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March 10, 2009

Terry Sedlacek

Ooh, my, Terry Sedlacek seems to have got himself into a lot of trouble. Terry Sedlacek also seems to have come up with a defence that might get him out of a lot of trouble.

The story so far. Well, as far as we know. Terry Sedlacek walks into church one morning and starts taking pops at the pastor, who he kills. The defence is that Terry Sedlacek actually has Lyme's Disease, as a result of a tick bite, and this has caused insanity. That Terry Sedlacek is not in fact responsible for his actions.

Hmm, interesting theory really:

Here again are the horrific details broke Sunday by LALATE. A Sunday church service was underway when Terry Sedlacek interrupted the service, then entered the pulpit, shot pastor Winters dead right during the mass, then stabbed himself. Parishioners tackled Terry Sedlacek. Two were stabbed. They are expected to survive.


But what of Sedlacek's Lyme's disease?

Family members of Terry J. Sedlacek, who has been charged with fatally shooting of Fred Winters, the Maryville Pastor of First Baptist Church in Maryville Illinois report that the 27-year old Sedlacek has been suffering from Lyme Disease.

Terry Sedlacek’s attorney Ron Slemer has confirmed that Sedlacek first contracted Lyme Disease several years ago after being bitten by a tick. Ticks transmit the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial microorganism responsible for Lyme disease, which is known to cause depression and mental aberrations.

Well, OK, but we do have to think about this a little bit. Or at least, a jury will:

Can Lyme disease lead to violence, even murder? This question has come up twice in the past month. First in the case of Travis, the chimpanzee, which mauled a woman in Connecticut. It was reported that he was suffering from the tick-borne illness and that it was either the disease itself or the medication he was taking that caused the chimp, once a star of TV commercials, to snap. And now, the disease is being blamed for causing the mental illness of a man accused of gunning down a pastor Sunday at a suburban Illinois church. Police did not release the gunman's name, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported late Sunday that he is 27-year-old Terry Joe Sedlacek. Sedlacek’s mother said Lyme disease attacked her son’s brain and caused the psychosis that caused him to kill the pastor and wound two others. FOX News could not immediately confirm the report. Sedlacek was reportedly taking several medications to combat Lyme disease and seizures, which nearly killed him in 2003, the paper reported.


Worth reading more of that last link,. for it certainly seems possible that Lyme's can cause psychosis. But as I say above, it's really for a jury to decide. In a way, it's like the infamous "Twinkies" defence of the man who shot Harvey Milk.

I personally am willing to agree that Lyme's "can" cause psychosis. The question is, did it, in this specific case. Just as I'm willing to believe that eating Twinkies can, well no, not be a cause of mental problems, but a symptom perhaps.

March 10, 2009 in Law | Permalink

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Comments

I worked with this kid at the Galaxy restaraunt and he was crazy long before the tick got a hold of him. When he was around sixteen he got drunk and suffered a head injury and was never right in the head after that. He was later bit by a tick and it made matters perhaps a little worse but he was crazy when I met him like 8 years ago.

Posted by: rick | Mar 11, 2009 10:46:20 PM

re "I worked with this kid at the Galaxy restaraunt and he was crazy long before the tick got a hold of him. When he was around sixteen he got drunk and suffered a head injury and was never right in the head after that. He was later bit by a tick and it made matters perhaps a little worse but he was crazy when I met him like 8 years ago."

if what rick says above is true, he should tell the New York Times and all USA media about this. Good post, sir....

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 12, 2009 2:32:28 AM

See blog post here to alert news media, AP and Reuters and AFP and dpa and CNN and BBC and Greg Jonnson too

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 12, 2009 2:41:59 AM

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Terry Sedlacek was crazy long before Lyme Disease and murder SAID RICK, who seems to have known him...

re "I worked with this kid at the Galaxy restaraunt and he was crazy long before the tick got a hold of him. When he was around sixteen he got drunk and suffered a head injury and was never right in the head after that. He was later bit by a tick and it made matters perhaps a little worse but he was crazy when I met him like 8 years ago."

if what rick says above is true, he should tell the New York Times and all USA media about this. Good post, sir....

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 12, 2009 2:42:57 AM

Rick
If you are still reading these comments, can you get in touch with Ellen Beamer here at sharpcool888 at GMAIL dot com

an editor at the New York Times wants to check what you have said about Ted being sick long before this Lyme Disease thing. do email me

ASAP

i have alertet the lawyer Slemer and aslo the PHD at Yale, Dr Shapiro

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 14, 2009 11:11:22 AM

Not to excuse the crime, but Lyme disease can involve neuro-psychiatric manifestation. Google "Lyme disease psychosis" and read the link by Dr. Brian Fallon. Or most any link by Fallon. He's a leading researcher of Lyme disease neuropsychiatry and led an NIH study on the effectiveness of IV antibiotics as treatment for Lyme disease. However...is it disseminated borrelia burgdorferi bacterial spirochette causing the brain lesions/aberrations (similar to tertiary syphilis which Lyme is often misdiagnosed as)? Or drugs used to treat the Lyme disease by crossing the blood brain barrier which can induce adverse side effects imitating Lyme disease symptomolgy.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 17, 2009 4:06:43 AM

