Hospital Of The Seven Teeth & The Murder Of Ann Davey

OneWingedBird

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#1
Must confess to not having hear of this case until someone i know linked to it on their lj after photographing the buildings there... quite a strange and grim story:

From AP News, August 12, 1980:

A male mental patient was charged Tuesday with murdering a female mental patient whose dismembered body was found buried on the grounds of a state facility, the Massachusetts attorney general's office said.

Investigators on Tuesday discovered the body of Ann Marie Davey, who was 36 when she disappeared from ____ State Hospital in 1978, buried in "three or four holes," at the mental institution, said Kenneth Wayne, an attorney general's spokesman.

The cause of death was not immediately determined, but the attorney general's office classified the death as a homicide, Wayne said.

State police arrested Melvin Willson, a former ____ Hospital patient now confined to Bridgewater State Hospital, charged him with murder and brought him to the District Court. Willson, a mental patient for nearly 40 years, is in his late 50s, said Wayne. Miss Davey had been in institutions in Massachusetts and Maine for 18 years.

The woman's disappearance was publicized last spring during a state Senate probe of "unexplained" deaths at state institutions. Sen. Jack H. Backman complained at the time that, although another patient had been found in possession of seven of Miss Davey's teeth, state officials had not explored that lead.

Backman said at least 26 other patients have died at state and private institutions in Massachusetts in the past three years under circumstances he considers questionable. They include suicides, drownings in bathtubs, chokings on food and heart attacks.
Paper: Boston Globe
Title: BACKMAN: HOSPITAL MURDER DATA MISSING
Date: August 15, 1980

Some crucial pieces of evidence are missing in the case of a man charged with murdering a fellow patient at the Metropolitan State Hospital, Waltham two years ago, according to a state senator who investigated the case.

The defendant in the case, Melvin W. Wilson, 57, is now undergoing 16 days of psychiatric observation at Bridgewater State Hospital to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Psychiatrists will also try to determine if Wilson was criminally responsible for the slaying of Ann Marie Davee, 36, whose dismembered body was found Tuesday in three shallow graves on a wooden slope on the state hospital's grounds.

Wilson led members of the attorney general's office to the gravesites on Tuesday. Police say the murder took place "on or about Aug. 9, 1978," when both Wilson and Davee were patients at the hospital. Wilson has been a patient of state institutions for 39 years. His case has been continued to Aug. 28.

However, according to state Sen. Jack Backman (D-Brookline), chairman of a Senate committee which investigated the case last year, significant material evidence in the case appears to be missing. The attorney general's office isn't saying if it has the evidence.

One of the pieces of evidence is a hatchet, possibly one of the weapons allegedly used tomurder Davee.

Neither the Department of Mental Health (DMH) nor the attorney general's office would comment yesterday on the whereabouts of the hatchet and other items found on the state hospital grounds more than a year and a half ago.

However, Backman said yesterday, "The discovery of the remains of Ann Davee confirms the findings of the Senate Committee to Investigate Seclusion, Restraint and Deaths in State-Supported Facilities. Our review of this case demonstrated utter neglect by the Department of Mental Health in the investigation of Ann Davee's disappearance.

"Nearly two months elapsed before a serious search was conducted. Potential evidence was destroyed. Leads were not followed. The DMH even ignored the discovery of seven of Ms. Davee's teeth, which the Tufts forensic laboratory disclosed were probably extracted after her death."

Backman charged that on Aug. 10, 1978, the day following Davee's disappearance, hospital employees searching the hospital grounds discovered a hut, containing clothes and bed linen, where Davee and Wilson had apparently met. The hut was dismantled within 24 hours and the linen sent to the laundry, Backman said.

During another search for Davee, on Oct. 6, 1978, the hospital staff found a woman's skirt, pieces of cloth, a pocketbook and a small zippered case, all tied together in a bundle. The pocketbook contained sunglasses, a hatchet and photographs.

Backman says although he has talked with members from the attorney general's office who investigated the case, he still has not been able to learn the whereabouts of these articles.

Ken Wayne of the attorney general's office said Asst. Atty. Gen. Frederick Riley, who conducted the investigation and accompanied Wilson to the gravesites, would have no comment on the matter. Wayne said that any comment on the case would be "inappropriate" at this time.

DMH spokesman Brooke Pope said, "Sen. Backman's charges put us in a very difficult position to balance the story, because the police have put a lid on this one. They've asked us not to talk about the case."

The Davee case was one of 19 documented cases of death and/or disappearances of persons living in state-supported facilities, all listed in the Backman committee's report published last month.

