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Joe Scarborough's Dirty Little Secret


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: ethics, corruption, cover-up, dishonesty, republicans, media, politics )

Carrie
- 934 days ago - examiner.com
Every morning, Joe Scarborough reminds his viewers of the years he spent in Congress. He represented Florida's 1st district as a Conservative Republican from 1995-2001. However, he fails to mention why he suddenly resigned on that day of September.



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Comments

Carrie B. (311)
Monday December 10, 2012, 12:22 pm
Thank you to Edwin M. for bringing this to my attention.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 12:36 pm

I didn't realize this was a secret. I thought everyone knew, there is still controversy swirling around Scarborough's fall from grace. Some times where there is smoke there is fire.
 

Carrie B. (311)
Monday December 10, 2012, 12:45 pm
I don't know why I had never heard about this. I remember the Sandra Levy case very well, but had never read or heard anything about Scarborough. Neither had my husband. Very strange indeed, Mr. Scarborough.
 

Thomas P. (468)
Monday December 10, 2012, 3:08 pm
Noted....interesting.
 

Barbara K. (72)
Monday December 10, 2012, 3:18 pm
It would be nice if the re-open the case and get justice for that poor woman.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday December 10, 2012, 3:55 pm
Thanks.
 

Jason S. (53)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:55 pm
Good posting, thanks
 

John B. (131)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:18 pm
Thanks Carrie for the link to the article. Extremely enlightening information, something I never knew about. Read and noted.
 

Michael Kirkby (89)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 6:06 am
Things that make you go hmmm...
 

Jules W. (61)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 6:38 am
Thanks for the post, Carrie,
 

Ingo Schreiner (8)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 7:38 am
thanks
 

Terrie Williams (782)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:37 pm
...."Just to think, if the events of 911 never happened, where would Joe be today?".....

Probably sitting in prison and making nice with his cellmate, Bubba......

Hey, I can dream, can't I?!!!! :) He's just another Hannity Jr to me, I cannot stand him or his bloviations....that's why I am sooooooooo happy Bill Press is on at the same time slot on Current TV....followed by Stephanie Miller! What I could never understand is why Mika (Mica) or however she spells her name, lets that misogynist walk all over her and she just takes it!!!!! *&%&$%& that makes me sick. Just another reason why I don't watch Morning Schmo.

I agree with Barbara K. Re-open the case and see what happens......
 

Fran away F. (118)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:32 pm
It's only right that the case should be reopened. I haven't heard about it in years: I'm glad that others haven't forgotten either.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:47 pm
So goes the deceitful republican party. Skeletons everywhere you look.
 

Thomas B. (1)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:52 pm
I like watching Willie sleep his way to the top. What exactly is his "talent" anyways?
 

Robert Tomlinson (65)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:10 pm
Thanks for the post.
 

Gary A L. (137)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:27 pm
thanks I always knew he was a hipocrite
 

donald Baumgartner (5)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:45 pm
Thanks for the Laugh!! { Joe S for POTUSA?? Really???}.
 

Colleen L. (2)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:19 pm
Sounds to me that this guy had some real hidden secrets. Ones that he may end up paying for in more ways than one.Thans Carrie
 

Lois Jordan (60)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:54 pm
Years ago, I watched him a few times and was struck by his rude belittling of his female co-host, Mika. I couldn't stand it anymore and quit watching. I'd heard of this story around that time as well, and wondered why he kept his job. Still wondering....
 

SusanAWAY Allen (219)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 10:00 pm
Interesting. I never have cared for him. I'm glad I have Current to watch in the mornings now instead of MSNBC.
 

Esther S. (45)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 4:12 am
Thanks Carrie - I never heard about any of this before.
 

Carlene V. (198)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 6:14 am
Didn't know about Bill Press and Current television in the mornings. I also didn't know about Scarborough and his past. What I find irritating is the way he interupts everyone on his show and they just back down. I think Mica is there for the money, certainly NOT that she agrees with Joe.
 

Dorothy N. (63)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 2:09 pm
Suspicious, to say the least - somebody who should definitely be kept clear of any public office, at least until a proper investigation is done.

Like that'll ever happen...
 

