Interview with Dr. David Minkoff

Date:April 15, 1996

FLO 520300 CLEARWATER P.D.             AGENCY REPORT NO. 95-29158 
NAME(S): Lisa McPherson                ORIG. DATE REPORTED: 12/6/95 
INCIDENT: AOA/Death Investigation      VI WILL PROSECUTE: Y N 
LOCATION: 644 Pierce Street            PAGE 1 OF 31. 

Today's date is 4/15/96. The time is 3.1:21 a.m. This is going to be a taped interview with Dr. Minkoff of the Columbia New Port Richey Hospital. This is gonna be in reference to the Lisa McPherson investigation. The report number is 95-29158. Present during the interview is Det. Sgt. Mark Teunis, myself (Det. Ron Sudler), and Dr. Minkoff.

Det. Sudler: Dr. Minkoff, for the record, could you state your name, address, and date of birth for me?
Minkoff: Uh Huh. David Minkoff, X, Clearwater, Florida. Birthdate is X/48.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Thank you. Dr. Minkoff, uh. . .a couple of months ago, I conducted a brief interview with you at Columbia New Port Richey Hospital concerning Lisa McPherson.
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Det. Sudler: And I'd like to ask you again about that case... probably a little more detailed than I was able to do up at the hospital. But on 12/5/95, Lisa McPherson was presented to you at umm. . . Columbia New Port Richey Hospital. And if you could, chronologically kinda take me through how you were involved in. . . in Lisa McPherson.
Minkoff: Sure. Umm. . .I first heard it when one of the orderlies said. . or was called that there was someone at the Emergency entrance. And they said someone's at the Emergency Entrance called the doubled doors and the doubled doors had opened. So he went out there to get somebody who was in a car. Uh. . .when he .got out there with a wheelchair, he put her from the car into the wheelchair. And then when he came through the doors, he started yelling that he needed help. And she was in the wheelchair. She was' kinda sitting in it but sorta draped over it. Uh. . .there was two of us on. I heard the. . .heard him yell and went out to the hallway to see

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what was going on. And I saw her in the wheelchair and she looked like she was in bad shape. She had skin hemorrhages. That.. .that. . ..that was the first thing I noticed was the skin hemorrhages. Umm.. .and she was immediately put in our trauma room and we began a resuscitation. She was entubated. Uh. . . she was put on a heart rate monitor. Umm. . .1 don't think there was any activity on the heart rate monitor. We started doing CPR on her. Umm.. .we got blood. We gave her antibiotics. And I didn't know really what was going on except that she looked like she had. . .which is what I told you at the time. . .something called meningococcemia, which is sort of an overwhelming bacterial sepsis where you get skin hemorrhages. And my background is infectious diseases.. .that's what I specialized in. And I'd seen a few cases of it and that's what it looked like to me. Uh. . .so we did CPR for I'm not sure how long. . .umm. . .probably in the neighborhood of a half an hour but I'm not sure. And we couldn't get her back. Uh. . . and uh. . . that was pretty much the chronology. There wasn't really umm. . .anything obvious on .her physical examination other than skin bruises in multiple areas. Uh. . .she looked dehydrated. Umm... and uh. . .she wasn't stiff or anything.. .I mean.. .it looked like whatever had happened had happened relatively recent. I mean it wasn't hours or days or anything and it seemed like it was an acute terminal event whatever it was. And that's pretty much my firsthand experience with it.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Umm. . .who was the orderly that made you aware of this? Do you remember his name?
Minkoff: Might've been Willie but I'm not sure.

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Det. Sudler: Willie?
Minkoff: Yeah. Willie Burdette is his name.
Det. Sudler: Willie Burdette. Alright. And you mentioned that there was another physician on duty.
Minkoff: Yes. David Niles was on duty.
Det. Sudler: David Niles. ë Okay. Did he have any contact with Lisa?
Minkoff: Well, when she first came in, I was unable to get her entubated. He came in the room cause usually we.. .we get two guys doing this. He actually did the entubation on her. Umm. . . and then assisted with the CPR. I think I put a line in her. . .we had trouble getting an I.V. line.. .I think I put a.. .I'm not sure.. .we'll have to check the record of it. So I haven't looked at it.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: . Uh. . .I think I put an I.V. line in her groin and we gave her some fluids and stuff like that. But umm. . .he helped with the resuscitation but it was....
Det. Sudler: Okay. So Willie I guess went out and. . .and brought her into you. The first contact you had with her was in the.. . in the, ER itself or did you, assist in bringing her. in at all?
Minkoff: Uh. . .well, he brought her through the doors and then I.. .there's a little hallway and then the room we ëput them in is, right there. So I saw her when he brought her through the doors and then I sort of was next to the wheelchair as he wheeled it up to the table,. And then we. . .you know. . .we lifted her up and put her on the table. . .on the resuscitation table.
Det. Sudler: So her basic condition when you first saw her was in the wheelchair slumped?
Minkoff: Right. . .
Det. Sudler: Backwards?

