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Listener discretion is advised, this episode features discussions of poisoning and child murder. We advise extreme caution for listeners under 13. It's been said that when the mighty fall, the weak field, the rumble, in some cases, however, the demise of upstanding figures can cause far more than shaky grounds. For instance, when 44 year old Deborah Green's world came crashing down. She brought her family into outright devastation. In the decades prior, Deborah had exhausted all pathways to her perfectionist goals.


She dedicated hours to the advancement of her medical qualifications, only to come up short as she did her best to raise her children to. But even showing up for her kids proved difficult. Nothing ever seemed to meet the mark, sparking resentment in Deborah, and eventually it all became too great to bear. Deborah Green, once a warm mother striving to succeed as a doctor, became a monster who would make everyone pay the price of her lost dream. This is Medical Murders, a Spotify original from podcast, every year, thousands of medical students take the Hippocratic Oath.


It boils down to do no harm. But a closer look reveals a phrase much more interesting. I must not play it God. However, some doctors break that oath. They choose to play God with their patients, deciding who lives and who dies each week on medical murders. We'll investigate these doctors, nurses and medical professionals. We'll explore the specifics of how medical killers operate not just on their patients but within their own minds, examining the psychology and neurology behind heartless medical killers.


I'm Alastair Murden and I'm joined by Dr. David Kipa. And hi, everyone. I'm Dr. Kipper, and I'm happy to be here today to assist Allaster and providing medical insight into our final episode of Dr. Deborah Greene's fiery and tragic story.


You can find episodes of medical murders and all of us Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream medical murders for free on Spotify, just to open the app and type medical murders in the search bar. This is our second episode on Deborah Green, an oncologist from Kansas City, Missouri, who poisoned her husband and killed two of her own children.


Last week, we explored Deborah's past, her struggle to gain qualifications as a doctor and her ruthless pursuit of perfection and the American dream. This week, we'll dive into Deborah's most heinous acts. 360, untold personal story of FBI agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of the Silence of the Lambs, she faces inner demons and horrific predators. Now it's her time to speak. The silence is over, Clarice.


The new original series premieres Thursday, February 11th, at 9:00 Central on CBS.


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A cold wind blew through the upscale suburb of Prairie Village just outside of Kansas City, Kansas, on October 24th, 1995, just past midnight, an unnatural glow slowly rose from down the street. Soon, the smell of smoke followed the wind. Waking up the neighborhood, the roar of flames and muffled screams echoed across the community. The desperate cries of Deborah Green's children miles away. Emergency operators received a hang up call from a house in Prairie Village. They dispatched police and fire crews.


When first responders arrived, they found Deborah Green standing quietly in front of her house beside her eldest daughter. Flames towered behind her, demolishing her home. Yet somehow, according to witness accounts, Deborah didn't show any sense of urgency or fear for her two children who hadn't yet made it out of the house. And when authorities inquired, she certainly didn't admit that she was the one who set the blaze. But Deborah's tight lipped response didn't take her far.


Within days, she became the prime suspect in her children's deaths. This wasn't the first time she endangered her family. Two months before, in mid-August of 1995, Deborah Green had attempted to kill her husband, Michael Farrar.


In the days that followed a family trip to Peru, Mike revealed some heavy information. After 16 years of marriage, he wanted a divorce.


It was the second time in two years he'd asked for one.


But after Deborah ran a campaign against Mike with her own children, Mike backtracked and decided to try and make things work with his wife. Around the same time, Deborah quit her job as a doctor to work from home and care for her children.


This wasn't necessarily what she wanted for herself, but it's possible she saw it as a way to show Mike she was trying to make things work with him. Unfortunately, this was unfruitful because Debra couldn't hold back her selfish outbursts. These fits may have been Deborah's way of retaliating against the life she'd been forced to sustain. Nevertheless, in the weeks that followed Mike's second request for a divorce, Debra seemed to grow increasingly out of touch with reality.


In one instance, Mike received a worrying call from his children. They told him their mom was acting weird. So Mike rushed home only to find multiple empty liquor bottles. After taking the children to their aunt's, he returned home, though there was no sign of his wife. He searched everywhere, but Deborah had vanished. Hours later, Mike's phone rang.


