God's Healing Word Ministry

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Antidepressant Drug Horrors

Dr. Julian Whitaker"...virtually all of the gun-related massacres that have made headlines over the past decade have had one thing in common: They were perpetrated by people taking Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil or a related antidepressant drug."

—Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D.

Following is a sampling of the hundreds of headline cases of violence, murder and suicide committed by children and adults under the influence of psychiatric drugs. We put faces to each drug victim so you can see these are otherwise normal people. They look no different from a neighbor.


November 26, 1987: Bartley James Dobben killed his two young sons by throwing them into a 1,300-degree foundry ladle. He had been placed on a regimen of psychiatric drugs in 1985. Mr. Dobben, 28 years old, received the mandatory sentence of life in prison from Judge James Graves Jr. of Muskegon County Circuit Court.

Bartley James


May 20, 1988: Laurie Dann, age 31; In Winnetka, Illinois; Dann walked into a second grade classroom carrying three pistols and began shooting innocent little children. She killed one, wounded six, and then killed herself. Autopsy reports revealed that her body contained high amounts of Anafranil [by Norvatis] and Lithium.

Laurie Dann


January 17, 1989: Patrick Purdy, age 25; Purdy opened fire on a school yard full of young children in Stockton, California. During his vicious and unprovoked assault, Purdy killed five schoolchildren and wounded thirty others before killing himself. During the two years prior to the murders of the Stockton children, Purdy had been treated by psychiatrists who put him on the mind altering drugs Thorazine and Amitriptyline.

Patrick Purdy


April 12, 1989: Abbie Hoffman; At the age of 52, activist and author, Hoffman committed suicide. He had been taking
Prozac. Hoffman was a social and political activist in the United States, co-founder of the Youth International Party. He came to prominence in the 1960's, but practiced most of his activism in the 1970's, and has remained a symbol of the youth rebellion of that decade.

Abbie Hoffman


September 14, 1989: Louisville, Kentucky: Joseph T. Wesbecker, 47: One month after he began taking Prozac, Wesbecker shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp., with an AK-47, killing 9 of them. Wesbecker was included in the fatalities with a self-inflicted pistol shot to the chin. "The doctor noted that he got agitated and possibly deluded, and he said 'stop the Prozac', and it was days after that, with the Prozac still in his system, that he committed these murders and suicide." The Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, manufacturers of Prozac, had to contend with the damage suit brought by the survivors of Wesbecker's murder spree and the families of the dead, who alleged that his action had been caused by his use of Prozac. The antidepressant drug accounted for about a third of Lilly's multibillion-dollar sales, and eventually the company settled the case via a payout kept secret even from the judge.

Joseph Wesbecker


April of 1996: Kurt Danysh (18); Was prescribed the drug Prozac (from Eli Lilly) by a general practitioner who failed to perform any psychological testing. Shortly after beginning to take his Prozac prescription, Kurt, a normally outgoing teenager, became withdrawn and moody. By the second week, he was restless and violent. He got into a fight with his best friend and purposely crashed his truck into a stone wall. This was out of character for Kurt. Seventeen days after his first dose of Prozac, he shot and killed his father by firing a shotgun blast into his father's head. Kurt had no history of violence prior to Prozac. He was convicted of murdering his father and sentenced to 22.5 to 60 years in prison. Kurt later said, "I didn't realize I did it until after it was done, and then I realized it. This might sound weird, but it felt like I had no control of what I was doing, like I was left there just holding a gun."

Kurt Danysh


July 28, 1997: Matt Miller, 13-years-old from Overland Park, Kansas, was given free samples of Zoloft by his psychiatrist. Seven days later, a day prior to going on a much looked forward to vacation, Matt hung himself in his bedroom closet.

Matt Miller


October 1st, 1997: Luke Woodham, a 16-year old in Pearl Mississippi; Stabbed his mother, 50-year-old Mary Woodam, to death and then went to his high school where he shot nine people — killing two teenage girls and wounding seven others. Published reports say he was on Prozac.

Luke Woodham


December 1, 1997: Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old, Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky; Opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded, one of whom was paralyzed. Carneal was reportedly on Ritalin.

Michael Carneal


March 24, 1998: Jonesboro, Arkansas; 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 14-year-old Mitchell Johnson; Apparently, the boys faked a fire alarm at Westside Middle School. When everyone came outside, the boys fired on them from the nearby woods. They shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others. According to one report, the boys were believed to be on Ritilan.

Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson


May 28, 1998: Encino, California: 40 year old Brynn Hartman; Shot and killed her husband, actor Phil Hartman, as he slept. The following morning she committed suicide. She was taking Zoloft. Reports say she had been complaining to friends that she felt odd after taking Zoloft, which was given to her as a sample pack. Relatives of the Hartmans released the following statement: "Phil and Brynn were a loving couple, devoted to each other and their children. This tragedy is not indicative of who she was or who they were together." According to the executor of Hartman's estate, Zoloft manufacturer (Pfizer Inc.) and Brynn Hartman's psychiatrist, Arthur Sorosky, were at fault for Hartman's death. A wrongful death suit was filed against them both. Pfizer settled the wrongful death case for an undisclosed amount.

Brynn Hartman


November 30, 1998: Dalton Township, MI: Seth Privacky, 18-years-old; Shot his grandfather, parents, brother and brother’s girlfriend while celebrating a late Thanksgiving. He was on Wellbutrin.

Seth Privacky


March 4, 1999: Marilyn Lemak, Naperville, Illinois; Lemak was convicted of killing her three children, Nicholas, 7, Emily, 6 and Thomas, 3, by drugging the children with a mixture of aspirin, Zoloft and the tranquilizer Ativan before smothering them with her bare hands. Authorities said Lemak, a nurse, tried to kill herself with the same medication she gave her children and then slashed her arm when her attempt to overdose failed. She was on Zoloft and Ativan.

Marilyn Lemak



April 20, 1999: Columbine, Colorado; 18-year-old Eric Harris had been taking an antidepressant when he killed twelve classmates, a teacher and wounded 24 others before taking his own life in the bloodiest school massacre in history. Toxicology reports confirmed that Luvox, an antidepressant, was in Harris’ system. He had previously been on Zoloft. Dylan Klebold (17), Harris' accomplice in the shootings, committed suicide immediately following the shootings of his classmates.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold


July 29, 1999: Atlanta, GA; Mark Barton 44; On Tuesday, Barton went home and killed his wife. On Wednesday, he killed his two children. On Thursday, Barton carried out Atlanta's worst mass murder when he opened fire with two pistols at two different brokerage firms. In addition to the nine deaths at two Atlanta office buildings, another 13 people were wounded. Barton, who had bludgeoned his wife and two young children to death, killed himself in his van in an Atlanta suburb as police closed in on him. Prozac was later found in the van.

Mark Barton


August 10, 1999: Buford O'Neal Furrow Jr.; Los Angeles, CA; Walked into the North Valley Jewish Community Center and, without a word, fired 70 rounds with a Uzi-type gun, wounding five people, 4 of them children. The day before he had shot and killed a postal worker. Reported to have been court ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

Buford Furrow Jr.


September 15, 1999: Fort Worth, Texas; Larry Ashbrook (47); At the Wedgwood Baptist Church, Ashbrook opened fire in the church during a prayer meeting and killed four teenagers, three adults and wounded seven, before taking his own life. He was taking Eli Lilly's Prozac.

Larry Ashbrook


November 22, 1999: Socorro Caro, 44; Northridge, California; Socorro shot and killed three of her four children as they slept. She was angry after a fight with her husband
and methodically shot the boys, Joey, 11, Michael, 8 and Christopher, 5 asleep in their beds with a .38 caliber handgun. Caro then shot herself in the head in an attempted suicide, but survived. A 4th child, an infant, was unharmed. Caro was on Prozac and an anti-anxiety medication.

Socorro Caro


Jan. 5, 2000: Caitlin E. McIntosh, age 12; Died just 8 weeks after being put on Paxil then Zoloft, of antidepressant-induced suicide. Caitlin was a straight “A” student in 5th grade, a talented musician, artist and poet, who loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian. Then sixth grade began, and combined with the onset of puberty, this bright, sensitive girl who had once loved going to school, was having trouble coping. She was also having problems sleeping. Her parents wanted to help, so they took her to their family physician who gave her Paxil. She didn’t do well at all on it, so he took her off - cold turkey. When they saw a psychiatrist a week later, he put her on Zoloft. Caitlin hung herself with her shoelaces in the girl’s bathroom at the Middle School she was attending. Her parent's said: "We were told that antidepressants like Paxil and Zoloft were ‘wonder drugs’ and that they were safe and effective for children. We were lied to."

