Authorities were trying to determine Monday whether Jack Kevorkian assisted in the deaths of two women, including one found dead in Kevorkian’s van.
Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic ruled one of the deaths a homicide and said autopsies Monday showed that both women died of lethal injections.
The unidentified woman found in Kevorkian’s 1968 Volkswagen van was not capable of giving herself an injection because her arm was too badly deformed, Dragovic said. He has routinely ruled deaths of Kevorkian’s patients as homicides.
Kevorkian used the van numerous times in his assisted-suicide crusade, either to drop off bodies or as a rolling clinic.
“There’s nothing specific that says he’s involved, but there’s circumstantial evidence that’s there,” said Lt. Robert Smith of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.
Smith said authorities were still trying to identify the woman in the van, who is white and about 60 to 70 years old.
The body of the other woman, Lisa Lansing, 42, of Florham Park, N.J., was brought to Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital about 12:45 a.m. Monday. Lansing’s body was brought in by a friend who told emergency room doctors she had stopped breathing.
Kevorkian’s attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, said he was unaware of any involvement by his client in the deaths. Kevorkian was ordered by a judge in Ionia County last year to refrain from assisting in suicides as a condition of his bail agreement for charges he faced there.
Kevorkian, a 68-year-old retired pathologist, has attended 45 known suicides since 1990.
Kevorkian’s last acknowledged participation in a suicide was Oct. 23, 1996, before new charges were filed against him in two Michigan counties.
Last month, however, Oakland County’s new prosecutor, David Gorcyca, dropped 19 criminal charges against Kevorkian brought last year by Richard Thompson, who lost a primary election to Gorcyca.
Kevorkian has been acquitted in three trials since 1994.
But Kevorkian is still expected to stand trial in Ionia County this spring in the death of a 54-year-old woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis.