Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gary Krist: The Einstein of Crime

Dr. Krist

Krist began taking college classes in Alaska, with an eye toward pursuing what he called his "lifelong dream" of becoming a doctor.

Legitimate medical schools bar felons, so Krist began working a new con. He contacted his old pal Tommy Morris in Georgia to press for a pardon.

Morris squeezed a recommendation out of Krist's probation officer, and soon Krist got his pardon, which allowed him to enroll at second-rate Caribbean medical schools.

He graduated in the mid-1990s, then apparently worked as a doctor in Haiti while desperately seeking positions back home.

But his past proved a heavy burden.

He tried medical residencies in West Virginia, Alabama and Connecticut, but lost the positions when his criminal background came to light.

In 2001, he took a position in Chrisney, Ind., a rural village with no doctor. Indiana was aware of his past and granted Krist a probationary license. But he lost that job, too, after the Evansville (Ind.) Courier-Press published a story about the Mackle kidnapping.

He told the paper, "I think a man should be judged as much by the last half of his life as by the first half."

In 2003, after Indiana revoked Krist's medical license, he told a reporter, "I'm not going to be able to fulfill my dream. I tried to be a beneficial part of society. They wouldn't let me."

"He made a strong effort to rehabilitate himself," Fred Tieman, Krist's lawyer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But it didn't work out. The effort to become a doctor failed, he believes, because his history came back to haunt him."

He was a victim forced, it would seem, to turn to turn to a new career: cocaine importation.

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