Official, Scientology take battle to court - 1997-02-14
McPherson died in December 1995 after spending 17 days in Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel. When the case became public two months ago, church officials said she suddenly took ill one day and quickly died of a severe staph infection.
"Dr. Wood responded to that deliberate misstatement," said Patricia Anderson, Wood's attorney.
According to Anderson, Wood now says she spoke with reporters in January to get the word out about her findings, which contradict the church's account.
Wood, who handles death cases in Pinellas and Pasco counties, told reporters about test results that show McPherson deteriorated slowly, that she went without water for five to 10 days, that she was unconscious for up to two days and was bitten by cockroaches. She disclosed the information in interviews with the Inside Edition television show, the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune.