So, we've taken steps and that's good, but I think it's a totally valid thing to ask because we're not there yet. These are doctors who didn't sign up to become heroes, right? It was the status, because his friend Rand Page, said that he actually never intended to be a neurosurgeon, that he was gonna work at this [stem cell treatment] company and make his fortune there. or were you like, "No, we should push it further, we should make this really clear?". In terms of the production, were you shooting at all chronologically or was itwere you kind of bouncing between time periods? Did you talk a lot about how gory to make the surgeries? A CT scan would later reveal that Efurds nerve root had been amputated, there were several screw holes nowhere near where they were supposed to be, and one screw had been lodged in another nerve root. He was charming. Through it all, Duntsch was able to lure patient after patient under his knife was his extreme confidence. Philip Mayfield, one of Christopher Duntsch's patients, who was paralyzed after his surgery. I didnt take them as funny, I took them as really creepy though. Write to Mahita Gajanan at email@example.com. I sort of equate it to a plane crash. MACMANUS: I think that it was our intent to present the facts as we saw them in our research, and again, allow audiences to draw from them as they will. Did you find out if this guy was torturing animals as a child or anything like that? "I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer.". PATRICK MACMANUS I didn't hear the podcast first. Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor, and has been talking about television on the Internet since the very beginnings of the Internet. Duntsch was fired after he performed a surgery and immediately left for Las Vegas, leaving no one to look after his patient. It was also perhaps the definitive portrait of Orange County, California. From a creative standpoint, what is so unfortunate about the fact that you need to ask that question, and it's a totally valid question is, one would have hoped that we would have always understood that the more diverse and the better quality voices that we have in telling stories, the better the industry is as a whole. Season 1 tells the story of Christopher Duntsch, a Texas surgeon who was convicted of gross malpractice after thirty-one of his patients were left seriously injured after he operated on them, and two patients died . And that disconnect from reality, I found really compelling. But from the people that I talked to, it wasnt so much the money, it was more that neurosurgeons are really prestigious, and theyre like one of the top people Like, if you go back and listen to what [Duntschs college friend and football teammate] Chris Dozois says, and how [Duntsch] was not great at being a linebacker, but he wanted to be the best one. Former Texas Neurosurgeon 'Dr. Death' Christopher Duntsch Subject Of Documentary, TV Miniseries CBSDFW 20K views 1 year ago 'Dr. Death,' The Neurosurgeon Who Left Patients Maimed Inside Edition. From the very start, before there were any writers and before I'd even written the pilot episode, I had said to the studio that if you are asking me to answer the question of why Christopher Duntsch is the way that he is, I will never give you that answer. That it needs to be noted that like, well, you can only give these ladies so many slots. So what do you think, is he just crazy? Duntsch was offered a $600,000 advance and a temporary suite in a luxury hotel to come to Dallas while the couple searched for a new home in Plano, according to a 2018 "Dr. Death" podcast, which inspired the Peacock series. It was for sure, a team effort, and it was a good team. You can't ask for a story that is so ready-made. The best of these series retain the lurid appeal of the news magazine while offering the opportunity to go deeper; to tell stories that resonate as much as they titillate. Death' Review: Joshua Jackson Is Terrific in Terrifying Peacock Series That's as Sharp as a Scalpel. And I dont know that he really ever even wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Later, following another accusation that he was abusing drugs before doing surgeries, Duntsch was relegated to mostly minor surgical procedures at the hospital. Yeah, I mean, what strikes me about it so much is that, you can see that, and you can also see why we need systems that clearly weren't working in this case. Yeah, I do, and theres another one that comes in later. I was gifted the opportunity to tell it. Texas Neurosurgeon 'Dr. My wife laughs at me all the time about it. I expected some oohs and ahhs, but, for instance, the missing screw, when you get to the part that there was this screw where he had put it into the muscle. Because the reality is, is that we're a training craft business. Ellis Unit prison in Texas. Duntsch, 44, is being held in the Dallas County