JAN: When I was a health reporter, I regularly interviewed doctors and nurses, and I was so impressed by their integrity and sense of mission, that when I needed a no-good doctor to help falsify injuries for insurance fraud in Yesterday's Fatal, I had a hard time creating the character. While I could believe there were plenty of dirtbag lawyers for the scam, I couldn't come up with one scummy doctor. Finally, my friend, a Rhode Island prosecutor said, "Oh for God's sake, just him high alimony payments or a gambling problem - he'll do anything for the extra money."
So that's what I had to do in my head before I started writing. But this belief in the goodness in doctors persists. That's why I think I'm so intrigued by the Needham doctor and nurse practitioner charged as "croakers," that's a doctor who writes prescriptions for high test drugs for people who don't really need them. Besides the distribution of controlled substances charges, the doctor is accused of writing a script for methadone that killed six people. Prosecutors allege the pair ran a veritable mill, seeing forty to fifty people a day and writing scripts for plenty more who never even bothered to come in for an exam.
What fascinates me more than anything, is how this doctor and nurse got here. My guess is that these two started off with the same integrity and mission to heal that I saw in the doctors and nurses I interviewed, and that life events put them on a different path.
So what are those life events? The pressures? What did they start telling themselves? How much money did they need to make it worthwhile? To risk their careers? (not to mention their lives, both are facing life imprisonment). And assuming we started this story before they got caught and hauled into court, how far would they go to protect their secret?
Come on everyone -- we're making stuff up here. These are the ultimate bad guys, fallen angels.