Truddi Chase

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Truddi Chase
BornJune 13, 1935
DiedMarch 10, 2010 (age 74)
Known forAuthor of an autobiography detailing her dissociative identity disorder
ChildrenKari Iddings Ainsworth
Paul Ainsworth

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


According to her own account, Chase was born on a homestead near Honeoye Falls, New York, and grew up in an apartment in the same town.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1] According to her autobiography, Truddi Chase was not her actual birth name.[3][4] At age 16, she ran away from her abusive household and changed her name to Truddi Chase to avoid being tracked down by her parents. In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Truddi Chase described how her other personalities remained "dormant" until stressors in her midlife caused extreme anxiety, eventually unravelling all of her parts.[4] In 1979, Truddi Chase had her first experience with her other identities. She described interactions between her many personality characters as well as interactions between her identities and physical body.[1] It was during sessions with hypnotherapist, Robert Phillips, that she found that she had 92 identities.[5][6]

Chase chose not to integrate her identities into one integrated whole, and instead chose to welcome her parts into a cooperating team. In her book, she describes giving talks to convicted child molesters to explain her abuse history and to warn them of the psychology devastation that child abuse inflicts upon its victims.[3]

In 1987, Chase published her autobiography, When Rabbit Howls, which was written from the perspective of her many identities.[3][7] It begins with an introduction from her therapist, and then presents Chase's experience with her 92 personalities.[3]

When promoting the book during a March 21, 1990 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Chase discussed her life with host Oprah Winfrey, including her 92 distinct personalities. Her account of her life moved Winfrey to tears. The host told Chase, "I had gone all the way into the path of truth for myself and also could relate to hers that much more readily, which is what happens when you open yourself up."[8] Chase also stated that a Washington Post reporter had tracked down her family, including her stepfather, who denied abusing Chase, but that other members of Chase's family confirmed her story.[9][10]

In 1990, the book was adapted into a two-part ABC miniseries, titled Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase, which cast Shelley Long in the title role.[11]

Truddi Chase died on March 10, 2010, at her home in Laurel, Maryland,[12] at the age of 74.[8]

In media[edit]

Writer Grant Morrison was inspired by Chase's first memoir when they co-created the DC Comics superhero Crazy Jane, which first appeared in the volume 2 of the Doom Patrol comic book series in 1989.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Sandra, Gregg (June 20, 1983). "The Multiperson". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  2. ^ Chase, Truddi, When Rabbit Howls: by the Troops for Truddi Chase. Dutton, 1987.
  3. ^ a b c d Stark, Elizabeth. "Inside the Mind of a Multiple". Psychology Today. Retrieved August 5, 2020 – via Astraea.
  4. ^ a b Lavin, Cheryl (August 30, 1987). "Truddi Chase". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  5. ^ Maryniak, Paul (July 21, 1987). "Personality? This Woman Had Plenty (92, Actually): Confusing Study Of A Psychological Disorder". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 34. Archived from the original on January 24, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023 – via (Paywall)
  6. ^ Maryniak, Paul (July 21, 1987). "Personality? This Woman Had Plenty (92, Actually): Confusing Study Of A Psychological Disorder". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on June 25, 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2020 – via Astraea. (No paywall)
  7. ^ "When Rabbit Howls". Goodreads. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "TV Guide Magazine Moment #21: Truddi Chase". August 28, 2012. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "The Woman With 92 Personalities". May 21, 1990. p. 7. Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Winfrey, Oprah (August 29, 2012). "TV Guide Magazine's Top 25 Best "Oprah Show" Moments: #21: Oprah's Emotional Response to Truddi Chase". Oprah Winfrey Network. Archived from the original on January 24, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Voices Within: The Lives Of Truddi Chase". Turner Classic Movies. 1990. Archived from the original on January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  12. ^ "Truddi M. Chase: Guest Book". The Washington Post. March 16, 2010. Archived from the original on October 11, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2023 – via
  13. ^ Wolk, Douglas (August 21, 2014). "Review: 'Doom Patrol Omnibus' shows Grant Morrison's master plan". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2023.

External links[edit]