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Minkoff: Yeah, she was kinda draped over the wheelchair like this.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Do you recall what she was wearing.. .the' clothing?
Minkoff: No.
Det. Sudler: Okay. And you said that she had skin hemorrhages on her.
Minkoff: Bru. . .like bruises.. .skin bruises.
Det. Sudler: Skin bruises?.
Minkoff: We call them purpura.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Which is.. .it's.. .it's their. .their. . .it's like a bruise but it's blood underneath the skin that's very superficial. It's not like a big deep bruise. It's like a superficial discoloration of the skin and it looks either black or deep purple. Umm...
Det. Sudler: And that would be umm.. .a symptom of this meningococcemia?
Minkoff: Well, meningococcemia is the.. .the most common one that does this. There are some other organisms. Turns out she had a staph sepsis. Uh. . .but the basic idealogy is the same. It's.. .there's... there's enough bacterial in the blood itself that these clumps of bacteria block. . .you know. . .they're . . .they're so big that when they get to the skin they block the capillaries and no blood can go any further. And then the capillary; .because it's not getting any blood, starts to leak and actually just leaks blood underneath the skin. And if you take a cut of that... and I think the pathologist did and I don't know what he got of it. Sometimes if you take a.. .like a section of that skin or that capillary and you look at it under

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the microscope and you do the right kind of stains, you can actually see the bacterial clumps in there as a reason for this.
Det. Sudler: And was this present throughout her. . .her body or... or just areas?
Minkoff: It was on her extremities. I think.. .I think there was some on her face. There was some on her pelvis. There was some on her legs. I mean it. . .it didn't look like there was a pattern to it but there was... there was. . .you know. . .many areas. Maybe you have the pictures of it too of.. .of where these were... were visible.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Umm. . .were there any other. . .you mentioned that she had some bruising on her.
Minkoff: When I say bruising, I mean these.. .this purpura interchangeably.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Alright.
Minkoff: Umm...
Det. Sudler: There was no evidence of trauma or any injury to:.. to her body?
Minkoff: No. . .I mean.. . there was no. . . like there was no swollen areas. There was no bony deformities. There was no like. . .you know. . .like. . .I don't know.. .if someone had fallen or been hit or something like that. I mean it didn't look... the skin was the normal skin. . . just discolored. And even later he came up with the know. . . that there was this clot in her leg. I didn't notice...and 1 wasn't looking for this at the time. And this situation is sorta like panicville.. .you sorta.. .I mean.. .it's not sort of a fine-tuned physical examination. But I

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didn't notice that one leg was a different size. And.. .you know.. .it didn't look like she had a phlebitis. You know. . .sometimes people will get a clotted vein in their leg. You get a red leg, a swollen leg and. . . you know. . . it' s obvious when they come in that. . .the guy says "My leg's killing me" and. . .you know. And she . didn't.. .you know... it didn't look like that. It looked like. the time I remember her legs looked pretty symmetrical. I didn't notice any difference in size, and so I was surprised that he found that. So it may have.;.. it must have been sort of an. . .an occult thing. It may have been sort of a. . .you know.. .not obvious because we didn't notice it.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Umm. . .were you aware that she had been in a motor vehicle accident prior to her death?
Minkoff: No, I wasn't aware of it.
Det. Sudler: Okay. But there was no indication of that or any old injury or healing injury or anything from that that would...present to you?
Minkoff: That I saw at the time. . .no.
Det. Sudler: Alright. Umm. . .so initially when she came in, did she have. . .what were her vital signs?
Minkoff: Well, when we. . .when we.. .when I got her, she wasn't breathing.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Or she wasn't breathing noticeably. Uh. . .so by the time we hooked up the monitor, got the tube in her, and started breathing her, she didn't have a heart rate either.
Det. Sudler: Alright.
Minkoff: So when exactly that occurred I'm not sure. But

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within a few. . .probably two minutes of getting to the Emergency Room it looked like she had. . . there wasn't.. .there wasn't any vital signs.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Was she at all cyanotic when.. .when she arrived at the hospital like she had. . .you know. . . oxygen deprivation. . . or she was not breathing or anything like that or...?
Minkoff: Oh yeah.
Det. Sudler: She.. .she had already pretty much turned cyanotic?
Minkoff: Well, she wasn't...I don't remember her being blue but she.. .she.. .she was pale. . . she was very pale.
Det. Sudler: Alright. Did.. .now, so you and Dr. Niles were the attending physicians?
Minkoff: Right.
Det. Sudler: Umm...
Minkoff: I wrote the record up. He was sorta assisting on it. I don't know if his names on the record. I don't think so.
Det. Sudler: How was she transported to the hospital?
Minkoff: Uh. ..a car or van as far as I know.. .didn't see the car.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Did you talk to any of the people that brought her?
Minkoff: Talked to Dr. Johnson afterwards.
Det. Sudler: Okay. .
Minkoff: Asked her what had happened. Uh.. .she said that she had been notified about her. What time she come in... 8:00?
Det. Sudler: I'm not sure. Around that time. I think she was pronounced at 9:27.. .9:37. .somewhere around that time.
Minkoff: Okay. So somewhere around 8 or 8:30. Umm. . .that