Before the discovery of Davee's body, Backman said, DMH had listed her as "discharged on Feb. 9," six months after her disappearance.

"The whole matter is indicative of the way the Department of Mental Health operates," Backman said yesterday. "If you call today you'll get one answer. In two weeks you'll get another answer. No one is apparently responsible.

"The Davee woman's mother told the commitee she was concerned about her daughter's disappearance, that she believed her daughter had been attacked a year before her disappearance. But she told us she got no help from the Mental Health Department."

Following its study, the committee recommended an investigation of DMH, but the bill was vetoed by Gov. Edward J. King, Backman said.
Copyright 1980, 2001 Globe Newspaper Company
Dark Passage was the source of the first news item, and is generally worth a look through for more info on the hospital, including this news item:

From Boston Globe, March 1991:

Michael Bogosian, a 32-year-old supervisory investigator for the department, recalled a case in which one patient was discovered to have mysterious burn marks around his mouth.
"The first clue came from a nursing supervisor," Bogosian explained. "When she raised her hand to smoothe her hair, the patient shrank back into a corner in a show of dread." Other patients in the unit exhibited similar reactions.
Investigators learned that two patients in the unit suffered from an illness that compelled them to eat cigarettes. From interviews with reluctant staff members, Bogosian learned that several staff workers would throw lighted cigarettes on the floor and watch the patients leap to swallow them.
The investigation revealed that some half-dozen staff members were also involved in punching and kicking the patients, while another half-dozen knew about the abuse but failed to report it.
In another case, a mental health worker forced a blind patient to strip and painted a swastika on his buttocks.
In the most recent highly publicized case of patient abuse, investigators spent about seven months and interviewed more than 100 people to find out who was involved in a pattern of sexual abuse of female patients at ___ State Hospital. In November, department officials announced the firing of four hospital workers in connection with the sexual abuse of five female patients. The department also disciplined 31 other staff members for failing to report their knowledge or suspicions about sexual abuse at the facility.
Not totally sure why the hospital's name is struck out in some reports, unless the website owner's concerned about being sued by the state or something... Hospital of the Seven Teeth is a fitting nickname for it though...
 

akaWiintermoon

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#2
Investigators learned that two patients in the unit suffered from an illness that compelled them to eat cigarettes. From interviews with reluctant staff members, Bogosian learned that several staff workers would throw lighted cigarettes on the floor and watch the patients leap to swallow them.
The investigation revealed that some half-dozen staff members were also involved in punching and kicking the patients, while another half-dozen knew about the abuse but failed to report it.
In another case, a mental health worker forced a blind patient to strip and painted a swastika on his buttocks.
In the most recent highly publicized case of patient abuse, investigators spent about seven months and interviewed more than 100 people to find out who was involved in a pattern of sexual abuse of female patients at ___ State Hospital. In November, department officials announced the firing of four hospital workers in connection with the sexual abuse of five female patients. The department also disciplined 31 other staff members for failing to report their knowledge or suspicions about sexual abuse at the facility.
How frickin' sick are these people? And I'm not talking about the patients! Uurgh! Some of the most vunerable people in society that need the most help... sigh :roll: What compels a person to behave in such a way, I just don't understand? At least the authorities are finally taking an interest in cases like this, and not before time too.
 

jefflovestone

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#3
akaWiintermoon said:
Investigators learned that two patients in the unit suffered from an illness that compelled them to eat cigarettes. From interviews with reluctant staff members, Bogosian learned that several staff workers would throw lighted cigarettes on the floor and watch the patients leap to swallow them.
The investigation revealed that some half-dozen staff members were also involved in punching and kicking the patients, while another half-dozen knew about the abuse but failed to report it.
In another case, a mental health worker forced a blind patient to strip and painted a swastika on his buttocks.
In the most recent highly publicized case of patient abuse, investigators spent about seven months and interviewed more than 100 people to find out who was involved in a pattern of sexual abuse of female patients at ___ State Hospital. In November, department officials announced the firing of four hospital workers in connection with the sexual abuse of five female patients. The department also disciplined 31 other staff members for failing to report their knowledge or suspicions about sexual abuse at the facility.
How frickin' sick are these people? And I'm not talking about the patients! Uurgh! Some of the most vunerable people in society that need the most help... sigh :roll: What compels a person to behave in such a way, I just don't understand? At least the authorities are finally taking an interest in cases like this, and not before time too.
This reminds me of some of the cases that have come to light recently about the abuse of elderly by 'carers', not just in care homes but in the pensioner's own homes.
 