It was Debra, but she wouldn't tell him where she was, accepting that she was safe somewhere.


He stopped looking. It wasn't until the next day that she appeared in the house. Again, though, Mike may have seen the impending divorce as an opportunity for Deborah to clean up her act, the marital fallout wasn't exactly a positive catalyst for her. Instead, Deborah nursed a violent rage with plans to make Mike pay for the humiliation she felt Deborah ground up castor beans to put in Mike's food. Castor beans contain ricin and if ingested in excess ricin can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms before ultimately killing a person.


As a result of Mike's ricin poisoning, he would have likely been experiencing horrible stomach pain, cramping, nausea and an intense overall feeling of weakness and fatigue. This painful stomach reaction is caused by the ricin killing off intestinal cells, causing considerable inflammation that results in intense bowel spasms.


The spasming of the gut then induces vomiting and diarrhea, which creates severe dehydration from fluid loss.


As the body tries to rid this poison by evacuating its fluids, blood pressure quickly drops, which causes severe weakness from the resulting low blood volume and the loss of electrolytes that accompanies this purging. Typically, when ricin is ingested, it takes about six to 12 hours for these symptoms to become apparent. There's no question that this type of poisoning would have caused extreme discomfort for Mike. For several days, Mike thought he could withstand the pain he considered going to the doctor, but he decided to wait it out and see of his symptoms improved.


He was a doctor himself. He knew what to keep an eye out for. Unfortunately, he wasn't keeping an eye on his wife, Deborah, she continued, adding crushed up castor beans to his food despite his complaints of painful symptoms. On August 18th, 1995, Mike's pain finally became unbearable. He went to the local hospital in the hopes that they could determine what was ailing him. But doctors struggled to identify the source of his health emergency. Given Mike's recent travels to Peru, his tending physicians later suggested it might be some form of food poisoning or allergy.


Others thought his symptoms were a sign of either typhoid fever or tropical Spirou.


A rare digestive disease like ricin poisoning likely resulted in severe stomach pain, but that can be an indicator for a wide range of conditions. Diagnosing abdominal pain can be really difficult, especially because the specific discomfort can be anywhere in the abdomen or pelvic region and can even frequently change locations. There are also a bunch of organs in the abdomen, aside from the intestines, like the liver, spleen, bladder, pancreas, gall bladder and kidneys. The kinds of pains associated with these organs have their own nuances.


But the characteristics and symptoms often overlap, which can make establishing a diagnosis difficult. Abdominal pain can also be hard to diagnose because the stomach shares a common nerve grouping's with the heart. So sometimes gastrointestinal issues can actually be perceived as chest pain. When the source of these pains put doctors at a loss, they can perform more targeted blood tests that screened for poisons or uncommon infections. There are even specialized imaging studies. It can be used to isolate the origins of the pain syndrome.


If all else fails, doctors can use a laparoscope, which is a tiny thing to with a small camera tip at its end, the laparoscope is inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall that allows doctors to look around and directly identify what's causing the pain. Given the numerous possibilities of what could have been ailing, like doctors weren't able to quickly get to the root of the problem.


Even though Mike wasn't effectively diagnosed, his time at the hospital did afford him one thing, a break from the poisoned food Deborah had been feeding him in the days that followed his admission to the hospital.


Mike slowly recovered to Deborah's dismay.


Still, Mike remained completely unaware of Debra's intentions. If anything, his health scare forced him to rely on her even more.


And when he left the hospital shaken on August 25th, he readily allowed her to care for him, despite his intent to get a divorce.


He figured he should stay with Deborah and his children while his condition remained in question.


Unfortunately, this was the worst decision he could have made.


Deborah played up the role of Caring Housewife, tending to Mike's bedside and providing him home cooked meals. But much like Deborah's seemingly pure intentions, the food she served him was tainted almost immediately after eating it. Mike's symptoms got worse. Soon, the pain in his gut was so immense, he headed back to the hospital. Doctors were mystified by Mike's symptoms, and the fact that he'd been admitted a second time was concerning. But none of them opted to run a test to detect potential ricin poisoning.


