Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Joe Bills Reynolds' Anesthetist: Janitor or Hypnotist?

When emergency workers were summoned to the abortion/liposuction clinic of Dr. Joe Bills Reynolds on September 7, 1989, they found Joe Zorger administering anesthesia to Reynolds' wife, Sharon. Sharon subsequently bled to death from the massive incision her husband had made for liposuction.

During the investigation into Sharon's death, Zorger was interviewed by DEA Agent Ruth Carter. She said that Zorger said that he'd been administering controlled substances for anesthesia at the clinic for the previous two years. Jerry Landreth of the Oklahoma Medical Board said that Zorger told him that he'd been promoted to performing anesthesia six months after he'd been hired as a maintenance man.

Reynolds' lawyer, Gavin Isaacs, said that Landreth "got his wires crossed." He asserted that "Zorger assisted Dr. Reynolods in the operating room. Dr. Reynolds administered the anesthesia." Isaacs insisted that Zorger wasn't a janitor, that he had an extensive background as a medical technician in Texas and "had a lot of training in regard to emergency medical matters."

Later, during Reynold's second-degree murder trial for his wife's death, Zorger said that he had actually started out as a weight-loss hypnotist at Reynold's practice and gradually moved into helping in the procedure rooms. He said that it was his job to "put patients down" for their operations. What Reynolds' lawyer had referred to as "a lot of training in regard to emergency medical matters" was an Emergency Medical Technician course Zorger said he had competed in the summer of 1974 or 1975.


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