About This Blog

Sue Luttner

Sue Luttner

This blog is based on 18 years of attending the conferences and following the medical literature on the subject of shaken baby syndrome (SBS).

I am a software technical writer who was drawn into the shaken baby arena over several months in 1996 and 1997. While sitting with a friend on various park benches as our children played, I heard the story of my friend’s adult niece, Stephanie, accused and ultimately convicted of shaking an infant she was watching. At the end of the story Stephanie went to prison, where she would miss her own son’s childhood.

Then Louise Woodward—the Boston nanny—hit the headlines and stayed there for a year.  I started researching the medical thinking behind both convictions and reached an astonishing conclusion:  Doctors working with a well accepted but unproven model of SBS are overdiagnosing shaking injuries, and sometimes identifying the wrong perpetrator.

I’m now wrapping up a book that explains how different standards and practices within the two professional communities—medicine and the law—have allowed an unproven theory to become courtroom fact. The tangle is now Gordian, as good people who’ve been working with the best of intentions must come to grips with possibly having been wrong. The victims of this tragedy are legion.

See, for example, the prologue to the book.

-Sue Luttner

I am looking for a book agent, a publisher, or maybe just someone to help me with marketing after I self-publish. If you are interested, please be in touch.

This form is for a private message. To leave a public comment, use the submission form at the end of the Comment section.

21 responses to “About This Blog

  1. Tober

    Glad you’re back in action, Sue. I think your use of photos in the content is very effective.

  2. I love the use of flowers on this website. A yin yang effect given the subject?

  3. Joe Luttner

    Sue,
    Multi dimensional journalism.
    Love it, Joe

  4. Sheila Brady

    I’m so glad you have started this blog, Sue. Both for you and for the people who have been mistakenly accused.

  5. Paula Collins

    Sue, great Blog. I just finished watching Frontline on the same subject.
    Amazing on how manny people are in jail unjustly.

  6. LindaR

    Sue great job! I know it’s been years in the making. I suspect that it won’t take that long to create big change. Keep believing in this cause. It’s a side that needs a voice.
    P.S. I think I recognize the photos. They are beautiful.

  7. This is a great blog and thank you for having it up. Anyone else who can get out the information is welcome. The more there are the more credibility the rest of us gain as well. Keep up the good work!

  8. Emily

    I am so grateful for your blog. My boyfriend and I have a healthy 11 month old, now. But when Harper was 5 weeks old, our son started having left-sided seizures we soon found out were due to a bleed on his brain. Harper had been septic when he was born, had been hospitalized for the first week of his life, and I had been pre-eclamptic towards the end of my pregnancy.

    However, his & my medical complications were not even perfunctorily considered in the “investigation” of the origin of his bleed. We were immediately launched in to a 6 month ordeal where we were accused of shaking our son, he had to live with my parents, & we could not be alone with him. I am nearly done with Nursing school & Harper’s dad has worked with children for over 10 years. A finding, in criminal court or in family (dependency) court, would have been devastating. We made it out of this experience without either & our son is back home & completely normal/healthy. This was not without considerable resources spent on lawyers & the invaluable help of a pro-bono lawyer who is an expert on these cases. Harper was not harmed by anyone in his care-I truly believe that his health issues early on combined with the normal trauma of a vaginal birth combined to create minor coagulopathies that contributed to his bleed. The astonishingly increased rates of SBS/AHT diagnoses have less to do with more people shaking/abusing their babies and more to due with a culture of rampant finger-pointing amongst pediatricians hell-bent on making the diagnosis of abuse. This needs to stop–there need to be consequences for using such a negligently broad brush.

  9. VALERIE ROSS

    I have known Stephanie Spurgeon for over 30 years. She was always a kind hearted and reserved person. Never any one you would think of as quick to temper or mean. Truly, when I think of Stephanie I would consider her nothing but gentle and kind.

    I just found out yesterday of her ordeal and conviction of causing the death of an infant within her care over a “subnormal hemorrhage” despite other expert testimony to the contrary. How tragic – there is no sure proof here. This is conviction based on opinion….not fact. So shameful. Hopefully your efforts and others like you will continue to bring awareness to this issue and those wrongfully accused.

    My heart breaks for Stephanie. Please pray this justice is over turned.

  10. brownacresdotcom

    Just thought I’d share this article with you – I couldn’t find an email for you. http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/235246/publisher_ID/40/

  11. Sue, I have come across quite a bit of research on the links between adverse effects from vaccines and SBS. Just curious as to what you may have found as well. I have felt drawn to this topic as well. Here’s my website:
    vaccinationwaivers.com

    • Dear Jennifer,
      I think I have seen cases where vaccine reaction played a part in a child’s developing the symptoms that are routinely misdiagnosed as shaken baby syndrome. I don’t think it’s as common as some of the other mimics, but I don’t think we will really know until the child protection community gives up the notion that subdural hematoma and retinal hemorrhages virtually prove abuse.
      Best wishes in your work. You’ve pulled together some valuable material on your web site.

    • A 2015 update: Dr. Michael Innes has posted an intriguing paper about the role of Vitamin C and vaccines in these cases. He has my attention.
      https://onsbs.com/2015/02/09/shaking-a-false-and-flawed-premise/#comments
      Thank you, Jennifer. -S.

  12. Bernard Klatt

    Please see: extensive article in todays Washington Post

    A disputed diagnosis imprisons parents

    at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/shaken-baby-syndrome/

  13. candice Miller

    Sue
    I read your blog because I also believe Michelle Heale is innocent of the charges that she shook the baby to death – I have been writing Michele in prison and try and just support her as much as I can – I really want to read the transcripts from this case – any suggestions how I can find them?

    • Take the case name and number to the county courthouse and request access to the file. The last time I did it, they let you into a little room with the folders of physical records; some counties are probably on-line by now. You had to read everything on site, or pay 50 cents a page for copies, which adds up fast, because the margins and line spacing on transcripts are huge.

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