Questions Raised After Wife-Killer's Suicide

By Paul Krueger and Eric S. Page
|  Friday, May 7, 2010  |  Updated 8:58 PM PDT
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Her Body Was Never Found

Henry Lisowski

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Questions Raised After Wife-Killer's Suicide

Henry Lisowski, 69, was found guilty in early March of the first degree murder of his estranged wife, Rosa Lisowski. On March 25, while awaiting sentencing, he was found dead in jail.

Her Body Was Never Found

What really happened to Rosa Lisowski, whose husband's murder trial started Monday?
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How did a killer kill manage to kill himself in jail by taking an overdose?

Henry Lisowki, 69, was found guilty in early March of the first degree murder of his estranged wife, Rosa Lisowski. On March 25, while awaiting sentencing, he was found dead in jail. Officials with the county medical examiner said Thursday that he was killed by an overdose combination of the anti-depressants trazodone and mirtazapine.

Dr. Earl Goldstein, medical director for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, said safeguards are taken to prevent overdose suicides within the jail system. All psychiatric drugs are administered in a "watch/take" method, in which a jail nurse and sheriff's deputy observe an inmate taking the drug, in order to try to make sure the inmate doesn't hide the potentially deadly pills inside their mouth, according to Goldstein.

The inmate must also take a drink of water to make it more difficult for them to "cheek" or hide the anti-depressants. But, Goldstein said, an inmate bent on suicide will "figure out a way to get around the system."

Goldstein said jail staff are also trained in suicide prevention and risk assessment.

Another psychiatric expert, Dr. John Allen, said it would take quite a number of pills of the type Lisowski took to cause death. He said it would take 10 or more pills of the kind Lisowski took to cause death, assuming he was taking the normal adult dosage and did not have any significant medical problems.

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