Doctors can only work with the information they're given, in Mike's case, it seems like everyone was completely stumped. There are a couple of ways doctors can test for ricin poisoning, but they'd really only feel the need to do so with the presence of a host of initial indicators. And if there were no other obvious culprits investigating the ricin poisoning, possibly would have been a good idea. But maybe the medical staff was too fixated on Mike's trip to Peru to seek other diagnostic avenues.


For a doctor to suspect ricin poisoning, they'd first have to notice an abnormally high liver enzymes in the blood. They would also need to observe a progressive worsening and kidney function, which can be seen through blood and urine analysis. In addition, an exposed patient's blood would have an elevated white blood cell count two to five times higher than normal, indicating that the immune system is trying hard to fight off an intruder. If all of these biomarkers were positive, along with the obvious symptoms that accompany ricin poisoning, it would be of crucial importance to administer targeted exposure tests.


One of these would be a blood exam that specifically highlights the DNA of the gene that produces the ricin, protein, ricin, and the other would be a targeted analysis of blood and urine, looking for ricin in antibodies, which can only be created by an exposure to ricin. Together, these two tests would establish whether or not someone had been exposed to ricin and how much of an exposure the patient had while Mike's doctors were highly qualified and could have easily conducted these tests.


It was probably the last thing they suspected. They had no idea he'd ingested castor beans, as this is an extremely rare cause of abdominal pain.


So even after doctors discharged Mike from the hospital for a second time on August 30th, 1995, not one knew what ailed him.


But one doctor did know, and despite my second recovery from the ricin poisoning, she wasn't about to give up her gig.


For the third time, Deborah poisoned Mike's food with crushed castor beans and watched him eat every bite.


And this time she delighted in knowing her dosage was higher than the past two times with the increased dose of poison. Mike returned to the hospital on September 4th, less than a week after leaving.


This time, Mike's death seemed imminent in constant pain. He felt terrible and doctors were still unsure what to do. But yet again, Mike slowly recovered. By September 11th, doctors allowed him to leave. Little is known about Deborah's thought process at this time, but it's not hard to imagine. Deborah enjoyed Mike's torturously slow ailment and confusing cycle of recovery. She was getting her revenge. As for Mike, his uncertainty about what was happening in his body made him uneasy.


Then Deborah's consistent readiness to nurse him back to health struck him as unusual, given that her assistance seemed to be followed by an up tick of worsening symptoms. Mike grew more wary of Deborah's caregiving. Once again, out of the hospital, Mike confided his recent troubles to a woman we'll call Elizabeth. She had been a fellow parent on the recent Peru trip and the two had apparently sparked a romantic relationship. Since their return, they had maintained communication. And Elizabeth insisted that Deborah had been poisoning Mike.


But Mike wouldn't hear it. Though there were odd coincidences between Deborah's care and his pain, he didn't want to believe the mother of his children was capable of something so horrible. Still, his increasingly volatile home environment made it hard to see his wife in a positive light. Deborah drank heavily most nights, and her speech patterns changed. Deborah got angry at anything that crossed her path and often rambled about domestic problems and annoying daily encounters. She also complained about my ex girlfriend, Elizabeth, and claims she wanted the woman dead on multiple occasions.


Other times, Deborah threatened to kill herself over the collapse of her marriage.


On September 25th, 1995, Mike called nine one one after finding his wife severely inebriated at their family home when police arrived at the house. They found Deborah lying in bed drunk. Mike said she'd been drinking alcohol for two or three days straight. But while Deborah seemed disheveled and inebriated to the police, she wasn't violent. Technically, she didn't need medical treatment, but as a precaution, authorities transported Xebra to an emergency room for an assessment. Meanwhile, Mike called relatives to watch the children and grabbed a few of Tepper's things to bring for her stay at the hospital.


It was then that Mike informed police of a discovery he'd made just one day earlier in Deborah's bag under the bed, Mike found syringes, vials of potassium chloride and strangely, around 12 packets of castor beans. Since Mike was a doctor, he knew a large dosage of potassium chloride could be used to induce cardiac arrest, that accounted for the first two items he stumbled upon.


But the castor beans had Mike flummoxed. Debra didn't garden, and he wondered what she planned to do with them.


