Killer in Lab Coat

Tom Keske tkeske at
Fri Nov 10 21:48:26 EST 2000


The Boston Globe devoted several full pages to the murder trial
of nurse Kristen H. Gilbert.   If federal prosecutors are correct,
Gilbert is "a calculating predator, nothing less than a serial
murderer in a white lab coat who attacked her victims at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center with
needles of poison."

Gilbert was on duty for half of the 350 deaths that occurred
on her ward at the VA hospital.  "The patients were murdered
in their hospital beds by a nurse who used her position and
specialized knowledge to commit the crimes", said U.S. Attorney
Donald K. Stern.  Attorney General Janet Reno approved requests
to seek death penalty for the crimes.

This is the latest in a series of similar cases involving doctors
or scientists who covertly engaged in orgies of killing.  Each
case is an instructive reminder of the need to investigate
vigorously whether gay men were also attacked with
"needles of poison" by trusted scientists who abused their
trust and specialized knowledge.

Gilbert nearly got away with murder.  She had the perfect
cover of "blaming the victim."   Despite the whispers among
the hospital staff, who called Gilbert an "angel of death"
behind her back, a draft report on deaths in Gilbert's
ward concluded that the cases involved seriously ill
patients and that "their deaths were not unexpected."

It seems somehow fitting that one of Gilbert's alleged victims
was an AIDS patient, on the ward for a simple antibiotic treatment.
Other victims included veterans from World War II and

Gilbert is charged with injecting her victims with
overdoses of epinephrine, a drug which can induce heart

How was Gilbert finally caught, when she had the perfect
cover?   How did the government build its case against her?

The government's statistical analysts computed that the
probability of Gilbert attending so many deaths simply
by chance was an astronomical 1 in 100 million.

That figure is no more compelling than the computed
odds against so many early AIDS victims coming from
government-sponsored hepatitis vaccine experiments
on gay men in the 1970s.  Yet, that figure is sufficient
to bring a trial and to seek the death penalty.

The statistical estimation that the government had to derive
for Gilbert's case is far more difficult to undertake, and
more prone to error, than the computation which
incriminates our government.

Hopefully, this realization will inspire readers to take
a look at the analysis which demonstrates their government,
in all probability, to be a mass-murderer:

The government may bring justice for the victims of
a deadly nurse, but who will bring justice for the
victims of the government?

Tom Keske
Boston, Mass.

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