Juanita Maxwell: DID

Alexis Newlin

Her Emergent Condition

Juanita Maxwell was a 23 year old housekeeper at a hotel in Fort Meyers, Florida when in 1979 she was accused of committing the violent murder of hotel guest Inez Kelley.

This came as a shock to Ms. Maxwell because she hardly remembered the event, let alone had any recollection of completing the act. Maxwell was immediately sent to court for trial but miraculously escaped sentence by reason of insanity.

In court, after undergoing a battery of psychological exams, Juanita Maxwell was questioned by social worker Alan Klein. Klein managed to unearth one of Maxwell's additional personalities who identified herself as Wanda Weston and recounted the events of the murder.

Juanita Maxwell

Maxwell was a soft spoken and respectful woman. She denied drinking, smoking, or using drugs and quietly answered all the queries posed by her interrogator.

Wanda Weston

A boisterous, flirtatious woman who named herself as a childhood friend of Juanita. She proudly announced to the court how she committed a brutal murder of a 72 year old woman over a borrowed pen.

Wanda Strikes Again

In 1988, Juanita was charged for the robbery of two banks. Wanda was revealed once again as the culprit behind the crimes but Ms. Maxwell was formally arrested and convicted. Juanita explained that Wanda was only trying to get money for Juanita to care for her three children, whom she had lost custody of after being declared mentally insane for the murder in 1972.

Facts About Juanita's Experience with Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • In addition to Juanita and Wanda, Ms. Maxwell had five other personalities each with different characteristics. Jennifer was described as sophisticated and intelligent, Linda was tactful and a negotiator, Ann was a middle aged woman created to care for some of Juanita's childlike personas, Anna was the outlet for Juanita's fears and childlike notions, and finally Tricia, a rough and tumble tomboy.
  • Ms. Maxwell explains that her other personalities know the actions of her, but she does not know what they are doing
  • The 6 alternate personalities were created to protect Juanita from the abuse she suffered as a child
  • Juanita spent 6 years in Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee where she reports receiving no treatment, only being tranquilized for most of her stay. However she did say that when she was released in 1987, she believed her personalities had disappeared
  • Maxwell had a husband named Sammy Maxwell who knew of her other personalities, after her release from the hospital the two grew apart but were never formally divorced