The Kevorkian Verdict


Sherry Miller and Marjorie Wantz

photo of Sherry Miller photo of Marjorie Wantz

Just hours before they died, Miller, Wantz and family members met with Kevorkian at the home of Sherry Miller's parents on October 22, 1991.

Miller, 43, had advanced multiple sclerosis and had approached Kevorkian a year earlier. She kept pursuing him and told her story several times on television.

Marjorie Wantz, 58, also had sought Kevorkian's help for years. Although not terminally ill, she suffered excruciating pain after many surgeries to remove benign vaginal tumors. She had tried to kill herself several times. Psychiatrists said she was depressed and suicidal and some felt her pain was psychosomatic. (Later, when the medical examiner conducted her autopsy he found no physical cause for her pain.)

The day after this interview, they committed suicide in a rustic cabin. Wantz used a machine Kevorkian invented which injected a fatal substance. Miller inhaled carbon monoxide because her veins were too weak for a needle.


photo of Thomas Hyde

Thomas Hyde

Several jurors cried when this videotape was played during one of Kevorkian's trials.

It recorded the July 1, 1993 'consultation interview' between Kevorkian and 30 year-old Thomas Hyde and his fiance, Heidi Fernandez, to discuss Hyde's wish to die. He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis --Lou Gehrig's disease-- a year earlier. Two months before this meeting Hyde had typed a letter to Kevorkian requesting his help.

The disease was progressing fast. Hyde's mind would remain clear to the end, but ALS disease means its victims eventually probably choke to death on their own saliva because of loss of control of muscles. Hyde already was suffering severe muscle cramps and losing the ability to speak.

34 days after this interview, Hyde became the 17th patient. He died in the back of Kevorkian's van using a oxygen mask connected by tube to a tank of carbon monoxide.

photo of Hugh Gale

Hugh Gale

Gale, 70, was Kevorkian's 13th case. Gale had suffered from emphysema for two decades. For the last few years he was dependent on a pulmonary machine and medications to breathe. This was the second videotaped interview Kevorkian made with Gale and his wife, Cheryl, at their home. Four days later, Gale died from carbon monoxide poisoning using a gas mask and tent devised by Kevorkian.


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