Friday, July 22, 2005

Who is Joan Wood?

Joan Wood was the Medical Examiner for Pinellas-Pasco Counties in Florida, and was responsible for the autopsy and forensic investigation of the death of Lisa McPherson at Scientology's "Flag Base" in Clearwater, Florida in 1995.

Wood changed the report on Lisa's death several times, originally listing the cause of death as "bed rest and dehydration", later changing it to "homicide, cause of death dehydration", and finally listing the death as an "accident", deleting any reference to cause except for the blood clot that formed in her leg and travelled to her lung.

Reportedly Wood was under intense pressure from the "Church" to not implicate them in her report, and reportedly the "Church" told Wood they could reveal information "extremely damaging to her career and reputation".

After Wood changed her report, the Pinellas-Pasco prosecutors were forced to drop the felony charges against Scientology when Circuit Judge Susan Shaeffer strongly hinted she would through the case out. The prosecutors later said Wood had "botched the case beyond repair".

After the debacle, Joan Wood was reappointed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, but resigned her position shortly thereafter, citing "severe job-related stress" but denying that Scientology "got to her". Since her retirement, she has been extremely hard to find as many other cases she had investigated have fallen apart because of her alleged malpractice, although she has been continuously sought to testify by many defense attorneys seeking to impeach her previous reports.

The judge in the Lisa McPherson case, Susan Shaeffer, later recused herself from the civil trial because of a personal relationship with one of the lawyers in the case, then recently retired as well due to lung cancer. Judge Shaeffer had at one point made the comment that she "felt sad" that the Scientologists were forced to see people protesting the death of Lisa McPherson in Clearwater.


Blogger Thetan Lover said...

Have you ever seen McPherson's autopsy photos? I have, though I seriously wish that I hadn't. That poor woman was *covered* in bruises and cockroach bites. What the fuck did those people do to her? I cannot believe that they got away with this. It's despicable.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Xenuphobe said...

Yup. Totally despicable.

11:05 AM  
Blogger HappyClam said...

I meant to mention the photos in the post.

How anyone - trained medical examiner or not - could possibly have examined Lisa's body and not come to the 1000% certain conclusion that she was horribly mistreated (as in "tortured") is absolutely mysterious.

The only logical conclusion is that either Joan Wood's report was either biased by influence from Scientology, or Joan Wood is a quantifiable moron.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what did Scientology have on Joan to make her change her mind. What activity did she partake in that made her succumb to their pressure. What did she not want anyone to know? Was she having an affair with a married man? Or woman? She allowed her career to be derailed by these people because of a secret she carried to her death???

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was a combination of threats and blackmail. She wasn't thinking clearly. Whatever CoS had on her could not be worse than what happened. NEVER negotiate with terrorists...and CoS are terrorists.

6:30 PM  

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