Madeleine watt (243)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 5:56 pm
I hadn't a clue. wow.
 

Patrice M. (84)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 9:22 pm
Have you seen the photo shoot that Joe and Mika did recently for Vanity Fair? It sets the women's movement back about 50 years. What are they trying to tell us?
 

Patrice M. (84)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 9:23 pm
Ooops! Here's the link:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/09/12/vanity_fair_profiles_mika_brzezinski_and_joe_scarborough_guess_who_poses_on_top_of_a_table_.html
 

Carrie B. (311)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 1:21 pm
From Open Salon

SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 10:01AM
Grisly Discovery Has Curious Ties to Joe Scarborough


Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

A former medical examiner rented a storage unit in Pensacola, Florida, where human remains were discovered recently. It's the same ME who essentially closed the books 11 years ago on the death of a woman whose body was found in the office of then Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough.


The grisly discovery should raise new questions about an ugly chapter in Scarborough's past--a chapter that probably is unknown to many viewers who now tune in to catch the host on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

All of this has strong ties to us here in Alabama. Scarborough is a University of Alabama graduate and is close to former Governor Bob Riley and his son, Homewood attorney Rob Riley. In fact, Scarborough used his platform on Morning Joe to shamelessly plug Bob Riley as a potential GOP presidential candidate--despite evidence of monstrous corruption on Riley's watch.

Perhaps cover ups are nothing new in the Scarborough story. That's why many Americans are unaware that a 28-year-old woman named Lori Klausutis, a staff member for the then Congressman, was found dead in Scarborough's north Florida office in 2001. A medical examiner named Dr. Michael Berkland ruled it an accidental death, finding that Klausutis suffered a cardiac arrhythmia that caused her to faint and hit her head on a desk.

That's the same Dr. Michael Berkland who was found to have rented a storage unit where the remains of more than 100 humans were found on August 24. From the Pensacola News Journal:

Human remains found in a storage unit in Pensacola last week were being kept in covered plastic containers, trash bags and specimen cups, the director of the Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday.
The latest revelation came as authorities continued trying to unravel why Dr. Michael Berkland, a former associate medical examiner who is no longer licensed, stored the organs in the unit at Uncle Bob’s Storage, 195 E. Fairfield Dr.
Parts from more than 100 people — including lungs, hearts, tissue samples and 10 brains — were found on Friday in the air-conditioned unit that Berkland had rented, Medical Examiner’s Office Director Jeff Martin said.
“It’s very bizarre,” he said.


No kidding. The story is so bizarre that it caught the attention of the UK Daily Mail. From the newspaper's account:
No charges have been filed against Berkland but officials are trying to determine if he broke any laws regarding biomedical waste and the storing and disposing of human remains.
Medical Examiner Dr. Andi Minyard told the Pensacola News Journal the remains appear to be from private autopsies Berkland performed at local funeral homes between 1997 and 2007.
'It’s a horrible thing to know that your uncle’s brain is sitting in some storage shed that got sold at an auction,' Dr. Minyard said.

This all raises questions about both Berkland's sanity and his competence when he served as a medical examiner. As we reported in a post titled "The Ugly Story in Joe Scarborough's Political Closet," the accidental-death finding in the Lori Klausutis case has never added up:

A report at onlinejournal.com, stated that such a fall in a healthy person is unlikely to cause death. Berkland's determination of an accidental death, however, brought the investigation to a virtual halt:
"According to the medical literature, simple falls in young, healthy people, virtually never cause death. Berkland’s claim that injury opposite to the site of impact is observed only when a person’s head hits a stationary object is also contradicted by the literature.
"The autopsy describes the prolapsed mitral valve in great detail, claiming that the medical literature sustains the notion that this is likely to be fatal.
"Dr. Berkland contends in lengthy autopsy comments that “there are only about three entities that generally cause one to drop in midsentence or in midstride . . . pulmonary embolus . . . a ruptured aneurysm . . . and most common, is a sudden cardiac arrhythmia.” Yet, the medical literature suggests that neither pulmonary emboli nor aneurysms are likely to cause immediate loss of consciousness. A blow to the head is a common cause of loss of consciousness. . . ."

Did Lori Klausutis really die from a blow to the head and not from a fainting spell? If so, who was responsible for her death?

In the wake of recent discoveries about Dr. Michael Berkland, perhaps those questions need to be asked anew. Perhaps the public should demand a serious investigation into what happened in Joe Scarborough's office 11 years ago.
 

Carrie B. (311)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 1:25 pm
From The Daily Kos

TUE MAR 15, 2011 AT 10:29 AM PDT
The Ugly Story in Joe Scarborough's Political Closet
byRogerShulerFollow


Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, is sending signals that he might be ready to run again for public office. He was the subject of a fawning profile in Parade. An op-ed piece he penned at Politico made Scarborough sound like a reasonable Republican who might appeal to independent voters. A persistent rumor even has "Morning Joe" running on a presidential ticket with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

If "Morning Joe" does wind up on a ballot somewhere, voters might want to keep this question in mind: Was a young woman once murdered in Joe Scarborough's office?

Many Americans probably have forgotten, or never knew, that a 28-year-old female staff member was found dead in the summer of 2001 in the office of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL). Officials in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, determined that Lori Klausutis died from an accident. The mainstream press largely ignored the case, but our review of several investigative reports indicates the official finding is highly questionable.

Does that mean Joe Scarborough is a murderer? No. But we suspect someone who had access to Scarborough's office in 2001 is a murderer. We find it unlikely that the head trauma that killed Lori Klausutis was the result of an accident.

We hardly are the first to raise the "murder" issue that surrounds Scarborough. Two liberal icons, filmmaker Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, made references to it and wound up in public spats with Scarborough.

Since Scarborough himself doesn't shy away from the topic, we won't either. The subject is of particular interest here in Alabama because Scarborough is a graduate of the University of Alabama and is pals with former Gov. Bob Riley and his son, Homewood attorney Rob Riley. The Rileys probably are one of the sleaziest father/son tandems in the history of American politics. Regardless of what one might conclude about the Lori Klausutis death, any would-be voter should be alarmed by Scarborough's ties to the Rileys--especially since dead bodies mysteriously kept popping up around Alabamain the final year of Big Bob's reign.

Why should we doubt the finding of an accidental death in the Lori Klausutis case? Here are several reasons:

* The nature of the head trauma does not suggest an accidental death--According to a report fromAmerican Politics Journal (APJ), Dr. Michael Berkland, medical examiner, determined that Klausutis had an undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmia that caused her to faint and hit her head on a desk in Scarborough's office. Reports APJ:

There are several problems with the head injury. Generally, for a closed head injury to cause bleeding inside the skull, there is a much more severe injury on the outside of the skull. Do the autopsy notes, indeed, describe such a severe injury on the outside of the skull? In fact, the only closed head injury which usually may cause bleeding inside the skull involves a fracture of the temporal bone, with rupture of the underlying artery. The most important discrepancy that should be answered is how intracranial bleeding could continue if the cardiac arrhythmia had caused a cessation of blood flow to the brain.
* The fainting story does not add up--What is the likelihood that an apparently healthy woman, who ran marathons, would faint and hit her head on a desk in such a way that would cause death? It's pretty unlikely, our research indicates. Reports APJ:

Presumably the heart valve condition alluded to is Mitral Valve Prolapse. This may be associated with arrhythmias, but rarely with VTach (ventricular tachycardia) or VFib (ventricular fibrillation), the only arrhythmias which would stop the flow of blood to the brain.
Generally, with syncope of whatever cause the "guarding reflex," wherein one raises a hand to protect the head, is preserved.


A report at onlinejournal.com, stated that such a fall in a healthy person is unlikely to cause death. Berkland's determination of an accidental death, however, brought the investigation to a virtual halt:
According to the medical literature, simple falls in young, healthy people, virtually never cause
death. Berkland’s claim that injury opposite to the site of impact is observed only when a
person’s head hits a stationary object is also contradicted by the literature. . . .
The autopsy describes the prolapsed mitral valve in great detail, claiming that the medical
literature sustains the notion that this is likely to be fatal.

