Murder in the Intensive Care Unit
Looking for Suspects
McKeon and his detectives tried to focus on individuals in the hospital whose presence in the ICU would have been apparent from the records kept on Weitz's patients given heparin. Was there one nurse who attended each patient around the time the bleeding started to show?
Respiratory therapists, who were constantly doing blood gas tests on recovering patients, were also persons of interest whose comings and goings in the ICU were studied closely by the team of investigators.
There was one nurse who stood out as a potential suspect to McKeon and his detectives. Her name was in the records more than anybody else. The hospital's own internal investigation had already looked at her closely, but hospital officials discounted her as a suspect, telling McKeon she was the best nurse on the staff in the hospital — in any unit. She was the most conscientious, most reliable, most respected and liked by the staff and patients alike. In short, McKeon said hospital officials concluded that the woman in question was an ideal nurse who couldn't possibly be a murderer.
McKeon related that 45 polygraphs were given to hospital staffers, including the suspect nurse, over the course of the investigation. All willingly submitted to the lie detection tests administered by Detective Donald Sullivan, the best polygraph expert the NYPD had to offer. All passed "with flying colors" reported McKeon.
McKeon found Dr. Weitz to be a "very nice guy." The doctor had an excellent reputation in the hospital and, according to the ADA, was clearly "heartbroken" about the deaths. He was also clueless as to who could be responsible.
Weitz confided to McKeon that word about the deaths was spreading through the healthcare community. He had attended a medical conference recently in Phoenix, and a doctor there had asked him "about the trouble up there at Einstein." McKeon figured it wouldn't be long before the local press caught wind of it. The press didn't, but Chief Eddie Dreher certainly did.