One Great Man | 9
Imagine that you're a technology sales executive one day as you come home to your condo, you pick up the mail, and there it is a jury summons you've lived in Dallas for thirty years, and you've been called a few times before but have never been selected you defer the summons twice who ever has time for jury duty. But finally, you call into work and you head to the courthouse pass through the metal detector and head into the giant room where they hold the prospective jurors. Will we were funded off to court and there were about two hundred of filling out a jury survey? And if you'd heard of this case while hadn't heard anything about it. Answered the questionnaire. And then we took a break. Today's later I show up in they call us in order, and I'm on the first row in dire. And I've been been to enough to afford hours to know that if you're on the first couple rows that there's a high likelihood they're looking at you to serve that's a man named Terry. He sat there Maury about the time commitment since they were predicting the trial would take five or six weeks as they listed the jurors. He hurt his name called out. He had just been selected for the trial of Dr Christopher dent. Bravo's turning the LA times articles and podcast dirty. John twisted tale of romance gone wrong into a limited event television series. A successful woman is blinded by love in a dangerous affair with a charming psychopath based on the chilling true story Bravo's dirty John stars Connie Britton as Deborah Newell. And Eric Bana as John Mehan. You're about to hear an exclusive sneak peek of the fateful nine one one call from the show and be sure to catch the new series premiering, November twenty fifth at ten pm nine central only on Bravo. And up here at night greening bad not having. Yeah. One second. Away. From wondering, I'm Laura Beale. And this is Dr death. This is episode nine when great man. From time to time. I'll have updates on the case of Christopher Dench, either as new events occur, or as I find new stories to tell you might. Remember, this lady Docker diet is wine. Great, man. He is the best. Dr I think that anybody could ever go to and if you're having the problems that I had, you know, gave him a call because he'll fix you. The voice from the infomercial that Dunn's patient. Jeff glide while would watch online the one that would help convince him to choose Dr dunce as his surgeon the Chiron on the screen only identified the patient as Pam nothing more. I wasn't able to find out anything about the woman in the video at first. I thought she must be the one patient who actually did have a positive experience in surgery with dunce early in his Dallas career. And that's why she agreed to be in the video later, I figured she must have been paid actor neither of those turned out to be true. Lauri Wylie lives in Trenton, Texas, a tiny town about an hour north of Dallas. She's not the woman in the video. But in September of two thousand eighteen she was preparing to take a flight and needed something to help pass the time on the plane. So I'm mmediately went and download the podcast, and I thought oh startups owed one now on weight. I'm a husband get off work to pick him up here the airport and cut about ninety seconds in. And of course, you know, the very beginning of episode one is Dr Donncha one great, man. And there's my mom's voice haunting us all. I hear it it it just my stomach dropped. I mean, literally my stomach dropped. And I just bought. Believe that this is, you know, back to haunt us again and anybody Laurie immediately found an Email address for Wendy and fired off a message. I'm not even three minutes into episode one of Dr death. And I've already heard my mother. My mother is the patient on best docs, Laurie's mother is Pam Pam trustee which seems like a fitting name for her and pretty much any patient of Dr doen't Pam lives in the same Texas town as her daughter, they started probably a year before I ever met. Dr Dutch I was having shots put in my neck and down my arm and everywhere, and I was getting those about every three weeks in nethon was getting any better her pain doctor referred her to a rheumatologist. Hey sid. She needs to have Sergerie 'cause she's got a. Inch nerve. And we've got a great sergeant down here in Dallas. I wanna say a Dr Christopher dunce. This was in October of two thousand twelve after Dr Dench had already had a string of bad results, including two deaths. She didn't know that. Of course. She liked him. Will the first time that I met him. He had the Emaar is. And he was showing them Tammy in hasten. Rod. Here's where you're paints NAR V is in we'll go in and will relieve the pressure on that, and I'll do fusion he told me that he had never had a do over that. He had football players that were back on the field within six months, and he was very convincing. Feel like a heel. I mean, I really feel. That's PAM's husband Larry whenever we lift that doctor's office in. I got could. I started research. He'll in hospitals could not find nothing. I'd feel. There's something wrong with that, man. And he said, what do you mean in? I don't know. But there's something wrong with. They said, do you think is bad? I said, I don't know max as sons name, I don't know. But there's something wrong. And I said your momma has made her mind that this oh, she wants to do surgery. I said. To put doubt in her mind because she's got to have