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Free Alan Yurko - Part 1
Alan Yurko murdered his girlfriend's ten-week old son. He feels no remorse and just wants to get out of prison. The anti-vaccination liars have adopted this piece of filth as some sort of hero.
For more information about this "innocent" man, you can see his Ohio prison record here (original at Ohio DRC) and his Florida one here (original at the Florida state site). His wife (who married him after he was convicted of the murder of her child whose birthday she can't remember) wants him out and they can always have another baby. Actually, getting him out of prison might not be necessary as the murdered child was conceived three or four months before Yurko was paroled last time after serving a few years for aggravated burglary. Perhaps he could escape, although Mrs Yurko would be hoping he was more successful next time than he was when he tried two days after he murdered baby Alan.
I became interested in Yurko when I read this appalling defence of the murderer by two doctors.
You can see the comments I've made about this atrocity below.
Too late for baby Alan (3/2/2001)
I want you to think about a dead baby. This baby was ten weeks old when he died. The autopsy revealed bleeding around the brain, in the eyes and in the spinal column. There were bruises on the sides of his head. Another thing that the autopsy showed was four broken ribs. These fractures had started to heal, and therefore indicated a pattern of physical abuse prior to the date of death. The father admitted to holding the baby by his feet and hitting him shortly before he died. I now want to you to form an opinion of the father. If you are the sort of person who opposes vaccination, you would see this man as a hero. You would see him as a martyr to the cause and would try to get him released from prison. In a breathtaking demonstration of what it can mean to believe that the end justifies the means, the anti-vaccination liars have adopted Alan Yurko as a symbol that they can use to frighten parents into refusing vaccination for their children. You can read a loathsome justification for this murderer at http://www.woodmed.com/ShakenBabyAlan.htm.
In the latest effort by the anti-vaccinationists to assist Alan Yurko, people were asked to write to an official in the Florida corrections system to complain about a proposed change to prisoners' email allowances. Writers were told not to mention Yurko's name in case of retaliation against him, but to pretend they were writing for some other friend in prison. In other words, the writers were asked to lie about their real intentions. Following Edmund Burke's maxim that "all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing", I wrote to the official concerned and warned her of the deceit. I copied my email to the person who had suggested "Shaken Maybe Syndrome" as a slogan for this particular anti-vaccination campaign (see the Anti-Vaccination Liars page for more details) and to someone who has suggested using Yurko as a consultant for other people charged with beating their children to death. One wrote back accusing me of a "heinous and spiteful act" and suggested that I "have placed Alan Yurko in danger". The other just told me "May you burn". The murderer's wife also wrote to me and said that "is not I or anyone else, that can stop you from eradicating yourself". Interestingly, she did not mention vaccination once, confirming for me that the Yurkos are just pragmatically using the anti-vaccination liars to achieve their own goal, which is to get the killer out. These people deserve each other. The tragedy is that children may die because of their actions. They all make me want to vomit.
Alan needs help (3/2/2001)
On 30 January 2001, a request was issued to the Australian Vaccination Network's mailing list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AVN/message/12303) with the heading "Vaccines/Shaken Baby/ Alan Yurko, PLEASE WE NEED YOUR HELP", asking people to write to the Florida Corrections Department on behalf of convicted murderer Alan Yurko. Writers were asked to lie about their intentions, and the request contained the words:
> ********KEEP ALAN's name out of it
> DON'T be overly aggressive
> KEEP it generic - so they won't retaliate against Alan!!!
In her signature, the writer of the request quotes Edmund Burke's famous aphorism, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing", so, following that philosophy, I sent the following message to the suggested official in the Corrections Department, with copies to the person who had made the request and to someone who had suggested "Shaken Maybe Syndrome" as a catch-phrase to use in the media.
From: Peter Bowditch
Subject: Mail campaign on behalf of Alan Yurko
Date sent: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 17:19:02 +1100
Dear Ms Xxxx,
You may have received some emails or letters containing the following (or similar) content:
> Re: Proposed Rule Development / Routine Mail 33-210.101
> In regards to the proposed rule change on 3 page limits for
> additional written material, I want to object to this. This will
> seriously hinder my prisoner friend and me. I also want to object
> to the denial of Internet material. There may be certain reasons
> why certain rules are imposed to govern such matters however, there
> are many articles and reports etc. i.e. legal, scientific, medical,
> religious, consumer awareness… information that involves more than 3
> pages. Therefore, this causes much more mail and postage to
> correspond. I would think this would be less effective and
> productive on a time, efficiency and economical level for all
> parties involved (mail departments and corresponders). Please take
> this in to consideration and do not pass this ruling. Thank you for
> your time and consideration in this matter.
This is part of a letter-writing campaign on behalf of Alan Yurko, a prisoner convicted of killing his ten-week-old child. The instigators of the campaign have asked that people do not mention Yurko's name in their correspondence with you. The campaign comes out of a symbiotic relationship between Yurko and a group of people opposed to vaccination. Yurko's motivation is that he has people working to get him released or to have his case reconsidered, and he is perfectly entitled to do this and is only following in a long tradition of "Free Xyz" protests that have been part of the democratic process for a long time. The motivation of the anti-vaccinationists in choosing Yurko as a cause celebre is less clear, but I suspect that they want to frighten parents into thinking that vaccinating their children may not only endanger the children's lives but may also put the parents at risk of wrongful arrest and imprisonment.
