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The Lisa McPherson Files - Summary of Investigation

This is a summary of the investigation from March 25, 1997.

       SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION
       FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department            Report No.            95-29158
       Offense           Death Investigation             Date of Report        3/25/97


       Location          644 Pierce Street              Orig Incident Date  12/6/95
       Victim            Lisa McPherson                 VI Prosecute        Yes No
       Investigator      Det Sgt. Wayne Andrews
       Subject           None
       Impound Inventory None


       FEBRUARY 11, 1997


       At 0900 hours, a deposition was held in which Paul Greenwood gave a statement
       regarding this case to myself, Assistant State Attorney Mark McGarry, and FDLE
       Agent Lee Strope. The deposition lasted approximately two to two and a half hours,
       during which time Paul Greenwood gave pretty much the same statement he had
       previously given to Det. Sudler. See transcript for further details of the deposition
       statement.

       TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1997


       On 2/13/97, a subpoena was issued to the Church of Scientology requesting the
       following records:


       REQUESTED:           Copy of the list of all registered guests in the cabana area of
                            the hotel at 210 S. Ft. Harrison from 11/18/95 to 12/6/95.


       RECEIVED:            Photocopy of some type of list with names of people that were
                            registered at the entire hotel at 210 5. Ft. Harrison. The
                            names of everyone except for those at the cabanas had been
                            blanked out. The names of those at the cabanas were difficult

