Killers within VA Healthcare System
Special Assignment Reporter:
December 10, 2006
Let me begin by stating the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare
system employs some of the best physicians and nursing staff, not only
here in the U.S.A., but in the entire world. And this article is not
intended to tarnish their honor or integrity in any way. The very last
thing anyone wants to do is discourage veterans from going to their VA
medical centers and hospitals for needed treatment. However, having said
that, the truth is the truth, and I feel a very strong obligation to my
fellow veterans to report the facts as I know them.
On November 22, 2005 convicted VA murder Paul
Kornak was Sentenced in U.S. District Court in Albany, New York to 71
months in federal prison, just under 6 years. Kornak, (a fake VA doctor)
pleaded guilty to a 41 count grand jury indictment including murder and
negligent homicide for the deaths of 5 veterans in 2002 at VAMC Albany,
NY. Kornak never completed medical school but was allowed to sit as, and
sign his name as Dr. Kornak. He then falsified patient records of over
70 veteran inpatients, and entered veterans into a “clinical trial” for
cancer treatment that they were not eligible to be in. The department of
Veterans Affairs claims this was an ‘isolated incident’. However, an
Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) investigation shows Paul Kornak
is merely the latest in a line of medical personnel to be caught
murdering veterans within the VA medical system.
In the ladder part of 2002, a former nurse at a Veterans Affairs
medical center in Miami Florida pleaded guilty to involuntary
manslaughter in the death of a veteran patient. VA nurse James Mullins
had been charged with second-degree murder in the death in February 2001
of Gary Baker, 53, who was injected with propofol, a sedative that can
slow or stop respiration. Mullins was suspected in several other
untimely deaths of veterans as well.
Also in 2002, VA nurse Richard A. Williams was charge with the murder
of 10 veteran patients under his care at Truman Memorial Veterans
Hospital in 1992. Forty-one patients under Williams' care died that
In 2001, VA nurse Kristen Gilbert was found guilty of killing her
patients at a Veterans Administration medical center in Northampton,
Massachusetts. Authorities got suspicious when patients began dying
during her shift, tripling the rate of deaths over the previous three
years. In the seven years she worked at the VA Hospital, 350 deaths had
occurred during her shift, statistically impossible to attribute to
coincidence. Gilbert was sentenced to four consecutive life terms
without the possibility of parole.
In late 2000, Dr. Michael Swango (aka: Dr. Death), was suspected of
administering lethal injections to as many as 35 people. Swango pled
guilty to deliberately causing the deaths of 3 veterans at the VA
Medical Center in Northport, New York. He was sentenced to life in
prison without the possibility of parole. Swango was suspected of many
more deaths of veterans.
According to unnamed FBI sources, in several of these murders
investigations the VA made it extremely hard for investigators to gain
access to a crime scene, evidence, patient medical records, logs, and
staff personnel records. There is little doubt that valuable evidence
disappeared or degraded because of the delays, and VA staff was less
than willing to cooperate with FBI agents. Evidently, it is very
difficult for one government agency to investigate another without miles
of red tape and without being delayed days and even weeks.
Collectively, Kornak, Mullins, Williams, Gilbert, and Swango may very
well be responsible for over 350 deaths, most being sick veterans in VA
hospitals. The real questions are; how many more serial killers remain
undetected in the VA healthcare system? And how many ‘isolated
incidents’ have to occur before they are no longer considered isolated?
If you remember the My Lai Massacre resulted in between 347 and 500
innocent Vietnamese killed, the magnitude of hundreds of possible
murdered veterans begins to sink in. However, no one will ever know the
real number killed, the best we can do is make an educated guess.
The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), is currently investigating the
hiring practices used by the Department of Veterans Affair.
Know your rights! You
have the right to ask ANY VA doctor or nurse to show you their
credentials and diplomas. If you have any doubt about doctors you are
seeing, do not hesitate to ask for proof that they are who they say they
are. If they refuse to show you their medical diplomas, I suggest you
think twice before allowing him/her to practice medicine on you. This
rule applies to ANY doctor you may see, both in the VA and the
[NOTE:] Currently the Department of Veterans
Affairs does not require a VA doctor/physician to hold a medical license
in the state that they are practicing in. In other words, it is
impossible to find out background information on a VA doctor, as they
are not required to register with state medical boards. This is a
practice the VA has used for decades. It allows them to send medical
professionals to go from VA hospital in another state and practice
without having to obtain the approval from the state. A VA doctor in
Atlanta may be needed in at a VA hospital in Tampa. This doctor is not
required to notify the State Medical Boards in either state. And they
are protected by the VA from malpractice law suits.
Firing For Effect (OFFE) is a subsidiary of Veterans for
Veteran Connection, Inc., a registered 501-3C non-profit,
grassroots veteran’s rights organization.