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she had been. . . had diarrhea during the day. Had had a big weight loss from the morning to when she saw her. And I think she saw her sometime in the evening.. .6:30...7:00...something like that. 11mm... I think she said somewhere around a 12 pound weight loss. That she had extreme diarrhea. She had fever and she. . .shed just acutely become very ill.
Det. Sudler: In one day?
Minkoff: In one day.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Umm. . .Dr. Johnson. . .are. . .are you familiar with her?
Minkoff: Uh. . . I'd met her before.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: I'd talked to her before.
Det. Sudler: What type of doctor is she?
Minkoff: Uh. . .I think her background is pain management. Uh. . . she has a specialty in handling people with chronic pain. I think that's what she. . .what her training is.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Does she practice here locally?
Minkoff: I don't think she has a Florida license.
Det. Sudler: Okay. Is she retired or...?
Minkoff: I don't.. .I don't. . .I know she's not working.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Uh. . . and I know she came from Arizona and what her.. .and I know that's what she was doing there. Pet. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Uh. . .;but I know she's not licensed here.
Sgt. Teunis: She was working in Arizona?
Minkoff: She. .as far as I know, she was working in Arizona.
Det. Sudler: Umm. . .had. . .had you ever met her before?
Minkoff: Yeah. I have a back.. .1 have a clinic for back pain

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here and. . . as a sideline thing. And so I had met her before about. . .talking to her about whether there would be any patients that I could get uh. .. from... from people she knew who would. . .who had herniated disks or back problems.. .who could. . .who'd be interested in my clinic.
Det. Sudler: Okay. How did she get involved with Lisa. . .you know.. . that evening?
Minkoff: Well, as far as I know, she as working at the church and she umm. . .1 don't know whether Lisa was. . .was directly there or.. .I'm not sure what Lisa's living situation was. Umm. . .and that she was I guess called to see her under some circumstances. And I don't know what those are either.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: . Umm. . .but she knew I worked at the Emergency Room and she'd actually called me maybe an hour before they came and said that she had a patient there who was sick and could she bring her up to the Emergency Room. . . who looked extremely sick and could she bring her up to the Emergency Room. And I said "Yeah, we're . . .we're available". .
Det. Sudler: Did she tell you she suspected anything? MinkÛff: She said that she looked ill. . .that she had a big weight loss. . .that she looked dehydrated. . .uh... that she suspected she might have.. .be septic... which means she had a bacterial infection. Uh... and could she bring her up to the hospital. And. I said..."Yeah". . .1 mean..."Sure". .
Sgt. Teunis: Did she refer to Lisa as a patient?
Minkoff: I didn't know who the name was and I didn't know if.. .you know.. .I didn't know what her relationship

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was.. .whether it was just someone she knew as a friend or. . .you know.. .I don't know if she was I didn't know what her medical relationship was with her even. . .or if she had one.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay.
Minkoff: Umm.. .I knew that she wasn't really practicing here, so what.. .what her involvement was or with her was I'm not really sure.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay.
Det. Sudler: She was called in to make an evaluation though of Lisa?
Minkoff: You know, I'm. . .I' m not sure if she just was a friend or was a friend of a friend. I'm.. . I'm really not.. .you know. . .what the details of that thing were I don't know. I did talk to her afterwards and I was.. .I was. . .I was upset by the thing. And I.. .I just was trying to get a basic like "What happened here?" And...
Det. Sudler: Upset in regard to...?
Minkoff: Well, I hate to. . .I mean.. .when a 90 year old dies under circumstances, it's.. .I'm...I'm used to that. But to have a young person in these sorts of things is.. .it's kinda. .it's. . .it's hard.
Det. Sudler: Yeah. I'm sure that, after talking to Dr. Johnson and. . . and then having Lisa I guess appear at the ER in her condition was probably a shock to you too .you know. .
Minkoff: Yeah.
Det. Sudler: I mean...going from being sick to. that...would probably.. .;like you said.. .panic city.. .you. . .you know. .with the immediate medical care that she needed at that point.

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Minkoff: Exactly.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: And she was upset also. . .I mean. . .she was. . . I'm sure she didn't. . .she wasn't expecting this as well.
Det. Sudler: Did she have any umm. . .uh. . .I guess Dr. Johnson relayed to you that she appeared to be septic. Is there any uh.. . you know. . . for lack of a medical background. . .what would that appear on a person? How would you know that somebody would be septic let's say or.. .you know...?
Minkoff: Probably the. . .I mean. . .probably she. . .she thought the same thing I did. . . that if you have somebody here who's.. .looks ill.. .who's pale... .is dehydrated.. .who in one day went downhill very quickly. . .umm.. .who's got these bruises on her that umm.. .you're dealing with somebody who's sick.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Or if.. .if it's an infectious cause, septic....
Det. Sudler: Okay. Alright. Are there any diseases that.. .that mimic this...ail of these symptoms or...or.. .you . know. . . that would be narrowed down to one type of thing?
Minkoff: Well, there's a virus like Ebola. . .you know...
Det. Sudler: Yeah.
Minkoff: You've heard this epidemic in Africa. And these sorts of things. . .hemorrhage. . . they're called hemorrhagic viruses or bacterial diseases that cause.. .where you get a lot of bacteria in the blood. Umm.. .usually over.. .I.. .I've had...I used to be in pediatric practice. . .uh.. .and I could see a kid in the office that had a fever