confidence in the doctor this fixing the cut ony, but there's something wrong with him. But but I don't know what and Kate found out. And why was it? What was it that gave you this bad feeling whenever we got there in in the white room? Nobody just me and my wife Pam had her surgery in December of two thousand twelve Dunn's had led the trustees to believe that her operation would be at Baylor plano, even though he was long gone from there. But it ended up taking place at university general in the southern part of Dallas the surgery took longer than anticipated when she woke up in the recovery room. Her shoulder was an excruciating pain enable to bear, even the slightest touch. Hey said, well, I'm must have typed you down to tot. And I said, okay. So what's going to happen with it? He said, I'll it'll get better. He said h just your muscle. You know, spasm are something. The pain was still there three weeks later when she went back for her follow up visit her shoulder and her neck were both hurting before the visit her daughter Laurie. Not. Something odd within her scar. There was something blue coming out of her scar. Her sisters were block like what color blue like Royal blue. There's something Royal blue coming out of coming out of her scar. And I got a pair of tweezers, and I pulled it and pulled and hold in bulled and Bouled out of this car because it was open just a small maybe quarter of an inch scar was open, and that thing was probably. Two or three inches long. According to ditch an internal stitch that was coming out. According to him. I don't think. So I think it was it looked like piece of something looked like sponge material to me like assing. It was piece of sponge. Now that we know everything that we do I think it could have possibly been a piece of sponge. Dr dunce didn't seem all that concerned about the whatever it was. He was eager to talk about something else. He then proceeds detail made that he had been awarded the best doctor in Dallas. And that his staff which there was two or three people their head picked may to do a video shot because. They lacked me, and I just thought I'd do great. Well, of course, you get excited. 'cause you think oh, well, I'm gonna do video spot. And and I'll this step you now. And at that point, I still knew nothing. You know that that was wrong. I'm thinking how she so successful when she still in a lot of pain, you know. But I didn't think anything about it. And it's true that it's pretty normal for pain to linger after a surgery. So my daughter drove me down there because at the time, I couldn't drive Steele. I was one day shy of being seven weeks out. But I'd never seen him again on the day of the shoot. She brought photos with her. They had asked for action shots one walking. With her granddaughter went from the Texas State fair, then someone from the production sadder down in front of a green screen ain't she said now years, Dr Dungy's name ever change, you get in your talk is juice. Make sure you put him out there whereby knows who you're talking about. And did they tell you what to say? Or do they ask you said, you know, you need to talk about? How good he is. And what an excellent outcome. You've had. And you know, so they pretty well was telling me from the time that we walked into that building. It was not an infomercial. It was an award. He was chosen. It wasn't paid for. That's the words of best dunk. She signed a release form they were in and out of the studio in less than an hour and aired on February seventeenth two thousand thirteen on channel twenty one. They recorded the infomercial when it aired. Meanwhile, Pam kept scheduling follow up appointments to see Dr dunce, but his office kept rescheduling them. The pain wasn't getting any better. This went on month after month. Finally, Pam had an appointment set for late June of two thousand thirteen she was on her way to the office when she got a call. It was done his office saying they had to cancel today's appointment. And that he wouldn't be able to see any patients until at least October. No, raise rayson, just I mean, she asks he, okay. And yeah, he's okay. You know, he's just gonna have takes. He's having to take some time off. Say yeah. Right. And so the way we even found out was later that not watching the news showing up to his plano office. Trying to get records they learned from the news that on that same day. Christopher dentists, medical license was temporarily suspended I cried. And specially when I found out about the patients that he had killed and the ones he had made and ours. The new gear. Gaff main worse than like, the ones that couldn't walk his best friend and. I cried in thought find God he was with many God was because I could have been any of those. And that's what rushed into my thoughts. She eventually ended up in the office of another neurosurgeon who told her that done. Head inserted the wrong screws in her neck and likely torn the rotator cuff inner shoulder during the operation. He also said the nerve damage and the pain will likely never go away. So that doctor that he's talking about when I told him that Dr Dutch had operated how may hey dis coming glowed main. Hey, Syd, I can't believe that he said how did you get to him? And I told him about this other doctor sending me and hey said, hey, new better. Hey, new better. We all knew better in Dallas, all of us, doctor said in Israel. Neurosurgeon? And hey