Chapter 1 - Baptism by Fire Excerpt and Video Interview
Click on picture below for video interview

But County Hospital staffers would soon be hit with a bombshell.

Eric Ritter killed one of two girls he hung out with on weekends by

overdosing her with a lethal injection of Dilaudid (a Morphine derivative). 

He was the last person any of us suspected of siphoning off pain killers for

cancer patients and using the intravenous (IV) narcotics for weekend

Dilaudid parties. The salacious details penetrated the 250 bed facility

like a neutron bomb.


With the key to the narcotics bin, Eric would remove l50-milliliter bags

of Dilaudid that the doctors would order for patients suffering from

advanced cancer and other painful conditions.  Using ten-milliliter

syringes, the deranged nurse siphoned out the narcotics, replacing the

fluid with normal saline solution. After his shift was over, Eric would

leave the hospital with a backpack laden with the Dilaudid-filled

syringes, ten-milliliter saline flush syringes, IV starter kits and alcohol swabs.


Eric still lived with his parents, who had no clue what was going on in their son’s room until the paramedics had shown up that fatal night.  On Saturday nights, Eric and two girls in their early twenties engaged in drug and sex orgies. Holding their forearms out, the girls waited while Eric applied a tourniquet and accessed a wormy vein at the elbow bend - then, the fun started. He’d shoot the women up with the potent narcotic until they were barely conscious and then there would be a threesome.  On this particular weekend, only one girl had shown up. According to Eric, he’d picked up a ten-milliliter syringe that he thought was filled with normal saline solution, and flushed the girl’s IV line with it.  Instead, he’d given her a lethal dose of Dilaudid.  The girl started to vomit before passing out and died shortly afterwards.  Eric said he attempted cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation (CPR), but didn’t call the paramedics until the girl had been dead for hours.


Staffers were glued to the internet as we followed the chain of events that would lead to a murder conviction and ten years in an upstate prison without parole. We all felt sorry for Mabel – she was now the disgraced pariah of County Hospital.  Her son’s actions had devastated her. Attorney’s fees had bankrupted her. Management turned on Mabel and wanted her to quit. Her presence was a constant reminder of Eric’s devious deeds.  The hospital had big fires to put out, dealing with outraged patients and families suing for negligence.   

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