Yesterday March 9, 2009, there was a bizarre murder. A pastor was killed in his pulpit. The killer was not identified at the time. Now there is an argument that perhaps he couldn’t help himself because he may have had Lyme disease and showed symptoms of Lyme disease.
However Blythe Bernhard of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted an article on STLtoday.com “Specialist: linking Lyme disease to violence is premature” that refutes the possibility that Lyme disease is the root cause of violent behavior in general and the cause of the pastor’s killing specifically.
Terry Joe Sedlacek has been charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery in the murder of Rev. Fred Winters. This occurred in Maryville, Illinois.
According to witnesses Sedlacek approached the pulpit and exchanged a few words with Rev. Winters before firing four shots one of which hit Winters in the chest and killed him.
The rumors and suggestions that Lyme disease may have been at the root of Sedlacek’s problem has been formulated on the weakest information possible, Sedlacek’s mother. Ruth Abernathy said that her son had a history of mental illness but that he was diagnosed in 2003 with Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. This caused confusion and brain lesions.
However, when a noted doctor, Dr. Lawrence Zemmel from the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine, weighs in on the issue we are told that it would be an unbelievable manifestation of Lyme disease and that we have no idea what Sedlacek’s records show.
As the article says, Lyme disease shows as flu symptoms and related problems and on a neurological basis perhaps meningitis and paralysis of the face.
There is court history dealing with Lyme disease in which a Connecticut judge rejected a defense of Lyme disease in a situation where a person wielded an ax.
As the article goes on to report, Dr Zemmel said “It would be unfortunate if Lyme disease became an excuse or justification for irrational behavior.”
There is a division in the medical community about the potential of Lyme disease being a trigger for crime.
Sometime ago my wife was involved in an auto accident. She sustained an injury that she did not have prior to the accident. However, upon getting input from a specialist while he would not refute that neither would he verify a change.
Our attorney said: “Doctors are hesitant to put themselves in the position of going to court to testify.”
At some point we are going to have to people accountable for their actions.