Soon he'd find out, but unfortunately, when he did, it would already be too late. Coming up, Deborah's apparent deteriorating mental health prompts a double homicide. Hi, listeners, Alisdair here with a new series I think you'll really enjoy. They say there's someone for everyone, a soul to share your secrets with, a companion to grow old with, a conspirator to commit crimes with.


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Now back to the story.


In September 1995, Dr. Deborah Green was at the end of her rope after her husband, Mike, requested a divorce for the second time. She attempted to kill him with ricin extracted from castor beans.


But her lethal intentions hadn't yielded the outcome she'd hoped for. And her subsequent binge drinking forced Mike to call 911 one to protect her. It was only after Deborah went to the hospital that Mike found potassium chloride, syringes and castor beans and one of Deborah's bags. A doctor himself, Mike, knew a potassium chloride injection could induce cardiac arrest. He became even more concerned for Deborah's sanity. It was possible she was planning to kill herself, but Mike had yet to realize that she had really been planning to kill him.


So when he arrived at the local hospital, Mike showed the police officers the bag of Deborah's poison's with a relative cluelessness about the mountain of evidence he sat on. Police took it, but they weren't so sure what Debra's items meant either. If anything, the contents of Deborah's purse were merely a sign that she needed psychiatric assistance. So her physicians conducted a mental assessment. Her attending clinician, Dr. Pamela McCoy, knew not to judge Deborah's calm disposition as a sign that she was stable.


And when Mike walked into her room, Deborah's quick shift in behavior gave Dr. McCoy some revealing information. Deborah spat on Mike and said, you will get the children over our dead bodies. In Deborah's mind, her forced detour to the hospital may have been Mike's attempt at proving her an unfit mother. Of course, it is possible Mike had attempted to sabotage Deborah, knowing they had a custody battle ahead of them. But we can't know for sure. Regardless of Mike's intentions, Deborah's threatening words toward her soon to be ex-husband were aggressive and measured.


As a result, she was prescribed a stay at a mental health facility, Menninga clinic. Initially, Deborah agreed, knowing she'd been under a lot of stress. But mere hours later, Deborah had a sudden change of heart and disappeared. And when Mike and her family were notified, they couldn't locate her.


Luckily, authorities found her less than two hours later, it turned out that Deborah decided to walk home and nothing more than her hospital gown in the cold, Kansas City, whether they picked her up by the side of the road and took her back to the hospital where she agreed to be admitted to Menninga clinic, according to author and rule in her book Bitter Harvest A Woman's Fury, A Mother Sacrifice, doctors at the clinic had time to diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suicidal tendencies.


They prescribed her Prozac transgene and Klonopin to help manage her symptoms.


Deborah's mental health crisis appeared serious and was diagnosed as a bipolar illness. There are two types of bipolar disorders. Type one presents as an agitated state of mania. Type two is a depressive type, which was Deborah's presentation. This subtype manifests symptoms like hopelessness, irritability, fatigue and anxiety. Bipolar Tu's also have a high tendency to abuse substances, which is noteworthy in light of Debrosse alcoholism. Deborah was treated for her bipolar disorder with three medications that were commonly prescribed in the mid 90s.


However, they're not generally used today because we've recently uncovered the specific neurotransmitter responsible for this disease, which is dopamine. Deborah was treated with Prozac, a serotonin medication that doesn't correct the imbalance of dopamine associated with her mental illness. On top of this, the benzodiazepines she was given may have actually agitated her disorder and symptoms. The current treatments were used for bipolar patients are dopaminergic medicines like lithium, for example. The tuda is another medication currently in use, and even ketamine is being investigated as a potential treatment.


In severe cases, electroshock therapy has proven to be effective, despite the fact that there's always an ongoing evolution in psychiatric treatment demonstrated by how different Deborah's treatment regime would look today. It's always important to try to solve these issues and seek available care.


And she did get care. Deborah reluctantly accepted treatment at the mental health facility. Meanwhile, Mike got to work investigating the uses of castor beans.


Soon, he faced a hard revelation.