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that looked pretty good, who an hour when I went .when I saw him in the hospital.. .went from kind of feverish and sick looking to looking like her.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Okay. They could have plague. They could have hemophilus influenza. There's a number of different bacterial things or like these African. . . these weird sort of viruses. . .they can do it. And it can be like BOOM.
Det. Sudler: Okay. How would you con. .contract this virus? Is.. .is it something that's.. .you know.. .airborne or. .or can your body produce this itself?.
Minkoff: Well, depends what it is. Like. . .like. . .like this staphylococcus that she had. All of us has probably in our noses.. .under our fingernails. . .and for whatever reason, occasionally some people will get a. . .an invasive infection. They might get boils or furuncles .. .you know. Uh.. . or they might get a bone infection. Or in rare cases, they might get this kind of sepsis. Or I think the way that you put together this thing with her is that she's got a blood clot in her leg... it's sub-clinical, which means the leg's not swollen .. .she's not complaining about her leg but there's a clot in there. So now you've got blood that's not moving.. .that's there.. .and for whatever reason how the staph in one person versus another person gets in or not, we don't know. 11mm. . .you know... unless she had some underlying disease. . .you know... did she have AIDS.. .did she, have some. immune deficiency.. .did she have something like this... which I have no idea. . .umm. . .which would. . .you

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know. . .heighten her. . .was she a diabetic. . .you know.. . which would make her risk higher for something like this. Or sometimes you just see it in normal people for God knows why. But she has a source where she could get an infection. The staph could grow in the leg or get associated with the clot. It could grow and multiply. The body wouldn't counteract it very well. And then all of a sudden you have it all over the bloodstream and you have a sick person.
Det. Sudler: So this could...
Minkoff: You know. . .toxic shock.. .I thought. . .we didn't do a vaginal exam when she got there and that was one of the things when I talked to the pathologist.. .did he check the vagina.. .was there a tampon in there. Because that's that other group of people who get this staph. . .overwhelming staph disease, which is this. . . this thing with the. . . the toxic shock.
Det. Sudler: What time factor were.. .are we looking at for this to like you say go back. ..I mean.. .to. . .to the point ë that it did in Lisa's case?
Minkoff: Well, like I said, it can.. .it can be fast. I've seen it a matter of hours. Uh. . .now how , long the clot, was there or how long this was ëbrewing. I can't say.
Det. Sudler: How. . .what would be a patient's condition before this...before the...the onset of know.... endangering factors to present itself? Would they have fever. . .you know?
Minkoff: Well, they might have fever. Umm. . .they might have body aches. . .I mean. . .they might have sort of flu illness type symptoms. . .umm. .where they just don't

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feel good. You know.. .some of these people get pneumonia first and then sepsis. Uh. . .some of them will have a skin infection and then sepsis. In her case, I think what she had was a blood clot in her leg followed by sepsis.
Sgt. Teunis: How do you get that blood clot? How does that come about?
Minkoff: Well, some of them are due to trauma like the leg got bumped or banged. ..the vein got injured.. .uh... and then in the process of. . .you know.. . if. . .if you if you bumped the vein, broke a little hole in it, and then the body made a clot to block the hole. . .then the clot got just too big and blocked off the vein. and then the clot grew. . .you know. . . you get a clot and there's stuff released in the area that makes more blood clot. Uh. .so it could've been something like that. You know, I was. . .heard afterwards that she had had this car accident. Did she bump her leg.. .ummm...
Sgt. Teunis: Is there any other way of getting clots?
Minkoff: Yeah.. .I mean.. .there's. . .there's a certain percentage ...I mean...if you look at the literature...the medical literature' of people who have pulmonary emboli. . .uh... and say look at youngish women who get pulmonary emboli. . .some of them are on birth control pills... some of them are ëpregnant.. .some of them have nothing. But they'll get a clot in their leg, massive pulmonary embolism, and die. . .and for no apparent reason. Now, ë the thing isn't that common but it occurs. And ëI've seen that too where it's like why did she do this... you know. I've got actually one of our nurses right now who is in the hospital. . .who.. . this is six weeks ago.. .I mean.. .she's healthy.. .she's a diver. .she's'

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a dive instructor.. .she's a healthy girl. . .works... you know. . . a fulltime Emergency Room registered nurse for no apparent reason got acute pulmonary embolism. And she was in the hospital.. . she almost died.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: ëShe went home and then I worked Saturday night and I heard that she was back in Intensive Care. . .she'd gotten another episode of pulmonary embolism. No risk factors really. She smokes a little bit but she's.. .I mean.. .she's basically athletic. .ë.you know.
Det. Sudler: She survived too. . .really?
Minkoff: This girl?
Det. Sudler: Yeah.
Minkoff: Yeah.
Det. Sudler: I.. .1 thought they were fatal pretty much.
Minkoff: Well, it just depends on how big the clot is and how quick you get em.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: So she knew...I mean.. .she came to the Emergency Room. She. . .she. . .you know. . . like. .she.. .she was really sick: And she got an experimental drug for pulmonary emboli just because she works there and we know her and there wasn't anything else to do. ë. And it worked and then she recovered. Uh. . . and she doesn't even have known vein dis. . .you know.. .known leg disease.
Det. Sudler: Uh Huh. . ë
Minkoff: So there are these cases which are.. .who knows why... you know. ë
Det. Sudler: How would you treat that.. .with a blood thinning drug or something?
Minkoff: Yeah. The treatment's lousy. With big pulmonary

