What happened in the Jascalevich case and why was it important?
On May 18, 1976, a Bergen County grand jury indicted Dr. Jascalevich, chief of surgery at Riverdell, on charges of murdering five patients with injections of curare, a muscle- relaxing drug. After the longest criminal trial in New Jersey history, Dr. Jascalevich was acquitted.
What poison was Jascalevich accused of using to murder his victims?
The “Dr. X” killings were a series of suspicious deaths by curare poisoning, in 1966 at a Bergen County, New Jersey hospital. A newspaper investigation during the mid-1960s led to the indictment of an Argentina-born physician, Mario Enrique Jascalevich (August 27, 1927 — September 1984), in 1976.
Was Dr jascalevich found guilty for the deaths of any of his patients?
The unanimous jury found Dr Jascalevich was not guilty of the charges of murder for which he had been tried. He was acquitted, but his licence to practise medicine was revoked by the New Jersey Medical Licensing board for seven unrelated counts of malpractice.
What was the trial of Dr Mario Jascalevich?
Tissue samples were taken and divided among toxicology laboratories. Curare was found, apparently, in several of the bodies and Jascalevich was arraigned for the murder of these patients. The 34 week trial, conducted before 18 jurors, started on 28 February 1978.
Who was the reporter in the Jascalevich case?
State v. Jascalevich, 386 A.2d 466 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. 1978) It starts like a pulp novel: Myron Farber, reporter for the New York Times, gets an assignment from his editor. The paper has received a letter alleging that a medical doctor murdered 40 patients. It is June 1975.
Why was Mario Jascalevich called Dr X?
Jascalevich claimed he used it to experiment on dogs. After a cursory investigation, the Bergen County prosecutor dropped the case. Farber published his first story on Jascalevich—calling him ‘Dr. X,’ since no guilt had been proven—in January 1976. Jascalevich was indicted that May.
What did Mario Jascalevich say about mass spectrometry?
However, under cross-examination he stated that mass spectrometry is not an absolute test for curare but ‘just probably indicated that it was there’. Today we would combine the spectrometry with capillary gas chromatography.