Dr. Berkland contends in lengthy autopsy comments that “there are only about three entities that generally cause one to drop in midsentence or in midstride . . . pulmonary embolus . . . a ruptured aneurysm . . . and most common, is a sudden cardiac arrhythmia.” Yet, the medical literature suggests that neither pulmonary emboli nor aneurysms are likely to cause immediate loss of consciousness. A blow to the head is a common cause of loss of consciousness. . . .

Finally, although the report shows the subdural hematoma was severe, it was far from the site deep in the brain stem that controls heartbeat and respiration. Dr. Berkland’s microscopics give no description of the brain stem and no evidence that it was damaged at all, leaving a question as to the exact cause of death. Ed Friedlander, M.D., a noted forensic pathologist has stated that “A good rule of thumb is that nothing inside the head short of a gunshot wound through the lower brain stem will kill a person in less than 60 minutes.”

* The medical examiner had a troubled history--Before moving to Florida, Dr. Berkland had practiced in Kansas City, Missouri. His time there ended in controversy. Reports onlinejournal.com:

Before moving to Florida, Dr. Berkland had worked in Kansas City, MO. The August 30 edition of the Pitch Weekly, based in that city, noted in its Kansas City Strip column, “Former Jackson County coroner, Mike Berkland, provides the brains for a scandal in Florida.”
The Pitch said, “Berkland claims he ‘sectioned’ Klausutis’ brain during her autopsy to determine that her head was injured by a fall, not by a blow from a weapon. But that’s the same sort of claim that got Berkland run out of Kansas City in 1996, after he’d falsely reported that he’d sectioned brains later found whole by his boss—a mistake he blames on poorly proofread reports written with computer macros. No such mistake occurred with Klausutis’ brain Berkland told the Pitch. ‘You can rest assured it was sectioned,’ he says.”

Jennifer Van Bergen, writing at Truthout, said Berkland's actions both in Missouri and Florida raise serious questions about the Lori Klausutis investigation:

The final touch in this case which simply makes it cry out for further investigation is the fact that Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland had lost his license in Missouri in 1998 for "misrepresentation or unethical conduct and knowingly making a false statement in the autopsy reports." As a result, Berkland was suspended from practice in Florida.
In 1999, Berkland's supervisor, Dr. Gary Cumberland, the Acting District Medical Examiner, who, by the way, had donated heavily--and perhaps beyond federal limits--to Joe Scarborough's election campaigns, said that he "still has full confidence in Berkland and no plans to replace him," according to Beach Browser, a local paper. It seems that Berkland was reinstated with the issuance of a "letter of guidance" by the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

Van Bergen provides a summary of the oddities surrounding Lori Klausutis's death:

* The congressman (an ardent and vocal supporter of G.W., by the way) resigns only six months after re-election, just prior to his aide’s death. The reason: amid rumors of marital infidelity, the recently-divorced husband wants to spend more time with his sons.
* A medical examiner who had his license revoked in another state. Why? He lost it falsifying autopsies.

* The medical examiner’s supervisor had contributed thousands of dollars to the congressman’s election campaign.

* Contradictory reports about whether there is a visible head injury or not.

* A medical conclusion that contains several inconsistencies. First, that Mrs. Klausutis, who was a marathon runner, died of a cardiac arrhythmia. Second, that although she had suffered a fractured skull and a “contracoup” bruise on the opposite side of the brain, the injury could not possibly have been caused by a physical assault.

* Then there’s the question of whether the office was locked and the lights were on. One report says the door was locked and the lights were off; another report says the door was unlocked and the lights were on.

* And if all this weren’t enough, there’s the scientist husband who does high level weapon design work for the Air Force.


Is Joe Scarborough a murderer? We cannot reach a conclusive answer at this point. But the evidence strongly suggests that Lori Klausutis' death was the result of foul play, not an accident.
If "Morning Joe" steps back into the political arena, voters should have serious questions about his fitness for office.
 

