Yes, euthanasia advocate and unlikely hero Dr. Jack Kevorkian has once more escaped the clutches of justice, after his fourth assisted suicide court case ended in mistrial.
He was tried in Iona, Michigan, USA, for assisting in the suicide of Loretta Peabody, a 54 year-old woman with multiple sclerosis, and practicing medicine without a license (his Michigan license was suspended in 1991).
Mrs. Peabody was cremated on August 30th, 1996 after her death had been ruled natural. There was no autopsy. A week later, police seized a video showing Kevorkian conversing with Mrs. Peabody and asking her to sign the consent form.
On the tape, Mrs. Peabody said: ‘I can’t go to the bathroom. I can’t get in my refrigerator, I don’t want to do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore.’
Kevorkian, 69, who acknowledges being present at 45 deaths since 1990, has been tried for three, all in the Detroit area, and has been acquitted every time.
Judge Charles Miel declared a mistrial after Kevorkian’s lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger launched into an opening tirade of inflammatory comments including personal remarks about the prosecutor, Ray Voet. It seems unlikely that he will be tried again, because of double jeopardy laws which stops people from being tried twice for the same crime.
Kevorkian has a background in pathology, and earned the nickname ‘Dr. Death’ from research he carried out on the eyes of dying patients. He took photographs of their retinae at the moment of death and discovered that corneas then become invisible. He published his findings to help doctors differentiate between death and comas. In 1989 he invented a ‘push-button suicide machine’, which led to a 54 year old Alzheimer’s patient getting in touch with him, and she became his first assisted suicide patient.
He has been arrested several times, and has not been employed by any hospitals since 1982. On the other hand, he has been published in dozens of magazines and journals, including ‘American Journal of Pathology’, ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’, ‘American Journal of Clinical Pathology’ and has recently released an album of 12 jazz tunes entitled ‘A Very Still Life’, with Kevorkian jamming on flute and organ. He’s backed by the Morpheus Quintet, and USD4.00 of the USD18.99 price tag goes towards funding a clinic which he wants to become a haven for doctor-assisted suicide. I want a copy.
Kevorkian related links:
* The Kevorkian Files (Deathnet)
* Jack Kevorkian (Euthanasia World Directory)
* Not Dead Yet!
* The American Medical Associations’s Response to Jack Kevorkian
Damn, I Miss All the Fun Flights
Your Blatherskite flew between Dublin and Amsterdam with Irish airline Aer Lingus last weekend, and although he sat staring out the window for the whole journey (even after the plane had landed – in fact he had to be forcibly removed from the plane) he saw nothing out of the ordinary. It would appear that BBC Teletext on June 12th 1997 allegedly reported that an Aer Lingus jet had a close encounter with a flying object 9000ft over Hertfordshire, U.K., on June 7th. Both pilots reported seeing a red, blue and white aircraft pass close to them, but there were no other aircraft in the vicinity, at least not officially. An aircraft proximity team assured that object was not an aeroplane. More as we hear about it.
More on the Sligo Non-UFO Flap
Since Blather reported the Sligo UFO story, several people have passed comment on it. Four people pointed out that ‘Hans Rosenthal’ (The name used by the person who posted the hoax to Usenet) was the name of an individual in Paris in the 1930’s who would have been acquainted with Yeats and Joyce. Thanks for the tip, you all know who you are.
More on the Bantry Bay Less Than Credible UFO Flap
Remember, those of you who have access to the British TV station, Channel 4, are showing a ‘documentary’ entitled ‘We are Not Alone’ on June 24th. Careful attention should be paid to the fact that June 24th is the fiftieth anniversary of private pilot Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of nine UFO’s above the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, USA, which has become accepted in many circles as the beginning of modern Ufology.
The fact that a TV crew travelled from the UK to Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland to try to film a ‘UFO’ for a programme to be shown on the fiftieth anniversary of the Arnold sighting, and successfully managed to film what they came for, would seem to this writer (pulls down skeptic hat well over my ears) to be not a little miraculous. (See Blather 1.3 for more Blatherings on this story)
Apparently Irish television station RTE gave the story some coverage last weekend, Blather is currently trying to get hold of the details. . .
Dave (daev) Walsh
19 June 1997
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