Arrest in Patient's Rape 2/3/1981


An employee of the Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham was arrested last night in Waltham and charged with rape and indecent assault on a mentally retarded person, according to State Police. The employee, Ernest D. Cardoza, 25, was being held at the Concord State Police barracks in lieu of $500 bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned today in Waltham District Court. Cardoza is charged with the rape of a 47-year old female mental patient at approximately 1:30 a.m. yesterday at the hospital. The woman, whom authorities declined to identify, was returned to the hospital after being treated at Waltham Hospital.




State Police on the Lookout for Escaped Patient 9/3/1981


State Police have appealed to members of the public to be on the lookout for a man who escaped from the Metropolitan StateHospital in Waltham last Tuesday. Being sought is John P. Pavone of 327 Appleton st., Arlington. He is described as a white male, 31 years old, 5-feet-9 and weighing about 160 pounds. He had long dark hair when last seen and is said to have a swarthy, pockmarked face. He may be wearing a gold earring in his left ear. State Police have cautioned that Pavone has a history of violence with guns and is considered dangerous. Pavone was arrested in June 1972 and accused of being the so- called "Rte. 2 sniper," who had fired at passing cars and killed one motorist and injured another along Rte. 2 in Arlington. He was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for observation, and after a trial in Middlesex Superior Court on June 27, 1975, he was found not guilty by insanity. He was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Last fall, after a hearing before Probate Court Judge Edward M. Ginzburg, Pavone was transferred from Bridgewater to Metropolitanover the ofjections of both the Department of Mental Health and the Middlesex district attorney's office. Dr. Westley E. Profit of the Bridgewater staff testified that Pavone should be transferred to Metropolitan because Bridgewater was unable to "let John learn to live with and understand his mental illness." Dr. Chester P. Swett Jr. of the Mental Health Department, however, told the court that Pavone was "impulsive and prone to attempts at escape."




Rte. 2 Sniper Recaptured in NH 9/6/1981


John P. Pavone, the so-called "Rte. 2 sniper," was returned to the Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham yesterday after he escaped from the facility last Tuesday. New Hampshire State Police said Pavone and 21-year-old Phillip Collins of Arlington, were arrested at a motel in Carroll near Rte. 302 about 9:30 p.m. Friday by Massachusetts State Trooper William Lisano and New Hampshire Troopers Roland Desjardins, Thomas Kennedy and Leo Jellison. Pavone, who was transported back to Massachusetts at 3 a.m. yesterday, was charged with escaping. Collins was charged with hindering apprehension.




Hospitals compared to Walpole 11/6/1979


Conditions in state mental hospitals may well be more restrictive for some patients than in prisons, state Sen. Jack Backman (D-Brookline) charged yesterday at a State 'House press conference. "If you take persons who are mentally ill and put them in restraints and seclusion this is basically worse than Walpole, you are going to have accidents and you are going to have deaths," said Backman, chairman of a special committee investigating seclusion; restraints and deaths in state-supported facilities. Asked to explain, Backman, who has been a frequent visitor to correctional as well as mental health Institu­tions, said, "Seclusion in Wulpole Includes an opportuni­ty io have personal belongings, radios, books and writing materials in a cell. I've seen youngsters in mental institu­tions kept in seclusion without even a toothbrush in their rooms." While Backman praised the quality of treatment of adolescents he found at a regional program called Center Point based at Danvers State Hospital, he said that in other institutions "we have found behavior-modification programs in which adolescents are confined to their room for weeks without counseling or education and of 'strip singles' In which a patient can possess neither a radio nor books" At the Gaebler Children's Unit of Metropolitan State Hospital, Backman said that on a visit to one ward last summer he found 24 seclusion and restraint orders,some over three months old, which had not been approved by a physician. He said children are "routinely" locked into 60,foot-square isolation rooms at that institution. Preliminary investigations of the committee, which was formed late last month by the Legislature, have al­ready uncovered 14 "unexplained deaths," including six involving the use of seclusion or restraints, Backman said.




Murder Linked With Skeleton 5/20/1935


Teeth Only Clue to Find Made at Belmont

Victim Dead About Five Years Section Will Be Searched for Signs of Jewelry

The skeleton of an adult person, probably a man, was found this afternoon on the grounds of the Metropolitan State Hospital although cause of death could not be immediately determined, Dr. Donald Currier and police investigators said that they believed the man was murdered. There was no bullet hole or fracture apparent in the skull but police investigators said that decomposition had gone so far that stabbing, strangling or a shot through the stomach would not be revealed. The place where the skeleton was found was formerly swamp­land and small pond beside a “lovers lane”. Within a year, it has been drained by hospital inmates and State workers. Dr. Currier thinks that' the skeleton has been at the spot for four or five years.

No clothing was found, but a few pieces of burlap were picked up at the spot. The skeleton was covered, except for a small part skeleton with a layer of two inches of earth. The hands were folded together under the side of the head and, although no rope was found the position indicated that they may have been tied investigators thought. Chief of Police John J, O'Brian said that no missing person is on the files of his department or of nearby Police Departments.

