Truddi Chase

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Truddi Chase
Born13 June 1935
Died10 March 2010 (age 74)
Nationality United States
Known forAuthor of an autobiography
ChildrenKari Iddings Ainsworth; Paul Ainsworth

Truddi Chase (June 13, 1935 – March 10, 2010) was an American author best known for the book When Rabbit Howls (1987), an autobiography about her experiences after being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder.


According to her personal account, Truddi Chase was born on a homestead near Honeoye Falls, New York, and grew up in an apartment in the same town. In her autobiography and in numerous interviews, Chase said that she was repeatedly and violently sexually and physically abused by her stepfather and beaten and neglected by her mother during her childhood and teenage years.[1] By her report, she had always remembered that molestation and abuse occurred from the age of two onwards but that she could not focus on details before going into therapy. It was during sessions with hypnotherapist, Dr. Robert Phillips, that she concluded that she had multiple personalities.

Chase chose not to integrate her personalities, instead thinking of them as a cooperating team. In her book, she describes giving talks to convicted child molesters to explain her abuse history and to warn them that child abuse is psychologically devastating.

In a television interview with Oprah Winfrey, Chase stated that a Washington Post reporter had tracked down her family, including her stepfather, who denied abusing Chase.[2] Another interview with Phil Donahue revealed that Phillips himself had sought out the family and discovered that her mother had also sexually abused her.[citation needed] The mother had died just before the book's publication.[citation needed]

When Rabbit Howls[edit]

In 1990, the autobiography was made into a two-part ABC miniseries, retitled Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase which cast Shelley Long in the title role. Chase worked closely with the screenwriter to ensure the adaptation was genuine.[3]


Truddi Chase died on March 10, 2010, at her home in Laurel, Maryland,[4] at the age of 74.[5]


  1. ^ Chase, Truddi, When Rabbit Howls: by the Troops for Truddi Chase. Dutton, 1987.
  2. ^ "The Woman With 92 Personalities". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  3. ^ Hanauer, Joan (May 19, 1990). "Difficult Multi-Personality Role Played Expertly by Shelley Long". The Daily Gazette. p. C4.
  4. ^ "Truddi M. Chase: Guest Book". Reprinted from The Washington Post (March 16, 2010). Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "Top 25 Best Oprah Show Moments".[dead link]

External links[edit]