Susan Nelles and Sick Children's Hospital
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Death of a Little Princess: The Tragic Story of the Murder of JonBenet Ramsey
by Carlton Smith

A portrait of the Ramsey family and computer business; key events in the investigation; profiles of Boulder, Colorado, Police Chief Tom Koby and District Attorney Alex Hunter; a chronological account of the media reaction to the murder itself, child beauty pageants; and the feud between the Ramsey "dream team," the police department and the district attorney's office. Ex-FBI criminal profiler Robert Ressler's consultation on the case.



Sick Children's hospital investigated why infants were dying in their cardiac unit. An experimental testing technique indicated the infants were poisoned with digoxin, a fast acting difficult to trace heart medication. A police investigation focused on Susan Nelles, the nurse scheduled on duty at the time of deaths. After her arrest the deaths in the cardiac unit sharply dropped.

The case collapses

Nelles had not been on duty for several of the deaths, she shifts with other nurses. All of the staff had access to the same fast acting poisons that Nelles did. The fact Nelles asked for legal counsel when confronted with the accusation as proof of her guilt was also held against against her. The court ruled a fundamental legal is not to be construed as evidence of guilt. The deaths ceasing in Nelles absence was explained by the hospital's new policy of restricting on access to digoxin. A preliminary dismissed the action due to lack of evidence of Nelles involvement.

After a Royal Commission on the deaths concluded at least eight infants had been murdered, suspicion fell on another nurse. No one was charged.

Faults in the commission's theories exposed

Deaths in the cardiac care increased, the total hospital death rate of infants did not. Previously the hospital moved infants out of intensive care earlier than in the past. After Nelles arrest the policy was reversed to keep infants in intensive care longer. The total deaths rate during similar periods of time and circumstances between the two units were almost identical. The digoxin found in the deceased babies may never have been present. The test, an experimental method, detected byproducts of digoxin after it broke down in the body, gave false results to other chemicals and labeled them as by products of digoxin as well. It impossible to determine if digoxin was used.

The nurses working on the ward blamed the hospital's policies. They also knew the test being used to find digoxin was experimental. Their solidarity never wavered. And

In the end the government paid Susan Nelles legal bills.

Susan Nelles Appellant v. Her Majesty The Queen in right of Ontario

Ms. Nelles retained John Sopinka as her counsel in launching a civil suit against Ontario's attorney general and Metro Toronto Police alleging malicious prosecution.

There is a tragedy to that story that is seldom noticed. Her father, a doctor, died in the midst of it all of a heart attack. No one can escape the conclusion that Susan Nelles experiences profoundly changed and nearly ruined her life, and killed her father.

Kari & Associates
PO Box 6166
Olympia, WA 98507

Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

Justice and Injustice

The Cases That Haunt Us: From Jack the Ripper to Jonbenet Ramsey, the FBI's Legendary Mindhunter Sheds Light on the Mysteries That Won't Go Away
by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker
By applying criminal personality profiling techniques he developed while stalking more current killers, Douglas provides a fresh, sage outlook on some disturbing history. He also sheds new light on San Francisco's Zodiac Killer, the Black Dahlia murder, Bambi Bembenek, the Boston Strangler, and the continuing mystery of who killed 6-year-old JonBent Ramsey. Douglas sometimes reveals his chief suspect; other times he simply narrows down who the killer is not. In the JonBent mystery (in which Douglas was hired by the Ramseys to find the killer), he presents a convincing case for why he believes the girl's parents are not guilty of murder. Douglas is founder of the FBI's Serial Killer Profiling Unit.

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