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Tuesday June 22, 2010

‘Dr. Death’ Admits on CNN – Thomas Youk His Second, Not First Murder

By Peter J. Smith

NEW YORK, June 22, 2010 ( – Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the infamous advocate of assisted suicide known as “Dr. Death” who helped kill 133 people, admitted to CNN television host Larry King that he murdered another woman before he killed Thomas Youk. It was the latter killing that landed Kevorkian in prison for eight years.

On Friday, Kevorkian told Larry King on CNN’s Larry King Live that he directly killed Janet Adkins in June 1990, contradicting his previous story that she performed her own “mercy killing” using his lethal injection machine.

Although Kevorkian was charged with murder in the death of Janet Adkins, a judge threw out the charges on the basis that Adkins caused her own death using Kevorkian’s machine. Kevorkian’s new admission, however, pulls the rug out from under that decision.

After Kevorkian told King that he himself injected Thomas Youk with lethal drugs, King asked, “Usually they kill themselves, right? So, that was not pure suicide.”

Kevorkian responded, “No. I did the first one too, [Janet] Adkins, the first case. After that, we had the method where the patient could trigger it themselves.”

Kevorkian, 82, helped kill at least 133 persons through lethal injections administered by what he called his “Mercy Machine” between 1990 and 1999.

Kevorkian’s sordid career finally came to an end when he videotaped and aired his 1998 killing of Michigan resident Thomas Youk, 52, on CBS’ “60 Minutes” show. Since Michigan had banned assisted suicide, prosecutors had the evidence they needed to convict Kevorkian in 1999 of second-degree murder with a 10 to 25-year sentence.

However, Kevorkian was released on parole after serving only eight years behind bars after his lawyers claimed that the former pathologist had less than a year to live.

Kevorkian was recently the subject of a laudatory HBO biopic entitled “You Don’t Know Jack” starring Al Pacino, and a documentary called “Kevorkian,” which premieres June 28.

In a speech last year at the University of Florida in Gainsville, Kevorkian lectured students that every “law is an infraction of liberty” and said that the legislative branch was in the hands of “the tyrant,” who was blocking his rights to not only carry out assisted suicide, but to smoke marijuana and carry cocaine.

Bioethicist Wesley Smith commented on his blog that Kevorkian could perhaps be prosecuted for Atkin’s murder, given the nature of his admission.

“Technically, since there is no statute of limitations for murder, he could be prosecuted for Atkins’ homicide,” mused Smith. “Instead, he’ll keep getting high level interviews, movies made about him starring Al Pacino, and $50,000 speaking fees at state funded universities. We sure do have a twisted love for outlaws in this country.”

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