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embolism it's lousy. There's this new.. .these... these.. .they're called clot buster drugs. . .we're using them on people with heart attacks now if we get them early. So experimentally we're using them now on people with pulmonary embolism.. .and that's what this other girl got but she was early. . .you know... she was still awake and she was still breathing. . . she, wasn't in shock. And.. .and it worked out on her.
Det. Sudler: What's the window that you had to look through. .you know.. . like.. .you know.. .the golden hour of getting a trauma patient.. .you know.. .to the hospital or something like that.. .1 mean.. .you know. I know that's what we always hear in our training.. .if you get shot you've got a golden hour. . .you know.. .to get to the hospital. With an embolism is the same thing.. .I mean...?
Minkoff: Yeah. I mean. . . it depends how big is the embolism... how much of the pulmonary circulation's getting blocked off. You know.. .like if it's just blocking one lung, you could probably make it. If it's blocking both.. .you know...the...if it's.. .if it's the main pulmonary arteries before the branch between the right and left.. .you know.. .then your chances are .are lousy.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: If it's just a small clot and it goes to one part of the lung.. .you know.. .then you're.. .then it's.. .it's not as bad. Det. Sudler: But the treatment would be basically medication to do that?
Minkoff: Yeah.
Det. Sudler: Or is there anything else that can be done.. .no

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surgery or anything like that?
Minkoff: The surgery. . .the death rate's about 100. You know. . . if you have somebody go in there and try to get the clot out and the patient is really sick, the percentages are terrible. So it's not usually done.
Det. Sudler: You have anything?
Sgt. Teunis: Getting back to when you talked to Janice Johnson... Dr. Johnson. . .uh. . .what time did she first call you?
Minkoff: It was probably an hourish ballpark before I saw Lisa. . .uh. . .because I remember she called and then when the. . .when the guy said "a patient at the double doors", it sorta flashed like oh yeah, I'd gotten the call. . .I hadn't seen her, (CLEARS THROAT) .I hadn't seen her yet. And umm...
Sgt. Teunis: And she told you that this...this person, Lisa McPherson, was very sick?
Minkoff: ëShe said she looked sick. .she looked dehydrated. I think there was somewhere in there' that she thought she'd lost twelve pounds during that day.
Sgt. Teunis: Did she say why she would bring her up to see you in New Port Richey and not maybe another hospital here locally?
Minkoff: Didn't say. I just assumed that.. .I think the week or two before I talked to her about the clinic thing. She knew I worked in the Emergency Room and she. . that's probably.. .I. ..I. . .that's why I assumed she called me. ë
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. So you never discussed going to a different hospital closer?
Minkoff: , No. I basically said "If she's sick and you want

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to bring her up here". I did not assume she was.. I. .you know.. .that she was in this condition.. .I didn't. . .I mean. . .it wasn't sort of. . . it was sort of a can I see her type thing. . .yeah. It wasn't really.. .I didn't really go into what was her condition. . .did she need some other care or more acutely or something like that.
Sgt. Teunis: Is it your opinion then that obviously this girl was real real sick when she was transported up there. Is that pretty much it?
Minkoff: Oh, she was sick.
Sgt. Teunis: Umm.. .when you spoke to. . .now you said that two weeks before you had met Dr. Johnson. Where was that at?
Minkoff: Harrison's. . .had lunch with her.
Sgt. Teunis: At Ft. Harrison. .the Church of Scientology?
Minkoff: No no.. .Harrison's Restaurant right down there.
Det. Sudler: Oh, the grill there?
Minkoff: Yeah. .Ft. Harrison Grill.'
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Right ëhere on Ft. Harrison?
Minkoff: Yeah. I have a partner here in town that we work together. And he'd actually arranged the luncheon with her.
Sgt. Teunis: At your clinic that you're talking about?
Minkoff: The back clinic.
Sgt. Teunis: Where is that at?
Minkoff: Garden and Drew.
Sgt. Teunis: Garden and Drew.
Minkoff: Family Life Chiropractic. ë
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Umm. .so because of ,her background and.. and pain type business is why you met to try to get some referrals?

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Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: Uh. . .she works for the Church of Scientology. Is that correct? Is that your understanding?
Minkoff: That's my understanding.
Sgt. Teunis: Uh. . .we're talking referrals from the Church of Scientology?
Minkoff: Yeah.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Uh. . .do you know what her position is at the Church of Scientology is?
Minkoff: Do I know? No.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay.
Minkoff: I mean. . .I assumed it was some area in the. in either the.. .I know that she doesn't.. .she doesn't have a ii. .she didn't have a license and that she wasn't really practicing or prescribing medicines. But whether she was doing like nurse activities or screening people. . .I assumed it was something in that area. I know, they have a medical area over there where they. . .you know. . . that sick people can get vitamins and stuff like ëthat or get referred to doctors. And my understanding was that she worked in that area. .ummm. . .that we get referrals from.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. So then your understanding was the reason you were set up with her. . . or at least your meeting that you had.. .was because she may have been in that area at the Church of Scientology. the medical side of it.
Minkoff: Right.
Sgt. Teunis: And people with the~. .those type problems...maybe she could refer those to you.
Minkoff: Right. .
Sgt. Teunis: Is that correct?