I have no desire to restrict the civil rights of prisoners, but I believe you should be in possession of the facts before making decisions about those rights. The fact that people were asked to deceive you by avoiding the mention of a particular prisoner's name could have led you to make a decision based on an apparent grassroots protest without knowing that this protest was in fact an orchestrated campaign on behalf of a single prisoner. I don't think you should be a pawn in a cynical plan to use a convicted criminal in an ideological and political campaign.
18 minutes later Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network (the "Shaken Maybe Syndrome" person) wrote to me. You will notice that she says "I don't know who you are or who you think you are", but she does know who I am because she has written to me before and has publicly accused me of financial corruption.
Subject: RE: Mail campaign on behalf of Alan Yurko
Date sent: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 17:37:28 +1100
I don't know who you are or who you think you are, but it is obvious that you are completely ignorant of the circumstances of Alan Yurko's imprisonment. I know that those of us who were raised in democratic countries believe that justice means that innocent people will never be punished. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that often times, they are.
Alan is just one such person. I can't speak for anyone else, but I must say that my support of Alan comes from a sincere wish to see an innocent man freed. Alan did not kill his child, and there but for the grace of a kind God go I. You see, my son almost died after his vaccination too. If he had, there is a very good chance that either myself or my husband would be in prison now facing murder charges or, as Alan has been, sentenced to life in prison for something I had not done. But instead of dying, my son was just permanently injured by the shots I gave him because I was told they would keep him safe.
There is no punishment greater than the loss of a beloved child. To then accuse a loving parent of causing that death is almost beyond the bounds of what is conceivable in man's cruelty to man. What you have done has compounded this cruelty 100 times.
Through your gross stupidity in sending this note, you have placed Alan Yurko in danger. I hope that the consequences are not what I fear they may be. May God forgive you for this heinous and spiteful act.
Then Sheri Nakken, the person who wrote the request which asked people to lie about their intentions, wrote to me:
Date sent: Fri, 02 Feb 2001 09:49:31 +0000
Subject: Re: Mail campaign on behalf of Alan Yurko
The only just reward for you is that you suffer the same fate of being accused of murdering your child when a vaccine actually did it. May you burn.
And then, the murderer's wife! Note that there is no mention of vaccination in this email. Mrs Yurko could not care less about what the anti-vaccination liars want, she just wants the murderer released. At least she was polite enough to use my name. You will also note that she refers to her husband as "Mr Yurko", just like the PR agency wrote it. I also like her saying "Best regards" just after suggesting that I kill myself.
Date sent: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 14:04:46 EST
Subject: Response to your email...
There are many people out there in the cyber world that you have managed to upset with your obvious cynical email regarding mailing rules to prisoners. I believe, we all have the right and freedom to feel, believe and express how we personal want to. However, there's a difference (morally and spiritually) when you express those opinions from a misconstrued, uneducated and deceitful way. We have a certain responsibility to uphold. That is what continues to bread hate and misery amongst other things in this world today.
What you may not realize is that this mail rule is not specifically for Alan Yurko, this is for all prisoners. Many people and organizations correspond with many different prisoner's, for many reasons, not just Mr. Yurko and his cause. Responding to this mail rule is for those people that correspond with prisoners. They will not be able to correspond properly nor will the inmates be able to be fully educated if this mail rule is passed. Obviously by your comments, you must believe that all prisoners are guilty and therefore unentitled to education and correspondence. Regardless of who you are and your situation, this is what makes living in America great, we have rights...to all, not just a select few.
If you so choose to inform people of such matters to make decisions about these rights YOU should first know the facts (educate yourself) and not distort them to deceive others into your own radical beliefs. The facts are the facts:
1. These mailing rules are not for one inmate alone, but for all. 2. These rules not only limit and hinder (effect) the inmate but, those who correspond with them...as well as the prison staff. 3. This "campaign" as you call it is not that at all, it's the voices of the people that are effected by this rule, speaking out. These voices are not from that of one person or organization, these are from friends, families, etc., from all over. 4. There's no deception in not posting the name of the inmate(s) in a grievance. People correspond with many inmates for many reasons. There is no point to having to single out one from another...it's for the good of all. 5. To speak out in disagreement of something is not a "cynical plan" or a "political campaign," it is our rights that our founding fathers gave us, the ability, that the good Lord has bestowed upon us and the beauty of living in the USA.
I hope that this has educated you more about the subject so you can move forward in a more positive and educational manner. Although, your mission in life may be to add yourself to that list of people who want to continue to bread hate, misery and destruction in the world today. If that is true, God help you, for it is not I or anyone else, that can stop you from eradicating yourself.
Best Regards, Mrs. Yurko.
Comparative badness (14/1/2001)
I had mentioned murderer Alan Yurko when discussing the similarities between people abusing children by murdering them and those who sexually abused children. A proponent of quack medicine criticised me for this and suggested that sexual abuse was a serious matter, implying that beating children up and denying them life-saving medications were not serious things as well. This was my reply. The portions in italics are drawn from the Buttram and Yazbak web site. There is a mention at the end of how the anti-vaccination liars are planning more exploitation of murdered children for propaganda purposes.