The ricin in them could be enough to lethally poison someone if ingested in high quantities. Mike reflected on the bitter taste of the food Deborah had served him, something castor beans are known for. It now seemed irrefutable that Deborah had poisoned him. It's unclear why Mike didn't immediately go to the police with this information. Perhaps he didn't believe he had enough physical evidence. Or alternatively, he may have been holding out on a more ideal time to invoke the information and catch Deborah by surprise.


Whatever the case, Mike wasn't completely resigned with his discovery. He decided it would be safest for him to move out of the house. Just four days after Deborah was admitted to the mental clinic, she had herself checked out and Mike found a cheap apartment halfway between work and his children's school for a short time in October nineteen ninety five, it seemed that things were more balanced than they'd been. With Mike away from the home, Deborah wasn't erupting as frequently.


The two behaved cordially on the phone together and successfully coordinated their schedules with the children who were thirteen, ten and six. The young kids needed both their parents frequently. Despite this, Mike never considered returning for one second.


Mike said he'd heard from other parents that the children's school, that they'd noticed something wrong with Deborah. They smelled alcohol on her breath and saw how despondent she seemed to be.


Deborah still seemed to indulge in alcohol during this time, a choice that could have been highly dangerous, given that she was also on mental health medications. In addition, Deborah's nice gal act with Mike was only a front. When the kids asked him questions about his relationship with Elizabeth, he learned Deborah had been feeding them more lies, that everything wrong in the family was their father's fault. She even explicitly told them Mike was sleeping with Elizabeth. Unfortunately, Mike couldn't do much to sway their resentments, Deborah had already informed their opinions of their father, and when the kids spent time with him, Mike sensed they didn't want to be there.


So in turn, Mike decided he was done being a peacekeeper. If Deborah didn't want to play nicely, he wouldn't either. One night in mid-October, he called her and let out all the anger and frustration he'd held inside for decades. He told Deborah of her failings as a doctor and a mother, a blow he knew would hit where it hurt most. As a result, Deborah appeared to spiral once more. But this time there would be no stopping her.


On the afternoon of October, twenty third, Mike picked up two of his children to take them to his oldest son, Tim's hockey game. Afterwards, Mike tried to converse with them on the drive home, but the growing resentment Deborah had planted in them seemed to strain their interactions. Though Mike was only just starting to talk to lawyers about his plan to divorce his wife, he grieved the fact that he'd already lost so much of his children's love as he pulled up to the family home, the home he'd once seen as a beacon of hope in his marriage.


He felt only sadness. After the kids hopped out of the car, he told them he'd see them later in the week as he drove away, he silently resolved that one day he'd tell the children his side of the story. Unfortunately, that day would never come later that night. Deborah called Mike for reasons that aren't entirely clear, and the pair got into several heated arguments, which escalated dramatically as they each cited their many grievances. By the end of it, Mike angrily confessed that he knew she'd tried to poison him.


He then threatened that if Deborah didn't correct her substance abuse problems, he'd call the authorities by the time the conversation ended. It was after 11 p.m. and Mike wanted to get some sleep.


But while Mike got ready for bed a few miles away, Deborah sat in her room and ruminated over the course of her life, wondering how it all went so wrong, she likely told herself that Mike was to blame for her anguish, that he was the reason she didn't pass her board certification, that he was the reason her family life had failed.


And it was likely in this state of existential dread that Deborah devised a lethal plan that would absolve her of her past. And it's disappointing outcomes. She'd get a fresh start.


With a sudden impulse, she rose and grabbed an accelerant, she poured the liquid all along the stairs leading to the second floor where her children were sleeping. Then on the first floor, she lit a fire.


The flames spread across the floor and the stairs before looking up the walls as her home burned.


Deborah walked outside.


Smoke billowed throughout the house as Deborah stood outside and because of the accelerant, the fire spread rapidly right to the children's bedrooms. According to the police investigation, 13 year old Tim called out to Deborah through the house's intercom system once the fire reached his upstairs bedroom. In response, Deborah told him to wait there until firefighters arrived to rescue him. However, Tim could have climbed out of his window onto the second floor roof and down to the yard. He'd gotten out that way before and Deborah knew it.