Carrie B. (311)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 1:30 pm
From American Politics Journal

Special Report

A Death in the Congressman's Office
Does Anybody in the Press Care About Lori Klausutis?
By Denis Wright and Chris George

August 8, 2001 (APJP)

Northwest Florida Daily News Links:
7/22/2001: Klausutis Death Not Suspicious
7/23/2001: Obituary for Lori Klausutis
7/27/2001: Aide's Cause of Death Still Not Released
8/23/2001: Northwest Florida Daily News calls for release of Klausutis records
8/29/2001: Klausutis head injury more severe than previously reported
9/1/2001: Controversial autopsy report by "where's the brain section" Berkland raises more questions than it answers

Other Links:
Original AP story from July 21
AP via beachbrowser.com -- information on Michael Berkland's ME license suspension in 1999
The American Prospect -- Scarborough press secretary Mick Serrano tells caller of contemplated lawsuit against American Politics Journal (make sure to use the "More" link -- it gets even more bizarre)
Bergen Record (reprinted at Bartcop.com): Word on the Klausutis story is filtering out -- skip down to the letter that begins 'News determined by who defines it'
Florida DOH: Berkland's physician profile, complete with two lies about the revocation of his Missouri medical license and chiropractic privileges
Healing Arts News -- page 15: Berkland's propensity for reaching conclusions based on autopsy tests he never did
Naples (Fla.) News -- June 21 article on Klausutis death
Online Journal -- "Protests are out and we will decide what you can investigate"
Moscow Times -- Russia's hottest pro-free-market, pro-capitalism paper picks up the story from APJ
Missouri v. Taylor -- complaint mentions Michael Berkland's "material false testimony"

Once upon a time, the phrase "investigative reporter" actually meant something. It usually involved hard work, possibly even mentation. Now, it seems, they just make stuff up. Especially on the Fox News Channel, where an uninitiated viewer could easily think she/he had tuned in Comedy Central. It's "Chandra-Chandra-Chandra" with the occasional "Condit is just like Clinton" thrown in. Given our media's 24/7 obsession with the Gary Condit "scandal", you might assume that there is a real dearth of hard news to pursue.
In reality, there is indeed a news story percolating out there. The story bears remarkable and ironic similarities to the Condit/Levy story. Both involve Congressmen, rumors of infidelity, and the fate of a younger female subordinate. The details are so similar as to remind one of two alternate universes. The difference between the two stories? First, in the Klausutis case as not in the Levy case, there is a real body, very dead. Second, the Klausutis case involves a Republican.

The story had a brief flutter in the Northwest Florida press, which ran a few very short stories on Lori's death. With the exception of the Northwest Florida Daily News, they were of the "Aw-what-a-shame/ nothing-to-see-here-move-along-now-folks" variety. But nationally, this mysterious death earned a mere one paragraph mention in The Washington Post's NATION IN BRIEF column:

"FORT WALTON BEACH, FL. - Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old office worker for Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fl), was found dead in the congressman's district office. Police said preliminary findings from the medical examiner's office showed no foul play or any outward indication of suicide."

Unbelievably, that was it. The story was simply dropped. A young female employee of one of Florida's Congressmen had died unexpectedly in the Congressman's office. There were no witnesses to her death and the cause of death was not apparent. Klausutis' boss, Joe Scarborough had recently resigned from Congress prematurely and unexpectedly, amid rumors about his marital fidelity and soon after a divorce. He had also abruptly resigned as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun, claiming that resigning from Congress and as publisher was necessary to spend more time with his sons.

Such circumstances make one pause. Sick to death of the clear bias of the corporate owned media, and suspicious of the odd nature of this death, we began to dig for answers. The more information we discovered, the more unlikely, and the more newsworthy the story became.

Here are the facts. Lori Klausutis had a seemingly happy life. A devoted husband who listed on his online homepage "being married to Lori" as one of the honors he enjoyed, a new home in Niceville and a Catholic congregation where she was a cantor and in whose choir she sang, were some of the elements of the Good Life she enjoyed. Her husband, Dr. Timothy Klausutis, did research and development for the munitions group at nearby Eglin Air Force Base, where he presumably made a good livelihood. Although Lori hailed from the Atlanta, Georgia area where she had attended school, there were numerous family members in the area. According to her obituary in the Fort Walton Daily News, Lori had served as President and, later, Treasurer, for the Emerald Coast Young Republicans and as a aide to Congressman Scarborough, she was active during the Florida recounts. A former neighbor, Barbara Cromer, said "Every morning, I would see her run while I walked. We'd wave to each other as we passed. I loved Lori so much. She was wonderful. She was a kind, generous person, so sweet.