The condition of the body was such that it was impossible readily to determine the sex: The bones were small, the skull was small and the jawbone was small. The only hope of identification police believe is in the dental work. There is a set of upper false teeth. The lower teeth were in good condition and no dental work as apparent. Chief O'Brien will have police investigators dig the area where the body, sift the dirt to see if any jewelry or articles of clothing can be found.





Girl Attacker Comitted to State Hospital 7/29/1961


A 21 year old Chaffe Ave. man charged with invading a high school girl's bedroom and slashing her with a knife while trying to criminally assault her, was committed to the Metropolitan State Hospital today. David Bacon pleaded innocent to the charges. Judge Frederic A. Crans committed him.Police said Bacon crept into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Smith early yesterday and went to the bedroom occupied by Mary, 16, and her sister Joan, 18. Joan awoke and screamed she was attacked police said and on the face, arms and back. Mr. Smith raced into the bedroom and battled the intruder, who was finally felled by a combination from the farther and a heavy lamp wielded by the mother. Mr. Smith called the police who took Mary, her farther and the unconscious attacker the Waltham hospital. Names of the family changed for privacy




State Hospital had no water for 2 days 9/14/1983


Sen. Jack H. Backman (D· Brookline) yesterday made an un· announced visit to Metropolitan State Hospital In Waltham and confirmed complaints that the entire facility was without running water for nearly two full days in August. Mel Tapper, the hospital's acting superintendent, told Backman a state or emergency was declared when a pump broke in the facility's antiquated water system, causing a water tower to run dry on the weekend of Aug 13 and 14. The entire complex, which houses 365 mentally Ill patients, was left without any running water until an outside contractor was hired to repair the pump he said. According to patients and staff at the hospital, toilets dogged and patients went without showers and drinking water during the breakdown. which had not been publicly reported previously. Tapper said the National Guard and local fire departments went on alert for the two days because of the danger of fire. The hospital staff provided patients with other liquids for drinking and brought some water into the facility by filling containers with water obtained at a local fire­house.said that on a visit to one ward last summer he found 24 seclusion and restraint orders,some over three months old, which had not been approved by a physician. He said children are "routinely" locked into 60,foot-square isolation rooms at that institution. Preliminary investigations of the committee, which was formed late last month by the Legislature, have al­ready uncovered 14 "unexplained deaths," including six involving the use of seclusion or restraints, Backman said.




Four Youths Escape from Met State Hospital 7/21/1956


Four teenage patients of the of the Metropolitan State Hospital escaped at 7:05 p.m. tonight, a few hours after a former girl inmate and two 17-year old boys attempted to include a mass break from the institution.

The escapees-from Plymouth, Lenox. Roxbury and Hyde Park apparently climbed over a 10-foot high wire fence in their dash for freedom.

Saturday night and again this morning a 15-year-old West End girl riding with two 17 year-old boys, one of them armed, in what was reported to be a stolen car, tried to induce the patients in both male and female juvenile wards to escape. Both times the girl was spotted by a supervisor who chased the trio away.

Police were told of the incident at 7:15 p.m. along with the notice at the four escapees. A New England-wide alarm was sent out for the four and the trio in the car. Hospital offices said many of their youthful patients are in the wards pending court cases.

The girl and the two youths went to the hospital during recreation periods and talked with the patients through a wire fence. Police said their car is a black sedan. Patients saw the gun police said but could not describe it.




Innocent Plea In Rape Case 8/11/1983


A 30-year-old Brockton man pleaded innocent yesterday to rape, assault and other charges in connection with an alleged rape and attacks on Middlesex county mental hospital patients. Gary L. Fountain Jr. was released yesterday on $2500 cash bail at an arraignment in Waltham District Court. His next appearance is scheduled for Sept. 14, officials said. State Police from the Concord barracks arrested Fountain on Tuesday after he was spotted inside a Metropolitan State Hospital building. He was identified as the man suspected of committing rape and assaulting patients, said Thomas Reilly, Middlesex assistant district attorney. The alleged rape and attacks occurred within the last three months, Reilly said.




Dr. Arif Hussain & Alan Leftowitz head to Walpole to start rape terms. 7/8/1982


Dr. Arif Hussain and Alan Leftowitz, two or three doctors convicted of raping a Brigham and Women's Hospital nurse in Rockport on Sept. 6, 1980, were taken to Walpole state prison yesterday to begin serving their sentences. The third doctor; Eugene Sherry, 28, who was living In New York. failed to appear before hearing. Officials of the Suffolk County District Attorney's office said they feared Sherry might of fled the country and returned to New Zealand where his widowed mother lives.




Dr. Arif Hussain and 2 other doctor’s convicted of rape and assault. 6/30/1982


Dr. Arif Hussain, 30, Waltham, Dr. Eugene Sherry, 28, of the Back Bay, and , and Dr. Alan Lefkowitz, 30, of Waterbury, Conn., were placed on probation for one year after they complete their prison terms at Walpole.