He might have escaped if it weren't for his mother's instruction to stay put. To many who worked on the case, Deborah's advice seemed like an act of malice. In another room, six year old Kelly slept unaware she was in harm's way. Meanwhile, the middle child, Kate, quickly dialed 911 one before climbing out of the window and over the garage in her pajamas. The 10 year old stood on top of the garage, terrified she didn't know if she could jump and felt too scared.


But Deborah saw Kate and called out to her. Deborah said she needed to jump down and promised to catch her. Hesitant, Kate swallowed her fear and leapt. Deborah did not catch her. Luckily, Kate suffered no serious injuries when she tumbled to the ground, when the police and fire departments arrived, they found a panicked Kate clutching her mum. She screamed at the firefighters to help save her siblings. As Kate pleaded, Deborah seemed to look past it all.


It was as though her eyes were focused on something hundreds of yards away.


There was no panic, only a distant stare. Perhaps she realized that she'd done something that would have a permanent impact on the rest of her life. Mike received a call from a neighbor at twelve thirty a.m. shortly after the fire broke out. He raced to the scene when he arrived minutes later, he spotted Deborah and Kate standing outside the raging inferno that had engulfed his house. In that moment, he suffered a difficult realization neither 13 year old Tim nor six year old Kelly had survived.


He wept in pain. But as grief overtook him, he couldn't help but experience a second feeling rage. There was no doubt in his mind that Deborah had a hand in the tragedy. Coming up, Deborah faces the consequences, this episode is brought to you by click up. You don't need to exist on four hours of sleep to be considered productive. You can get more done in less time by using click up the all in one productivity and project management platform that simplifies your tasks.


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Now back to the story around four a.m. on October 24th, 1995, authorities brought 44 year old Deborah Green into the police station for questioning. Investigators wanted to get to the bottom of her family's house fire when they asked Deborah what happened. She claimed that she'd fallen asleep with the door closed only to wake to a blaring smoke alarm when she threw open the door. She found a smoke choked hallway and had no way to reach her children. So she slammed the door shut and escaped out of her room through the sliding glass door that led outside.


The investigators noted that Deborah seemed distant in her telling of events, as if she was talking about someone else's life.


They found it odd that Deborah didn't seem panicked about that night's events, nor grief stricken by the loss of her children. It took her over an hour after authorities first arrived to ask about Tim and Kelly.


Even then, her requests didn't feel urgent. Strangely, she referred to everything immediately in the past tense, as if her children were long dead. But at that point, she couldn't have known if they'd survived or not. Around the same time investigators were going through the rubble there, they found the bodies of 13 year old Tim and six year old Kelly. They located him in the living room of the first floor while Kelly still laid in her bed sheets, slept through the entire ordeal, dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Investigators theorize that Tim had crawled onto the floor of his second story bedroom before losing consciousness and then fell to the first floor after the blaze weakened the house while his body has significant burns. A coroner's report later said that these were mostly post-mortem. The effects of smoke inhalation on the body are really significant in order for a fire to sustain itself. It needs to suck up oxygen from the environment. When a fire spreads in an enclosed space like within a house, it takes up most of the available oxygen.


People need to breathe and stay conscious when we're outside. In normal conditions, the natural oxygen level in the air is about 21 percent. In an environment where oxygen levels decrease to about nine percent, people usually become unconscious and die when oxygen levels reach about six percent. Death from insufficient oxygen here is a result of respiratory and cardiac arrest. On top of this, the resulting smoke from a fire is composed of a ton of toxic chemicals and particulates that invade the air passages and lungs.


The bulk of this smoke, however, is carbon monoxide, a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas that results from the incomplete burning of materials containing carbon like wood and other materials used to build homes. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, the lungs pass it into the bloodstream where it sticks to hemoglobin molecules. These hemoglobin molecules, which supply oxygen to the body's vital organs, are unable to function when carbon monoxide is attached to them. As a result, the cells that make up our vital organs, like the heart brain, start to suffocate and die.


Loss of consciousness and death from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the level of exposure and someone's overall health and age. Young children in the elderly, for example, are at a higher risk because their lungs are less developed or more vulnerable. In regard to what happened in the greenhouse, Tim's final moments were unfortunately most likely filled with fear before he passed out and eventually died. His little sister, Kelly, on the other hand, most likely felt no suffering as she was asleep when the carbon monoxide poisoning rendered her unconscious before taking her life.


