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'Nobody reported the cases': Former Bexar medical examiner speaks on Jones case

In this preview episode of VILE Podcast, we share an excerpt of our conversation with former Bexar County Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent DiMaio.
Pediatric intensive care unit circa 1983 (PHOTO: KENS-TV archives)

Based on the CDC's statistical analysis of the pediatric intensive care unit where Genene Jones worked, children under her care were more than 10 times more likely to die- 10.7 times more likely to be exact.

The CDC found that nine patients had recurring cardiopulmonary arrests on the evening shift, also known as the "death shift," during the epidemic period between 1981 and 1982.

Eight of those nine patients who had repeat emergencies were assigned to Jones.

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The report also states that the consultant conducting the study into Jones' unit didn't see a connection between these patient's deaths and their medical conditions.

The consultant "didn't find clinical differences in the patients' conditions upon admission to explain the greater risk of dying in the PICU during the epidemic period."

However, as children were dying, one key official says he should have known about the crisis.

Former Bexar County Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent DiMaio claims hospital officials at the time made a terrible mistake.

"Nobody reported any case to me from the hospital or the medical school. No one talked to me about these cases, and they never have talked to me about these cases.

The law says all deaths that are homicides, accidents, suicides or suspicious or there is no manner or cause of death determined has to be reported to the medical examiner, who then takes over the case, does an autopsy, gets all the medical records, then they make a determination of the cause and manner of death. All these cases should have been reported to the medical examiner. Once we got suspicious of these cases, you have to report them to the medical examiner’s office," DiMaio said.

In the next full episode of Vile, we'll discuss how the Genene Jones case finally landed in the hands of law enforcement in San Antonio.

KENS 5 is taking a look back at the history of the Genene Jones case and following new developments in the Vile podcast. This is an ongoing project. If you are connected to the case, and you would like to speak with us, email swelsh@kens5.com.

Stick with KENS5.com/Vile for the latest updates in our podcast series, plus photos, videos and audio recordings related to the story.

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