DANDAR: She certainly would have made it to the hospital--it's only a
few blocks down the road--alive, and where she would have been
provided the appropriate care.
JEANNETTE-MEYERS: Why was Lisa taken so far away when it was clear
that she was ill?
[Rinder says nothing, but looks very uncomfortable]
VAUGHAN: I think that the answer to that question comes in the doctor
who was at the New Port Richey Hospital was a Scientologist. Lisa
McPherson had obviously had some mental problems, and I think that
people thought that the best situation would be for her to see someone
who was a Scientologist. The people at the hospital had no idea what
had killed her. The people who were taking care of her did not know
that she was going to die. It was an accident, and it was sudden.
WAYNE SHELUR: One of the first things that gave investigators great
pause was the inordinate loss of weight on the part of Lisa McPherson.
VO: Wayne Shelur is with the Clearwater Police Department.
SHELUR: The paramedics who attended her at the scene of the wreck
estimated her weight to be around 150 pounds. But once she was
pronounced dead her weight at the time of death was 108 pounds and her
appearance was rather cadaverous.
JEANNETTE-MEYERS: She lost more than 40 pounds in 17 days?
SHELUR: That's what it would appear.
[autopsy report; death certificate; Fort Harrison; highlighted words
from autopsy report "Bed rest and severe dehydration"]
VO: An autopsy indeed showed that Lisa McPherson died of a pulmonary
embolism, a blood clot that traveled to her lung. But according to
the coroners office, it was caused in part by what happened during
those 17 days. The autopsy report says Lisa's death was due to bed
rest and severe dehydration.
[Joan Wood in court room; footage of Lisa;
autopsy photos of Lisas
VO: In fact, the medical examiner, Dr. Joan Wood, theorized that
Lisa McPherson had little to no fluids for the last five to ten days
of her life. She also believes that Lisa had bruises and insect bites
all over her body.
[Scieno picket--signs say "Sid Klein, whats your crime?", "Give
protection, not prejudice", "Dead beat dads and child molesters stay
VO: The church, which says it will prove the lab findings are flawed,
has taken to the streets to protest what they say is a smear campaign
by the Clearwater government to discredit the church.
[Fort Harrison; Clearwater courtroom]
VO: Both sides now await a decision by a Florida prosecutor on
possible criminal charges in the Lisa McPherson case, a decision that
could come any day.
[Dell Liebreich and Kristin Jeannette-Meyers walking]
VO: Meanwhile, Dell Liebreich's battle with Scientology is a civil
matter that has turned decidedly uncivil.
RINDER: What her motivation is? Money. Pure and simple. She is
pretending to represent the interests of Lisa McPherson. She is
representing Lisa McPherson's estate. I can assure you that the last
thing that Lisa McPpherson would be doing would be suing her church.
LIEBREICH: To them this is bad PR, but I want people to find out, you
know, all over the world, for it not to ever happen to anybody else.
What happened to Lisa.
[CW candlelight vigil, bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace"]
BRYANT GUMBEL (in studio): Heber Jentzsch is the president of the
Church of Scientology International. He's in Los Angeles. Mr.
Jentzsch, good evening.
HEBER JENTZSCH (on TV studio monitor): Good evening.
GUMBEL: Those affiliated with Scientology ran an orchestrated
campaign pressuring us to not run the piece you just watched. Do you
not consider the mysterious death of a young woman in the care of
Scientologists as a valid reason for outside questions?
JENTZSCH: I consider the fact that your people were given
information, Bryant, that they did not put on the show, and there were
various specific information that they could have used. Joan Wood,
the medical examiner, she never did the autopsy on this case. And
that was known to your people. It was done by a Dr. Davis, and he did
the actual autopsy, OK? And in his autopsy, he said he did not agree
with Joan Wood, the medical examiner. Davis did about 25 autopsies,
24 were completed. One was not completed. The reason that one, on
Lisa McPherson, was not completed was because his notes were not
available. They were not available because Joan Wood, the medical
examiner, destroyed those notes. Then, she goes on national tabloid TV
and starts blabbing about all these kinds of accusations and so forth.
That is sickening to me. It is sickening that it has to be done that
way when your people had the information. And then she says to Davis,
GUMBEL: Mr. Jentzsch--
JENTZSCH: Let me finish this one point--
GUMBEL: Go ahead quickly.
JENTZSCH: She did not let Davis talk. She said, "Don't talk to the
media, dont talk to anybody about this. Don't talk to the church,
dont talk to the police." And she ordered him not to do so. That's
obstruction of justice. That's just one of the things that she did.
your people had that. OK. Why is it that's not there?
GUMBEL: Mr. Jentzsch, your people were well represented in the piece
throughout. Mike Rinder was well heard. Laura Vaughan was well
heard. Let me ask you, your people had--your people had every right
to intervene with Scientology principles.
GUMBEL: No one disputes that. But
at what point, sir, does Miss McPherson have a right to say, I've had
enough, I want out?
JENTZSCH: She didn't say that, and I have with me the psychiatric
BRYANT: Your own--
JENTZSCH: Which was given here. She said--she said, I want to go
home with my friends in the congregation. Thats what she said--
GUMBEL: That was before the 17 day stay at the hotel. Mr.--
JENTZSCH (holding up document): This is the document I have right
here. This is the document, right here--
GUMBEL: Mr. Jentzsch, Mr. Jentzsch, your own logs show that she's
fighting with your people, yelling at them, pleading with them, but
they are not responding, not letting her leave. At what point, sir,
does that become a legitimate case of someone being held against their
JENTZSCH (raising voice): Our people were helping her in every
possible way. If you look at those notes, you will see very clearly
that those people were heroes.
JENTZSCH : They were taking abuse, they were
attacked and so forth. They loved her. And the people who are saying
these things hated her guts while she was a Scientologist. They hated
her completely and they hate her in death.
JENTZSCH : They--our people loved
her, they respected her. And Lisa was a church member. She was
always a church member--
GUMBEL: Mr. Jentzsch, even if I accept that those people loved her
and wanted to take care of her, your own logs clearly depict a woman
with a deteriorating mental condition and failing health. Do your
people have no responsibility to have those maladies professionally
JENTZSCH: You're saying that a psychiatrist is going to do something
which is gonna be better. You know, there s a case in Miami, Florida
which dealt with this directly. And there was a fellow who was also
dramatizing like this and carrying on. You know what they did to him?
Eleven attendants jumped him. They threw a blanket around his head.
They kneed him in the back, they knocked him down--
GUMBEL: I never mentioned a psychiatrist, Mr. Jentzsch--.
JENTZSCH (raising voice): No, no, well I'm telling you because that's
what, thats what you're saying.
JENTZSCH: Youre calling those people
professionals. Theyre not professionals--
GUMBEL: She was in failing physical health. Do they not have any
responsibility to get maladies addressed?
JENTZSCH: The last--the last time when she was--she started to
deteriorate, it was very rapid. They took her to a hospital. but
those--those--you're saying it should be a psychiatrist. I'm saying
that if they went to a psychiatrist, she would have been destroyed by
GUMBEL: I never mentioned the word "psychiatrist", sir--
JENTZSCH (raising voice more): I know, but you and I talked earlier
today and I did mention it and you know that that's part of this case
and you know that was part of the--the problem with this, okay?
Psychiatrists destroy people's lives. They have the highest incidents
of rape and so forth. She didnt want to go there. Its very clear--
GUMBEL: They have the highest incidents of rape?
JENTZSCH (raising voice more): Of any profession. There's 2,500
indictments against psychiatrists in this country last year alone.
JENTZSCH :Why would you go to a bunch of people like that who use electric
shock? And that causes brain damage. That destroys people lives.
She didn't want to go there. She had a right not to go there with a
GUMBEL: Heber Jentzsch--
JENTZSCH: This lady was taken care of. You know, Mr. Gumbel--
GUMBEL: Heber Jentzsch--
JENTZSCH: That situation down there is bigotry. And I told you
about it. We have the information. The 11th circuit court of appeals
GUMBEL: Heber Jentzsch--
JENTZSCH: That there was--
GUMBEL: Thank you, sir--
JENTZSCH: There was a fervor against it. This is just incredible--
JENTZSCH: They said it was patently offensive--
GUMBEL: Sir, sir, I will have to let that be the last word--
JENTZSCH: Im sorry. But, you know--
GUMBEL: Thank you. We'll be right back.