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Minkoff: Yeah.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Who is your partner in the...the...the other part of the business down here at Garden and Drew?
Minkoff: Rick Argo and Jerry Jarrett. They're the two guys that own Family Life Chiropractic.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Umm. . .during your meeting with Dr. Johnson two weeks prior. . . two to three weeks prior at the ...the restaurant.. .did you discuss your background . . infectious diseases and so on. . .with her at that point?
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. And obviously she probably discussed some of her background.
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: Is that when you learned of Arizona where she used to work?
Minkoff: Right.
Sgt. Teunis: Do you know where. . . is that the only place she's ever practiced medicine that you're aware of?
Minkoff: I don't know.
Sgt. Teunis: You don't know? ë
Minkoff: No.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Uh.. .you mentioned that, when she called you... we discussed that.. .but immediately following your care of Lisa McPherson, you had a discussion with Dr. Johnson because you were a little upset obviously with a younger person passing away. You touched briefly about that to try to figure out what was ë ë going on there. Uh. . .can you get ëinto that a little bit more. . .about that discussion. .what was said by her. . . the condition where she was staying? Did she say she was staying somewhere or anything like that?

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Minkoff: I know afterwards we had gotten.. .we were trying to locate family. . .you know. . .what do we do with this person now. Umm. . . and that we got an address and then a. .a roommate's name. And there was no answer. There was an answering machine and I think we left ëa number. And then there was somebody else who was supposedly where Lisa worked.. .umm. . .and I didn't do this.. .one of the nurse's did. But Jan.. .in terms of Janice it was mostly. . .I mean the talk I had with her didn't last very long. It was like what happened? Umm. . .weight loss.. .sick today... fever. . sore throat in the morning. Then she saw her after dinner sometime. I'm not sure of the exact time. And then she had called. . . could she bring her up cause she looked sick.
Sgt. Teunis: Did she say that.. .the condition before that day on. .on the patient. .did she mention it?
Minkoff: Didn't say anything.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Was there anybody else present with you and Dr. Johnson when you spoke? SIDE TWO OF TAPE ë
Det. Sudler: This is gonna be a continuation of the interview with Dr. Minkoff on side 2. The time now is 12:50.. .I'm sorry.. .11:53 a.m.
Sgt. Teunis: Dr. Minkoff, we were talking about your conversation with Dr. Johnson.
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: Uh. .after the death of Lisa McPherson. , Did you ask her about anything that . . any of the things you found with the patient such as the.. .the skin problems that

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you mentioned and the bruising. . . anything like that? Had you discussed that with her?
Minkoff: Well, I said.. .you know.. ."It looks like she's septic". In fact, the concern I had was that we were all.. .we were all now exposed to know. If it's meningococcus, there's a risk to everybody whose .you know. . .with her.. . touched her. . . or been close to her. Umm. . .so I said.. .1 mean.. .that's.. .it's... I. . .I said to her.. .1 think I said to her that it. it. .it looks like she's got meningococcemia. . .that she's septic. And umm.. .you know. .what was the story on her. And then I.. .I don't think there was anything other than that. . .sore throat in the morning. . .massive diarrhea during the day. . .uh.. .big weight loss.. .and then her seeing her after dinner. . . the circumstances I don't really know prior to them bringing her up.
Det. Sudler: When. .when did you rule out that she didn't have meningitis. . .I guess that's meningococcemia...
Minkoff: Well...
Det. Sudler: The short form of it?
Minkoff: Yeah. Some people with meningococcemia get meningitis. Uh.. .the ones that die fast don't even get meningitis. It kills them before even.. . the bug even gets to the central nervous system. .they. . .they die.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Uh. . .when I came in the next day. . .I came in at noon and my shift started at noon the next day. Umm. . .I called the lab to see if there was anything growing in the blood cultures and they were negative. But by 9. . .my shift goes from noon until 10 or 11... I talked to the lab again at 9:30 that night and they said they had a positive blood culture. And I thought

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yeah, that's what happened.
Det. Sudler: Positive for... ,
Minkoff: They couldn't identify it at that point. And then the next day they said it was staphylococcus. And then I think I talked to the coroner the day I found out there was a positive blood culture. He was surprised because he hadn't. . .he hadn't known about it. And then I think he talked to the lab and they .they identified it as staphylococcus. So that put it together for me.. .1 mean.. .it.. .1.. .that wasn't my number one choice of bacteria but it looked like. . .like she had an overwhelming bacterial infection. And that. . .1 mean. . .that was enough for me to say okay, that's why she died. Uh. . .the embolism is sort of.. . sort of.. .you know. . . frosting on the cake so to speak. So now there's.. .there's a girl whose background medical information I have, no idea. know.. .she could have all these risk factors. But she's got a major risk factor when she's got a clot sitting in the middle of her body and a bacterial infection and it was a battle.
Sgt. Teunis: Have you ever seen Lisa McPherson as a patient before this?
Minkoff: No.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Umm.. obviously Dr. Johnson works for the Church of Scientology. Umm. . . and. . . and Lisa Mcpherson was a member of the Church of Scientology. Have you , ever attended courses at the church?
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: I'm not understanding the Church of Scientology that excuse me on this. But does that mean that you are a member of the Church of Scientology?