The doctors were accused of kidnaping the woman from a Brighton party which they all attended on the night of Sept. 5 and of forcing her to accompany them to Rockport where the Lefkowitz family maintains a beach house.

She testified that all three doctors tried to rape her simultaneously, but that they were unsuccessful and later raped her individually. The victim testified that she pleaded with the doctors to leave her alone, but that her pleas were to no avail.

The doctors admitted that they had sexual relations with the woman but claimed that she consented to their activities and, in one episode, initiated sexual intercourse with Lefkowitz.

At the time of the incident, Hussain and Sherry were chief residents in the anesthesiology department at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Lefkowitz was a second-year resident at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury and was taking a course in hematology at the Brigham and Women's.

They were charged with aggravated rape and kidnaping but the jury of seven men and five women acquitted the doctors on the kidnaping and aggravated rape indictments, and convicted them of the lesser included offense of so-called simple rape.

The doctors, therefore, each faced prison terms of up to 20 years on the simple rape convictions.

In recommending the terms of three to five years, O'Neill informed the judge that Flanagan had caused a study to be conducted on all rape sentences in Suffolk County from 1978 to l980.




Dr. Arif Hussain acquitted on all 3 counts 5/13/1982


ln a Middlesex Superior Court courtroom thick with the accreted suspense of the five and-a-half week rape trail of Dr. Arif Hussain strode 12 grim-faced jurors yesterday and providing wrong the courtroom folklore that grim faces mean a verdict of guilty, acquitted the doctor for all three charges.

The four women and eight men kept the poker faces they had worn throughout the 15 days of testimony as they took their seats and avoided looking at the defendant or anyone else. Judges, lawyers and court officers know better but the folklore persists that stern faces and short deliberations mean a guilty verdict.

This jury had spent four hours before concluding that Hussain was not guilty of raping a Metropolitan State Hospital patient in her bed March 26, 1978. and trying to rape and assaulting a second patient in the same hospital on Oct, 19 of that year.




Dr. Arif Hussain rape charges 5/4/1982


A woman has charged that Dr. Hussain came into her hospital room on the night of March 26, 1978, injected her with morphine, lied her down and raped her. Dr. Hussain, 31 is also charged with attempted rape and assault and battery on a second patient at Metropolitan State Hospital in October as well.




1800 Patients in Blacked-Out State Hospital 3/22/1958


Power Loss Cut Heats Down to 65

The Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, with 1800 patients, was in total darkness last night for over 30 hours after high winds snapped stale-owned utility lines leading into the sprawling institution. Boston Edison crews were called in to assist state electricians but at midnight the source of trouble had not been located. Dr. William McLaughlin, superintendent, said there is partial heat in all but two buildings. All patients are being fed hot meals from gas operated kitchens. Refrigerators have stopped working, a major food problem is expected this morning as perishables will have to be thrown away.

All hospital personnel have been recalled to duty. Last night they comforted frightened patients as they went from ward to ward issuing extra blankets. An emergency generator is supplying enough electricity to the power house to allow heat to be maintained at 65 degrees throughout the institution. Some 50 patients were moved from the two heatless buildings into other parts of the hospital. The two buildings were medical units and housed no psychiatric patients.

Most of the 10 buildings on the grounds have steam heat, but the two newer buildings in use a blower system. The blowers stopped working when the power failed at 7:30 Thursday night.

Dr. McLaughlin "that if any medical emergencies arise, the patient will be taken by ambulance across Trapelo Rd. to the Walter Fernald School where surgical rooms are available”

Nurses, doctors and attendants are using spotlights, flashlights and battery light units in wards to their way about. Dr. McLaughlin personally worked with hospital electricians all day attempting to find the source of the trouble. Two wires which were blown down were repaired but the lights still did not come on.





4 Girls Escape State Hospital By Seizing Keys 4/8/1957


Four teenaged girls escaped from Metropolitan State Hospital at 10 o’clock tonight after seizing keys to their locked dormitory from a woman attendant whom they threatened with a table lamp.

The quartet 13 to 15 years old were described as “considered dangerous” in a State Police alarm which said they were armed with knives.

Two of the escapees are from Roxbury and one from Jamaica Plain and the forth from Lowell. They made their break from the second floor dormitory after unlocking a door at the second-floor landing and another door at street level.

Two From Lancaster

Two girls were quartered in a section of the children’s unit housing patients with extreme emotional troubles according to Dr. William McLaughlin, hospital superintendent. Two of the escapees were transferred recently from the Lancaster School for Girls.




In Hospital, the Smell of a Dying Institution 7/24/1979


Outside Metropolitan Stale Hospital, the floral plantings near the entrance are perfect, in keeping with the institution's affluent suburban surroundings. Silent acres are manicured golf-course green at state expense. Inside the three red-brick buildings still housing patients at the slate mental hospital, conditions reflect the last cruel agony of a dying institution.

The Tri-City unit, serving people from Everett, Medford and Malden, is out-standing for Its smell. There Is nowhere in the building to escape the institutional blend of disinfectant and urine that permeates the floors.


The Concord unit houses people from nine communities, including Harvard, Acton, Littleton and Concord. It has had no physician since last November to provide even nominal medical care.

Al the Mystic Valley unit, which serves, among other communities, Belmont, Lexington and Arlington, Dr. Harrison O'Connor, medical director, says "even in the section for acutely ill patients - new admissions, it takes six to eight months to provide the treatment general hospitals can do in six to eight weeks because of lack of staff. When these patients are ready for discharge, no facilities will take them. They have no­where to go."

"What you see in the state hospitals today is the mirror image of society’s intolerance to the mentally ill” says Dr. Robert L. Orkin the states mental health commissioner who maintains that people should not be “wrenched away from their families and communities as the price of receiving care from the state.

The total number of patients in Massachusetts state hospitals has been reduced from 23,000 a quarter-century ago to 2700 now as result deinstitutionalization programs. Some of the remaining patients are pathetic old survivors of the so-called “Snake-pit” era like Joe who walks up and down a narrow corridor in one unit clutching his left trouser leg. He’s a left-over from the days when patients were not allowed to wear belts because belts can be used for suicide.

Other are recent arrivals like a woman curled up in a cart-like chair in a corridor. One leg is curled up under in a contracture that will last until she dies unless physical therapy can be found. Before her money ran out, she was frequently a patient at a fancy private hospital.

Locked wards in the Tri-City unit are labeled “rehabilitation unit”. The sign looks like a bad joke. The major activity appears to be lolling around for those who choose not to pace the corridors.




Four Fired in Alleged Sex Abuse at Hospital 31 Other Workers Are Disciplined 11/24/1990


The Department of Mental Health has fired four workers for the alleged sexual abuse of five female patients at Metropolitan State Hospital.

Department officials last week also disciplined 31 other employees at the hospital for not reporting their knowledge of or suspicions about sexual abuse at the Waltham facility during the past two years.

A spokeswoman for the department said the firings, along with last week's notices of disciplinary action against the 31 employees, constituted the largest collective disciplinary action in the history of the department.

"The disciplinary actions for failing to report knowledge or suspicion of sexual abuse involved support staff, nursing staff, mental health workers, security staff, employees of the hospital's department of psychiatry. This was a hospital wide action," said Mary McGeown.

"Clearly, sexual abuse and sexual harassment undermine everything that this department is about," she added. "It is critical that the staff report anything that could compromise the health and safety and dignity of our patients -- whether those reports are based on knowledge or suspicion."

McGeown said the department was taking a "hardline" approach in disciplining members of the Metropolitan State staff who either knew about or suspected the sexual abuse but did not report it to their superiors.

The four staff members fired include a hospital nursing supervisor, a hospital security officer, a mental health worker and a hospital plumber. Department officials withheld the fired workers' identities, noting that the workers' names were referred to the Middlesex district attorney for possible prosecution.

Department officials also put notices in the personnel files of the alleged perpetrators recommending that they not be rehired and that they not be hired for any human service jobs that might bring them into contact with clients.

McGeown emphasized that the remaining 36 disciplinary actions against 31 employees, which included seven letters of reprimand, 22 suspensions, one firing and six disciplinary hearings, affected workers in all departments of Metropolitan State.

McGeown said the hospital's chief operating officer, Audrey DeLoffi, resigned in August before last week's disciplinary actions were taken. DeLoffi, who was chief administrator at Metropolitan State since 1985, could not be reached for comment last night.

According to one source familiar with the department's investigation, the sexual abuse charges surfaced in February at a dance for hospital patients when a hospital security officer refused the request of a female patient to dance with her. The patient responded: "How come I'm good enough to have sex with but not good enough to dance with?" added the source, who asked not to be identified.

After that episode, department officials began the first of five investigations that led to the discovery of other cases of sexual abuse. The probes led investigators to three other hospital staff members who allegedly had sex with patients and other staff members on the hospital grounds.

McGeown said the security officer, who was suspended in February, was fired in September for having sex with a patient on and off the hospital's grounds. The accused mental health worker was fired in June.

The hospital plumber accused of having sex with a patient was fired last month, as was the nursing supervisor.

According to department officials, the nursing supervisor was found in an office with a psychiatric patient who had been restricted to her ward.

In addition to being accused of having sex with two patients and making sexual advances to staff members and visitors, McGeown said the supervisor was accused of making racially offensive remarks and showing pornographic photographs to other hospital employees.

The hospital plumber and the mental health worker were also accused of having sex with patients on the hospital grounds.

In July, Stephen Day, deputy commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, directed a review of the investigations to determine how many staff members failed to report what they knew or suspected about the illegal activities.