HHere are some parts of the article, and my comments.
>The baby's 7-day hospital course was complicated by continued
>respiratory distress, spending 3 days in the intensive care unit.
>3 daily chest X-rays showed persistent pulmonary infiltrates
Remember the bit about chest X-rays. It will become important later.
>On November 11, l997, at approximately 8 weeks age, the baby was
>simultaneously administered 6 vaccines including DPT,
>Hib, OPV and Hepatitis B. As related by the mother, about 10 or 11 days
>following the vaccines the baby developed a high-pitched cry, which
>she had been told might ensue following the vaccines; also the skin
>became warm to touch, and there was an increasing lethargy with
>a falling off of feeding patterns, which had been a combination of breast and formula.
>This pattern continued until 3 days later, on November 24th, when
>the father was home alone with baby Alan and his 4-year old sister.
>In rapid succession the father noticed that the baby began wheezing,
>next spit up, and then stopped breathing. In attempts to restore
>breathing, the father first slapped the baby's face, then held it by
>its ankles and spanked its bottom, all without success.
Note - the baby had been crying for a few days before the father held it by its feet and hit it.
>Post-Mortem Findings included minor contusions of both temporal
>areas of the head, small ecchymosis of the right lower eyelid, fresh
>subdural hemorrhages of the right and left cerebral hemispheres
>and at base of brain and some areas of spinal cord, and retinal
>bleeding. The brain was grossly edematous. In addition there were
>several old, healing fractures of the 5th, 6th, 7th and l0th ribs, all
>posterior and on the left.
Hmm. Retinal bleeding. Blood around the brain. Bleeding in the spinal cord. Bruises on the head. Everything except cigarette burns.
>The Issue of the Rib Fractures: At autopsy four rib fractures were
>found, all on the posterior left. All witnesses agreed that these
>fractures were at least l0 to l4 days old, as indicated by the degree
>of callus formation. However, the state witnesses pointed out that
>there was a difference in the sizes of the calluses, which (they
>suggested) indicated that the rib fractures had occurred at
>different times, thus indicating a pattern of child abuse.
>There are several considerations which weigh strongly against
>this. First, the difference is sizes of the calluses might just as readily
>be explained by a difference in severity of the injuries as a
>difference in time of occurrence. Next, if there had been serious
>chest injuries the baby was brought home from the hospital, the
>mother, who was breast feeding, would surely have noticed some
>indication of pain and distress in the baby when he was handled,
>and this was not the case.
Now here's the bit I like
>It was the suggestion of the defense witness that the rib fractures
>took place during labor, prior to birth.
I'll repeat that, so that you don't miss the point.
>It was the suggestion of the defense witness that the rib fractures
>took place during labor, prior to birth.
But, but, but - while the baby was in hospital he had
>3 daily chest X-rays
over a period of at least 3 days, which surely would have shown broken ribs, and
>if there had been serious
>chest injuries the baby was brought home from the hospital, the
>mother, who was breast feeding, would surely have noticed some
>indication of pain and distress in the baby when he was handled,
>and this was not the case.
So the defence witness said that the mother would have noticed broken ribs (but she didn't) and the baby had a least 3 X-rays showing no broken ribs, but the broken ribs happened during labour.
I'm not surprised that the jury found the father guilty, but I am surprised that the judge didn't notice the obvious evidence of perjury.
Other pages on the web site that these quotes came from make it quite clear that at least one of the authors of this paper is opposed to vaccination, which is why he has taken up the case of Allan Yurko (the father of the dead child). Further support for Yurko comes from Sheri Nakken (http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/vaccine.htm)who seems to be very well respected in the anti-vax cult. Her site contains a very long letter purportedly from Yurko (but more likely written by some PR flack) telling of the horrors of vaccination.
Yurko is also a cause celebre for other campaigners. Examples are The Portia Project (http://www.portia.org) which treats everyone in prison as political prisoners or something like that and someone running a list of people in prison for victimless crimes, caught up in the war on drugs (http://www.hoboes.com/pub/Prohibition/Activists/WOD Prisoner%20List, http://paranoia.lycaeum.org/war.on.drugs/casualties/ drug.prisoners). It looks like Yurko has a good PR operation going for him to try to get him out of prison, and the anti-vaxers are only too pleased to help. (The last two have a different prison address, but the name "Allan (or Alan) Yurko" can't be all that common in the US prison population. I am prepared to believe that these do refer to someone else if evidence can be produced for this.)
The next case taken up by Nakken is a couple in Australia who (luckily) had their child grabbed by the welfare people before they could kill it. They are using Scheibner and Kalekorinos as expert witnesses (K is the man who reckons that vaccinations are part of a WHO genocide program). In another case, Nakken has offered the services of Buttram (who wrote the article referenced above), Yurko (huh? the man's in high-security lockup), Michael Horwin (Burzynski's PR man), Scheibner (of course - keep them fees coming in) and some others.
And while we are at it, here is the latest thinking:
>WE MUST HAVE A COUNTERBALANCING QUESTION READY since most will not mentally
>entertain alternative answers right away.
>Unless and until there is a better one (and there may be), I recommend:
> "SHAKEN FROM THE INSIDE"
> To be effective, the catch phrase must be short, ideally repeat the key
>word of its opposite number, AND speedily provide an alternative, all at the
> "Shaken from the inside" is the best I can come up with now and it does
>"speak" to me. We are SO very far behind the curve in the international push
>to publicize and prosecute SBS, minus, of course, any consideration of
>devastating internal adverse reactions from vaccines. Even a reasonably good
>autopsy will not "find" either vaccine-induced death or genetic metabolic
>errors when knowledgeable professionals are not invited to participate.
>I just read this out to my husband who is great with catch phrases and he
>suggests - Shaken Maybe Syndrome. I like Shaken from the inside too - both
>are good. And a great thought - you are right - sound bites have it. And as
>my 16 year old niece would say - that bites!
When you think things can't get worse (18/2/2001)
When I wrote the article above headed "Too late for baby Alan", I was being sarcastic when I suggested calling the murderer a hero. But someone has done it! A group of chiropractors has actually formally declared murderer Alan Yurko to be a "Chiropractic Hero" and are collecting money for him. The web site where this was announced is being reconstructed, but I managed to download the important part and you can read it here. Also, I have added a page with a bit more information about the murder of baby Alan.
Doctors discuss murderer Alan Yurko (18/2/2001)
On 5 February 2001, I discovered that the International Chiropractors Association Pediatrics Council had formally declared Alan Yurko a "Hero" and I mentioned this fact on the Healthfraud discussion list. The following conversation ensued. Dr Yyyyyy is a medical doctor who is opposed to vaccination. (She will say that she is not opposed, she just wants people to be informed. They all say that.)
From: "Yyyy Y. Yyyyyy
Date sent: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 08:26:35 -0700
Subject: RE: [healthfraud] Chiros reach nadir
Physicians should also also be opposed to incarcerating people without proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So should everybody. And a chiropractor's belief in a man's innocence does not prove his guilt!
I don't know why Baby Alan died, but Mr. Yurko was not proved guilty of "beating him to death." There is in fact not a shred of evidence that he had any violent tendencies or that he ever beat or shook the baby. One expert medical witness testified at trial that the death was due to natural causes; others have subsequently reviewed the autopsy slides, radiographs, and medical records and agree that there is a differential diagnosis and there is NO proof that the baby was murdered. Defense counsel was incompetent and did not even obtain the complete medical record.
Mr. Yurko refused several offers of a plea bargain under which he would soon be a free man. He said that he has a moral objection to telling lies (required in order to sign the plea bargain if he is innocent).
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a new way for prosecutors to become heroes. A secretary at our hospital just lost a grandchild. The police immediately interrogated the stunned and bereaved parents: "When you saw that baby was not breathing, that's when you shook him, right?" A leading question apparently designed to entrap the parents into a damning admission (and one of the recognized "false defenses.") The diagnosis of SIDS was made, so the parents aren't convicted murderers.
I think the chiropractors are too quick to come to the conclusion about a vaccine reaction and could well be mistaken about that. But Mr. Bowditch apparently has no concern that an innocent man might have been sentenced to die in a prison hellhole. No need to look at the actual facts: the chiropractors' support is all the proof Mr. Bowditch needs. Hang 'em high, immediately after the "fair trial." Throw the baby's mother in jail in her nightgown, without even charging her with anything (that was done also). Take away their daughter (eventually returned to her mother), who loves and trusts her daddy (and who witnessed his discovery of her brother's death but was not interviewed in a timely or proper manner). Justice the American way, to the applause of the Quack Watchers!
It is possible that Mr. Yurko would have a great malpractice case against the baby's doctors and the hospital (Baby Alan was very sick from birth), but now that he's a convicted murderer, the doctors are safe. And prosecutors are almost always safe.
From: "John Xxxxx"
To: "HealthFraud Newslist" <email@example.com>
Date sent: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 10:35:10 -0600
Subject: RE: [healthfraud] Chiros reach nadir
Unh .. huh ...
Well, Dr. Yyyyyy, how do you explain the fractured ribs in the baby???
From: "Yyyy Y. Yyyyyy"
Date sent: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 10:02:43 -0700
Subject: RE: [healthfraud] Chiros reach nadir
Regarding the allegedly fractured ribs: This allegation was very persuasive to the jury. Before drawing conclusions, however, a careful medical expert would look at the entire record, including radiographic and autopsy reports and physicians' notes. There is doubt that the x-ray findings actually represented traumatic fractures. Findings that one would expect to accompany such an injury were NOT present. (No bruises or evidence of pain on frequent visits to the doctor, for example. Can you beat up a baby so as to cause only one rib fracture with no associated findings? The calluses--few in number--appeared to be of different ages.) Could resuscitation at birth have caused injury leading to callus formation? A disorder in bone formation due to malnutrition? The possibilities were not even considered in the rush to judgment, much less ruled out. There are medical experts, physicians not chiropractors, who do not think the findings signify abuse. Quackwatchers, of course, do not need to look at all the evidence before being certain of their conclusions.
Where is the burden of proof?
Date sent: Mon, 05 Feb 2001 21:32:49 -0500
From: Stan Xxxxxxxx
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Subject: [healthfraud] Baby Alan
[I can't look up the original subject name from this computer}
I thought Dr. Yyyyyy had been proscribed from posting here on v******s, but here it is, so I guess one must answer for the record. But maybe we should get that ban working again.