Am J Psychiatry 151:11, November 1994 pp. 1571-1580

"Early signs include meningitis, encephalitis, cranial neuritis, and radiculoneuropathies. Later, encephalomyelitis and encephalopathy may occur. A broad range of psychiatric reactions have been associated with Lyme disease, including paranoia, dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, major depression, anorexia nervosa, and obsessive compulsive disorder."

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 17, 2009 4:16:45 AM

Chris

Terry was sick before he got Lyme Disease, see above posts. That is why first part time lawyer dropped the case, he got emails from me. This LYME DISEASE defesnse won't work here....

ELLEn

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 17, 2009 9:31:59 AM

"Attorney Ron Slemer, a part-time public defender, withdrew from the case Friday. Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski was appointed after Sedlacek's parents submitted affidavits saying he can't afford to hire his own lawyer."

Slemer withdrew because he now knows that poor Terry had mental problems BEFORE this Lyme Disease twinkie defense kicked in. This is NOT about Lyme Disease. Slemer knows it now. But the news media remains mum. Maybe Brian B the reporter at the BND will report this now. He knows too but he is not saying. He has the smoking gun now. Stay tuned. And JESUS has nothing to do with this, there is NO JESUS and America is so hung up on this fictional JESUS thing, it is sad. Mrs Pastor Wife, Jesus is not forgiving Terry. There is no Jesus. And your husband is dead. Forget religion, get real.

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 17, 2009 9:59:22 AM

Ellen: Again, I'm not defending the murder, simply pointing out that Lyme disease neuropsychiatric manifestations can influence behaviour. I'm not sure how a pre-existing mental condition would absolve that. Instead, the Lyme disease could exascerbate a pre-existing condition. Slemer may have backed out due to the CDC not confirming the neuropsychiatric connection (so it's been said--I haven't confirmed this info. about the CDC). I believe in Jesus though.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 18, 2009 3:29:47 AM

Chris,
good update, and yes, you might be right too. keep in touch here and keep posting. i think some reporters are looking into this angle now, the Twinky Defense, or Limey Defense, re Lyme Disease Defense.......your input is valuable yes. good stuff, and ignore earlier comments about G-d and J-sus, there is room in my house for all beliefs, and i do respect all religions, sorry for that earlier rant. my bad.

Ellen

Posted by: Ellen Beamer | Mar 18, 2009 3:29:04 PM

Ellen,

I believe in Jesus but just not a big fan of the U.S. church establishment.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 18, 2009 6:26:36 PM

BTW, I probably misused the word absolve in earlier post. Couldn't think of the right word. Still can't. How about this...

I don't see how a pre-existing mental condition would negate the neuropsychiatric manifestations of Lyme disease influencing behaviour.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 18, 2009 6:34:57 PM

One more note...From the Rhode Island Department of Health (on Lyme disease):

..."A handful of physicians have recounted cases in which chronic Lyme patients undergo a complete personality change, sometimes resulting in violent and criminal behavior...."

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 18, 2009 7:00:46 PM

I'm very sorry for that earlier comment here today about not being a fan of the U.S. church establishment. Boneheaded on my part, didn't make the connection that this entire thread is about a pastor having been murdered in a church. Didn't mean to be inconsiderate of anyone's feelings, hopefully didn't offend. Again, sorry, just didn't happen to be thinking of the larger picture when replying to a post that was critical of Jesus.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 19, 2009 3:22:57 AM

Rick - You say he was crazy when you met Terry 8 years ago....that would make Terry 19 at that time, so how would you know if he was mentally ill before he got Lyme Disease. He contracted Lyme disease when he was 16 or 17. I remember, I was friends with him in Highschool and things changed when he was a sophomore or junior. Don't make shit up.

Posted by: Sean | Mar 27, 2009 5:19:11 PM

I went to highschool with Terry as well and he did indeed change but I think it mostlikely correlates with the massive amount of acid he started doing. This Lyme disease thing is all BS

Posted by: Margaret | Mar 28, 2009 6:51:01 AM

Margaret: It isn't BS. When 37 years old, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine) in 4-1/2 months [2/4/01--6/18/01], a year before contracting Lyme disease in Santa Rosa, CA. (Went to the west coast to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada). On the Appalachian Trail, had 14 days of 30 miles or more in a day, four of those in a row. I was in very good condition. "Lindy", 60 years old, thru-hiked the AT that same year (2001), and he did it in 2-1/2 months. Which means Lindy *averaged* 30 miles/day everyday. It was very impressive to learn of Lindy's time and figured it would only be a matter of conditioning to become that good. But the tick bite, EM rash, Lyme diagnosis, and antibiotics have ended my long distance hiking. It is not psychosomatic (imaginary). I had plenty of incentive to remain healthy. Long distance hiking was the only thing I excelled at (and it can be done with very little money). Having hiked long distance, I understood my body. And I also understood my mind. Both have changed following the Lyme diagnosis/doxycycline/cefuroxime. Syphilis bacterial spirochette atatcks the barin, causes pscyhosis. Why not Lyme, especially when it is considered a bacterial cousin to syphilis?

