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  1. #1
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    TN - Lookout Mt. Doctor Accused of Poisoning Wife with Barium

    I haven't started a thread here in years, so I hope this is in the right place. I did a search and nothing came up.

    This has been on our local news and now the national news is starting to pick it up. A local doctor has been accused of poisoning his wife, who has had surgery and a long illness. The wife is a pharmacist, so I think she knows what she's talking about.

    It's like a future Lifetime movie of the week.

    (It's also a little uncanny for those who followed the Gail Palmgren case - Gail was also a pharmacist, and this is the mountain directly across the river from Signal. Now the husband has hired the same law firm that represented Matt Palmgren, Davis and Hoss.)

    Here's a video from Nancy Grace:
    http://cnn.com/video/?/video/crime/2...-poisoning.hln

    WRCB TV: Wife's Attorney Speaks Out
    Liesa Hill's attorney, Chrissy Mincy, says Hill lived in fear for nearly five months at her Lookout Mountain home, as investigators discreetly ran lab tests on a substance Hill claims her husband, Dr. Hal Hill, put in her coffee.
    "She had a lot of stomach problems; she was very lethargic," Mincy says. "When she stopped drinking the coffee, she got better."
    Test results show there was a high amount of barium in her coffee.
    "When we got the lab results back the police informed her that the symptoms she'd been experiencing were consistent with heavy metal poisoning," Mincy says.

    Chatt. Times-Free Press: Doctor Denies Wife's Allegations of Poisoning
    The firm Davis & Hoss is representing Hal Hill, attorney Lee Davis said. He cautioned against drawing conclusions before the investigation into Liesa Hill's allegations is complete.
    "We strongly deny any allegations of wrong-doing or misconduct toward his wife," he said. "I expect there will be a full investigation, and I hope that nobody will rush to any conclusions."
    . . . Barium is a heavy metal that comes in many forms, said Dr. John Benitez, director of the Tennessee Poison Center. Not all forms are toxic.
    . . . Barium sulfate is used for medical imaging procedures like X-rays, Benitez said. "It's how we do X-rays of the gastrointestinal system," he said. "People swallow this, and that is how we can tell what the gastro-intestinal system lining looks like. It's not poisonous in that case because the body doesn't absorb it."
    The types of barium that are poisonous are soluble, so they can be absorbed by the body, Benitez said. He said that ingesting soluble barium would cause symptoms like muscle cramping and eventually could lead to death.
    ~ more at link ~

    More Video and Stuff about Barium: Here on Channel 9

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
    It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. ~ James Thurber
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
    Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. ~ Mark Twain

  2. #2
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    Thank goodness she got the protection order and he is out of the home now! From his work it seems he would have access to this substance, right?

    Will be interested in following the case to see what is proven and if he is charged...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reader View Post
    Thank goodness she got the protection order and he is out of the home now! From his work it seems he would have access to this substance, right?

    Will be interested in following the case to see what is proven and if he is charged...
    Yes, it's scary! I wonder at what point she realized it was the coffee? Just chilling.

    I'm assuming that he did have access to barium, but of course no one has admitted that yet. He works as an "infectious disease" doctor, so probably he does.

    I will stay on top of this story since it will be on our local news.

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
    It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. ~ James Thurber
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
    Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. ~ Mark Twain

  4. #4
    SmoothOperator's Avatar
    SmoothOperator is offline Sadly what connects all these puzzles is that there's a victim@the heart of each
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    Yes I caught a glimpse of this case on NG last night but was not aware it was from here in TN and certainly wasn't aware how eerily close and similar as far as location and dynamics of the couple are to Gail's case...

    It appears as though they may attempt a defense of something similar to the Munchausen by proxy.. In saying that the wife had access to the barium and that it was she, herself that was poisoning her very own coffee.. Of course the problem there is that most M by proxy people do not actually suffer from a real illness or poison themselves... They either are the ones poisoning another they are the caretaker of.. Or if it is themselves they actually fake the ailments... Both of course with the motive of attention seeking..

    So, it appears as though hubby may have a very difficult time convincing people that the wife was actually poisoning herself with barium that very likely could have and eventually would have led to her death..

    So my question is this.. Is there any proof that the wife had actually ingested barium(regardless of whether self administered or hubby administered).. Is there proof that the wife had barium in her system?.. Or are we dealing with a case where once she became suspicious that she quit drinking the coffee and sent off a sample of it to a lab to be tested?.. Therefor the only proof is that the coffee tested indeed contained barium.. But there are not tests that prove that the wife in fact had ingested the barium and therefor shows barium in her system.. That's the slippery slope I fear could be at play here and why I wanted to know the above specifics...

    Her husband very well could have been poisoning her and what she says is absolutely true.. But where I see a possible problem is if they only have proof that the barium was in the coffee but no test run and there for no proof that actually barium had been ingested by her.. If the latter is the case then it poses a problem due to the fact that Imo it does leave that door open that the wife could have been in fact creating a M by proxy type situation using herself.. Faking the ailments.. And placing the blame on the husband as who was putting the barium in her coffee which was tested positive for barium... Kwim?..

    I don't know enough about the details yet but I do hope that there were tests run that will prove she actually had barium in her system.. With that proven it makes hubby's claims of M by proxy that much less likely and definitely less likely to be able to prove she'd poisoned herself which very likely could've ended in her death..

    Looking forward to learning more details to see which of the above scenarios is more likely to be accurate of what's going on in this case...
    The quickest way to become a fool is to argue with one..

  5. #5
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    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnchausen_syndrome"]Münchausen syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Münchausen syndrome is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention or sympathy to themselves.

    Münchausen syndrome is related to Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP/MSP), which refers to the abuse of another being, typically a child, in order to seek attention or sympathy for the abuser.

    ~jmo~

  6. #6
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    Doctor accused of poisoning his wife

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? The media and Nancy Grace have a way of determining who is guilty and have the influence to sway public opinion. Dr. Hill's wife is a pharmacist and would have the knowledge to know what drug to take to give her similar symptoms as metal poisoning. Are there any medical tests proving the metal was injected by her? Poison testing is not done until there is reason to suspect that is what is going on.

    What kind of surgery did she have? If she was having severe gastric symptoms many tests would have been done to determine what kind of surgery was needed; gallbladder, endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scan. I would be more interested in knowing more details before deciding he is the guilty one. Seems to me it's his word against hers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLgirl View Post
    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? The media and Nancy Grace have a way of determining who is guilty and have the influence to sway public opinion. Dr. Hill's wife is a pharmacist and would have the knowledge to know what drug to take to give her similar symptoms as metal poisoning. Are there any medical tests proving the metal was injected by her? Poison testing is not done until there is reason to suspect that is what is going on.

    What kind of surgery did she have? If she was having severe gastric symptoms many tests would have been done to determine what kind of surgery was needed; gallbladder, endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scan. I would be more interested in knowing more details before deciding he is the guilty one. Seems to me it's his word against hers.
    Welcome to Websleuths...there are some interesting facts in this case that are contradictory

  8. #8
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    Barium poisoning

    Another thing to consider is that the same barium used in rat poisoning is also used in glazes for ceramics. Could it be possible the coffee mug was leaching barium?



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