Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

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

Wild Eyes

On May 5, 1992, Ed awoke in frenzy. He smashed out another window and ran around the house like a mad man, chanting religious verses to himself. Katies mother arrived just before noon, and begged her daughter to get Ed some real help. Katie was quickly becoming unglued; she had tried everything and nothing seemed to work. She did not want to send Ed back to Hamot, but she finally relented when her mother suggested another hospital, Jones Memorial Health Center in Jamestown, New York.

By 4 oclock, everyone except Ed knew that an English man was on his way to transport them to the hospital in Jamestown. Eds father knew that it was not going to be easy to get Eds cooperation, so as Ed lay sleeping on a cot, Mr. Gingerich and two of Eds brothers, carefully tied Eds arms and legs together. Ed awoke just as the bindings began to tighten and started screaming like a mad man. Minutes later, the men were dragging a wild, hogtied Amish man out the door and placing him in the English mans van.

It took an hour and a half for them to reach the hospital. Luckily Ed had drifted to sleep a short time after they started out, and was no longer fighting the bindings that held him. As the men exited the van, Ed awoke. He said nothing as the men unloaded him and placed him on the ground next to the van. Katie and Eds father went inside and returned 20 minutes later with two men in white coats. The men were upset that Ed was lying on the ground hogtied and ordered him untied. Eds brothers untied the ropes, helped Ed to his feet and walked him into the hospital.

Once inside, Ed was escorted to an examination room. As they made their way to the room, Ed dropped to the ground and began running around the waiting area on all fours. He knocked over an IV stand, chairs, tables with glass jars, and pans full of utensils, before the men in white coats were able to subdue him. They lifted him onto an examination table and instructed him to calm down. Within minutes Ed was fast asleep and left in the room by himself.

Ed had slept for almost a half-hour before waking suddenly. He jumped off the table and began ripping medical appliances and cabinets off the walls. The commotion alerted the staff, however by the time they got to Ed, the room was littered with glass, loose wires and hospital supplies. Ed was forced onto the examination table and held down as a psychiatrist administered 200 milligrams of the antipsychotic drug Mellaril.

What seems to be the problem? the doctor asked.

Ive got a bad case of liver cancerI saw a light so bright I thought I was in hell. Do you know my brother?

No.

When my brother blew into Katies cunt, I saw an angel fly out of her mouth.

The doctor was at a loss for words after hearing Eds last statement. Ed was given another injection, two milligrams of Ativan, a tranquilizer, and was ushered off into a small padded room.

Ed was denied visitors his first week at the hospital. He was routinely administered Lithium, Cogentin, and Mellaril, and subjected to numerous mental health and group therapy sessions. By the eighth day, he was allowed to see his family, and appeared to be happy as he spoke with them. Nonetheless, everyone was shocked when they learned that he was going to be released in two days. Katie was mystified. She could not believe that the doctors were going to let Ed walk out of the hospital in such a short period of time.

On May 15, 1992, Ed walked out of Jones Memorial Health Center a free man. Once again, he had several prescriptions to fill and new outpatient appointments to attend.

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