                                                                             Page 1 of 11

SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation DateofReport 3/25/97 to follow up because none of them had any addresses or contact phone numbers. These were not the records we expected to receive from a four-star hotel. This issue will be addressed possibly in a future subpoena to the Church outlining every aspect of the records we want to receive. MONDAY, MARCH 3, 1997 During the previous deposition with Paul Greenwood, he indicated that he, Laura Arrunada, and Janis Johnson were ordered by Security to write a report about what occurred during the Lisa McPherson incident. He stated that the three of them were then taken to a room in Security, where they wrote their statements and turned them over to Security personnel. With this information, subpoenas were issued for the following: SUBPOENA #1 REQUESTED: A copy of any and all written statements provided to the Church by Laura R. Arrunada from 11/18/95 to 1/1/96. RECEIVED: A letter from Attorney Lee Fugate indicating that this was a privileged document An indication from Attorney Morris Weinberg that any documents written after Lisa McPherson's death would be considered an attorney work product and therefore be privileged to the subpoena. Page 2 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation DateofReport 3/25/97 SUBPOENA #2 REQUESTED: A copy of any and all written statements provided to the Church of Scientology by Paul Greenwood from 11/18/95 to 1/1/96. RECEIVED: Same as Subpoena #1 SUBPOENA #3 REQUESTED: A copy of any and all written statements provided to the Church of Scientology by Janis Johnson from 11/18/95 to 1/1/96. RECEIVED: Same as Subpoena #1 It should be noted that, along with the letter from Attorney Fugate indicating that the three subpoena requests were privileged information, we received additional reports from the caretakers of Lisa McPherson. THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1997 Det. Jorge Carrasquillo and FDLE Agent Sharon Feola had conducted interviews with Lisa's co-workers at AMC Publishing through Attorney Ron Cacciatore. It was apparent that they were having difficulty obtaining the names of all of Lisa's co-workers. Therefore, a subpoena was requested and issued on this date as follows: Page 3 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 REQUESTED: A list of all people employed by AMC Publishing from 1/1/95 to 1/1/96, to include their full legal name, current home address, and home phone number. RECEIVED: No information received from AMC Publishing other than a letter from Attorney Ron Cacciatore to Assistant State Attorney Mark McGarry objecting to the deliverance of these subpoenas to Benetta Slaughter. TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 1997 At 0900 hours, Agent Lee Strope, Assistant State Attorney Mark McGarry, and I met at the State Attorney's Office to conduct an investigative deposition of Rita Boykin in reference to this death investigation. She was accompanied by her attorney, Attorney John Lauro. She is identified as Rita Boykin (maiden name of Hampton), W/F, DOB 2/8/52. Background: Rita is originally from Marina, California and now resides in New York. She is staying at the Church of Scientology in Clearwater and working on staff at the present time. She arrived at the Church of Scientology at 210 S. Ft. Harrison in Clearwater from New York on Thanksgiving Day, 11/23/95. She presently lives at Hacienda Gardens at 551 Saturn Avenue with three roommates. She has medical training as a nurse's assistant and at one time worked in the Critical Care Unit of a hospital. She listed this on her resume to the Church when she applied for the staff position. She joined the Church of Scientology in April 1985 and started as a staff Page 4 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 member almost immediately. Her position in the New York organization was as a Services Officer. She described this position as being someone who helps fellow Scientologists make travel arrangements to Florida. She indicated that the person she answers to is Janis Johnson. Involvement with Lisa McPherson: Sometime around 11/26/95, when she had only been in Clearwater for a few days, Rita was requested to take care of Lisa McPherson at the cabanas. Rita was only told that Lisa McPherson apparently had some type of behavioral dysfunction and needed care. Rita worked 16 hours a day in shifts from 1/26/95 to 1700 hours on 12/5/95 (day of Lisa's death) with only a few days off. According to Rita, the door to Lisa's room was always locked. The interview with Rita Boykin was recorded by a court reporter. See transcript for further details. It was apparent after the interview with Rita Boykin that we were missing reports that she had written. This was discussed with Assistant State Attorney McGarry, who stated that he would attempt to recover the missing records. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 1997 After reviewing my notes and the reports given to us, it was apparent that Rita Boykin had given Chlorolhydrate to Lisa McPherson while caring for her at the cabanas. I spoke with Dr. Wood of the Medical Examiner's Office and learned that Chlorolhydrate was a prescription drug. We therefore had a subpoena issued as follows: Page 5 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/ Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 REQUESTED: A prescription summary report for Dr. David Minkoff, DEA #AM1446346, and any and all original prescriptions written for Lisa McPherson and any and all documentation related thereto, during the time frame of 11/1/95 to 12/30/95. RECEIVED: Information from Eckerd Drugs that a prescription was called in to their pharmacy on the corner of Beicher Road & State Road 60 for 30 tablets of Chlorolhydrate tablets (500mg each). The pharmacist who filled the prescription was Ed Karch. The prescription was called in on 11/29/95 by Dr. Minkoff, who left a phone number of 845-9115 (Emergency Room at HCA Hospital in New Port Richey). Eckerd Drugs also supplied us with a third party insurance claim log showing that the prescription for Lisa McPherson (prescription #907960) was picked up and signed for by what appeared to be Susanne Schnurenberger. This information contradicts the information from Dr. Minkoff in his previous taped statement to Det. Sudler that he had no knowledge of anyone named Lisa McPherson or any type of condition she had. This prescription and the inconsistencies in Dr. Minkoff's statement will be explored in a future interview. At 1400 hours, a meeting was held between all case agents in this investigation and Chief Sid Klein, Deputy Chief Paul Maser, Assistant Director Jim Sewell of FDLE, and Special Agent Larry Samms of FDLE. A short briefing and update of what we had done so far were provided to the supervisors. This included the information that Rita Boykin had supplied us in her deposition and leads we have not yet completed. Page 6 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 1997 At 0900 hours, another caretaker by the name of Valarie Demange was subpoenaed to the State Attorney's Office under oath for a deposition regarding this investigation. She was accompanied by her attorney, Attorney Robert Poli. She is identified as Valarie Demange, W/F, DOB 3/11/65, address of 2105. Ft. Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, Florida. Background: Valarie spent a year and a half in nursing school but never graduated. She also has not worked in the nursing field since that time. She indicated that she included this information on her resume to the Church of Scientology. She has been a Scientologist since 1985 and came to the Church of Scientology at 210 S. Ft. Harrison from Los Angeles in 1993. She came as a project manager and is now the staff chaplain. At the time of Lisa McPherson's death, she answered to Alain Kartuzinski. Involvement With Lisa McPherson: Valarie took care of Lisa McPherson from approximately 11/21/95 to 11/29/95 or 12/3/95. She wrote several reports regarding this involvement and placed the initials SNR C/S FSO for the person the reports were addressed to; that being Alain Kartuzinski. She indicated that the word "RUSH" on the top of a report meant that it did not follow the normal mail routine and was taken directly to Alain Kartuzinski. I asked her about her report of 11/21/95, in which she indicated that she gave Lisa McPherson a lot of vitamins at 9:30 a.m., and asked whose order it was for her to give the vitamins. She stated that Emma Schermerhorn had told her to give Lisa the vitamins. According to Valarie, Lisa's room door was unlocked from the inside but there was a security guard outside Page 7 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 the door the entire time Lisa was there. We asked if Lisa was allowed to leave at anytime and she stated no, that they were told Lisa was very crazy and might get hurt out in the public. Valarie indicated that it was her understanding after a meeting with Alain Kartuzinski on 11/26/95 that they were there to isolate Lisa until she became able to begin an introspection rundown. Valarie was present several times when Janis Johnson came to Lisa's room. At one point around what Valarie believed was 11/30/95 or 12/1/95, she saw Janis Johnson give Lisa an injection. Valarie was not taking care of Lisa during the last four or five days. However, she was called to an office in the Coachman Building sometime around 12/5/95 or 12/6/95 and advised that Lisa had died and everyone would be quarantined. She was told by Marcus Quirino, the Deputy Chief Officer at the Church of Scientology, to write a report on her involvement with Lisa. She wrote the report and turned it in to Marcus Quirino. I asked who she remembered was at the meeting at the Coachman Building. She stated that it was Janis Johnson, Sylvia DeLavega, Alain Kartuzinski, Marcus Quirino, Don Jason, Debbie Cook, Susanne Green, Laura Arrunada, and Heather Petsold. According to Valarie, everyone there that had contact with Lisa were writing reports. The interview with Valarie Demange was recorded by a court reporter. See transcript for further details. Also on this date, Assistant State Attorney Mark McGarry issued a subpoena for Patricia Straecner for a deposition scheduled for the week of 3/31/97. That subpoena was delivered to her attorney, Attorney Robert Poli. Page 8 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 MONDAY, MARCH 24, 1997 I placed a phone call to the service Dr. Minkoff works for and requested that he call me back. I received a call from Attorney Jim Felman, an attorney in Tampa, phone 229-1118. I advised him that we would like to meet with Dr. Minkoff further as all of the parties involved in the Lisa McPherson investigation were being re-interviewed. He stated that he would make arrangements for himself and Dr. Minkoff to meet with us, but that he wanted a subpoena for Dr. Minkoff granting him immunity for anything he said. I advised Attorney Felman that I would contact Assistant State Attorney McGarry and make some type of arrangements for the interview. I received a call from Assistant State Attorney MeGarry, who advised me to contact Attorney Poli as he had further information about Valarie Demange's interview and also about his other two clients, Laura Arrunada and Sylvia DeLavega. I contacted Attorney Poli, who advised that Valarie Demange was not completely truthful with us during her statement as she was embarrassed to tell us of Lisa's bizarre behavior during the time she cared for her. He stated that Valarie said Lisa often stood up on the bed, looked directly at her caretakers, and then urinated in her pants as though she was doing it on purpose. Valarie also indicated that Lisa would go into the bathroom, come out with feces in her hand, and attempt to eat it. I advised Attorney Poli that I would include that information in my report. He stated that, if we could issue a subpoena for Laura Arrunada and one for Sylvia DeLavega, he would make arrangements to bring them back when he flew to Mexico City the week of 3/31/97 and have them available for depositions. He also indicated that he would attempt to have Patricia Straecner available that same week for a deposition. Page 9 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 I contacted Assistant State Attorney McGarry and had the two subpoenas issued for Laura Arrunada and Sylvia DeLavega. These subpoenas were then faxed to Attorney Poli's office on Tuesday, 3/25/97. TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 1997 Subpoenas were issued to Benetta Slaughter at AMC Publishing asking that she furnish us with a copy of the entire personnel file on Lisa McPherson, SSN # XXX-XX-XXXX, from her initial hiring date to the time of her death. We have not yet received any information from AMC Publishing. A subpoena was also issued to the Church as follows: REQUESTED: Original registrations of all guests for the cabana area of the hotel from 11/18/95 to 12/6/95. Must include full name of guests, home and business addresses of guests, and contact phone numbers for guests. Hopefully this subpoena will obtain us information regarding individuals that were possibly staying in the area of the cabanas while Lisa was there. At 0900 hours, Alphonso Barcenas was interviewed during a deposition at the State Attorney's Office. He is a security guard at the Church Of Scientology and was stationed outside of Lisa's room during most of her stay. He is identified as Alphonso Barcenas, H/M, DOB 9/29/47. Background: Alphonso is from Mexico City and is not a U.S. citizen. He is here on a religious visa working for the Church. He has no medical background. He has been a Church member since 1976 at the Church of Scientology in Mexico City. He Page 10 of 11
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 3/25/97 arrived in Clearwater in September 1995 and was assigned to renovations. He has completed courses in the Church up to a Grade II auditing and was assigned as a security guard in training during the time Lisa was at the cabanas. He answered directly to Paul Kellerhaus, who was in charge of the local security office for the Church. Involvement With Lisa McPherson: Alphonso was assigned to 12 hour shifts outside of Lisa's room at the cabanas and had the key to let people in and out. He was a security guard in training and wore no uniform other than the light blue shirt and dark blue pants. He had a walkie talkie and worked 8 to 10 days outside of Lisa's door. He was relieved by another security guard. I asked him what his instructions were in reference to Lisa leaving the room. He stated that she was not allowed to leave until he checked with Paul Kellerhaus. I asked if someone such as her mother would be allowed to see her if she came to visit. He stated no, not without talking to Paul Kellerhaus first. The interview with Alphonso Bercenas was recorded by a court reporter. See transcript for further details of the interview. Ofc. Reporting Det. Sgt. Wayne Andrews/elg ID No. 603 Case Status Active Date Cleared _____________ Clearance Type Exception Type 1. Arrest 1. Extradition declined 3. Death of Offender Adult Juvenile 2. AR of primary offense, 4. V/W refused to cooperate 2. Exceptional secondary offense, 5. Prosecution declined 3. Unfounded w/o prosecution 6. Juv/No Custody Ofc. Reviewing Date SAO Info Page 11 of 11