25 Years After Wesbecker’s Rampage Another Prozac Tragedy in Louisville, KY

Maddie Yates

Maddie Yates, Teen’s Prozac-induced suicide

Yet another Louisville antidepressant-induced tragedy but certainly not the only one over the past 25 years. How very sad and tragic that they continue this many years later … Maddie Yates, a teen in Louisville, KY has committed suicide on Prozac after posting online that she was going to do so. Louisville, KY, of all places – right where Joseph Wesbecker, on Prozac, went on the 1989 big shooting spree at the printing company where he worked in Louisville, KY thus blowing open the controversy about Prozac and violence.

From my book Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare, we read about this case: “On September 14, 1989, Joseph Wesbecker blew the lid off the Pandora’s box unveiling one of the most terrible of the paradoxical reactions to Prozac when he walked into his former place of employment, Louisville, Kentucky’s Standard Gravure Corp., took the elevator to the third floor, and as the elevator doors opened, started firing with an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle. In what authorities called a ‘blood bath you don’t get over,’ Wesbecker took eight lives and wounded twelve others before taking his own life.”

When the makers of Prozac were sued by the surviving family members of those who lost their lives along with some of the survivors of the shooting spree we were not told, but later learned, the case was a set up to make Prozac appear completely safe and not the instigator of this blood bath. Apparently it worked well in Louisville, KY with few hearing that Judge John Potter was brave enough to spend the next two years proving this case in his courtroom was settled by Lilly in the middle of the trial and then allowed to go to a not guilty verdict. Why? So that Lilly could go on national television bragging that Prozac had been found to be safe and not the cause of this tragic violence.

No one ever knew just how much was paid out on the case, but in one instance Judge Potter found indication of one survivor getting about $50 Million. We do know that it has been reported that during the decade that Mitch Daniels, now the head of Purdue where we recently had another bizarre case of a violent murder by a young man suffering depression, headed Eli Lilly there was a total of ONE BILLION paid out to keep all this controversy about Prozac and violence and suicide quiet.

So here is yet another tragic and senseless death as a result of that silence TWENTY-FIVE years later!!! Although reported as a suicide I say this was NOT suicide! This was murder, premeditated murder! And I will explain why it qualifies as such….

Who is responsible for Maddie’s death and why do I call it a “premeditated” murder?

#1 Eli Lilly, the makers of Prozac, who were told by their own scientists BEFORE Prozac went on the market that the drug itself was actually CAUSING suicide and chose to ignore those warnings and instead chose to blame the suicides on the patient’s “underlying disorder.”

#2 The FDA for issuing the strongest warning possible for increased suicidal ideation for anyone under the age of 25 who takes ANY antidepressant they have ever approved and ANY antidepressant they approve in the future except for Prozac which works like all the rest of them.

#3 The doctor who was stupid enough to give a child this drug when it is in the same family of drugs as all the others with Black Box Warnings for suicide. What is wrong with reading just a little research when a life is at stake – especially a life like Maddie’s that had only just begun?

Everything Maddie lists as her reasons for her death are all commonly reported side effects of antidepressants – the feeling like you are evil or have something evil inside you, cursing and saying hurtful things you do not even remember saying and certainly do not mean to say, and seeing no hope of ever getting better since these drugs only make depression worse, instead of better, because the hypothesis behind the drugs is backwards. Serotonin is NOT low in depression, but elevated. What is low is a person’s ability to metabolize serotonin – exactly what antidepressants are designed to do thus leading to long term worsening of depression.

I repeat, this was premeditated murder and it needs to stop!

I am so sick and tired of seeing these! For 25 years I have spent every penny I had trying to stop it, to get the truth out before more die, but the almighty $$$$ is far too important to those responsible not only for the death of Maddie Yates, but far too many others! How many more are we going to allow them to kill? Yes, I said “allow” because we are condoning these deaths by allowing these drugs to remain on the market and to continue their ridiculous advertising of them.

Maddie Yate’s original story and what she posted online: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/a-high-school-student-committed-suicide-after-posting-a-mess?fb_action_ids=10203407662933182&fb_action_types=og.comments&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & http://ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: http://store.drugawareness.org/  And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships for the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan.

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

The FDA also now warns that any abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant can produce suicide, hostility or psychosis. These reactions can either come on very rapidly or even be delayed for months depending upon the adverse effects upon sleep patterns when the withdrawal is rapid!

 

Louisville Male High School in Louisville, Ky., is mourning the death of student Maddie Yates, who committed suicide after posting a heartbreaking video explaining her decision to YouTube.

Jefferson County Public Schools temporarily shut down student access to Twitter and YouTube after learning of Yates’ passing and the video she made.