Once their deaths were confirmed, a detective entered the interrogation room and informed Deborah of Tim and Kelly's fates. Debra erupted in cries of sorrow, but to the investigators, everything seemed canned, as if she planned for the moment. Before long, she became furious at the police for withholding information about her children. Only they hadn't hidden anything. They just found out themselves moments before. From that point, the interview was effectively over.


Deborah berated them more and stormed out. But she had no home and no one to go to. She reached out to Mike for a place to stay, but he didn't care to see her. He gave her a few hundred dollars for a hotel room and left the day after the fire. Mike filed for divorce and requested custody of his only remaining child, Kate. He knew in his heart Debra was responsible for the fire. The words she said on September 25th echoed through his head.


You will get the children over our dead bodies. Deborah was evidently more concerned with punishing her husband after their heated phone call the night of the fire than the lives of her children. As the investigation into the house fire continued, that fact became abundantly clear.


During an initial sweep of the house on October 24th, a Labrador sniffer dog named Avon detected the presence of an accelerant. Fire investigator Jeff Hudson and his team noticed what they called pour patterns throughout the ground floor in a typical accidental fire. There is normally only one place of ignition, however. The poor patterns indicated there were several sites where the fire started by the large pour patterns. Detectives assumed anywhere between three and 10 gallons of accelerant were used that night.


Oddly, the accelerant stopped right at the threshold of Deborah's bedroom. And by reading the burn patterns, they surmised that her door was never closed that night. The fire was no accident. Unbeknownst to Deborah, on October 26, 1995, the criminal investigation began while authorities had their suspicions about Deborah. They wanted to be thorough, so they looked into the background of every close family member. They even send agents to the joint funeral of both children on October twenty seventh to look for any odd behavior from those in attendance.


And while most there were quietly grieving, Deborah flew into another fit of rage.


Deborah yelled at the funeral home staff about anything and everything she found undesirable. Her anger was so fierce that at one point her own parents stepped in to tell her to calm down.


Deborah experienced a rash of emotion in the wake of her children's deaths as her body and mind were reacting to the tragic circumstances. It's sort of a cliche to say this, but everyone reacts to grief differently. Although there's been some controversy about the lack of empirical evidence in her work. In my own experience, I feel that Dr. Kubler Ross, his expertise and writings on grief is indicative of the way people behave when dealing with loss. She initially laid out five stages that people generally go through when confronted with their own terminal illnesses and found that these same phases are largely applicable to people dealing with the loss of loved ones as well.


Anger is one of these stages, and this is clearly what Deborah experienced during the funeral. There's also a big possibility that her furious anger was associated with and fueled by a guilty conscience.


On a biological level, the stress of grief creates a release of cortisol or the stress hormone. This rise in cortisol affects the limbic system or the collection of brain structures that regulate our emotions. Deborah's grief likely impaired her cognition, which led her to increased irritability and a heightened tendency towards outbursts of rage.


But Deborah may have been mad for another reason as well. Mike had planned the funeral. Authorities were quick to pick up on this information and the conflict between the former couple. So as the weeks went on and the investigation continued, detectives questioned Mike's role in it all, talking with him.


They quickly ruled him out as a suspect because of his airtight alibi. He was with his girlfriend, Elizabeth, the night of the fire. During the interrogation, Mike talked about his and Deborah's contentious relationship. He methodically highlighted all her outbursts and then dropped a bombshell. He explained his recent medical problems and his discovery of castor beans in Deborah's bag. Hearing this, they asked for a blood sample to see if Mike tested positive for ricin antibodies. While waiting for those results, they found more damning evidence against Deborah.


Among the items gathered at the fire ravaged home was a copy of a book called Necessary Lies that dealt with children dying in a house fire, which was said to be set by the female protagonist. Investigators also discovered that a sample of Deborah's hair they'd taken showed signs of singeing. This meant that her story of leaving right after she saw smoke was untrue. In most arson cases, when an accelerant is lit, it causes an intense quick rush of flames.