That review ended last week with the issuing of seven letters of reprimand, seven one-day suspensions, eight three-day suspensions, seven five-day suspensions, one termination and six hearings to determine disciplinary actions. McGeown said disciplinary actions would not be implemented until they were ratified after mandatory departmental hearings.

One union official yesterday accused department officials of having a "witch hunt" mentality. Cliff Cohn, president of the Department of Mental Health chapter of local 509 of the Service Employees International Union, said two of his members received letters of reprimand last week, while a third received a notice of suspension.

"When DMH investigators interviewed our members at Metropolitan State, some of them admitted to hearing rumors of client sexual abuse. But, at the time, they said they didn't report the rumors because they knew that the rumors were already under departmental investigation," said Cohn, whose union represents social workers, case managers, rehabilitation workers and other mental health professionals.

"Some of my members are veteran mental health workers whose last wish is to see a client be hurt. If they're guilty of anything, it's that they trusted the DMH and its investigators to take care of the problem," Cohn said.

McGeown defended what she called her department's "aggressive" response, noting that some staff members failed to report obviously suspicious activities, such as one accused employee's spending unusual amounts of time in a unit for female patients. Other employees, she added, failed to report "very suspicious conversations."

"It is most important that our staff report any suspicion in timely fashion so we can prevent patients from being victimized," McGeown said. "We would rather have the staff be conservative and report activities which turn out to be innocent rather than keep silent and have something like this go on for a period of years.

"Some staff members at the hospital had knowledge or suspicions which they failed to report. This failure to act undermines everything we do in trying to provide treatment and dignity to our patients."

After the department's determination that sexual abuse had occurred, department officials assigned a team of mental health workers to interview the victims and assess any psychological damage that had taken place, McGeown said.

She said that, after DeLoffi's resignation as chief operating officer of Metropolitan State, the department appointed Fernando Duran as acting administrator. He was replaced earlier this month by Mary Lou Sutters, who is currently acting as chief operating officer.




Three Overpower Guard, Flee State Hospital 6/30/1956


Three patients who overpowered a male attendant yesterday and escaped from the maximum security ward at Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham were still at large late last night. Police throughout New England were alerted to arrest the three identified as Philip Hoffman, 20 of Malden, Vincent Micale, 27 of Belmont and Kenneth Young, 26 of Watertown.

The men attacked the attendant Thomas Early, 26 of Malden, they took his keys and locked him in a room before fleeing down a rear stairway. A search of the dense woods around the hospital failed to produce any trace of the escapees.

Dr. William F. McLaughlin the hospital’s superintendent described the three patients as aggressive and dangerous if in need of food and money.

Shortly after lunch, the three surprised Early in a corridor. The attendant was punched in the rubs and scratched in the fight for the escape keys.

Other Attendant Busy:

The other attendant on the ward John Dallon, of Belmont, was returning dishes by a service elevator in another corridor of the ward when, Earley was attacked. “Young asked me to open his room so he could take a nap” Early said. “When I bent over to unlock the door,, all three jumped me, there was no warning whatsoever”




Pair Given 15 to 20 Years For State Hospital Escape 12/13/1950


Principals in a spectacular armed escape from the Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham last February. Atwood White and John Daley, were each sentenced to 15-20 years in State Prison late yesterday afternoon. The 12-man Middlesex Superior Court jury deliberated only 10 minutes before returning the verdict against the men, who were tried on a charge of taking keys from hospital attendants they held up to effect the escape of White. Sentence was pronounced by Judge Thomas Dowd.

At the conclusion of the speedy, one-day trial, White was also found guilty on three other charges. He received sentences of 5-7 years for larceny of an automobile vehicle 2-3 years for carrying a pistol and a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime was filed. The sentences will be served concurrently with the major penalty. The pair acted as their own counsel but exercised no rights of challenge when the jury was chosen and only White summoned witnesses. No arguments to the jury were given by either side.

The sensational break was made after White had been sent to the hospital for mental observation. Daily was alleged to have engineered White’s escape by overpowering two attendants using a gun and knife. Daily was finally capture at gunpoint by the FBI in Philadelphia and White was caught by FBI agents in Brooklyn, NY.





Hospital Man’s Death 4/9/1973


The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health is Investigating the death of a 23-year-old mentally retarded man at Metropolitan State Hospital last week after he apparently swallowed a poisonous disinfectant used for washing floors.

John McMann, who in 1966 was transferred from the Fernald State School for the Mentally Retarded to Metropolitan State Hospital, Waltham , died shortly before midnight March 27 in the D-1 ward of the Continuous Treatment Group building.

Some five hours earlier, McMann had apparently drunk some disinfectant that John Lynch, another patient on the ward, had gotten out to swab the floors, according to hospital officials. The disinfectant Is normally stored in a locked room away from the patients.