She was planning to participate in a fundraising walk to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention in memory of her friend, Brianna Berrier, who also committed suicide almost exactly one year before Yates’ passing.

She was planning to participate in a fundraising walk to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention in memory of her friend, Brianna Berrier , who also committed suicide almost exactly one year before Yates' passing.

Yates and two friends visited Berrier’s grave on April 12, the anniversary of her death, just days before Yates took her own life.

By her social media activities, Yates seemed a bright, happy youth, posting smiling pictures with friends and maintaining a makeup channel on YouTube.

In the above video, she encourages kids to be accepting of others and preaches the importance of staying strong and optimistic.

These videos exist in stark contrast to Yates’ final video, simply entitled “Important,” where she speaks emotionally of her love for others and declares herself “not a good person.”

These videos exist in stark contrast to Yates' final video, simply entitled "Important," where she speaks emotionally of her love for others and declares herself "not a good person."

A still from the final video.

The video is a heart-shattering look into her struggle with depression and anxiety. On her decision to commit suicide, she said, “I just don’t see how this is a bad idea,” and described it as the difference between deciding to jump from a burning building or staying in it and dying “a slow, excruciating death.”

“I’ve been like this for so long,” she said, “and there’s still a chance that the worst day might be coming.”

Yates was a writer, some of her work and biographies hint at her struggles.

Yates was a writer, some of her work and biographies hint at her struggles.

Her Booksie bio contains the Doug Stanhope quote: “Life is like a movie, if you’ve sat through more than half of it and it’s sucked every second so far, it probably isn’t gonna get great right at the end and make it all worthwhile. None should blame you for walking out early.”

In a poem posted to her Teen Ink page called “Falling Asleep,” she envisions herself as a “cold dead body.”

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12/30/2000 – McDermott on Prozac, Paxil AND Deseryl?

If the Boston Herald’s source got it right, McDermott was on one heck of a
combo!!! All three are contraindicated in mixing any of the three with even
one of the others, much less two!! His serotonin levels must have been out of
sight using three serotonergic meds! No one should be surprised that he went
psychotic on this combination, even if the drugs were given in succession,
rather than together.

Let me also point out that the so called “Prozac defense” HAS been used
successfully several times. And as far as I know Kip Kinkle’s attorney never
used the information on the drugs in his murder case.

Prozac would also have been found guilty in a case that is almost identical
this one – that of Joseph Wesbecker in Louisville, KY, who also after being
treated with Prozac went on a shooting spree with an AK47 where he worked.
That is it would have been used successfully if Eli Lilly had not bought off
the plaintiffs in the middle of the trial and then neglected to disclose that
payoff to both the judge and the jurors. Judge John Potter deserves a metal
for taking Lilly and the plaintiffs to court and forcing them to admit the
truth of what happened. Although it took him a couple of years he said that
he did it because he did not want his courtroom turned into an advertising
agency for Prozac and pointed out that this is a public safety issue.
Amazingly Lilly has used that case to defend their drug ever since! (Although
my book discusses the Wesbecker case briefly, the book Power to Harm covers
the Wesbecker case in detail.)

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org
________________________________

“According to the source, who is familiar with the still mounting case,
McDermott had been taking Paxil, Prozac and Desyrel – all of which are SSRIs
designed to treat depression, social phobias or anxiety.”

Source: Suspect was taking drugs for depression

by Dave Wedge, Tom Farmer and Jose Martinez
Friday, December 29, 2000

The hulking computer technician accused of gunning down seven of his
co-workers at a Wakefield high-tech firm this week suffered from a host of
mental illnesses – including schizophrenia – for which he was taking a trio
of antidepressants, a source told the Herald yesterday.

Accused killer Michael M. McDermott at his arraignment Wednesday. (Staff
photo by Matthew West) “He’s got some serious psychological issues and a
long (psychiatric) history,” the source said of 42-year-old Michael
“Mucko” McDermott.

McDermott, a divorced Navy veteran from Marshfield who lived most recently in
Haverhill, suffered from severe depression, paranoia and schizophrenia, and
had been in psychiatric treatment for some time, according to the source who
spoke on condition of anonymity.

To cope with his mental disorders, McDermott was prescribed several Selective
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, designed to increase brain
serotonin. Low levels of brain serotonin can lead to depression and anxiety
disorders.

A source familiar with the investigation said McDermott’s supervisors at
Edgewater Technology Inc. did not appear to know he was using the medication.

McDermott is being held without bail on seven counts of first-degree murder
in Tuesday’s massacre at Edgewater. Prosecutors have said McDermott wielded a
shotgun and semiautomatic rifle with premeditated precision and extreme
atrocity, hunting down workers in the company’s accounting and human
resources offices but letting others flee unharmed.

