's ridiculous!" she said.
So then, what possibly could be behind Ayres' attack on his far more accomplished boss? We can only wonder... Had Gardner already called Ayres to the carpet about his problems with boundary issues with boys? We know that Ayres has been vindictive towards doctors in California who spoke out against him... so was Ayres being vindictive towards Gardner for daring to speak out against his touching kids? Was this "memo" a coverup - an excuse that Ayres used to leave Judge Baker, when in fact he may have already been asked to leave? Did he not get the support from his colleagues in his attacks against Gardner?
For Ayres to leave Judge Baker "abruptly" -as Joel, one of his former patients recalls- sure seems strange. Ayres was ambitious, and according to a 1953 article in Time magazine, Judge Baker was THE place to be for child psychiatrists. According to Time, "Boston has become a hub for child psychiatry" and Judge Baker was the center of that hub.
For an ambitious doctor like Ayres to move from the hub of child psychiatry - and with its ties to Harvard Medical School - to private practise in a small town in California that most people have never heard of seems most odd indeed....
Finally, there's Ayres' own testimony during the trial on the circumstances of his leaving Judge Baker. When asked by his lawyer Doron Weinberg what he was doing in 1963, Ayres replied " I also decided-- I had been in psychoanalysis for a while in New Haven and then again in Boston. And I decided that I was not going to reapply to the Institute of Boston, who had encouraged me to finish my training and then to reapply, but that I would rather go east-- go west and enjoy the weather."
"Would rather go East..." hmm, sounds like a Freudian slip to us.
In the transcript of Ayres' testimony what strikes us as odd is that Ayres doesn't talk about his actual training at Judge Baker - the only place where he studied child psychiatry at all. In other parts, he talks about his one year of pediatric training at Yale but in the one key area- his four years of child psychiatry training- he is curiously distant and detached and pretty much mum....
Instead of referring to his time as being at Judge Baker, he refers to it as being "at Harvard." Which is really strange- because every single one of the forty or so doctors we've spoken to have who have trained at Judge Baker all call it working at Judge Baker. The reason for this is that there are about seven institutions in Boston like Judge Baker that are affiliated with Harvard, such as Mass. General or Children's Hospital. A child psychiatrist who trained at Children's Hospital says they trained at Children's Hospital. Ditto those who worked at Mass. General and of course for Judge Baker. We have yet to encounter a single child psychiatrist who has referred to his training as working at Harvard.
We suspect Ayres uses the word "Harvard" in place of Judge Baker because he's trying to prevent us from looking too closely at his time at Judge Baker. Way, way, too late for that...And a little birdy has told us we're not the only ones looking at his Boston days, either.
To be continued....