Caitlin McIntosh


June 3, 2000: Orem, Utah; Kevin Neil Rider, 14, committed suicide while on Prozac. His mother writes: "Our doctor convinced me that Prozac was right... Three months into his Prozac therapy I took my son back in to see if there was something else we could try. My son didn't want to be on this drug. He claimed it made him feel 'weird'... I asked [the doctor] what he knew about St. John's Wort, which I had heard helped with depression. He was very much against any product that you could simply pick off any shelf in a regular supermarket. He explained that St. John's Wort did not have any guarantee of safety, whereas Prozac had been proven safe, and had FDA approval. He determined that what my son needed was a higher dose, and promptly doubled it to 20 mg. per day." A few days later Kevin took his father's gun, walked into a nearby orchard and shot himself in the head. Kevin's mother said, "I wish I had known all that I do now about these drugs. Do you think I would have agreed to this drug if I had all of the information? Of course not..." She has since become a strong anti-drugging advocate.

Kevin Rider


December 26, 2000: Wakefield MA; Michael McDermott, 42; Shot and killed seven co-workers in a killing rampage at Edgewater Technology where he was a software tester. Immediately after the shootings he waited patiently in the lobby for arrest. Prozac, Paxil and Desyrel were found in his apartment. It's confirmed he was on Prozac.

Michael McDermott


March 17, 2001: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; Leslie Demeniuk, 31-yrs-old, killed her four-year-old twin sons James and John Demeniuk, they were found shot in the head. The killings stunned those who knew the mother; they didn’t see it coming. According to court records, Demeniuk’s Zoloft prescription was changed to Paxil two days before the killings. Demeniuk had Paxil, remnants of Zoloft, alcohol and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in her blood during the night of the shooting.

Leslie Demeniuk


June 20, 2001: Houston, Texas; Andrea Yates, 36 years old; Yates killed her five children — Noah 7, John 5, Luke 3, Paul 2 and Mary 6 months, by drowning them in the bathtub. She had been treated with various drugs for post-partum depression, including Wellbutrin, Effexor and Haldol.

Andrea Yates


November 28, 2001: Christopher Pittman, 12, Shot and killed his grandparents while they slept, then set their house on fire and fled in the family car. Pittman had been on Zoloft for one month and prior to that had been on Paxil.

Christopher Pittman


January 25, 2002: Gainesville, FL; Tavares Eugene Williams, 18, killed his guardian, Barbara Roth, 51, by hitting Roth three times with a baseball bat. Williams was prescribed the anti-depressant drug Prozac about eight months prior to the senseless attack.

Tavares Williams


July 18, 2002: Billy Willkomm, 19-years-old; Naples, FL.; Suicide. An accomplished wrestler and University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. He didn't get better. His family found him dead — hanging from a tall ladder at the family's home.

Billy Willkomm


August 31, 2002: Kelly Nakaji, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho; Smothered her 4 month-old son, Dallon with a pillow, then attempted to commit suicide. She was on Xanex.

Kelly Nakaji


November 2, 2002: Montville Township, Ohio; Dustin Lynch, 15-yrs-old, had run away from home and was taken in by JoLynn Mishne, a 17-yr-old girl and her family. One week later the girl was found at the home, beaten in the head with a bedpost and stabbed with a kitchen knife, which was left protruding from her abdomen. Lynch was taking Paxil.

Dustin Lynch


June 25, 2003: Southbridge, MA; Diane Routhier, 40. Suicide. Diane had gone to the doctor for stomach pain and was put on Wellbutrin. Almost immediately after taking one pill, she became violently ill so the doctors added an anti-psychotic drug. Six days after taking her first pill, she went
to the bedroom, took the gun from the safe, went with it to the back right hand corner of the basement, laid in a fetal position with the gun to her head and pulled the trigger, taking her life. Her autopsy revealed she had gallstones, the real cause for her original symptoms. Why was she put on antidepressants? Her husband, Allan and her two young sons are asking the same question.

Diane Routhier


July 22, 2003: North Wales, Pennsylvania; Julie Woodward, 17-years-old; A diagnostic test that she took at North Penn High School said that Julie was suffering from depression. Two doctors at the clinic convinced her parents, Tom and Kathy, to put her on Zoloft. Julie’s behavior actually got worse after only a few days on the medication. And on the third day, Julie was arguing with her mother when she lost control and pushed her to the floor - Everyone in the family was shocked because Julie had never pushed her mother before. “It was an out-of-character act,” Tom Woodward said. And over the next few days, Julie became extremely irritable and she could not sit still. Julie was usually very calm, but she kept pacing incessantly. She also became reclusive. Six days after starting her treatment with Zoloft, she hanged herself in her family's detached garage. Tom and Kathy are now activists and work diligently to educate others about the risks of SSRIs with children. They have spoken at hearings about the safety of SSRIs, including FDA hearings.

