Evil Lives Here: Shadows Of Death is investigating the numerous crimes of former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, who was nicknamed Dr. Death after causing pain, suffering, and even death to multiple patients over the course of two years.
Duntsch was found to have severely botched the spinal surgeries of up to 35 patients and is thought to have been responsible for the deaths of at least two people between July 2012 and June 2013. There were numerous injuries and complaints against Duntsch before his medical license was finally revoked by the Texas Medical Board.
On paper, Duntsch looked more than qualified to be a surgeon; he completed a doctorate of medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and his name had appeared in many papers, but he lacked real-life surgery experience.
Duntsch moved to Dallas, Texas, after university, where he operated as a neurosurgeon at several hospitals. What he lacked in experience he often made up for in confidence. Colleagues said he confidently boasted about being the best but that he also had a friendly manner that endeared him to patients and fellow surgeons.
Christopher Duntsch left his patients paralyzed and in pain
Unfortunately, of the 38 surgeries that Duntsch performed over the course of two years, he botched all but three. He left his patients in excruciating pain and with multiple health conditions. Two surgeries even led to the deaths of Floella Brown and Kelli Martin.
But it was the case of Mary Efurd that led to Duntsch being convicted in court. He was found guilty of malpractice and malicious and reckless actions during a spinal operation that left her paralyzed.
During the trial, the prosecution pointed to surgeries that had gone wrong from as early as 2011 to show that he had continued operating despite knowing he was a danger to his patients. And the prosecution had no shortage of victims who were willing to testify against the so-called doctor.
They blamed Duntsch’s mounting debt problems as the reason why he persevered with the surgeries. They also pointed to an email he had sent his girlfriend in 2011 where he actually wrote that he would “become a cold-blooded killer.”
The defense argued that Duntsch was not a criminal but was just a dreadful doctor who had encountered poor training. However, a jury took the side of the prosecution and found him guilty of injury to an elderly person. He was sentenced to life in prison.
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Evil Lives Here: Shadows Of Death airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.