Jail on $600,000 bail on charges involving the death of one patient. Of course, podcast producers are subject to the same profit motive that helped facilitate a guy like Duntsch, but to their credit, Wonderys producers seem to have realized that a story like Dr. Deaths needed to be built on a foundation of solid reporting. Death': "He Thinks He's the Hero of This Story", So when it comes to the question of how he was able to get away with it for so long, that involves a lot of breaking down the administrative and legal aspects that keep a doctor like him in a position of doctoring. Right? He did his surgical residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, spending five years studying neurosurgery and a year studying general surgery. Hes cutting arteries. Ive been writing in print for a long time, so I really enjoyed the chance to do something different. Based on true events, as documented in the Wondery podcast, the series stars Joshua Jackson as Christopher Duntsch, a Texas physician who repeatedly crippled or killed patients in his care through surgeries which were either grossly incompetent or malicious. Well, if you want to just put in there that after the first episode its a lot less gruesome. Had he explored his research and stayed in that lane and never gone to operate, we'd be talking about him in an entirely different fashion today. He had 15 years of medical training under his belt, his CV reportedly spanned 12 single-spaced pages and he exuded confidence all of which landed him a job performing minimally invasive spinal surgeries. Christopher Duntsch, the focus of Peacock's true crime series Dr. Death, looked good on paper. There were some doctors and some plaintiffs attorneys, and later on journalists, who were all working to try to stop this guy. His very first operation at the hospital would once again turn deadly. And by not stopping a narcissistic sociopath, you're encouraging a narcissistic sociopath. As those watching the show know, Christopher was dubbed "Dr. Death" in D Magazine for his botched surgeries that caused the death of several patients and left others with disabling injuries. But perhaps more terrifying, the show depicts the chilling real-life story of Dallas-area neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, who stands accused of killing or maiming more than 30 patients in the 2010s. The value of the legal system, right, of tort reform in the state of Texas was placed above the safety and remuneration of the patients and victims. And frankly, if it hadnt been for a couple doctors who were watching him, who knows? So, while I wish that the administrations acted sooner, at the end of the day, and this is something that I've said for quite a bit now, Christopher Duntsch deserves to be in jail for the rest of his life, because how he acted was completely inhuman and any human that had that ability to feel would have stopped after the first or second surgeries. I couldnt go beyond that. By the time the Texas Medical Board revoked his license in June 2013, Duntsch had left two patients dead. Im not saying it was the systems fault. Its interesting, because when I heard at the premiere, people were reacting to things that I didnt anticipate them reacting to. Christopher, known as Dr Death, was Jerry's friend and the surgeon who performed the botched operation on him in 2011 Credit: Dallas County Sheriff's office The four-part docuseries features old. Both the scripted Dr. Death series and the Dr. Death: The Undoctored Story docuseries are now streaming on Peacock. The real Dr. Henderson and Dr. Kirby could never answer that question, to this day. Because neurosurgeons, they bring in a lot of money for their institution. But police sayanemail Duntsch wrote in 2011 points to his mind-set in the months before he "intentionally, knowingly and recklessly" messed up the procedures. It was a rambling note that touched on Duntsch's frustrations with his business and personal relationships. They couldve just said, Youre the print person, leave this to us. But I would err on the side of less is more. One patient, a childhood friend of Duntschs, went in for a spinal operation with someone he trusted and woke up a quadriplegic after the doctor damaged his vertebral artery. Those were way more telling than the emails, I thought, because if you just read through those you get kind of a look into his mind. He chose Dallas after learning that Young had family near the city and she offered to go with him. And so, thats really what I zeroed in on, the whole systemic failure that allowed this to happen. In June 2013, Duntschs medical license was suspended and fully revoked later that December. Right? and a Ph.D. from a top-tier medical school, a decade of experience, and a central role in a pioneering stem-cell treatment. A new crime drama called "Dr. Death" is inspired by the