Yyyy Yyyyyy wrote:
> I don't know why Baby Alan died, but Mr. Yurko was not proved guilty of
> "beating him to death."
He was found guilty by a jury. Without seeing a transcript, or at least an objective journalistic account of the trial, it is hard to know how strong the prosecution's case was against the father. However, the link Peter gives (Harold E. Buttram, M.D. & F. Edward Yazbak, M.D. http://www.woodmed.com/ShakenBabyAlan.htm ), even though it is intended to be blatantly biased in favor of vaccines as the cause of the baby's death, actually gives strong evidence for traumatic injury. Here is a quote from the autopsy report, as cited :
***excerpt from autopsy report***
"Post-Mortem Findings included minor contusions of both temporal areas of the head, small ecchymosis of the right lower eyelid, fresh subdural hemorrhages of the right and left cerebral hemispheres and at base of brain and some
areas of spinal cord, and retinal bleeding. The brain was grossly edematous. In addition there were several old, healing fractures of the 5th, 6th, 7th and l0th ribs, all posterior and on the left."
***end autopsy report***
In case this isn't clear to the non-medical people out there, fresh bleeding in the skull, the spinal cord, and the retinas indicates traumatic injury by rapid acceleration/deceleration, which can occur either with a blow to the head or violent shaking. This infant had bruises (contusions and ecchymoses) of both temples and one eyelid, indicating that he had been struck repeatedly in the face and head.
As for the multiple, healed rib fractures (manifested by scars, or "calluses"), Dr. Yyyyyy opines the following:
> (The calluses--few in number--appeared to be of different ages.) Could
> resuscitation at birth have caused injury leading to callus formation?
Dr. Yyyyyy should be aware that one of the reddest of flags leading physicians to suspect child abuse is the x-ray finding of multiple healed fractures of different ages. If resuscitation in the delivery room had caused the rib fractures how could they be of different ages, and how could they have been missed on the serial chest x-rays the infant had during his first week of life in the hospital? Furthermore, even if the newborn had been resuscitated at delivery (which he wasn't), the resuscitation procedure for a newborn with respiratory distress involves the insertion of an endotracheal tube, not the potentially rib-crunching compressions that may be done in cardiac arrest .
This neonate, according to Buttram and Yazbak, appeared normal at birth, but soon developed respiratory distress, not severe enough to require intubation, much less cardiac compression: "APGAR 8 and 9. However, following birth the baby was noted to have grunting respirations with sternal and rib retractions. The mother noted a persistent grayish color to the baby. ..... The infant was placed in an oxyhood with 50%O2; he was started on ampicillin and gentamycin."
> There is doubt that the x-ray findings actually represented traumatic
> fractures. Findings that one would expect to accompany such an injury
> were NOT present. (No bruises or evidence of pain on frequent visits to
> the doctor, for example. Can you beat up a baby so as to cause only one
> rib fracture with no associated findings?
I've seen some rib fractures, and I don't recall visible bruising with many of them. It is not easy to fortuitously discover a rib fracture on a routine physical exam in an infant four to eight weeks old if the parent doesn't volunteer that the baby was injured. I do a lot of physicals on babies and I don't routinely palpate the entire rib cage just in case there might be an occult fracture.
> There is in fact not a shred of evidence that he had any violent
> tendencies or that he ever beat or shook the baby.
Perhaps damning him with faint praise? Buttram and Yazbak do not get into the issue of the father's previous record as a parent or citizen. I realize this is slippery ground, but I would hope that if anyone were ever to write an article defending me against an unjust charge of abusing my child, they could come up with something a little more encouraging than, "He's never been caught beating up children before."
> One expert medical witness testified at trial that the death was due to
> natural causes;
"Natural causes" in a ten-week-old with fresh bleeding in the cranium, retinas and spinal cord, as well as bruises on the face and head? This may give the phrase "expert witness" a whole new meaning. The reasons for diagnosing trauma in this infant are obvious. I would want to question sharply anyone suggesting alternative explanations.
> Shaken Baby Syndrome is a new way for prosecutors to become heroes.
Could be. Overzealous prosecutors are as much of a bane as underzealous ones. Given that, I don't see, from the evidence presented by Buttram and Yazbak, how the Yurko case could be construed as an example of unreasonable prosecution. Certainly this baby had head injuries that could have been fatal, and were indeed ruled the cause of death, as well as evidence of previous, unexplained trauma.
> A secretary at our hospital just lost a grandchild. The police
> immediately interrogated the stunned and bereaved parents:
Anyone who has ever worked in an emergency room for any length of time has had to call the police to come in and talk to the parent/step-parent/babysitter of a seriously injured child. I wish the average police officer did this with more finesse. But on the other hand, I have felt relieved on a couple of occasions when arrests were made on the waiting room. My clinic is currently following an infant who was totally blinded in November, 2000, when he was shaken by a baby sitter. He is probably going to be profoundly mentally handicapped. The babysitter is out on bond
> I think the chiropractors are too quick to come to the conclusion about
> a vaccine reaction and could well be mistaken about that.
The "chiropractors" (actually MD's if you believe their website, http://www.woodmed.com/ShakenBabyAlan.htm ) start out quoting Vera Scheibner and go downhill from there. I won't subject the list to a point by point refutation of the inane lengths to which they go to buttress their case that this baby died of a vaccine reaction If any of you who read it have questions, please email me privately. But trust me, it's not worth it.