said, you're sure that Dr so-and-so Sanchia to him. I said, yes, he's in. We all knew that he knew it. So I'd I would have referred to. Was our question. And that was the W ever got an answer to that question. No, no that he had serval faces. But he could not believe the doctor that referred her to today show you head to the website if that would be best docs network dot com. Good is the place to go down the video stayed online. They remained up even after D magazine dubbed him, Dr death. Even after local news reports kept chronicling the story in ever-more disturbing detail it stayed up through his trial where anyone could Google it and pull it up on YouTube. Pam tried to get the company to take it down. But they never responded to her a really heart me that I couldn't get it off the air. The only thing about that video still being out. There is the fact that it might be there. But he's not. So it won't hurt anybody else. But it makes me feel so angry. When I hear Mace. Thank the words. Dr Don, she's one good. Dr. I asked her what she would say if she were to make that same video today today. I would say I've been told that Dr Christopher. Was awarded the best stocks in Dallas award. Don't go to him. He is a murderer. And he is a cripple. And whatever you do never call that office. Pam only learned from listening to this series that Jeff glide well who would be Dr dench's final patient had seen the video online. And that it helped persuade him to go to doen't. I feel like I was used and it really made me mad because the little girl in office when she was smiling. It may you know, after he said that I had been selected by his office staff. Yeah. Was selected by his office staff because I was one of the few that was up and walking around. And if you could talk to Jeff glide, wha what would you say? I would tell him. I am so sorry. I mean, it breaks my heart to thank anybody went to him because that video and specially what he went through. The video finally came down in October two thousand eighteen shortly after the release of this series. The parent company has not responded to my emails and the phone number. They publicize isn't a working number when I drove to the last address they had listed there. Sign was still out front. 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The only way to get twenty dollars off and free shipping is to use promo code death at Brooklyn dot com. That's B R. Oh, okay. L? I N E N dot com, promo code death. Brooklyn. These really are the best sheets ever. When we talked about true crime stories, we're always interested in the mind of the criminal. What was their childhood like what influences on them caused them to commit their crimes? What were they thinking? How did it all so wrong? These are the questions behind the premise of one reason new series imagined life the podcast asks you to imagine yourself in the shoes of world famous people thinking their thoughts feeling their feelings you will confront their adversity. You will overcome their challenges you will experience their hopes you will try and fail and then eventually succeed to become the people. They are today. Some you think, you know, even admire maybe the opposite. But there's a twist only in the final moment of the show. Will you find out who you are subscribed today to imagine life on apple podcasts or wherever you're listening to this right now? Last month. I visited a man named Terry in the condo where he and his wife live in central Dallas. He's in his mid fifties hit rather not use his last name. But in February of two thousand seventeen he sat in the jury box of one of the biggest trials in Dallas, a member of the group that convicted Christopher Dench and sentenced him to life in prison. Terry set second from the end, he told me he was impressed with the way. The judge conducted the trial with the serious demeanor of the courtroom, everyday was business like much of the testimony was unforgettable Dr Henderson for sure Dr Lazar for sure in in Dr Kirby, their testimony was very very powerful. But it was the patients and their families that moved him all of them affected us every single one of them, Mr. Margalov, Mr. severs, everybody. I mean, Mr. Passmore everybody that. Surly mock there was a ton of came through which was overwhelming he remembers being most shaken by the testimony of Kelly. Martin's has been remember. She's the patient who died at Baylor hospital after what was supposed to be a routine outpatient procedure. I just remember noticing observing his pain even after the type this time had gone by helmet. How painful it wasn't how much he loved his wife and. How it was the these emotions really were still brawl with him losing his wife, so tragically and unexpectedly. It was that affected me all the jury there. There was not a dry eye in the house when we went to recess after his testimony everybody in the room was very motion at the end of each day. The jurors weren't allowed to discuss what they'd heard to help process at all. There were many times after victim testimony, especially when you know, people were pretty frazzled in pretty spit in pretty motion and I've ever saver times. When we go back into the jury room in we hug each other wipe each other's tears, give each other support because we really couldn't talk about this. We couldn't discuss any of the anything, you know, we could just all we could do. You know, support each other