There were two members of the hospital staff on the ward at the time of the incident a licensed practical nurse and a ward attendant. However, the nurse was readying the patients nightly medicine in a separate room, so in actuality Ted Eloy , the ward attendant, was alone In charge of some 30 patients, several of whom were retarded in addition to being mentally ill.

Eloy last week said he first noticed something was wrong when he found McMann coughing and vomiting violently around 7:30 p.m. Determining that McMann had probably swallowed some disinfectant, Eloy called a doctor, who prescribed ipecac, which is designed to force a patient to vomit.

Eloy said McMann vomited several times and had trouble breathing for the next few hours but that by 11 :15 p.m., "he seemed to be much better.” So the ward attendant left and was replaced by the night attendant. During the next half hour, however, McMann began to cough and choke again and the situation became critical. His heart stopped and despite attempts by Raymond Costa the nurse on duty to revive McMann through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage, the died by 11:45p.m. A medical examiner ruled that McMann died from choking on his own vomit.

Names changed as this was an accident, not neglect.




Patient Dies After Fall 1/13/1959


Head Injuries Fatal Following Altercation With Another Inmate

A 53-year­old Boston man, a patient at Metropolitan State Hospital, died today 10 hours after he had been injured in an altercation with a 17-year-old youth, also a patient, Dr. William Gaebler reported to the State Department of Mental Health.

The victim, Joseph Adams died of head injury sustained when he fell to the floor in a second story ward, Dr. John W. Wilcox said. Adams had been admitted to the hospital Tuesday from the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, police report. Police who investigated the death said the Boston boy was sitting in a rocking chair and Adams was “teasing” him and threating to tip him out of the chair.

The boy, suffering from a brain disorder which causes " flailing of the arms got up from the chair to remonstrate with the older man. Both patients were unsteady on their feet because of their disorders. Adams fell and struck his head on the concrete floor. The boy has been a patient two months. Previously he had been treated at Boston Psychopathic Hospital.

Dr. Clifton T. Perkins, state director of mental health, turned Dr. Gaebler's report over to Dist. Atty. George Thompson this afternoon. State Police detectives James F. Conniff and Sylvester Meade are investigating.





Children Moved As Smoke Fills State Hospital 12/28/1962


More than 8 to 10 children were moved from their beds last night at the Metropolitan State Hospital, after smoke from a pipe chute filled three floors. Supervisor Mary Shaughnessy smelled smoke and notified the building steward, Paul O'Leary, who called the Waltham Fire Department. The children were quickly aroused and moved to another section. The fire department extinguished the blaze and cleared the smoke through exhausts. Dr. William McLaughlin said a child threw a lighted magazine into the chute which started the fire.




2 Escapees, 15 Ransack Store Dress “Fit to Kill” 4/18/1949


Dressed to stop any Easter parade and puffing on fat cigars two 15-year-old boys were arrested in Watertown yesterday after a night spent ransacking a Cambridge department

store from basement to roof. The pair, clad in black sombreros, yellow and green sateen sport jackets, and fawn colored slacks, were surprised at a diner they had broken into for a hearty breakfast of sandwiches and beer.

Police said the boys, one from Somerville and the other from Roslindale, were inmates of the Lyman School who had been transferred to the Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham. The pair escaped from the hospital Friday night. wearing the clothing furnished them by the institution.

They Hide In Washroom

They slipped into a department store near Porter Sq. just before closing time Saturday evening, and hid in a washroom until the employees left. Then they made the rounds of the four floors. They ransacked counters, broke showcases, tried on and discarded piles of clothing until they found raiment that suited their fancies.

When bedtime came, they piled 'up three mattresses and slept on them. For relaxation, they found a radio and plugged it in. About 10:30 yesterday morning, refreshed alter a good night's sleep, they left by the back door. Breakfast was the next step. They broke into a diner near the Watertown Arsenal, cooked up a mess of sandwiches and washed them down with beer.

At this point their weekend, came to an end. Watertown police caught them while they were digesting their breakfasts. One surrendered quietly, the other fled, and was captured nearby.

Cambridge Detective Sgt Alfred E. Marckini said the pair had with them a number of watches, cigarette lighters and other merchandise taken from the department store.




Boy Gunman, 2 Others Escape and Nabbed in Charlestown 3/2/1949


Four juvenile patient including Lawrence McQuarrie 14-year-old South End boy who shot and seriously wounded a druggist escaped from the Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham about 5pm last night and at 1:15 this morning were captured at the Charlestown home of one of them.

The state and local police hunt for the four boys, who fled the sprawling hospital by scaling a I0-foot fence after wriggling through a half-open window in the first floor of the medical building, came to an end in Charlestown. Dr. Benjamin Riggs assistant superintendent of the hospital on being told that the four had been picked up said the boys would now be kept separated to prevent a similar occurrence. Riggs said the other two youths who escaped were John Doe of Westboro and Joe Smith of Canton. He said all the boys were at the hospital on account “behavior disorder" with the exception of one who “showed mental signs.”