Then, on Friday, July 20th, the body of Lori Klausutis, 28, was found slumped next to a desk on the floor of Florida Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office where Lori had served as a constituent services coordinator since May, 1999. Her body was found around 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning by a couple arriving for an appointment. She had been dead for some time. A second employee, who would have normally arrived for work at around the same time, was away on vacation. Police cordoned off the area for investigation, later announcing that there was no reason to suspect foul play, nor were there signs of suicide.

Scarborough's office released a statement several hours after the discovery:

"My staff and family are greatly saddened by the loss of Lori Klausutis. I know Lori will be missed by the thousands of citizens who regularly contact my office to seek assistance with a variety of problems. May God grant Lori's family the grace, comfort and hope that will get them through this difficult time."

The Congressman returned to Florida that same day, and his office was quick to point out that it was not unusual for him to fly home for the weekend.

There was a great deal of ambiguity over whether Lori had suffered past medical problems. Scarborough's press secretary, Miguel Serrano, made mention of health problems in Lori's past, but could not be more specific. In response, Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue is quoted as saying "That's part of our investigation, checking into her medical history." Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland said "She had a past medical history that was significant, but it remains to be seen whether that played a role in her death". Soon after a member of the immediate family rejected out of hand that Lori had any significant medical problems. She was, in fact, quite an athlete, having recently run an 8K with a very respectable time and she belonged to the Northwest Florida Track Club.

The results of the mandated autopsy, however, were deemed "inconclusive" by Dr. Berkland, who ordered more specific toxicology tests. These results were expected by the middle of the following week, around the first or second day of August. Dr. Berkland commented at the time "This turns over several puzzle pieces in the case of her death and reveals more of the picture".

Welcome to the Wheel of Fortune.

Michael Berkland, it turns out, has a very interesting background himself. Recently relocated to Florida, it is a matter of public record that Dr. Berkland's medical license in the state of Missouri was revoked in 1998 as a result of Berkland reporting false information regarding brain tissue samples in a 1996 autopsy report. Berkland does not deny the charges.

It's also a matter of public record that he was suspended from his position as Medical Examiner in the State of Florida in July, 1999.

Quincy, he's not.

Repeated requests to Dr. Stephen Nelson, Chairman of the Medical Examiners Commission, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, have failed to verify that Dr. Berkland's suspension was lifted and that his licensure and disciplinary record are clear at the present time. Dr. Nelson was appointed Chairman of the Commission by Governor Jeb Bush.

As for Lori Klausutis, rumors began to swirl as time passed with no resolution to the case, rumors that included whispers of suicide, some emanating from inside the Beltway. Family members, angered at what they considered unfair and exploitive coverage wrote the editor of the Northwest Florida Daily News, Ralph Routon, saying "For those who knew Lori, the thought of suicide, as your published reports suggested, is absolutely unthinkable. Suicide was contrary to her faith and being. She did not suffer from seizures, nor did she have a history of medical problems." Meanwhile, the final report has been issued that Lori died as a result of a blow to the head because an undiagnosed heart condition caused her to collapse and fall, hitting her head on the desk.

The initial reports from the Medical Examiner's office denied any trauma to the body that would indicate cause of death. But Berkland acknowledged on Monday, August 6th, that Lori had sustained a "scratch and a bruise" on her head and that his original denials were to prevent undue speculation about the cause of death. "The last thing we wanted was 40 questions about a head injury", he said.

And so, what we have here is the death of a healthy young woman who died of a blow to the head and a lie from the Medical Director's office about this blow which was quite obvious to the naked eye. They then had to go search for some reason why she might have "fallen" and hit her head. And they have found an "undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmia". But a number of questions remain to be answered, and we have requested opinions from Dr. Nelson, the Chairman of the Medical Examiners Commission.

The questions are:

- Were Lori's medical records thoroughly examined for any evidence of the pre-existing heart condition? It would seem that someone must have examined her heart if she ran 8Ks.

- Did Dr. Berkland personally examine the site of death in undisturbed condition in order to support his later conclusion that the physical evidence was compatible with his later conclusions?

