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The D.C. medical examiner's office has attributed numerous deaths to undetermined causes. In the case of six mysterious deaths in the vicinity of the Petworth and Parkview neighborhoods, the pitfalls of that practice have become clear to frustrated — and frightened — residents.

Medical Examiner's Office Petworth - Parkview Deaths

D.C. Medical Examiner's Office

N.Y. Problem-Solver Heads to D.C.
Tuesday, April 7, 1998; Page B01
Pathologist Jonathan L. Arden, soon to be Washington's chief medical examiner, will be expected to solve more problems than the merely medical in the troubled D.C. morgue.

N.Y. Pathologist to Revamp D.C. Morgue
Friday, Feb. 27, 1998; Page B3
District authorities hired respected New York forensic pathologist Jonathan L. Arden to to head the morgue. At the same time, Chief Management Officer Camille C. Barnett announced that the morgue staff will grow by 40 percent.

N.Y. Pathologist Sought for D.C. Morgue
Monday, Feb. 23, 1998
The D.C. financial control board worked intensely to hire a highly respected New York City pathologist -- a specialist in the way children die -- to rebuild the District's woeful medical examiner's office.

Fired Pathologist Blames Bureaucrats
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1998
A D.C. assistant medical examiner who was fired last week for failing to obtain a medical license during his year on the job said that he applied for one in September but that District bureaucrats lost the papers and his $300 fee.

Licensing Troubles at D.C. Morgue
Saturday, Jan. 10, 1998
A forensic pathologist in the D.C. medical examiner's office was removed from his job, and another pathologist in the office came under scrutiny, for conducting autopsies without having current medical licenses.

Records Show Many Unexplained Deaths
Monday, Dec. 22, 1997
Washington appears to have the highest rate in the nation of unexplained deaths – since 1990, an average of three people a month between the ages of 15 to 44 have died under circumstances that have never been fully explained.

Medical Examiner Quits to Take Ohio Job
Saturday, Dec. 6, 1997
Acting chief medical examiner Humphrey D. Germaniuk, hired by D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in 1996 despite a different recommendation by a national search committee, resigned to take a position in Ohio.

Reno Targets Beleaguered D.C. Morgue
Thursday, Oct. 23, 1997
Concerned about the quality of work performed by the D.C. medical examiner's office, Attorney General Janet Reno asked the D.C. financial control board to reopen the search for a new medical examiner.

Autopsy Questions Prompt Procedure Changes
Wednesday, May 14, 1997
Responding to an incident in which two separate autopsies on a boy gave sharply differing causes of death, the D.C. medical examiner's office instituted two new procedures.

The Petworth - Parkview Deaths

Key Details Withheld in Killings
Monday, March 2, 1998
Investigators looking into the deaths of six women on and around Princeton Place NW withheld key details from the public and allowed several police officers to unwittingly put out false information, decisions now condemned by local leaders who say the actions will create even more distrust in an already skeptical community.

Suspect Portrayed as Possible Serial Killer
Friday, Feb. 27, 1998
The suspect in the deaths of two women on Princeton Place NW derived sexual gratification from strangling his victims, according to information provided yesterday at a pretrial detention hearing.

DNA Tests Led to Slayings Arrest
Saturday, Jan. 31, 1998
Darryl Donnell Turner, a 34-year-old Petworth man, was arrested on the basis of DNA tests, officials said.

Sixth Death Has Petworth Connection
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1997
News of a yet another woman's death in the Petworth area settled like a pall over uneasy residents.

Police Broaden Inquiry into Five Deaths in NW Neighborhood
Saturday, Nov. 22, 1997
D.C. police turned a quiet inquiry into a full-scale investigation following the first determination that a death in the Petworth area was a homicide.

Amid Inquiry Into Five Deaths, Mother Seeks Terrible Truth
Friday, Nov. 21, 1997
Brenda Blocker, mother of one of the women found dead, is on a personal crusade to find out how her daughter died.

Five Deaths Shock D.C. Neighborhood
Thursday, Nov. 20, 1997
The death of Jacqueline Birch, 39, the fifth woman found dead in the vicinity of the Petworth and Parkview neighborhoods, was the first to be ruled a homicide.

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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