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Minkoff: It's a.. .I.. .I mean it's not a membership sort of thing. I...I'm actually a member of a...of a Jewish Temple here in town. And I've taken business and other courses down there. So.. .you know. . .I don't know...
Sgt. Teunis: Are these like courses that you take then with the Church of Scientology.. .is what. . .but you don't actually work for the Church of Scientology?
Minkoff: No.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay.
Minkoff: Staff member.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Uh. . .so you take courses there?
Minkoff: Right.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay.
Minkoff: I pay them.. .course. . .I.. .you know.. .materials I get course materials.. .I have a study. . .you know. . .a study hall where I go do it and I go home. - I mean.. .it's not.. .it's a.. .it's like a. .it's. . .it's like a university sort of thing.
Sgt. Teunis: How long have you taken courses there?
Minkoff: Umm. . .probably five years off and on.
Sgt. Teunis: ë Okay. Here locally?
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: All in Clearwater?
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Uh.. .have you ever. . .how long have you been up in ,New Port Richey. Let me ask you that first.
Minkoff: . Four and a half years. ë
Sgt. Teunis: Four and a half years. And before that did you work anywhere else here locally?
Minkoff: ë Uh. . .Doctors Walk-In Clinics.
Sgt. Teunis: Arid where is that at?

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Minkoff: I worked at one in Countryside. You guys have probably been up there. We used to do all the police and...
Sgt. Teunis: Oh. . .right up on 19?
Minkoff: Yeah.
Sgt. Teunis: Sure..
Det. Sudler: Yeah.. .okay. . .it's by K-Mart.
Minkoff: Yeah. He's got two other clinics, so I worked at three of his clinics. He's got one in Tampa. He's got one in Seffner and one in Brandon. I actually worked at all of them. I worked for him for about two years.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Have you. . .I. .I. .I'm trying to get an understanding of why Lisa McPherson was brought up to you. . .is. .is what I'm trying to get at here.
Minkoff: Uh Huh.
Sgt. Teunis: Umm. . .is this. something that the church has arranged or would like to bring them to you because you have taken courses there before. . .umm. .so they trust you... or. . .do you have any idea. . .can you answer that?
Minkoff: Well, I hardly see any Scientologists up there. 11mm... I mean. . .maybe over the five years a half a dozen people. 11mm. . .most of the church business actually goes to a Dr. Jackson, who is right down here in I'm not sure where his office is but somewhere in the area. 11mm...
Sgt. Teunis: Dr. Jackson?
Minkoff: Yeah, he's a Family Practitioner. He's not a Scientologist.
Sgt. Teunis: Do you know his first name? ë
Minkoff: Umm. .no. But if you've got a phone book, I bet we could find it.

Page 26

Sgt. Teunis: Alright. . .okay.. .go ahead.
Minkoff: He's.. .he's. . .umm. . .I mean. . .an Emergency Room isn't just a decent setting for people who have minor illnesses and. . .so. . .plus it's 40 minutes or 45 minutes away. So. . .I mean. . .it's not.. .I don't . . .I don't ask for the business. In fact I.. .anytime I'm asked about it I actually try to turn the business away. It's just not the appropriate setting. So I know that they've used...
Sgt. Teunis: As far as what?
Minkoff: As far as asking...
Sgt. Teunis: Ask about. .the Church of Scientology asking for you to do this?
Minkoff: Well, there are Scientologists who live in the area want. . .want to come and see me as a practitioner. I really limit my practice to if you have a back problem and you want to come to the back clinic or if you. . . if you have an emergency and you want to come to an Emergency Room.. .fine. ..but I don't have ,. a private practice and I. know...I have a few friends whose kids I take care of. But I try ,not to...
Sgt. Teunis: Okay.
Minkoff: I try not to...
Sgt. Teunis: Alright. Alright. Well. . .and again you.. .1 have to apologize ëfor not understanding. . .you know... how the Church of Scientology works. But. . .you know .obviously friends. . .you know.. .you're gonna go to a friend of yours, who's a doctor.. .you know.,.. for help and...
Minkoff: Uh Huh. ë ë
Sgt. Teunis: And...and l was just wondering if the church likes

Page 27

to send umm. . .their members to a. . .a doctor such as yourself that has had five years worth of courses and they trust you more. Is that kind of what you believe is...?
Minkoff: It's really not.. .actually it's a neutral opinion I think honestly. They're very careful about people with medical problems. . .not mixing it with what they do.. .you know what I mean. .it's. . .it's a very standard line that anyone who's sick should go to a medical doctor. And really the thing says medical doctor. It's not even chiropractor or any sort of alternate practitioner. It's really seen by a medical doctor .have a thorough medical examination. . .whatever the necessary treatment is.. . is get the necessary treatment because that is not a service really provided by the church or it's thing.. .1 mean it's really sort of.. .and so I know the people ,and they'd get referred out. And I know this. . . I'm pretty sure his name is Jackson.. .that he sees a lot of people who are sick and who are on church lines for whatever .who need medical care. . .whether they've got chest pain or they've got an earache.. . that they get taken care of because the church just doesn't get. . .they just.. .it's not our business.
Det. Sudler: So their beliefs aren't like the Christian Scientists? I guess they kinda shy away from medical care?
Minkoff: Yeah. I mean.. .it's. . .the idea of it is.. .is that it's more of a spiritual type thing.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: You's like a.. .it's like.. .you .if you are. . .like I'm. . .I'm Jewish. . .so I wouldn't really go to the synagogue and think that my. . .my

