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This is the story of Annette Morales Rodriguez, a hard-working single mother of three.

It is also the story of Lara, a psychopathic killer who abducted another woman’s fetus, killing both mother and baby.

Unbeknownst to Annette, Lara is a part of her: a dissociative identity, or split personality, formed to help Annette deal with the sexual abuse she endured as a child. Highly protective and driven to act solely in Annette’s interests with no regard for the consequences to others, Lara lacks the moral judgment and remorse of a fully-developed personality. It is she who saw Annette’s desire for and inability to have another baby and plotted to cut one from another woman’s belly to give to her.

Lara confessed in gruesome detail. Annette, entirely amnesic throughout the course of events, has no recollection of the behavior Lara carried out. Dr. Anne Speckhard’s jail interviews with Annette—and Lara—offer a fascinating glimpse inside a woman torn in two. Dr. Speckhard’s analysis of Annette’s behavior and her treatment once in police custody beg the questions: How do you separate the guilty from the innocent when they share the same body? and When is it acceptable to violate one’s rights in the interest of public safety?

Annette’s story brings Dissociative Identity Disorder and the shortcomings of the American justice system to shocking light.

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