He was arrested by police who found him sitting in the lobby near the bodies
of two of his victims. At least two Edgewater employees witnessed the
rampage, including one woman who hid behind a chair and her coat beneath a
desk in the accounting office, where two of her co-workers were killed.

Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley has said McDermott may have
been seeking vengeance over the impending docking of his paychecks by
Edgewater to satisfy an IRS demand for back taxes. Sources say the IRS orders
would have left McDermott with just $275 every two weeks.

But investigators also are looking for clues about what drove the man to kill
by delving into the contents of computers seized from McDermott’s office and
home, where police also found bomb-making literature and materials. One
source said McDermott had attempted to wipe out the hard drive of his office
computer the day of the shootings.

Yesterday, neither Coakley nor McDermott’s defense attorney, Kevin
Reddington, would discuss the case or McDermott’s mental state and
psychological history. However, at Wednesday’s arraignment, Reddington raised
the specter of an insanity defense by saying his client had been seeing
psychiatrists and asking the judge to OK his continued medication.

Insanity defenses rarely succeed. The so-called Prozac defense has been
unsuccessfully attempted in dozens of murder cases nationwide, including in
the case of Kip Kinkel, the teenager who killed his family and two
schoolmates in Springfield, Ore.

According to the source, who is familiar with the still mounting case,
McDermott had been taking Paxil, Prozac and Desyrel – all of which are SSRIs
designed to treat depression, social phobias or anxiety.

The source also said orders have been sent by doctors to the Middlesex County
Sheriff’s office so McDermott can receive his medications in the Cambridge
jail. He will be examined by psychiatrists some time in the next week, the
source said.

The revelations about McDermott’s psychiatric history emerged as his
co-workers returned to St. Joseph’s Church – where so many of them had sought
refuge and solace in the hours after the shootings – for a memorial service
in honor of their seven slain colleagues.

“We’re all hurting and grieving, but I can’t tell you how much we’re pulling
together as a team,” Edgewater Technology Chief Executive Officer Shirley
Singleton said after meeting with her employees for the first time since the
shootings.

The company has started a memorial fund for the families of the slain workers
with a $70,000 donation. Singleton also said grief counseling, which began
yesterday at the firm, would continue as long as employees need help.

She declined to discuss the shootings that claimed the lives of Jennifer
Bragg Capobianco, 29; Janice Hagerty, 46; Louis Javelle, 58; Rose Manfredi,
48; Paul Marceau, 36; Cheryl Troy, 50, and Craig Wood, 29.

State and federal authorities are seeking the origin of McDermott’s weapons,
including the AK-47-style rifle and 12-gauge shotgun that he is alleged to
have used to kill the four women and three men, a .32-caliber pistol found in
his pants pocket and a large-caliber hunting rifle found in a locker by his
desk.

Haverhill police began looking for McDermott late Christmas Eve after someone
reported hearing gunfire in the woods near Crystal Lake, where a man fitting
his description was spotted by a car with the license plate “MUCKO.”
Officers traced the car back to McDermott’s apartment but could not locate
him despite several more visits Christmas Day.

One day later, investigators believe McDermott lugged the weapons unnoticed
into the Harvard Mills complex, one law enforcement source said. Two
soft-sided gun cases were found under his desk.

“He walked them right in and placed them under his desk,” the source said.
“They had a skeleton crew working that day and no one apparently saw him or
recognized what the cases were for.”

The source said McDermott loaded the shotgun with buckshot at his work
station before embarking on his killing spree. The source, a longtime
investigator, said the carnage he witnessed in the shooting’s aftermath left
him shaken.

“I was sick to my stomach over it,” he said. “It was unlike any other
murder scene because it was in a work setting. It was almost surreal. One of
the (dead) women had her head resting on her arm like she knew she was going
to get it.”

Meanwhile, gun control advocates held a rally outside the State House to urge
lawmakers to ban the sale of assault weapons like McDermott’s. Although
Massachusetts already has the country’s toughest gun law, it does not ban the
sale of assault weapons manufactured before September 1994.

“They have no legitimate use in a civilized society other than for law
enforcement,” said Stop Handgun Violence co-founder John E. Rosenthal.

Kevin Sowyrda, spokesman for the Gun Owners Action League, declined to
comment specifically on an assault weapon ban but said, “The last thing we
need in this period of mourning are political rallies.”

Donations may be made to the Edgewater Wakefield Memorial Foundation, Box
2133, Wakefield, Mass. 01880-6133. Donations may also be made at Fleet bank
branches.

Karen E. Crummy contributed to this report.

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