Medill Justice Project Starts Posting

2020 Update:  The Medill Justice Project has reorganized and refocused. The links on this page that no longer work have been deactivated.

Journalism students at the Medill Innocence Project have started adding content to a blog devoted to their shaken baby syndrome project.

The first stories went up in late August, print-only updates about their efforts to re-examine the case of Jennifer Del Prete, an Illinois child-care provider convicted of shaking an infant in 2002.

Dr. A. Norman Guthkelch, May 2012

The Audio Podcast

On Friday an excellent podcast appeared, “Setting the Record Straight,” based on an interview with Dr. A. Norman Guthkelch. The pioneering pediatric neurosurgeon who first proposed that shaking an infant can trigger subdural hematoma is now speaking out about the over-diagnosis of infant shaking.

The audio treatment includes a riveting exchange between Dr. Guthkelch and Carrie Sperling, the Innocence Project attorney who contacted him about the troubling case of Drayton Witt. Dr. Guthkelch says that the Witt case opened his eyes to how shaken baby syndrome theory is being used in the courtroom. The piece is even stronger for the inclusion of an interview with Dr. Robert Block, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a staunch defender of the classic model.

The Human-Interest Video

Earlier last week a video went up, “Tia’s Story,” a moving visit with Jennifer Del Prete’s 23-year-old daughter. The treatment does not consider the legal issues, but showcases another way in which a hasty diagnosis of infant shaking destroys families.

The Database Update

The site also features an announcement about the database project, started at the beginning of this summer, with some background on the issues.


Filed under abusive head trauma, AHT, SBS, shaken baby syndrome

6 responses to “Medill Justice Project Starts Posting

  1. a

    Listening to Dr Guthkelch when he says that the cause of many of these triad babies which itself is a garbage diagnosis is unknown I am reminded of the aggressive denials of official medicine that peptic ulcer disease/ duodenal ulcer/ hiatal hernia/ acid pepsin disease could possibly caused by a anything other than mucosal barrier hokum theory. Now of course we know that it is an infectious disease caused by Helicobacter pylori which is very simply treated by PPI and two antibiotics Amoxil and Biaxin.
    Fast forward to taxonomy of living beings.
    Used to be we were classified into four kingdoms fungi plants animals and bacteria.
    Now we are two domains of life in six or seven kingdoms. The additional ones are called archaea chromista or extremophiles. First they were in extreme environments of acidity alkalinity pressure temperature where even bacteria couldn’t survive.
    Back to the human body. Well it turns out that these novel organisms which are older than the rest of us by a billion years or so also live in the human stomach then in the gut.
    Nothing is known of them nor if they cause any disease or if they are of any use to us.
    I propose that these organisms could very well be the cause of many of our diseases whose aetiology remains a mystery.
    The badly named shaken baby syndrome
    which we called Trauma X in Halifax forty years ago may be one such disease.
    If you don’t look for an organism of whose existence you are unaware you will of course never see it. No one has found any archaea or chromista or extremophile in a subdural hematoma or a retinal bleed.
    In a rush to judgment the cultists of the shaken baby syndrome are fanatically certain of their conviction when all real evidence points to huge gaps and grave doubts about the whole hoax.
    SIDS or crib death is at least as controversial. Funny that in that case they accept non guilt of the grieving parents but not in the case of SBS.

  2. I am so glad that people researching the issue of SBS. When my son was 10-months old, he had a seizure (status epilepticus). It was believed that he could have been shaken. (I was told by nursing staff that he had the “triad.”) It was a horribly terrifying time for my family & me. I still have so many questions, in part because the doctors overseeing his care would not speak with my family or me. (It is also because he had had “circumstances” – several episodes of deceleration [one > 6-minutes] at birth, a neurological reaction to a pertusus shot, & had recently [< 3-weeks prior] been ill w/ the flu … none of which the doctor's knew about [due to not speaking with me].)

    No one was ever charged with a crime, though CPS was involved and, at the onset of their “investigation” (ie before even interviewing me), expressed the desire to terminate my parental rights (though I passed two polygraph exams: one administered privately & one administered by the local sheriff’s department).

    Thankfully, my son is now a normal, healthy 11-year old. Nevertheless, the situation still haunts me: even after all these years, I still have nightmares. I still wonder what caused his seizure & the “triad.” (As I mentioned, the hospital doctors never spoke with me.) I also wonder if someone had harmed him and “got away with it.” I hope someday to have answers.

  3. Linda Thompson

    We are trying to get a new trial for my son who has been in prison for 4 years now for a wrongful SBS case. Thanks to everyone who is helping to free innocent people. Linda Thompson

  4. Audrey Edmunds

    Thank you to everyone who supports the wrongful SBS convictions. I am blessed by you. Audrey Edmunds (living in Minnesota…spent 11 years in the Wis. prison system for a wrongful SBS case…out for 4 1/2 years!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.