As a Vietnam Veteran I, along with millions of other Veterans receive healthcare through the Veterans Hospital system. I have received very good care in both the Vancouver, Washington Campus of the Portland Veterans Hospital and at the Portland Veterans Hospital itself. But it seems not everybody has been as fortunate as I have been.
One Veteran, medically discharged from the U.S. Navy has alleged he is the victim of a staff member assigned to care for him while he was an inpatient at the Vancouver Campus. To say the least, this particular staff member has quite a peculiar background that leaves me questioning just how he was able to gain employment at the Veterans Hospital.
An inquiry submitted to Public Affairs Officer, Dan Herrigstad has not yet been responded to. But the history of this staff member, Patrick Henry is well documented as he was the subject of both a book titled Deadly Intentions and two subsequent made for TV movies on his conviction for attempted murder of his ex-wife in Tucson, Arizona in 1979 that led to his being stripped of his license to practice medicine as a Doctor and another on his “itching to exact revenge on those who put him away while at the same time working hard on destroying the sanity of his second wife.”
Dr. Patrick G. Henry graduated from the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine in 1971, marrying the sweetheart he met while a student in 1967 that same year. By all outward appearances he was destined for a brilliant career in Dermatology. But he soon revealed a much darker side unnoticed before.
From an August 18, 1986 People’s Magazine article on the fear his ex-wife retains, we read that Henry began to call his wife by a “private, ugly nickname: ‘Toad’.” He would sometimes sit for hours and just ignore her.
When he did speak, the conversation was often directed towards what he would “do with anybody who crossed him.”
“I’d get even no matter how long it took me. First I’d stick pins in their eyes…. If you put a knife in their lower abdomen—stick it straight in—you can pull it up in a single movement and cut someone wide open…. That’s one of the most painful ways to die. I’d take explosives—not big ones; they’d have to be small, or I wouldn’t be able to stay close enough to watch…. If it was a woman I’d put it in her vagina and ass…. I’d stand close and watch while they went off.”
We also read,
“On a vacation trip to Florida, she was swimming alone in a remote lake when Pat shouted to her to get to shore fast and not to look back. She swam furiously and as she did, Pat aimed his camera and clicked away. She hit the beach just seconds ahead of an alligator. When she broke down sobbing, Henry laughed hysterically.”
After some very dangerous incidents involving their infant son and much soul searching, his wife had had enough and left him in 1974, moving back to Tucson, Arizona to live with her parents and filing for divorce.
We read that
“within a year Henry remarried, adopted his new wife’s two daughters and settled into the life of a suburban Baltimore physician. He waited three years and eight months from the day his wife left him before returning to Tucson in disguise, planning the revenge he had so often described to her.”
Through the diligence and suspicions of an American Airline’s ticket agent, in 1977 Henry was caught trying to leave Tucson with an attaché case found to contain a “.32-caliber pistol, nine bullets, a glass cutter, glue, pliers and a plumber’s helper, as well as 23 firecrackers, string, three books of matches and a double-edged hunting knife.”
Questioned by Police in Dallas, a really bizarre scheme involving false identity, a cheap wig and padded clothing to disguise himself was revealed, resulting in his being indicted and tried in 1979. It took the jury about six hours to reach of verdict of guilty for attempted murder in the second degree.
He was sentenced to 5 to 15 years and was released on parole in 1986 after serving 6 ½ years of the sentence, Warden Lloyd E. Bramlett describing Henry as “Pretty much a model inmate. No violence. No discipline problems,” even though 3 years earlier he had been shifted to maximum security when it was discovered he might have been laying the groundwork for an elaborate escape.
Contrary to his Lawyers claims of “He has too much to lose. He’s got a wife. He’s got two children he loves. He wants to continue in the practice of medicine,” Henry wasn’t to stay out of trouble very long.
He settled in Mobile, Alabama where he worked as a Physician’s Assistant while trying to have his Medical License reinstated.
In late August 1987 he was again arrested after his second wife contacted Police after finding “a munitions box in her home containing manuals on explosives and fake identities, as well as a pistol” along with a quantity of marijuana.
FBI agents arrested Henry on drug charges. In March 1988 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Federal marijuana and weapons charges, prosecutors alleging he “planned to use blood serum containing the AIDS virus in a revenge scheme and planned to kill a former Federal prosecutor.”
District Judge Emmett Cox ordered Henry to “a prison where he could receive psychiatric treatment.”
Unknown to me when he was released, he ended up moving to Portland, Oregon where he at some time became employed by the Veterans Hospital as a CNA at the Vancouver Campus and in 2011, is alleged to have “terrorized one of the patients” between April and September.
Apparently unable to catch him in the act, it would take until September 2012 before he was caught placing nails under this same patient’s car tires when he would return to the campus for outpatient care or volunteer work with other Veterans.
According to Court documents I obtained, He was summoned into court at the direction of the Vancouver City Attorney’s Office, making his first appearance on Feb. 28, 2013 in front of Judge Darvin Zimmerman who placed him immediately on supervised release and ordered him to have no contact with the victim or the Veterans Administration campus.
Charged with attempted Third Degree Malicious Mischief, a gross misdemeanor, he is next scheduled to appear in Clark County District Court on April 24, 2013 and is to remain in the immediate Portland / Vancouver Metropolitan area where he shares a home with his wife Helene in Portland.
I am unable to confirm at this time whether he is still employed with the VA or has been placed on administrative leave.
But I am concerned with how such a person, whether he once was a doctor or not, came to be employed at the facility, caring for patients or why he was allowed to remain after complaints were leveled against him.
The victim claims he has tried to submit TORT claims for damages, but has been denied by all levels of the Veterans Administration and is currently seeking legal help in pursuing his claims.
This will be updated as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: KOIN 6 TV News “stumbled” across this story in May 2013 VA hospital worker’s criminal past was TV movie
KOIN has been advertising a report to be televised on their 5 PM news program, Aug 19, 2013.
I am informed he was sentenced to a work crew and that there will be no investigation into how a twice convicted felon was hired by the Veteran’s Hospital in the first place.