The Vengeful Heart
Chapter One Excerpt: 6
There were three names listed for August 4. Craft saw that two of the names had accession stickers next to them. The third did not. The only notation was lavender stopper for Dr. S. written in a hand the investigator recognized as that of Dr. Schmidts nurse.
By this stage in his serological studies, Capt. Craft had learned from an infection-control nurse at a Lafayette hospital that it is possible through so-called phylogenetic testing to determine whether a specific individual is the source of another persons AIDS infection. That is, there was a scientific way to show whether Janice Trahan was infected with HIV from one of Dr. Schmidts patients.
The one patient who lacked an accession sticker for August 4, 1994, was a forty-year-old middle school teacher, Donald McClelland. Capt. Craft looked up McClelland in the Lafayette phone book, noted the address, and drove out to interview him.
After introducing himself at the front door, Craft asked, Are you a patient of Dr. Richard Schmidt?
Do you recall the last time you visited him?"
I can tell you every time Ive visited him, McClelland answered. Ive kept all my medical records.
Would you check 1994?
Sure. McClelland stepped away for a few minutes.
Yeah, he said when he returned. I was there on August fourth. But that wasnt a scheduled visit. I was called in.
Now came the payoff question.
I think your blood may have been used for the wrong purpose, Craft said carefully. I need to know something. Are you HIV positive?
HIV positive? Ive got full-blown AIDS!