Julie Woodward



August 6, 2003: Tim "Woody" Witczak killed himself at age 37 soon after going on Pfizer's Zoloft — the top-selling member of Prozac's class of drugs, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. His wife says Witczak was an upbeat man who was prescribed Zoloft for job stress. "Woody's death was the most out-of-the-blue, out-of-character death," Kimberley Witczak says. She has sued Pfizer, alleging that Zoloft induced the suicide, and that the company failed to warn about the drug's potential to cause perilous side effects.



January, 2004: Candace Downing (age 12); Suicide; "Candace was never depressed. She was a happy, beautiful child who had school anxiety," said Mathy Milling Downing of Montgomery County, MD. Her 12-year-old daughter, who had been taking Zoloft, hanged herself. "She was very into sports. A ton of friends, probably the most social child I've ever met." The Downings, and other families, charge that drug makers knew from pre-marketing studies that these drugs made some children and teens suicidal, but hid the study results.

Candace Downing


February 7, 2004: Traci Johnson committed suicide while enrolled in clinical trials of Eli Lilly’s Cymbalta. She hanged herself from a shower in the Eli Lilly facility where the tests were being conducted. Cymbalta is the new “wonder drug” designed by Eli Lilly to restore their flagging sales since Prozac ran out of patent. Traci Johnson was not depressed prior to taking the drug. She was a normal happy girl who enrolled in the clinical trial as a healthy volunteer in order to earn money to pay for her college tuition. Anyone with any signs of depression was barred from the trials. Traci’s death, and the death of four other people at the trial, were completely absent from the official records. The FDA backed this decision by Eli Lilly saying that the deaths were a confidential part of the trial. The FDA states that the deaths of people in drug trials COUNT AS A COMMERCIAL SECRET IN THE WORLD OF PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES.

Traci Johnson


June 12, 2004: Perry Custance, 22; Ruch, Oregon; Suicide; Perry was prescribed the anti-depressant Lexapro after he sought treatment for a side ache and lower back pain. Two months later he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Perry Custance


November 22, 2004: Dena Schlosser, 35; Plano, Texas; Schlosser cut off her 10-month-old daughter's arms as she lay in her crib in the family's apartment. Her daughter, Maggie, bled to death. Schlosser had been prescribed two psychotropic drugs and cycled on and off the anti-psychotic drug Haldol after Maggie's birth. Schlosser was later diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Dena Schlosser


March 22, 2005: Red Lake Minnesota: 16-year-old Jeff Weise: Shot and killed his grandfather and his grandfather's companion. He then drove to his school and shot the unarmed security guard, five students, a teacher and wounded seven other students before turning a gun on himself. He was on 60 mg. of Prozac a day.

Jeff Weise


April 8, 2005: Rochester, NY; David Zacher, 35; Stands accused of stabbing his 34 yr old wife and 7 yr old daughter to death and critically wounded his 2 year old daughter. Zacher allegedly told police that he was arguing with his wife when she hit him on the head. The next thing he remembered was washing blood off himself in a bathroom, he said. In his call to 911 he is allegedly heard to be shouting, "What did I do?". Zacher had just been put on Paxil, an anti-depressant drug.

David Zacher


May 23, 2005: Fort Jennings, Ohio; Michael Luebrecht, 38, called his wife at work and confessed to drowning their youngest son, Joel, 13 months old. Luebrecht was taking several drugs, including Zyprexa. Less than two months earlier he had told his psychologist he'd had thoughts of killing his children, prompting his psychiatrist to increase his dosages of Effexor and Wellbutrin.

Michael Luebrecht


January 20, 2006: Deerfield Creek, North Carolina; David Lauren Crespi, 45-year-old senior vice president of auditing at Wachovia Bank, allegedly stabbed his two 5-year-old twin daughters, Tessara Kate Crespi and Samantha Joy Crespi, to death. Police say they found David Crespi outside of his home after calling 911 claiming he wanted to kill himself. Neighbors in the affluent Deerfield Creek subdivision in Mathews, North Carolina were shocked by the deaths saying the area is family friendly and that their kids routinely played with Tessara and Samantha. Crespi had been taking Paxil, but it was causing him to gain weight, so he was switched to Prozac.

David Crespi


June 30, 2006: Valeria Maxon, 32; Mansfield, Texas; Maxon allegedly drowned her one-year-old son in a backyard hot tub. The boy’s father returned home from grocery shopping to find his son Alex’s body in the hot tub in the backyard of their home. Maxon was on Zoloft.

Valeria Maxon

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