Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Edward D. Gingerich: The Only Amish Man Convicted of Murder

The Healer

Just four days after his release from the hospital, Ed once again stopped taking his medication and Katie again supported his decision. She felt that the medicine was not helping and that the English hospitals had failed them once again.

In June of 1992, David Lindsey stopped by for another visit with Ed. It had been awhile since he saw his Amish friend and he was anxious to continue discussing religion with him. During the visit, David preached to Ed about redemption and urged him to free himself of the bishop and turn to Jesus for salvation.

Throughout the remainder of the summer, Ed managed to behave himself, although he was obviously depressed in the eyes of those who knew him. Katie dragged Ed to Doc Terrells office on numerous occasions. She had lost all faith in English doctors and felt that Doc was Eds only hope at living a normal life.

Winter seemed to approach quickly for the Gingerich clan and the harsh cold kept them cooped up inside. Eds health had not improved and his refusal to take Doc Terrells blackstrap molasses continued to anger Katie. Eds father felt his son was a ticking time bomb and desperately wanted Ed and Katie to give modern medicine another chance.

On March 16, 1993, following a long talk with his father, Ed agreed to see another English doctor as long as they promised he would not be put back in the hospital. That evening, Eds father arranged a meeting with Eds brothers to discuss what they should do. The name Jacob Troyer was soon brought up by Eds brother Danny. Troyer was a 46-year-old Amish man from Smicksburgh settlement near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and rumored to be a special healer. Eds father was a little reluctant, however after some prodding by his sons, he figured it would not hurt to give it a try.

The following day, March 17, 1993, Katies 29th birthday, an English driver arrived at Eds house to take them on their 100-mile journey to the Smicksburgh settlement. The roads were bad and the trip was a long one. Ed sat in the back with Katie groaning, This disease is very bad.

By the time they arrived at Troyers house, Ed had gotten much worse. They rushed to Troyers door. My husband is sick...this is an emergency, Katie said as Troyer invited them in. As soon as they stepped inside, Ed dropped to his knees and began crawling around on the floor. This is nice, Ed said, as he admired the floor. Troyers young son was making his way upstairs when Ed suddenly ran over to him. Do I look normal? he yelled at the boy. Can you tell there is something wrong with me? The boy ran upstairs, obviously fearful of Eds erratic behavior. Troyer turned to Katie and said, Take this man to a hospital; he needs to be put in a mental ward. I cant help him. Katie begged Troyer to at least look at Ed. Reluctantly the healer agreed and led Ed into his examination room. A short time later, they emerged. Katie was carrying a diagnostic eye card and three bottles of herbs. Ed stood next to the healer as Katie paid him $340.00 for his services. As the group made there way outside towards the car, Troyer looked at Katie and said, Your husband has a mental problem. Take him to a hospital. Im afraid of suicidegoodbye and good luck.

During the ride home, Ed would grab his scalp and exclaim, Oh my God, my brain is boiling over! At one point, Eds brother rubbed Eds feet and he finally drifted off to sleep.

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