David was arrested.  It would be 2 ½ months before I would be granted a visit to him at Central Prison about 3 ½ hours from our home.  I asserted the medication to counsel from the beginning.  David’s brother, John Crespi, asserted the medication to counsel from the beginning.  There was never any indication that David could be violent prior to this uncharacteristic, horrific day.  The change in our life was the medication. The cause of this horrific tragedy was the medication.


A friend had handed us a sightings report while we were at the Sacramento funeral.  The report was called “The Aftermath of Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Fen-Phen, & Many Other Serotonergic Drugs” by Dr. Ann Blake Tracy who was  the executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness and author of the book “Prozac:  Panacea or Pandora?”  Reading through this document of other stories was upsetting but we realized that we were not alone in this nightmare but still, in our horror and confusion, we trusted the authorities.


The local media reported that a doctor’s report from the jail where David was initially being held noted that “Prozac was not the right drug for this patient – should consider Bipolar.”  Per prison records, David was changed from Prozac to Lexapro on January 26 and Risperdal was added as well.  On February 3rd, David was started on Lithium Carbonate.


I wondered who was caring for my husband.  I was assured that the State was taking care of him.  The reality was that he was in safekeeping in Raleigh, North Carolina, in Central Prison without any support from family (we were denied access) or doctors who had previously been responsible for his care.  He was psychotic and being evaluated by new psychiatrists who never once talked to his family or seemed to consider that the medication could have been the cause of this tragedy.  But, it is interesting that they did not continue the same medication he was taking while the tragic event occurred.


As a family, we were being told that David suffered from bipolar disorder and was severely depressed.  Based on the fact that he had killed the girls, an action completely out of character for David, we could only begin to wrap our minds around this new diagnosis.  With each of us suffering with loss and trauma, we depended once again on experts for answers even though answers were vague and did not make sense based on the person we had known.


This family’s subscribing to the Mental Illness/Chemical Imbalance theory presented by the criminal justice system after the horrific act was based on an absence of acknowledging and ignorance of the powerful side effects of the medications.  David did not suddenly snap without reason.  He was propelled…but why?  What drove him to kill?  What had changed in our life on that day?  Simply, 7 days of Prozac and 1 night of Lunesta.  In hind sight, we now know that on every other prior combination, David may have briefly considered hurting himself and only as he was adjusting to the medications.  The professionals very much indicated that David was the only one to point blame at instead of going back to the source, the pills.  The people who prescribed, who made, who tested the drugs and instead we, as a society, blame the additional victim.


The State was proceeding with a death penalty, capital murder trial and the defense was hoping for an opportunity for David to plead his life away.  That opportunity came within a few months of the tragic day and David was encouraged in his numb state to plead to Murder 1 to spare his family the trauma of a death penalty trial.  Alone and drugged, he was wrongly convinced that that his family would not survive a death penalty trial.


The hearing was set for July of 2006 and David, in a numb and very medicated state of mind, plead and was sentenced to two life sentences to be served back to back.  This was an insult to injury to an already traumatized family.  It was a day-long hearing where I learned that the definition of psychosis is experiencing hallucinations and delusions.  That was shocking and very relevant but came too late to matter for the lives that have been lost and changed forever.  It was the second worst day of this family’s life. I will never forget the people who came to be with us that day and sat in the court room behind David with our silent prayers for justice in spite of the events of the day and what was going on in front of them in the Criminal court room.

Onward to Prison