It was 5 years ago this past summer when Doctor Jacquelyn Kotarac tried to force her way into the home of a man-friend who wasn’t letting her in via the front door. When the back door could not be pried open with a shovel, she got a ladder from the backyard and climbed to the roof after dark, removed the chimney cap and slid feet-first down the flue, according to Bakersfield California police spokeswoman Mary DeGeare.
At the moment of her ill-advised Santa Claus entry, she had no idea that the man she was trying desperately to visit had sneaked out another door and was no longer in the house. He had driven away for the weekend. And the sad fact was, nobody on earth knew where she was.
So Doctor Kotarac, age 49 – involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship with a gentleman named William Moody – slid down a chimney in the dark. It was the last mistake she would ever make. Within the suffocating walls of the stone fireplace, no one could hear her screams.
Her decomposing body was found stuck there three days later. Firefighters spent many hours breaking through the brick chimney from the outside the house to extract Kotarac’s body.
Investigators said that the doctor’s office staff reported her missing two days earlier, after she had failed to show up for work and calls to her went unanswered. Her car was found in the alleyway; her purse and cell phone were located on the lawn near the house.
“She made an unbelievable error in judgment and nobody understands why, and unfortunately she’s passed away. She had her issues – she had her demons – but I never lost my respect for her.” (William Moody)
In what may well be the first vibrator-related fatality in U.S. history, a south Florida doctor died after police report that she was choked to death by an electronic neck massage device on December 24, 2010.
Doctor Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson, age 37, a radiologist at Jackson Memorial Hospital, died while using a high-powered vibrator in her Parkland home bedroom on Christmas Eve after an evening spent wrapping gifts. According to the Broward County Medical Examiner, the rotating mechanism became entangled in the strands of a leather necklace she was wearing and she was strangled before she could work herself free.
Husband Kenneth Gegerson called 911 upon finding his wife’s body on the floor next to the bed. Paramedics pronounced Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson dead at the scene when they arrived.
According to the manufacturer of the ShoulderFlex Deep Kneading Shiatsu massager, the device is entirely safe if the simple enclosed warnings are followed. And the four-page instruction booklet lists several warnings not to use the device while wearing a necklace.
“The very mechanism that caused this unfortunate strangulation, is the precise thing that was warned about: don’t wear a necklace.” (Mark R. Boyd, Attorney for ShoulderFlex)
In the nation of India, a true mystery shrouds the death of Doctor Swetapadma Mishra, who police say must have committed suicide by jumping from a multi-story building.
This, as the 44-year-old doctor’s family state vehemently that she was tortured by her husband – also a physician.
Family members of Swetapadma, a gynecologist, have told the news media that their daughter was tortured because she refused to turn her family dowry over to her husband. They say he must have coerced her to kill herself. The husband, Doctor Arijit Mohapatra, denied responsibility for her death.
“The investigation is still wide open. We have finished the first round of interrogation. Though prima facie, it appears to be a case of suicide, we are not ruling out any possibility at this stage,” the Deputy Police Commissioner told reporters.
He stressed that police do not believe the doctor was pushed off the terrace, but cannot say for certain exactly why she died.
A body found in an Indiana lake on April 10, 2014, has been identified as that of Doctor Teleka Patrick, the Michigan doctor who’s been missing since December, according to the Porter County Coroner’s Office. No one seems to know how she got there.
Her body was discovered in Lake Charles near Gary Indiana by a fisherman, who called police. An autopsy revealed no signs of trauma. The cause and manner of death were consistent with drowning, the coroner said in a statement.
The 30-year-old medical resident failed to show up for work on December 6 of last winter in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The night before, her 1997 Lexus was discovered abandoned more than 100 miles away in a ditch off of Interstate 94 in Indiana, near the lake where she was evetually found.
Police took search dogs to the scene to track the woman’s scent. They led investigators away from the car in the ditch and up to the highway. There the scent disappeared, as though she got into another car and rode away.
Surveillance video and home videos uploaded to YouTube provided investigators with clues about Patrick’s movements in the hours before she disappeared.
A Kalamazoo Radisson Hotel security camera, not far from where she worked, showed Patrick at about 7:30 pm on the night of December 5, hours before police found her car in Indiana. She spoke with hotel staff at the desk but did not check in.
Those are the last known images of her until her body was found in the lake.
Doctor Sneha Anne Philip was an Indian American physician, assumed to have been killed on September 11, 2001, during the World Trade Center collapse.
But not everyone believes that.
Police learned that there were security camera images in the lobby of her apartment of a woman resembling her, standing near the elevator with similar hair and clothing as the doctor, on September 11th at 8:45 in the morning. But the images were not clear enough to document her presence for certain. On the video, the woman presses the elevator button, but leaves only moments before the time we now know the first plane hit the Trade Center.
Police also now know that the doctor’s brother lied when he’d said he had talked with her during the terrorist attacks, saying she told him she was going to the Trade Center to help. The brother confessed later that he had tried to spin a hero story that the news media would be interested in, in an attempt to gain more coverage for the story and find his sister.
Sneha’s husband put up missing person posters all over town, but no one came forward to say they’d seen her.
The last known images of her alive were caught by department store security cameras, the day before the WTC attack. It was there she had spent $500 on shoes, a dress, lingerie and bed sheets. That video is the last known image of Doctor Sneha Philip.
When she did not come home that evening her husband told police he assumed that she had stayed out all night as she sometimes did. Investigators discovered that the secretive doctor was in fact leading a double life. She routinely spent time in lesbian clubs in the Battery Park area. The FBI learned that the husband believed his wife was having an affair with another woman; that she was using drugs and drinking heavily; that she was actually about to be fired from her hospital training program. The FBI were fairly certain that the wayward physician had simply walked away from her life, and the World Trade Center attack gave her the perfect opportunity.
Sneha’s family totally disagreed and petitioned that she be legally declared a 9/11 victim. They stated that due to her medical background and her living close to the Trade Center, she most certainly was killed trying to help victims of the attack when the towers collapsed.
The government eventually acquiesced, and Doctor Sneha Philip was officially listed as the 2,751st WTC victim. But FBI investigators are not so sure, because the evidence is she disappeared the day before 9/11. with new lingerie and bed sheets.
The doctor has not been seen since September 10, 2001, buying new shoes, new lingerie and bed sheets.