OneWingedBird

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#4
That part is sick, but it was the murder that i find curious... how he could have murdered her with a hatchet, dismembered the body and burried it in several holes, and nobody realises, even after some of her teeth turn up :shock:
 

FelixAntonius

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#5
It just doesn't suprise me, I worked & trained at a NHS long stay hospital in the 1970's......

No patient on patient murders, although there was at least one accidental death.... But, there was the suicide of a nurse while he was on duty. I'm not convinced he killed himself & at least one suspicious death of a patient, who died of a burst spleen!!!!

Some patients would steal fag butts & eat them if they could..... the suggestion at the time, was that they were addicted to the nicotine in them & it was not unknown for someone to throw them their butts

Theft was rampant & the culture so ingrained that I found that it was impossible to get anything changed.... complaints were passed to the people being complained about. Effectivly, so they knew who had made the complaint & could prepare their response. Management, would also point out that no one else had these problems, so it must be you!!!!!

I finally gave up & went to another hospital, totaly ramshackle & falling down BUT the culture was totally different, no abuse, no theft...... a fantastic place to work in, I could put up with windows falling out & ceilings falling down.....
 

akaWiintermoon

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I think you've hit the nail on the head there Felix. Unfortunatly even recently in our history people with mental health problems were seen as more of a nusance or oddity than someone who needs help. I guess it was easy just to bung them off into an institution and forget about them. :cry:

Jeff, I saw the documentry on that. Some poor elderly lady was having talcum powder squeezed in her mouth and refused a drink by her so called carer in her own home. I just don't know what's in some people to make them abusive to the vunerable. I guess that's the only place they have authority/control?
 

jefflovestone

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#7
akaWiintermoon said:
Jeff, I saw the documentry on that. Some poor elderly lady was having talcum powder squeezed in her mouth and refused a drink by her so called carer in her own home. I just don't know what's in some people to make them abusive to the vunerable. I guess that's the only place they have authority/control?
I was enraged by that programme. If I remember correctly, weren't the perpetrators given pathetically lenient sentences?
 

Quake42

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#9
I think you've hit the nail on the head there Felix. Unfortunatly even recently in our history people with mental health problems were seen as more of a nusance or oddity than someone who needs help. I guess it was easy just to bung them off into an institution and forget about them.
A friend of mine spent some time working in an institution for severely mentally disabled people when she lived in Australia and has some dreadful stories to tell.

The big problem in her view was that the work was stressful and upsetting and yet so poorly paid that it attracted people who couldn't get anything else - for example she was forced to take the job by the dole office and other employees were recent immigrants with little or no English. Poorly paid and badly motivated staff left to deal with people who could be very aggressive, sexually inappropriate and - to many people's eyes - disgusting (patients would urinate and defecate on the floor etc) - well frankly it's an abuse scandal waiting to happen. It's always easier for people to hurt others if they can dehumanise them and this is bound to be easier if the victims are not "normal" by our standards.

I would stress that my friend she never actually witnessed any abuse, but she did hear of things that had happened at other times, especially in the locked ward where some patients were violent.
 

FelixAntonius

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#10
Quake42 said:
The big problem in her view was that the work was stressful and upsetting and yet so poorly paid that it attracted people who couldn't get anything else - for example she was forced to take the job by the dole office and other employees were recent immigrants with little or no English. Poorly paid and badly motivated staff left to deal with people who could be very aggressive, sexually inappropriate and - to many people's eyes - disgusting (patients would urinate and defecate on the floor etc) - well frankly it's an abuse scandal waiting to happen. It's always easier for people to hurt others if they can dehumanise them and this is bound to be easier if the victims are not "normal" by our standards.
It mirrors my experience.

In my student nurse intake, of thirteen people, I was the only UK resident, in fact in my group, no one belived I was realy English, because no English person would do the job etc...

Sadly, no one could or would rock the boat, because their continued employment & UK residancy depended on the nursing post & with those at the top turning a blind eye to anything untoward, none of us thought we would be believed.

Early on in training we were told by a tutor that:- "If you see anything wrong, come & talk to me." Within a few weeks of being on his first ward a student witnessed the Charge Nurse beating a patient with the wooden roller from a roller towel. He left the ward & reported the Charge Nures to the tutor.

The student was disciplined for leaving the ward without the permision of the Charge Nurse!!!!!

Nothing was done about the Charge Nurse, as it was only the Student Nurses word against that of a Charge Nurse.

It said everything for us........
 

TheQuixote

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#11
Most of the middle management or people with senior positions within Social Services departments for people with LDs or mental health issues or those that privately owned homes or hostels that I have met and worked under, started out working in those type of environments.

Make of that what you will.
 
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