Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Woman Faces Life in Prison for Poisoning Boyfriend With Visene

Vickie Jo Mills, 33. Police photo.

A Pennsylvania woman has allegedly admitted to police that she has repeatedly put Visene eye drops into the drinking water of her boyfriend. Vickie Jo Mills, 33, is charged with 10 counts of aggravated assault, 10 counts of simple assault and 10 counts of reckless endangerment for putting eye drops in his water “10 to 12 times” since June, 2009. Police say the boyfriend, 45-year-old Thurman Edgar Nesbitt III, has been experiencing nausea, blood pressure and respiratory problems for a number of years. When his doctor found tetrahydrozoline, an ingredient in Visene, in Nesbitt’s blood, he called authorities. In an affidavit, Mills stated that she “never meant to kill [Nesbitt], only wanted him to pay more attention to her.”

Urban legend has it that a few drops of Visene in a beverage is enough to induce severe diarrhea. However, the rumor debunking website Snopes has proven this claim to be false, stating that a drink spiked with eye drops is not an easy way to play a prank or exact harmless revenge. Visene, if ingested, can cause nausea, seizures, and even a comatose state. Pfizer, the company that makes Visene, urges consumers to call poison control if they’ve ingested the product.

Mills is free on $75,000 bail. She is due in court on September 17.

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