Scientologist death under further study - 1997-01-14

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F18.png Scientologist death under further study January 14, 1997, Thoman C. Tobin, St. Petersburg Times

McPherson was pronounced dead Dec. 5, 1995, at Columbia New Port Richey Hospital after several fellow Scientologists drove her there from the Fort Harrison Hotel, the church's retreat in Clearwater.

McPherson had spent 17 days in the Scientology-owned hotel, resting and recuperating from unexplained anxiety, according to church officials.

They also say McPherson, 36, "suddenly took ill" at the hotel but distrusted doctors. They say she initially declined to be treated until Scientologist friends agreed to take her to a Scientologist doctor in New Port Richey, more than 20 miles away.

The church contends McPherson suffered from a severe staph infection. But an autopsy by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office concluded she died from blood clotting "bed rest and severe dehydration."

The autopsy also showed "evidence of injury" and cited bruises, lesions, abrasions and marks resembling insect or animal bites on McPherson's body.


{{cite news | first = Thoman C. | last = Tobin | title = Scientologist death under further study | url = http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/tampabay/doc/263203255.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT | work = St. Petersburg Times | date = January 14, 1997 | accessdate = January 14, 2017 }}