The flight was made over a 10-foot chain-link fence that encloses a courtyard outside the medical unit. By forming a human ladder with one standing on another’s shoulders the seven youths scaled the barrier. In what Riggs described is a "planned escape" the boys gained exit from the first floor of the medical building by breaking a lug in the frame of a window in a small clothing room. The window, according to Riggs, normally opens down from the top about four inches. By breaking the lug that stops the descent of the upper window the boys were able to open the window 10-12 inches from the top. They wriggled their way out into the courtyard where they made the ascent over the barbed wire-topped fence.

The youthful escapees tramped through the woods near the hospital encountering no adventures except that young McQuarrie lost his left shoe. But he found some old rags and fashioned some foot gear.




Supervisor In Abuse Case Also Said To Be School Nurse 12/1/1990


DMH officials declined to provide the names of any of the 35 employees. A department spokesperson confirmed that the nursing supervisor is a registered nurse. A spokesman for the Board of Registration in Nursing told the Globe there is only one registered nurse in Massachusetts named [Thomas Dunlap]. A DMH official confirmed that Thomas Dunlap worked at Metropolitan State Hospital until Oct. 3, 1990, the date on which the nursing supervisor was fired for alleged sexual abuse.

According to Mary McGeown of the DMH, the nursing supervisor who was terminated for sexual activities with patients also "took one female patient off the ward when she was restricted to the ward; was found alone in an office with a female patient; engaged in unprofessional behavior; and treated other employees in an unprofessional and demeaning manner."

Manuel Monteiro confirmed that Dunlap has worked as a nurse in the Boston schools since 1984. In 1984-85, he worked 150 days as a substitute nurse. In 1985-86, he worked as a nurse on a provisional contract. Dunlap did not work in the school system in 1986-87, but the following year he worked as a substitute nurse for 54 days. Since 1988, Dunlap has worked as a nurse on one-year provisional contracts with the School Department, Monteiro said.

A male nursing supervisor who was fired last month from Metropolitan State Hospital for allegedly sexually abusing two female psychiatric patients has also been working as a school nurse in the Boston public schools, the Globe has learned.




DMH BLASTED! 8/6/1980


“This report reveals a department out control…abuse and callous indifference are all too common” – State Sen. Jack Backman

A state Senate committee Investigating 20 unexpected deaths In state mental Institutions last year has found "widespread violations" of Massachusetts laws and regulations in caring for patients, according to a report released at the State House yesterday. Charging Department of Mental Health (DMH) officials with a "cover-up" of conditions in state institutions, Sen. Jack H. Backman (D-Brookline), committee chairman told a press conference that an additional 20 deaths that should be further investigated have been reported to his Special Senate Committee to Investigate .Seclusion, Restraint and Deaths in State-Supported Facilities since the group was formed last October.

"There is no real way of knowing how many unexpected deaths took place. The reports we have, came to us from families, friends, undertakers and DMH staff. No central registry of deaths is maintained by the department," Backman said. Deaths In 1979 and 1980 at state hospitals and schools, a prison, a nursing home and a private hospital were listed in the 78-page initial report released yesterday. In many Instances the committee found that seclusion, and chemical and mechanical restraints were used without justification. The committee concluded that these practices are often counter-productive to patient therapy.

"Restraints were frequently used illegally in the DMH facilities, according to testimony of witnesses at a State House hearing on Nov, 30” Backman said.

In the death of a 30-year-old man on Aug. 24, 1979, at Solomon Mental Health Center, Lowell, for example, Backman said the Senate Committee found “the patient had been tied by his hands and feet face-down on a bed in an unventilated room for the four hours prior to his death. Staff apparently tried to cover up failure to check him during this time, as required by DMH regulations. Our staff also found this patient was held Illegally at the center in violation of the civil commitment laws."

Three other cases, among 20 reviewed by the special committee, are documented in detail.

These include:

  • The death of a 22-year-old woman who suffocated while left alone In a "poise" (restraint jacket) at Taunton State Hospital on Sept. 19, 1979. This death involved misuse of mechanical restraints, according to the report. In this case, the committee also found that "drugs had been overused, poor treatment planning contributed to the fatal incident and staff monitoring of the patient and emergency medical treatment were inadequate.

  • The case of a 30-year-old man who died after a struggle with staff at Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston on Sept 9, 1979. In this situation, the committee charges there were "serious flaws" In the DMH investigative process. It also claims "the investigator may have had a conflict of interest since he was also a lobbyist for the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society working on legislation to protect mental health employees from suits by patients and their families.”

  • The case of a 36 year old woman who disappeared from Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham on August 9, 1979 and is presumed dead, but is still officially listed as missing. In this case, the committee found ''possible evidence was destroyed, State Police did not investigate for two months and records were lost. Seven of the woman's teeth, apparently extracted after her presumed death were found in possession of a male patient who had been her friend. The man was subsequently transferred to Bridgewater State Hospital."

Backman said he sent copies of the committee's report yesterday to US District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro In Boston and US District Court Judge Frank H. Freedman In Springfield.

"Court-ordered consent decrees already govern ,even of our state institutions. Unless the administration acts more responsibly. I am seriously considering asking the court to expand existing class action suits to encompass the entire Department of Mental Health," Backman said.

"It ls my personal conclusion that this report reveals-a department out of control. The taxpayers spend more than $400 million per year but have no guarantee that they are purchasing quality care," he added. "For too many patients. the Department of Mental Health acts like a top-heavy, inhumane bureaucracy. Abuse, neglect and callous indifference are all-too-common tragedies."

In his prepared remarks, Backman called attention Gov. Edward King's vetoes of legislation passed by the House and Senate that would Include $1,000,000 in the fiscal 1981 budget to fund a full-scale investigation of the Mental Health Department and to place further limits on use of seclusion and restraint.

"Except with great caution and planning deinstitutionalization should not be accelerated until an adequately funded and staffed independently commissioned called for in that legislation is established," Backman added.




Hospital Accused of Racism Against 22 Black Nurses 8/4/1970


The Massachusetts State Employees Association, charged yesterday that Metropolitan State Hospital intends to demote 22 black nurses it recruited from Jamaica. A complaint filed by the association with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) said the hospital and the state Department of Mental Health intend to replace the nurses with white nurses from Ireland.

The complaint was the first filed under strengthened guidelines against discrimination laid down July 20 by Governor Sargent. The Board of Registration of Nursing, which accredits nurses from overseas, was also named as a respondent in the complaint.

Mark Dalton, general counsel for the association, said the Jamaican nurses were to be demoted to attendants, having already been hired as graduate nurses. “"They were asked to make formal application for demotion from the status of graduate nurse to the status of attendant or tender their resignations effective August 2,” Dalton said.




Waltham Police Captain Arrested 10/23/1981


Waltham Police Capt. William Carmody Jr. was arrested at his home yesterday morning and charged with driving under the influence of liquor, leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury, and driving to endanger.

A 25-year-old bicyclist who was struck by a hit-run driver Wednesday night on Beaver street, Waltham, died today at Waltham Hospital. The victim, Lawrence Haynes, had been reported missing from Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham about two hours before the accident.

William Carmody pleaded innocent at an arraignment later in the day in Waltham District Court where he was released in personal recognizance for a probable-cause hearing on Dec. 3.

Haynes, who received multiple injuries in the accident, died at 7:30 a.m., a hospital spokesman said.




Class Action Law Suit Filed 2/27/1985


A class action suit, alleging that more than 200 mentally ill patients in state mental health facilities with serious medical problems are receiving inadequate care, will be filed against state officials in US District Court in Boston today.

Naming eight plaintiffs, whose illnesses range from epilepsy to congestive heart failure, as victims of grave medical and nursing care problems in various facilities, the suit seeks money damages for all such patients and court judgment that the facilities violate state and federal constitutional rights.

The suit is brought on behalf of the patients by Palmer and Dodge, a Boston law firm, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law of the Boston Bar Assn.

The action was taken following a year of effort to negotiate with human services officials to correct conditions surrounding the care of patients, Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the legal group, said yesterday.

Patients cited in the case are confined at Lindemann Mental Health Center, Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center, Metropolitan State Hospital and Danvers State Hospital.

They include a 55-year-old Spanish-speaking woman who has diabetes, arthritis and chronic schizophrenia, a 33-year-old woman who has chronic bleeding from a peptic ulcer, asthma, chronic renal failure, hypertension and a borderline personality disorder, a 52- year-old man with hepatitis, nephritis and organic brain damage and a 56-year-old man with temporal lobe epilepsy and a chronic urinary tract infection who fell while being bathed and fractured his hip.

"Our information shows that physically ill mental patients are constantly neglected due to the lack of minimally adequate medical care on state hospital and mental health center units," said Darcy DuMont, an attorney at the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, one of the groups that investigated medical care for mental patients.

The group found that "with so few staff, limited staff training, totally inconsistent medical record-keeping and faulty or nonexistent medical equipment, there is no way anything approaching adequate medical care can be provided," Dumont said. A suit by the US Justice Department against Worcester State Hospital, charging the state with depriving 435 patients at the hospital of their constitutional rights to proper and safe care and medical treatment, was filed in the same court last week.

The suit also follows disclosure of three deaths at Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center of patients whose medical complications allegedly went undetected.

In a related development, legislation has been filed by Sen. Jack Backman (D-Brookline) to provide needed medical services or appropriate placements for physically ill state mental patients. Backman said yesterday that his investigators at the Solomon Carter Fuller Center found that "there were no doctors or nurses on the ward for the eight- hour period in which each of the three Fuller patients died."

Named as defendants in the new suit are Mental Health Comr. James Callahan, Dr. Mona Bennett, deputy commissioner; Public Health Comr. Bailus Walker, Human Services Secretary Philip W. Johnston and Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.





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