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 30, 2009 9:06:17 PM

I'm interested in what was in the mind of Terry that led him to premeditate this particular act?

What did Pastor Winters represent to Terry that he would target him for death? From news accounts it appeared that he was intent on killing Pastor Winters and kept shooting, 4 times, until he achieved it. This doesn't seem like a random act. It seems that there is something specific that led Terry to kill this particular person.

Does anybody had a clue about actual motive? Has Terry indicated any motive to police?

Posted by: Don Knudson | Mar 31, 2009 3:36:42 AM

One more to show this is not "BS":

The enlarging clinical spectrum of Lyme disease: Lyme cerebral vasculitis, a new disease entity.Brogan GX, Homan CS, Viccellio P.
School of Medicine, SUNY/Stony Brook 11794-7400.

The case of a patient with cerebral vasculitis with a right thalamic infarct associated with cerebral spinal fluid Lyme disease is presented. This entity has not been described in the United States, and only one similar case in the world literature could be found. The patient presented with a progressive headache and subsequent development of grand mal seizure activity. Lyme disease has been associated with cranial nerve palsies, peripheral and cranial radiculopathies, aseptic meningitis, encephalitic symptoms, chorea, and demyelinating polyneuropathy presenting like Guillain-Barré syndrome. These syndromes can occur separately or in combination. Stroke and strokelike syndromes have been attributed to Lyme disease. The literature concerning the neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease is reviewed.


Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 31, 2009 10:01:11 PM

The above post citation:


1: Ann Emerg Med. 1990 May;19(5):572-6.

The enlarging clinical spectrum of Lyme disease: Lyme cerebral vasculitis, a new disease entity.Brogan GX, Homan CS, Viccellio P.
School of Medicine, SUNY/Stony Brook 11794-7400.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 31, 2009 10:03:26 PM

Finally, this abstract attributes chronic meningitis, etc. to Lyme disease (further down in the abstract Lyme disease is specifically named but it is not included in this first paragraph that lists bacterial causes as TB; Brucella; Syphilis)

Chronic Meningitis

A. Borhan Haghighi, M.D.

Department of Internal medicine,
Shiraz University Of Medical Sciences


Abstract

Chronic meningitis is chronic inflammation of the meninges with characteristic neurological syndromes, lasting more than 4 weeks, and associated with persistent inflammatory response (CSF pleocytosis). It may present by meningoencephalitis, meningomyeloradicalitis, cranial nerve palsy, optico-chiasmatic arachnoiditis, meningovascular syndromes and hydrocephalus as isolated, or combined forms. Etiologic causes include infectious (bacterial (TB, Brucella, syphilis), viral, fungal, protozoal and helminthic), neoplastic (carcinomas, lymphomas, leukemias, primary CNS tumors, etc.), chemical, drug induced, vasculitic and granulomatous disorders (SLE, Behcet's syndrome, primary CNS angitis, sarcoidosis, etc.). Approach to these patients includes epidemiological features, assessment of associated involved organs (e. g., mucocutaneous system, eye, lymph nodes, liver and spleen, pulmonary tract, etc.), CSF studies (including microbiologic, immunologic, cytologic, etc.), Imaging studies, leptomeningial biopsy and finally empirical therapy.

Posted by: Chris Deile | Mar 31, 2009 10:09:25 PM

No matter what the cause...he's been mentally ill for well over 10 years. I've known him for half of my life. I can't express how non-violent he was. This is a rare case. He wasn't of sound mind in any sense of the word. I'm glad the judge threw out the case. Don't worry nay-sayers, he'll still be locked up for life, but at least it won't be in solitary.

Posted by: R. M. | Nov 15, 2009 7:48:02 AM

"Slemer withdrew because he now knows that poor Terry had mental problems BEFORE this Lyme Disease twinkie defense kicked in"....

Posted by: ellen beamer | Mar 17, 2009 9:59:22 AM

"Twinkie defense". R.M. states he'll be locked up for life (in their 11/15/09 post). Dan White received only five years for killing Harvey Milk. That was the real Twinkie defense. Wondering about the dichotomy (or even if it's true Sedlacek will be locked up for life...where does that info. come from?).

Posted by: Chris Deile | Nov 19, 2009 3:31:51 AM

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