Two psychiatrists have testified that an Australian soldier in Iraq didn’t intend to commit suicide when he shot himself while singing The Cranberries’ “Dreams” in April.
Philip Mitchell, a psychiatry professor at Australia’s University of NSW, and Alexander McFarlane, professor at the University of Adelaide, both agree that Private Jake Kovco didn’t exhibit any suicidal signs.
However, Professor McFarlane concedes that the title of the song may have triggered a memory of a dream that Kovco had weeks previously. Kovco contemplated shooting himself in that dream, and wrote about it in his diary.
“Given that Private Kovco had the dream some months before and he was in a playful state of mind, it is possible the song triggered a recollection of his dream,” McFarlane said.
“At this moment he may have drawn his 9mm pistol and in a jocular (and immensely tragic) way, re-enacted his dream,” he added.
McFarlane testified that Kovco was in a playful mood when he died, and it was therefore unlikely that he would have intentionally shot himself in front of two friends.
Mitchell further found that the lyrics and beat of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” to be that of “an upbeat love song” and unlikely “to induce suicidal thoughts.”
Sources: Border Mail (more), The West Australian