It was all in the name of revenge, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. A former employee of the Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital admitted to investigating officers that she was behind abusive letters that recommended to patients that they receive a lobotomy.
The odd revenge plot, which was meant to embarrass the Alexian Brothers, was allegedly carried out by Michelle Morrison. Police found stolen letterhead, patient files, address labels, and other paperwork in her home.
The letters, sent from February 5, 2011 and June 25, 2012, notified patients that their electroshock therapy had failed and that a frontal lobotomy was recommended. A few of the letters also included vulgar language and threats of exposing information to the victims' families, reports the Sun-Times.
It certainly was creative. We'll give her that. The court on the other hand has given her three charges of forgery to deal with. More charges are expected once the full extent of the plot has been unfolded. She is being held on $50,000 bail.
The forgery charges are an interesting choice. The charge requires the creation or delivery of a document that purports to have been made by another (so far so good) with the intent to defraud.
According to the forgery statute, "with intent to defraud" means to act knowingly, and with the specific intent to deceive or cheat, for the purpose of causing financial loss to another or bringing some financial gain to oneself, regardless of whether any person was actually defrauded or deceived."
It seems like a close call. She wanted to embarrass her former employer, and probably by extension, cause them financial loss, though that last part is more assumed than explicit. As for any personal gain, it is doubtful that the letters helped her financially, unless she was the one performing lobotomies.
- Consult a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Ex-hospital worker admits stealing files, harassing patients (Chicago Tribune)
- Illinois Forgery Laws (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Former Cop Donald Owsley Convicted Of Exploiting Elderly Man (FindLaw's Chicago Criminal Defense Blog)