Page 28

my hangnail was gonna get cured because that just isn't what they're about. And it's the same thing there. It's not designed. . .you know.. .for people who have. . .who have acute medical problems. In fact, most people who go on there who have acute medical problems are sent to the doctor so that they can get whatever care they need and then go from there.
Det. Sudler: Is there anything umm.. . in the church for dealing with any type of ailment or medical problem. . . anything that they would umm.. .I don't know.. .in their literature or anything to. . . a diet or things that they would prescribe basically?
Minkoff: I mean there's some suggestions on vitamins to.. .just in terms of nutrition.. .you know. . . that you make sure you get enough B vitamins and this sort of stuff.. .but not as a.'. .not as a particular handling for. . .if it's a medical problem.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Sgt. Teunis: When you talk to.. .getting back to Janice Johnson up at your hospital, you.. .you know. . .you mentioned that .you know. . .obviously Lisa McPherson at her age... passing away at that. . .that age. . .it concerned you. Was it also a question to you knowing obviously that she was that ill why they brought her to you?
Minkoff: Well, I assumed she brought her to me because I had met Janice. . .she knew me. And. . .you know. .she felt I could. . .you know. . . she knew somebody. Now, whether she. . . it was night. . .whether this guy Jackson or ë contacts inthe area.. .you know.. .right in the Clearwater area...I can' have to ask her about that.

Page 29

Sgt. Teunis: Did.. .okay. . .and. . .and getting back.. .did you ask her how they.. . they had to transport Lisa McPherson up there. Now, obviously that was by vehicle but did. . . did they say that they had to pick her up or... you know. . .physically carry her?
Minkoff: I. . .I didn't. ..I didn't ask them and I don't know.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Umm.. .let me ask you a question as. . .as a doctor maybe. But if. . . if I told you that Lisa McPherson was so sick that she had to physically be picked up and put into that vehicle, wouldn't that be something you'd want to get her to the closest place for treatment?
Minkoff: Uh. . .if I was there. . .depending on what it looked like. . .I would want to get as closest place. I mean I would want to get her seen right away.
Sgt. Teunis: Obviously.. .if somebody's that ill where you have to physically pick them up...
Minkoff: Yeah.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. Umm. . .when it comes to that point.. .at least me. . .and not having much in the medical background...
Minkoff: Right.
Sgt. Teunis: I would think that it's time to get this person to , the closest medical place possible. If not 911... driving down the block to the closest hospital. Is that sorta like the normal standard of care? I... I.. .correct me if I'm wrong.
Minkoff: Well, it.. .you know.. .if the person's unconscious... if they're not breathing.. .if you have to lift them up.. .absolutely. If.. .you know.. .if they're awake... if they're breathing.. .they look sick but they're weak.. .you know.. .maybe they're. . .maybe driving them up there. .you know. . . forty minutes later was viable.

Page 30

Sgt. Teunis: Well, it's hard to say.. .alright.. .I understand that.
Det. Sudler: I haven't been able to talk to Janice. . .you know... Johnson. . .Dr. Johnson. . .directly. But was there any umm.. .uh. .procedures taken during the transport. I. mean. . .did they try CPR? What did they do.. .monitor her vital signs. . .do anything like that? Were you aware of any of that to happen?
Minkoff: , I'm not aware of it. I asked her. . .because when she got there, it looks like. . .it looked like she had either just arrested or.. .you know.. .it's hard... again I can't say when.
Det. Sudler: Okay.
Minkoff: Didn't look like she had been dead for a long time. That's all I could tell you.. Umm.. .and she said that she was.. .she'd. . .she was breathing while they were going up is what she told me.
Det. Sudler: Okay. ,
Minkoff: Uh. . .because I don't believe CPR was being done in. the car. I'm sure it wasn't.
Det. Sudler: Okay. . .
Minkoff: know...I suppose it's possible that she arrested right as they were driving up.. .you know... I can't say. . .I can't say.
Det. Sudler: Who was with her.. .do you know?
Minkoff: Who was with...
Det. Sudler: Dr. Johnson. .
Minkoff: Somebody else drove and I'm not sure who,.
Det. Sudler: Okay. .
Minkoff: I never saw the person. ëë
Det. Sudler: Okay. Somebody else drove the. . .the vehicle?
Minkoff: Yeah. As far as I know, somebody else drove it and that Janice was with her in the car.

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Det. Sudler: Okay.
Sgt. Teunis: Now, why do you say that? Did somebody tell you that or...?
Det. Sudler: Janice told me.. .I. . .I think Janice told me she was with her.
Sgt. Teunis: Okay. And somebody else drove the car?
Minkoff: , Yeah.
Det. Sudler: So she was monitoring her condition then?
Minkoff: I assume so.
Det. Sudler: I guess she'd probably be the most. . .you know... appropriate person I guess to do that.
Minkoff: I don't know.
Sgt. Teunis: I think that's all we have.
Det. Sudler: Dr. Minkoff, I can't think of any other question to ask.
Minkoff: Okay. ë
Det. Sudler: At this point, I'm gonna go ahead and end the interview. The time is 12:06 a.m.

REPORTING: Det. Ron Sudler/elg ID NO: 608 DATE: 4/15/96 E STATUS: Active EXCEPTION TYPE: _______ DATE CLEARED:___________ LARANCE TYPE ______ 1. Extradition Declined Arrest 2. AR of Prim. Offense, SecondaryOffense. w/o Pros Adult ____Juv ë 3. Death of Offender , 5. Prosecution Deci Exceptional 4. V/W Refused to Cooperate, 6. Juv./No Custody Unfounded , REVIEWING:____________________ DATE: ë SA INFO: ____________ 31