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Indiana's "Wrong-Way Driver" Judy Kirby Convicted
Fails to Convince Jury That Thyroid Problems Caused Accident That Killed Seven
 Join the Discussion
POLL: Is untreated thyroid disease a valid defense for Judy Kirby's psychosis and fatal car crash? See the poll results and jump into the discussion of this controversial, high-profile case!
Vote now!

by Mary J. Shomon

Judy Kirby, 32 year old Martinsville, Indiana woman accused of killing seven people -- including three of her own children -- by going almost two miles the wrong way on a highway and causing a head-on collision with a minivan was convicted of murder on Thursday, May 10, 2001.

Kirby's defense team had unsuccessfully claimed that a mistreated thyroid condition left Kirby paranoid, psychotic and disoriented and unable to intentionally cause the crash, which occurred on March 25, 2000. Kirby, who prosecutors claim drove her car past 16 "Do Not Enter" and "Wrong Way" signs before ultimately crashing, was found guilty of seven counts of murder in the deaths of three of her children, a nephew traveling with her, the minivan driver, and two of his children.

Prosecutors had argued that the single mother, who had 10 children and had given birth several months before the accident, was suicidal and had decided to take her own and her children's lives. After 11 days of testimony, jurors agreed with prosecutors that Kirby, 32, Indianapolis was suicidal when she drove the wrong way in the southbound lanes of a divided highway.

Kirby could get up to life in prison when she is sentenced June 7.

"I'm just so happy that she won't be able to hurt anybody else and my family," said Louise Reel, whose husband and two oldest children were inthe minivan, told ASsociated Press. "She took everything from me."


If thyroid patients themselves were voting, would they have agreed with the jury? Find out now from the more than 1700 people who voted in the our "Is Thyroid Disease a Valid Defense for Murder?" poll.
See the poll results now!


See the heated and passionate discussion at the forum about Judy Kirby, and whether thyroid patients can relate:

"I once thought that I couldn't hurt anyone either. But one morning seven years ago I had an uncontrollable urge to hurt my sister. Months before that moment I had told my mother that I felt like I was going to snap...I can testify that if my practitioner had not promptly diagnosed the threat of mental illness in my future I would and am confident I could have hurt myself or someone else."
"I believe any thyroid disorder can cause a person to commit murder amoung many other anger outbursts. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism since 1995, I am 47, prior to that I must have suffered all my childhood life not knowing what was wrong with me. I remember as a child sitting by my mother and saying 'something's wrong with me mom,' she said what, and I said 'I feel like picking up a knife and stabbing something.'"
"I have only two children - one is 21 while the other is eleven. I used to enjoy a healthy, lively lifestyle until TD dropped its A-bomb on me. I find myself wanting to take any next exit on the highways...Before I know what's happening, I am way off track and in the opposite end of town. Sometimes, I stay off the roads and sit at home in a 'chill out' way. I could have been in her shoes at any time!!!"
"I myself had a bad accident (luckily no injuries, no other cars involved) in full-blown hypo, leading to a 2 month period of no driving. Later, believing my then-doc's assertions that you are now "normal" I found myself falling asleep at a traffic light, dozing in and out while driving from my sister's house to mine in early evening - I could not remember how I got home - and falling fully asleep in my car in my driveway upon getting home. I became a virtual recluse until I switched to a doctor who raised by thyroid med dose..."
"We have to be careful that we do not automatically justify this crime because of our own experiences. Just as we continually say we are each individuals -- so is Kirby. Just because we were undertreated, untreated, mistreated, whatever -- does not mean she was. "

Hear Recorded Thyroid Information from Mary Shomon, or Schedule a Live Call by Phone!


Whether it's a free email newsletter or report about thyroid disease, the latest books that help you live well with your thyroid condition, or support and information from fellow thyroid patients, you'll find a variety of resources here at the About Thyroid site.

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