These flames usually cause some sort of superficial damage to the arsonist like singed hair.


But the discoveries didn't end there. By mid-November, police had consulted toxicologists about Deborah's alleged attempts on Mike's life as they waited for his blood test to come back. It was becoming more and more apparent that Deborah had tried to poison her husband. This corroborated her willingness to set her family's home ablaze. So on November 22nd, less than a month after the fire police arrested Deborah and took her into custody, a judge set her bail at a county record three million dollars, meaning she couldn't afford to live free while awaiting trial.


Still in prison. She professed her innocence in January of 1996. Both the prosecution and defense presented their arguments in front of a judge at the pretrial show cause hearing. While no judgments could be made, all evidence was brought forth. The defense suggested that it wasn't Deborah who set the fire or poisoned Mike, but Tim, their deceased 13 year old son, but the defense had little to back up their claims. The prosecution presented their wealth of evidence, including Deborah's inconsistent story and the receipts she kept from buying the castor beans.


It was enough to discredit the defense's theory, and Deborah's case was sent to criminal trial. There, she faced felony charges. Months later, when the prosecution hinted that they were trying for the death penalty, Deborah and her lawyers agreed to a plea bargain on April 17th, 1996. Deborah pled no contest to capital murder and aggravated arson charges on May 30th. A judge handed down two concurrent hard 40 sentences. That is, she would spend at least the next 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole.


For Mike, this was just the first step in trying to get any semblance of a life back. He'd gone back to work as a doctor, but the loss of his children shattered him. Nothing would ever get him back to normal. But knowing that Deborah couldn't hurt anyone else helped.


Not that she didn't try for the opportunity behind bars.


Deborah wanted control of her life and filed several motions to get out in two thousand.


Deborah's lawyers questioned if she'd been mentally healthy enough to plead guilty. But in this case, Mike and the rest of the family was spared the trauma of deliberating over Deborah's guilt again, Deborah withdrew her motion when she found out that if there was a new trial, she'd be up for the death penalty.


Several years later, she tried questioning the validity of the arson investigators report. However, her argument fell well short of casting reasonable doubt on the findings, and she remained in prison.


Deborah's case is definitely a tragic one. It's very difficult to imagine how anyone could sacrifice her own children in order to get revenge on their significant other, no matter the circumstances. This case differs from our other medical murder tales in that Deborah Green is the first person we've discussed who attempted to kill using ricin while she used her medical knowledge to poison her husband. Her murders were motivated by a personal vendetta rather than a general impulse to kill. It's clear that her problems with fostering healthy relationships went far beyond her inability to work professionally with others.


These issues bled into her marriage, her parenting and ultimately into the relationship she had with herself.


Ultimately, Deborah's motives and mental illness make her no less guilty of the heinous crimes she committed today.


Deborah Green remains in jail, unable to apply for parole for another 15 years. Her once promising life burned to the ground over the bitterness of her failed quest for perfection. And unfortunately, those closest to her paid the price. Thanks for listening to medical matters and thanks again to Dr. Kipa for joining me today. Thanks very much, Alistar.


For more information on Tabbara, amongst the many sources we used, we found bitter harvest, a woman's fury, a mother sacrifice by Ann Rule, extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of medical murders and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify, not only to Spotify already have all of your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast shows like Medical Murders for Free from your phone desktop or Smart Speaker to stream medical murders on Spotify.


Just open the app and type medical murders in the search bar. We'll see you next time. Medical murders is a Spotify original from past. It is executive produced by Max Cutler, Sound Design by Trent Williamson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden, Christine Acevedo, Jonathan Cohen, Alexandra Trick, the daughter, and Joshua Kern. This episode of Medical Murders was written by Robert Tyler Walker with writing assistants by Magic Maya and Lauren Dalil, fact checking by Bennett Logan and research by Chelsea Wood.


Medical Murders stars Dr. David Kipa and Alistair Murden.


Listeners, don't forget to check out the new podcast Limited series, Criminal Couples from apocalyptic cult leaders to bank robbing bandits. These couples give new meaning to till death do us part. Enjoy two part episodes every Monday starting February 1st. Follow criminal couples free and exclusively on Spotify.