Serial Killers within VA Healthcare System
by Jere Beery, Operation Firing For Effect
Left, Paul H. Kornak, who posed as a doctor for veterans, in 1999.
Let me begin by stating the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system employs some of the best physicians and nursing staff, not only here in the U.S.A., but in the entire world. And this article is not intended to tarnish their honor or integrity in any way. The very last thing anyone wants to do is discourage veterans from going to their VA medical centers and hospitals for needed treatment. However, having said that, the truth is the truth, and I feel a very strong obligation to my fellow veterans to report the facts as I know them.
On November 22, 2005 convicted VA murder Paul Kornak was Sentenced in U.S. District Court in Albany, New York to 71 months in federal prison, just under 6 years. Kornak, (a fake VA doctor) pleaded guilty to a 41 count grand jury indictment including murder and negligent homicide for the deaths of 5 veterans in 2002 at VAMC Albany, NY. Kornak never completed medical school but was allowed to sit as, and sign his name as Dr. Kornak. He then falsified patient records of over 70 veteran inpatients, and entered veterans into a clinical trial for cancer treatment that they were not eligible to be in. The department of Veterans Affairs claims this was an isolated incident’. However, an Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) investigation shows Paul Kornak is merely the latest in a line of medical personnel to be caught murdering veterans within the VA medical system…
In the latter part of 2002, a former nurse at a Veterans Affairs medical center in Miami Florida pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a veteran patient. VA nurse James Mullins had been charged with second-degree murder in the death in February 2001 of Gary Baker, 53, who was injected with propofol, a sedative that can slow or stop respiration. Mullins was suspected in several other untimely deaths of veterans as well.
Also in 2002, VA nurse Richard A. Williams was charged with the murder of 10 veteran patients under his care at Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in 1992. Forty-one patients under Williams’ care died that year.
In 2001, VA nurse Kristen Gilbert was found guilty of killing her patients at a Veterans Administration medical center in Northampton, Massachusetts. Authorities got suspicious when patients began dying during her shift, tripling the rate of deaths over the previous three years. In the seven years she worked at the VA Hospital, 350 deaths had occurred during her shift, statistically impossible to attribute to coincidence. Gilbert was sentenced to four consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
In late 2000, Dr. Michael Swango (aka: Dr. Death), was suspected of administering lethal injections to as many as 35 people. Swango pled guilty to deliberately causing the deaths of 3 veterans at the VA Medical Center in Northport, New York. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Swango was suspected of many more deaths of veterans.
According to unnamed FBI sources, in several of these murders investigations the VA made it extremely hard for investigators to gain access to a crime scene, evidence, patient medical records, logs, and staff personnel records. There is little doubt that valuable evidence disappeared or degraded because of the delays, and VA staff was less than willing to cooperate with FBI agents. Evidently, it is very difficult for one government agency to investigate another without miles of red tape and without being delayed days and even weeks.
Collectively, Kornak, Mullins, Williams, Gilbert, and Swango may very well be responsible for over 350 deaths, most being sick veterans in VA hospitals. The real questions are; how many more serial killers remain undetected in the VA healthcare system? And how many isolated incidents’ have to occur before they are no longer considered isolated? If you remember the My Lai Massacre resulted in between 347 and 500 innocent Vietnamese killed, the magnitude of hundreds of possible murdered veterans begins to sink in. However, no one will ever know the real number killed, the best we can do is make an educated guess.
The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), is currently investigating the hiring practices used by the Department of Veterans Affair.
Know your rights! You have the right to ask ANY VA doctor or nurse to show you their credentials and diplomas. If you have any doubt about doctors you are seeing, do not hesitate to ask for proof that they are who they say they are. If they refuse to show you their medical diplomas, I suggest you think twice before allowing him/her to practice medicine on you. This rule applies to ANY doctor you may see, both in the VA and the private sector.
[NOTE:] Currently the Department of Veterans Affairs does not require a VA doctor/physician to hold a medical license in the state that they are practicing in. In other words, it is impossible to find out background information on a VA doctor, as they are not required to register with state medical boards. This is a practice the VA has used for decades. It allows them to send medical professionals to go from VA hospital in another state and practice without having to obtain the approval from the state. A VA doctor in Atlanta may be needed in at a VA hospital in Tampa. This doctor is not required to notify the State Medical Boards in either state. And they are protected by the VA from malpractice law suits.
OFFE would like to hear from it’s readers concerning this story. In fact, we suggest you contact your elected officials to voice your concerns as well. Send your comments to; [email protected]