> No need to look at the actual facts: the chiropractors' support is all
> the proof Mr. Bowditch needs. Hang 'em high, immediately after the "fair
But she fails to present, or misrepresents, essential facts that support the court's finding of abuse. It's a little ironic that I gleaned these facts from a web page that is even more radical in its anti-vaccine bias than Dr. Yyyyyy claims to be
From: "Gregory L. Xxxxx"
To: "Healthfraud Discussion List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date sent: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 19:12:53 -0500
Subject: Re: [healthfraud] Baby Alan
I'm in the midst of pediatrics, so I can corroborate some of what Stan has written. As usual, he's dead-on right.
> ***excerpt from autopsy report***
> "Post-Mortem Findings included minor contusions of both temporal
> areas of the head, small ecchymosis of the right lower eyelid, fresh
> subdural hemorrhages of the right and left cerebral hemispheres and
> at base of brain and some areas of spinal cord, and retinal
> bleeding. The brain was grossly edematous.
Stan is exactly right about these findings: if accurate, retinal bleeding is virtually diagnostic of shaken baby, unless the child has some other rapid acceleration/deceleration. It's thought that it's not just the shaking that may done this: peds neurosurg has told me that most shaken babies are also thrown onto the bed, or into walls, with an abrupt "deceleration". Unless this kid was in a 60 mile/per hour head-on crash into a brick wall, lock dad up and throw away the key.
> In addition there were several old, healing fractures of the 5th,
> 6th, 7th and l0th ribs, all posterior and on the left."
> ***end autopsy report***
> As for the multiple, healed rib fractures (manifested by scars, or
> "calluses"), Dr. Yyyyyy opines the following:
> > (The calluses--few in
> > number--appeared to be of different ages.) Could resuscitation at
> > birth have caused injury leading to callus formation?
> Dr. Yyyyyy should be aware that one of the reddest of flags leading
> physicians to suspect child abuse is the x-ray finding of multiple
> healed fractures of different ages.
Especially rib fractures. Besides, how do you get multiple fractures of different ages if all the ribs are fractured during the resuscitation.
She should also be aware that pediatric resuscitation rarely causes rib fractures. Unlike in adult CPR, CPR on children (especially neonates) does not cause rib fractures. I'm on a pediatrics ward rotation at the moment, and this is repeatedly emphasized during the child abuse lectures. Defense attorneys always trot it out--according to the staff radiologist (and with the "bone formation defect" argument which Dr. Yyyyyy also uses)--but it doesn't wash medically. Kids' ribs are too elastic, and don't tend to fracture during CPR like old adult chests do. "Posterior" rib fractures are also classic for child abuse, and few other mechanisms are known to cause them. And, why are the ribs all fractured on the left if this is CPR? Looks more like trauma, which could be asymmetric, instead of straight down on a chest. Besides, have you seen pediatric CPR? It's done with a couple of fingers, not the whole weight of your arms and body like in adult ACLS.
Sorry, but if the autopsy report is accurate, than "expert witness" or not, this sounds like one of the most open-and-shut cases of child abuse you could ask for. There just aren't mechanisms which explain it, other than falls from great heights or high speed crashes.
But, (as the initial poster made the point) ANYTHING is better than vaccination in alt-land.
> > Can you beat up a baby so as to cause
> > only one rib fracture with no associated findings?
Sounds like more than one rib fracture, according to the autopsy.
And, I'd call retinal hemorrhages, cerebral edema, and brain bleeding "associated findings".
The mechanism of injury is often grabbing the child around the waist and squeeeeeezing. The posterior location of the fracture is caused almost exclusively by this.
As Stan says, what's amazing is that the anti-vaxers are so ignorant of basic medical findings that they present--on their website and in Yyyyyy's posting--the very evidence that damns both their "hero", and their case.
Of course, if the autopsy findings are different, things may be different. But why are the anti-vaxers posting such a damning "false" autopsy?
Date sent: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 01:50:51 EST
Subject: Re: [healthfraud] Baby Alan
I also read the Baby Alan story and found it astonishing. Xxxxxxxx and Xxxxx make many valid points. I'll add a couple of others. Doctors Buttram and Yazback (who wrote this) have zero pediatric expertise and credibility. Their account includes some howlers such as (1) describing a pH of 7.38 with normal PCO2 and bicarbonate as showing "severe acidosis", (2) inferring kidney disease from levels of BUN and creatinine that are lower than adults (and in fact are midrange normal for infants), (3) describing a peak bilirubin of 17 as a "critical level." Their misunderstanding of the kidney issues is truly appalling. I wouldn't let a medical student get away with these elementary mistakes.
Drs. B&Y also appear to play fast and loose with the issues related to the vaccines. While a lymphocytic shift in the mildly elevated WBC might be consistent with a pertussis reaction, it also is characteristic of most viral infections and and many other conditions. Furthermore, as they are probably aware, the worst reactions alleged to follow pertussis (crying, fever, encephalopathy) occur within 48 hours of the immunization, not 10 days later. It seems far more likely that the rising intracranial pressure from the subdurals is more likely to have caused the irritable crying. I confess I couldn't follow the confused and contradictory attempt to describe the meningeal inflammation (or lack thereof--- they apparently want it both ways) so that they can attribute gross intracranial hemorrhaging to the vaccines.
The plea of a possible metabolic bone disease accounting for asymptomatic rib fractures or a coagulopathy accounting for the bruises are like patriotism, the last refuge of the scoundrel. Any pediatrician with child abuse experience quickly does the tests to exclude these rare conditions. I hadn't answered on this thread previously because I actually ordered the paper on "transient brittle bone disease" from our library and haven't received it yet; I'll let you know whether it appears relevant. The number of bone conditions that lead to asymptomatic rib fractures is small, and most are accompanied by ample additional supportive evidence to corroborate them. For instance, nutritional osteomalacias in infants are usually accompanied by striking elevation of the alkaline phosphatase levels and very distinctive metaphyseal fraying of the long bones (i.e., rickets). Scurvy produces recognizable distortion of leg bones more often than rib fractures (and all formulas supply ample amounts of vitamin C---- Drs Y&B offer this without even commenting on the feeding). Both types of nutritional bone disease are far more likely to produce enlargement of the costochondral junctions (the front of the chest) rather than fractures of various ages near the posterior junctions wth the spine. Sadly, traumatic rib fractures and bruises are far more common than osteomalacias and coagulopathies.
My colleagues know that I am not sympathetic to sloppy assumptions of child abuse with any injury, and I've testified in court against Children & Youth Services on behalf of parents whom I thought had been unjustly accused. However, this story appears overwhelmingly convincing even when presented by people who want to argue it away.
Finally, shame on Dr. Yyyyyy for doing exactly what she accuses some of the people here of doing: so eagerly pushing a political position that she ignores or distorts the ample medical evidence in the account. Surely she knows enough to recognize the multiple errors of medical fact, understanding, and logic in that pathetic and indefensible story.
David Xxxxxxx MD
Date sent: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 11:30:18 EST
Subject: Re: [healthfraud] Baby Alan
..."nor to cut for stone, leaving that to those practitioners trained in this art..." - Oath of 'Ippocrates
It is obvious that Doctors Buttram, [...], and Yyyyyy have little expertise in either Pediatrics or Forensic Pathology, as they clearly demonstrate profound ignorance of, and disregard for, the prevailing medical knowledge base of those fields. Textbooks and journals covering this material is available in larger medical libraries, and would include:
The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
The Journal of Forensic Sciences
The American Journal of Diseases in Children
The Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics
The Journal of Trauma Child Abuse & Neglect etc.
The Pathology of Homicide by Lester Adelson
Forensic Pathology by DiMaio &DiMaio
The Medicolegal Investigation of Death by Spitz & Fischer
After a review of all available information (assuming the reported Autopsy findings are correct), and in the absence of any actual evidence to the contrary, it can be stated that, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, this is a clear and unambiguous case of "Shaken Baby" Syndrome.
Dr. Xxxx X. Xxxxxxxxx MD, MS (Bioch)
Forensic Pathologist and Regional Coroner's Physician
Diplomate of the American Board of Pathology
Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Pathology
Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists
Fellow of the College of American Pathologists
Member, National Association of Medical Examiners
Member, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Killing the children (2/3/2001)
Over the past few weeks I have been paying some attention to the latest atrocity from the anti-vaccination liars, which is to suggest that the symptoms of shaken baby syndrome are caused by vaccination. They have even adopted someone who murdered a ten-week-old baby and are trying to get him out of prison. You can read some information about this outrage by clicking here. To make matters worse, a bunch of chiropractors have declared that the murderer is a "Hero". If you saw this stuff on television you would not believe it.
Free the child murderer (24/3/2001)
The anti-vaccination child haters are at it again and they are increasing their support of child murderer Alan Yurko, in prison in Florida for killing his ten-week old baby. There is now the inevitable Free Alan Yurko web site. One alarming fact is that the organisation collecting money for Yurko claims that donations are tax deductible. If you are a US taxpayer and don't like the idea of your taxes subsidising a murderer's "get out of jail free" campaign, write to your representatives and complain. You can see some background to and comments about the murder by clicking here. Remember at all times that this "hero" held a baby by its feet and beat it to death.
Child murderer update (14/4/2001)
Chiropractor Bruhl, who manages the fund for the "hero", wrote to me about Alan Yurko, in prison for killing a ten-week-old child by holding him up by the feet and bashing him to death, to tell me that I should research things before I accuse someone of murder. I don't think I will answer the email. After all, it was a Yurko supporter who told me about the bleeding in the child's brain, eyes and spinal column.
Date sent: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 17:28:00 EDT
Subject: You should research the facts before you make pages about people who are impriso
I am Dr. Warren Bruhl and you should research this case before you make judgements. Please call me.
Dr. Warren Bruhl
Mr Bruhl should research the facts about who he is writing to so that he doesn't have to rudely say "Dear whoever". Perhaps if he researched intracranial bleeding and other signs of physical child abuse he wouldn't be so quick to start collecting money for an animal who murdered a child.