Presumably the heart valve condition alluded to is Mitral Valve Prolapse. This may be associated with arrhythmias, but rarely with VTach (ventricular tachycardia) or VFib (ventricular fibrillation), the only arrhythmias which would stop the flow of blood to the brain.

Generally, with syncope of whatever cause the "guarding reflex", wherein one raises a hand to protect the head, is preserved.

There are several problems with the head injury. Generally, for a closed head injury to cause bleeding inside the skull, there is a much more severe injury on the outside of the skull. Do the autopsy notes, indeed, describe such a severe injury on the outside of the skull? In fact, the only closed head injury which usually may cause bleeding inside the skull involves a fracture of the temporal bone, with rupture of the underlying artery. The most important discrepancy that should be answered is how intracranial bleeding could continue if the cardiac arrhythmia had caused a cessation of blood flow to the brain!

- Were the toxicology studies entirely negative? Was there evidence of any legal or illegal substance in the blood stream which could have caused her to lose consciousness?

- Was she pregnant? If so, were fetal blood specimens obtained to determine paternity?

These are the questions being asked by some in the medical community of Dr. Stephen Nelson and Dr. Michael Berkland, and they continue to go unanswered.

Why is there a complete media blackout on this story? Why the complete preoccupation with the similar but largely speculative Condit/Levy story? What does this say about the state of our press? What does corporate ownership of the press do to what gets to be news? How much of what we think we know as fact is actually based on selective and distorted reporting? How does that "fair and balanced" cable network explain the complete hypocrisy and contempt for truth in their handling of these two similar tales? Will we ever know the truth of how Lori Klausutis died?

Three Pivotal Questions
by the Editors
September 1, 2001 (APJP) -- Over at The American Prospect's message board thread concerning this very article, Phoenix Woman has asked a trolling Scarborough "defender" three pivotal questions. We'd love to know the answers ourselves:

1) If Lori's death was just a simple accident, then why did Rep. Scarborough and his spokesman Miguel Serrano feel the need to go to two different local TV stations within three hours of her body's being found and invent a nonexistent history of chronic medical conditions for
her -- in other words, why did they feel the need to lie about Lori's health?

2) Would you trust without question the word of a Medical Examiner who lost his ME license in two separate states (Missouri and Florida) because he LIED about his autopsy work (for instance, saying he had autopsied some brains when he hadn't)?

3) Why should whoever wrote Ms. Klausutis's obituary feel it was appropriate to mention nearly everything about her life -- EXCEPT where she'd been working since 1999?

A recent check of the Young Republican's web site found no mention of Lori or her contributions, nor any tribute to her memory nor comments about her passing. In fact, you will find no mention of her at all. If you go to The Pensacola News Journal's online pages, one of the few papers that actually covered the story, and search the site for "Klausutis" you will come up empty, even though the same search will pull up numerous stories matching "Scarborough". It seems as though someone wants to erase all traces of Lori Klausutis from the record and bury the story with her.
It's an increasingly puzzling case. We are reminded of the famous Kitty Genovese case, in New York, in 1964, where a young woman pleaded for her life over the period of 30 minutes, while neighbors ignored her cries. The assailant returned three times to stab her. With Lori Klausutis, it seems possible that a corrupt North Florida establishment is determined to keep the lid on the case, even if that means silencing the news. And our esteemed news media, from the supposed mainstream liberal press stalwarts to the near delusional on air shouters of the channel that just reports so that you can decide, willingly turn the other way and ignore Lori Klausutis. But they continue to chatter endlessly in speculation over Chandra Levy. In so doing, they ignore the cries of truth, they deny their viewers access to the truth and they utterly, once and for all, betray our faith and trust in the media.

This report was made possible by devoted citizens who are determined to bring Lori's story to the light of day. Their contributions in research and insight are more appreciated than we can say. Thank you from both of us to each and every one of you.
 

Carrie B. (311)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:09 pm
My personal feelings are that more questions need to be asked. Marg, you sound quite angry about this. I am not sure why.
 

Carrie B. (311)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:58 pm
I think we should all be held to the same standard. Including Scarborough!
 

Patrice M. (84)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:30 am
In light of the recent findings about this medical examiner, I think the Klausutis case should be reopened. Obviously, Berkland was not playing with a full deck.
 
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