true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a Texas surgeon who was said to have intentionally maimed 32 patients during surgery, two of whom. You had people that had lost loved ones, one of Duntschs defense attorneys told ProPublica. Its those two question combined the lurid, unstoppable search for an ultimate motive, and the more concrete question of how the medical system allowed this to happen and how we can fix it that make listening to Dr. Death feel like youre eating cake and taking your medicine at the same time. So, I always try its like how do you tell their story, and what happened to them, and what theyve lived through, but without really exploiting them? RELATED: Joshua Jackson on Playing 'Dr. WFAA-TVChristopher Duntsch a.k.a. All Rights Reserved. That is a wonderful question. In February 2012, he went under the knife for an elective spinal fusion surgery. Christopher Duntsch - AKA Dr. Death - spent 18 months as a practicing surgeon at multiple Texas hospitals until he had his license revoked in 2013. Of course, a pediatrician couldnt have done as much damage. One of the patients who suffered disastrous consequences was Jerry Summers, the boyfriend of Megan Kane and a friend of Christopher Duntsch. I didnt want listeners to grow tired of peoples pain. And that was a revolutionary act. When I listened to the podcast, when I got into the conversation with Patrick Macmanus, when he gave me all the research material, I so wanted to make him evil. Chief among them is the mystery of whether Duntsch was homicidal or simply criminally inept. We went out of our way to let your imagination do the work. But more importantly, he explained how he got inside the head of a man who it would be all-too-easy to write off as pure evil. And you know, the hope and dream is that the generation that comes up behind me, it seems inconsequential whether it's all women, all men or a blend of something in the both. Vince Mancini is on Twitter. Duntsch's criminal defense attorney claims her client made honest mistakes while performing risky surgeries. Like a lot of these podcasts, they do start out as a mystery, or they have a big plot twist in the middle. You had people on crutches. Believe it or not, there was stuff I took out. Its lucrative for the hospital. The former neurosurgeon is currently serving a life sentence for the maiming of Mary Efurd, one of. And then I believe it absolutely became a full-blown fire when he went through school and went through the different hospitals, administrations that he went through because he wasn't stopped. How did this happen? I mean, the guy who you think is guilty from the first episode really is guilty. And now you have to have empathy for the people who are the victims of your central character. How many of them struck you funny? Right? A new four-part docuseries from Peacock premiering July 29, called Dr. Death: The Undoctored Story, peers inside the torturous crimes of Duntsch, featuring chilling stories from victims and coworkers who saw the killer surgeon in action and were forever harmed as a result. Out July 15, Dr. Death introduces viewers to Christopher Duntsch, a real-life Texas-based surgeon who in 2017 was sentenced to life in prison after maiming and even killing almost all of the. I will not insult our writers when I say that because they elevated everything, but it's one of those stories that you have to be particularly bad to mess up, right? I could only go as far back as his Memphis days, so I did go back to Memphis, and I did talk to quite a few people who knew him in high school. You just reminded me, that was another danger that we were really grappling with. The screen, almost vestigial now, displayed a still graphic. I have 1M in debt, 10M invested, and 22 years of pain in misery already on the table", 2. This time on 53-year-old Mary Efurd. Duntschs substance abuse was brought to the attention of the University of Tennessee following an anonymous complaint that he was doing drugs before work. Right? Follow her on Twitter at @lizlet. So we shot the episodes in three different bricks. You have to be very careful with that. ", "You, my child, are the only one between me and the other side. Stars of 'Tiger King' : Where Are They Now? Such significant injuries should have been never eventssomething that should never occur in an operating room, a surgeon told D Magazine, which covers the Dallas-Fort Worth area, in a 2016 piece that inspired the eventual Dr. Death podcast. That's something that I think the show captures really well, especially when it comes to bringing you into the worlds of the patient. And that's frankly what I found so compelling about the character is that it's not easy. Kirby, along with Dr. Robert Henderson (played in the series by Alec Baldwin), a spine surgeon who had been called in to fix Duntschs mistakes, were among the physicians who reported and attempted to stop him.