Sicko, and proud of it ... (10/6/2001)
Earlier this year I commented about a man who had murdered a ten-week-old boy by beating the child to death. This would have been horrifying enough, but what took it almost into the realm of fantasy was that some anti-vaccination liars want to get the murderer out of prison and are using him in their campaign to spread their mental disease. You can read about this outrage here. I cynically suggested that someone would call him a "hero", and it turns out that a bunch of chiropractors have done just that. Someone has passed on to me some comments from the Australian Vaccination Network's mailing list. As they mention me, I have no qualms about reproducing them here.
From: "Paris Moon"
Just came across this on their site:
Child murderer update
Who is the sicko that runs that site?
and the reply from the list moderator:
You don't want to know. When we passed the letter around to write the prison to protest the limit on mail they could receive, he is a spy on some list and he wrote the prison and told them to blame it on Alan trying to get him in trouble. He is a sicko
I did not write to the prison a tell them "to blame it on Alan" at all, and the person writing this knows that very well because she received a copy of my email. Lying must be a habit. So there you have it. A man who bashes a baby to death is a hero, and someone who comments on it is a "sicko".
Touchy, touchy, chiropractor (17/6/2001)
Someone I know wrote to the chiropractor who is collecting the money for murderer Alan Yurko and received the following polite reply:
Before you start spouting offf about something you know nothing about. I will not tolerate any of your innappropriate misinformed and petty diatribe on this issue. Do not e mail ever again or I will report your harrassment to the authorities. You are dangerous and potentially lethal. Keep your distance from me and do not ever contact me again. I repeat. Do not ever contact me again in any way, shape or form. In case you did not hear this. DO NOT CONTACT ME, E MAIL ME OR ENGAGE IN ANY WRITING TO ME OR I WILL REPORT YOUR HARRASMENT TO THE GLENCOE POLICE.
Dr. Warren Bruhl Diplomate International Council Chiropractic Pediatrics
I guess Dr Bruhl doesn't want to talk about this matter.
Yurko update (23/6/2001)
I had always known that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons was opposed to vaccination, but I had thought that they retained some principles. I have heard that they have climbed down onto the "Free Yurko" bandwagon (you can't climb up to anything this low) and will be publishing Dr Harold Buttram's putrid defence of the child murderer in an upcoming issue of their journal Medical Sentinel. According to a PR flack ghost writing for Alan Yurko "The article is a blockbuster piece of science, which has over 100 references and describes 'Yurko Syndrome' in detail. Dr. Buttram has spent thousands of hours of research, consultation of experts and review in the making of this article". "Yurko Syndrome"? What, you shake and hit a baby and it dies? There is already a name for that - it's called "Shaken Baby Syndrome" and it's why Yurko is locked up where he can't get to any more babies. So, come on Dr Buttram - submit your work to JAMA or NEJM or Science or Nature. Get it published to a wider audience.
We need heroes. So do chiropractors (6/10/2001)
On November 24, 1997, Alan Yurko murdered a ten-week-old child. Yurko is now rotting in prison where he belongs, but he has supporters. The anti-vaccination liars have adopted him as a cause celebre and are using his crime as a means to frighten parents out of their responsibilities to their children and the children of other people. This is not as surprising as it might seem, because people who campaign to harm children would obviously feel empathy with someone who committed the ultimate harm. I was a little more surprised to find that the International Chiropractors Association had declared the murderer to be a "Chiropractic Hero". For more information about this "innocent" man, you can see his Ohio prison record here (original at Ohio DRC) and his Florida one here (original at the Florida state site). His wife (who married him after he was convicted of the murder of her child whose birthday she can't remember) wants him out and they can always have another baby. Actually, getting him out of prison might not be necessary as the murdered child was conceived three or four months before Yurko was paroled last time after serving a few years for aggravated burglary. Perhaps he could escape, although Mrs Yurko would be hoping he was more successful next time than he was when he tried two days after he murdered baby Alan.
Speaking of things that make you gag ... (15/12/2001)
The campaign to free child-killer Alan Yurko continues on its sordid way as assorted liars and charlatans maintain their efforts to exploit this crime as a weapon against vaccination. A recent proclamation from this cess pit (written by a public relations consultant and released over the signature of the murderer's wife) talked about publications that had mentioned the case. Most of the list consisted of the usual suspects (I was a little disappointed that the coverage in The Millenium Project was not mentioned) but three of them caught my eye as it appeared that this atrocity might have been mentioned in real scientific journals. Here is what I found.
A great mystery. Could Francine Yurko (or the PR person pretending to be her) be trying to deceive people here? Could she be hoping that the intended audience won't bother to check?
The "Free Yurko" campaign was Highly Commended in the 2001 Millenium Awards. The award citation read:
On November 24, 1997, Alan Yurko murdered a ten-week-old child. He is now serving a life sentence for the murder. At the time of the murder, Yurko was on parole from a 10-to-25 year sentence for four cases of burglary with violence. As the baby was born about five months after Yurko was released from prison it was probably not his child anyway, and the severity of the sentence suggests that the judge felt that this was not a case of impulsive shaken baby syndrome but was a deliberate killing by someone removing the inconvenience of someone else's child. The baby's mother married Yurko after he was convicted of beating her son to death. Yurko has been adopted by the anti-vaccination liars and chiropractors as a hero and role model and they want to get him out of prison. This award is given generically to all of the "Get the killer out of prison" sites which have sprung up to exploit this atrocity.
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