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Woman in Shooting of Family Said She Needed No Therapy

December 24, 1987|ROBERT W. STEWART | Times Staff Writer

The woman charged Wednesday with staging a bloody shooting attack on her former psychologist and his family told a judge earlier this year that she no longer needed court-ordered therapy, because "I have worked out my problems," according to court records.

Kimberly A. Gracyalny, 30, of Los Angeles, who allegedly stalked the therapist for more than four years, made the comment in a letter to a judge who was considering revoking the probation granted after Gracyalny pleaded no contest in 1986 to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and loitering at the Fairfax-area home of psychologist David P. Fox.

"Concerning the court-ordered therapy, as I already stated I have worked out my problems and whatever I had seen Dr. Fox for is now behind me," Gracyalny wrote in a letter dated last Feb. 8. "There are many needy people out there who can make better use of the therapists' time."

When Fox, his wife and four children returned home from dinner last Sunday evening, Gracyalny allegedly opened fire with a .38-caliber revolver. Fox was wounded in the arm, his wife, Deborah, 31, was hit in both legs, and a bullet is still lodged in the left leg of the couple's 6-year-old daughter.

Pleads Not Guilty

Gracyalny, head bowed and dressed in a hospital gown, was formally arraigned Wednesday in Los Angeles Municipal Court. She pleaded not guilty to six charges of attempted murder and one charge of shooting into an inhabited dwelling. She is being held without bail in the jail ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Judge David S. Milton scheduled a bail review for Dec. 28.

"This is a dangerous human being, your honor," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Irvin S. Cohen in arguing against bail.

Because of her failure to remain in therapy, and because of continued incidents at the Fox home, Los Angeles Municipal Judge Marion L. Obera on Oct. 2 revoked Gracyalny's probation and ordered her to serve a total of 60 days at Sybil Brand Institute, the county jail for women.

She was released in mid-November. Almost immediately after her release, she again showed up at the Fox home, in violation of a Superior Court restraining order, Fox told authorities.

The court files from the earlier cases revealed that Gracyalny had complained to state medical authorities that Fox had engaged in improper conduct during the dozen or so hours of therapy he provided for her between November, 1982, and March, 1983.

A spokesman for the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance, which oversees doctors and psychologists, said Wednesday that no action was taken against Fox because none of Gracyalny's allegations were substantiated.

In a letter to the court written Oct. 18, Fox said, "The allegation of professional misconduct on my part was one more tactic of harassment and resulted, predictably, in an exoneration as well as a statement to me by the investigator that the defendant was 'obviously a sick lady.' "

In her letter to the judge, Gracyalny said of her meetings with Fox:

"I felt suicidal, was extremely nervous and had difficulties functioning in general. The 'therapy' I received consisted of belittlement, referring to me as a prostitute, asking if I performed certain sex practices with my ex-boyfriend and placing his hands on me. . . .

"After this last (incident), I left therapy and did not see Dr. Fox again. I did my own self-analysis and discovered and worked through what had been bothering me and I answered all my questions."

A native of Milwaukee, Gracyalny was graduated from Eisenhower High School in New Berlin, Wis., in June, 1975, and came to California three years later, according to court documents.

She enrolled at Los Angeles City College in the fall of 1979 and earned an associate of art's degree in June, 1982. In a 1985 application to California State University, Long Beach, Gracyalny said she wished to major in journalism or psychology.

Several acquaintances described Gracyalny as a quiet, shy woman who had few friends.

Gracyalny herself once wrote, "I live alone and don't socialize much."

Kept to Herself

"She never spoke to us at all, and we speak to everybody," said a woman who lived across the street from Gracyalny in the 400 block of North Spaulding Avenue, in the Fairfax area.

"She was really quiet, didn't associate with anybody, and we never knew what she did, because she was always by herself," the woman said.

Gracyalny's former landlord, Eduardo C. Garcia of La Crescenta, said, "She was quiet, she was a nice girl. . . . She was always on time with the payment."

Gracyalny worked as a bookkeeper, but only sporadically. She was unemployed much of the time, according to a source familiar with the case.

In September, 1986, a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer wrote of Gracyalny:

"Defendant continues to require supervision on these probation grants. It is hoped that regular reporting, counseling from the probation officer and the Mental Health Department will eventually bring peace to her and control her compulsive behavior."

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