and say, hey, understand how you're feeling you know. You know, and then and then move onto the next day or the next testimony. And that this would happen day after day everyday. And every day. He saw Christopher done on the other side of the courtroom. He seemed to have a five o'clock shadow every day. But he did he was well dressed in a suit. But he I don't recall ever seeing him. Look at us never ever caught. Locked eyes with him or in ever really knows can looking at us. He did pay attention to the witness testimony. But he was really unemotional very unemotional. I was mainly focused on the witness myself, occasionally, I would take a glance over there. And see if there was a reaction from him in there never was. In fact, the first time Terry ever heard dent, his voice was on this podcast. It was a police interview. Maybe that you'd could play recording of and I was really surprised at how he was not very Chris. Ramo documents. Directly. Everything. Jeez voice didn't match. What I had thought. His voice would be kids of slurred. His words. Exactly. His voice did not match to me, the arrogance and ego that was presented from his patients and test is victims and testimony after the defense rested. And the jurors went off to deliberate. Terry says it was the weight of all the patients and doctors testimony that led them to a quick verdict. One thing that mattered much less to them. Even though it got so much attention outside. The jury room was the Email in which Dr dent called himself, a cold blooded killer. I think everybody felt like that Email was just another example of him being unhinged and being a nurse assistant his in his state of mind in the way, he is the jury needed to decide that he had criminal intent, that's what made this trial different from a civil medical malpractice trial. One factor. That Terry says did make a big impact on them was all the years that Christopher dentists spent in his residency program and fellowship that at least on paper, he should have been trained enough to know good surgical technique from bad guy was not competent. But. You know being incompetent. And then continuing to do it continuing to hurt these people mainly people, you know, that was the that was it that was the part that we saw as jury that was. That was his guilt. The jury took only four hours to come to a verdict. It all it is. In other words, the jurors believed that if done were to get out of prison. He could conceivably start operating again somewhere. It was still a possibility down the road. Maybe not in the US, but he could do that he can go to foreign country where their credentialing made be strict and stringent we could let the, but we could not let him operate on another person. After the podcast. Terry reached out to me. I simple reason. It was the first time. He heard details about dentists appeal. He wrote me a note that said what's most concerning other than the medical community system? Failure is the fact that Dench could possibly get a new trial and be free someday to practice medicine again. This simply cannot happen. There's not a day that goes by that I do not think about all the lives that were affected by his incompetence an ego one thing dentis appeals attorney is pushing for is to exclude mention of other surgeries besides Mary e I in any retrial, she argued that including the other cases made the trial unfair. The prosecutors use those cases in the original trial to establish a pattern of behavior to show that so many surgeries were botched before Mary Everts he had to know he would likely injure her. If it was just Mary e for only with no reference to pattern previous. Behavior of maiming and killing people, then the jury would just would not see all the facts. It'd be a travesty to Justice. And plus I think it would victimize these people all over again they've already had they've already gone through this enough. The decision of whether to offer a new trial currently rests with the three judges on the fifth circuit of the Texas court of criminal appeals. And there's no knowing exactly when they'll announce their decision. It could be soon or it could be many months from now for the past couple of months. I've heard a lot more stories about Christopher doen't from the people who knew him in medical school and residency to former neighbors who heard the wild parties at his house on Vance avenue in Memphis. It seems that no one who interacted with Christopher doen't found him easily forgettable. Especially if you were the one who called him one, great, man. Finally, I'd like to end with an update about another patient in the podcast, Shirley, mock, I talked to her recently, and she told me she was recovering from a broken arm that she'd suffered after a fall in her home. I end the whole team from wondering when like to wish her well in her continued recovery. From wondering this is a special episode of doctor death an investigative miniseries about the system that failed to protect thirty three patients in Dallas, if you'd like to help us spread the word, please give us a five star review and tell your friends to subscribe, if you know of a story like Dr death or thirty John that needs to be investigated. Please write to us at tips at Wendy dot com. Doctor death was written reported and hosted by me Larr Bill sound designed by Jeff Schmidt, executive produced by George lavender, Marsha Louis and Hernan Lopez for wondering.