Suicide is a tragedy. It rocks the world of every single person close to the victim. The immediate family's anguish and pain are especially heartbreaking. Suicide is a terrible ordeal in its own right.
But when a death is wrongfully ruled a suicide, the grief is magnified. Not only do friends and family have to deal with the untimely death, they must also battle the emotional turmoil caused by what they believe to be an erroneous determination of their loved one’s death.
A wrongful suicide ruling compounds a terrible situation. One Pennsylvania family is fighting back. But this case may be one of the most egregiously bad rulings from a medical examiner. Many cannot fathom how anyone could have deemed Ellen Greenberg’s death a suicide.
Ellen Greenberg was a 27-year-old schoolteacher. According to reports, Greenberg’s horrific death was initially ruled a homicide. But for some bizarre reason, the Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia revised the manner of death.
A former pathologist for the Philadelphia office, Dr. Marlon Osbourne, revised the manner of death to suicide. Maybe it’s not so bizarre unless you aren’t aware of how Ellen Greenberg died. The former schoolteacher was stabbed over 20 times.
Ten of the stab wounds were to the back of her skull. She was stabbed from behind. Evidence also indicated that the body was moved after it was stabbed. Furthermore, the crime scene was covered in blood. Investigators said there weren’t any signs of a struggle in the house.
Guy D’Andrea is a former homicide prosecutor with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. In September, he told Fox News Digital, “I was startled by the amount of questions that remained.” Before leaving the DA’s office, he conducted a review of the case.
D’Andrea believed that “at a minimum” the cause of death should have been “undetermined.” After reviewing crime scene photographs and the medical examiner’s images, he couldn’t fathom how anyone could determine this death was a suicide.
He indicated that four pieces of evidence made him doubt Osbourne’s finding of suicide. D’Andrea indicated that there was a wound to the top of her head. Greenberg was also found sitting upright. However, blood had dripped sideways across her face.
This clearly seemed to indicate that the body had been moved. Additionally, there were a number of bruises at different stages of healing. Finally, there’s the fiancé’s claim that he broke the locked door down.
The crime scene photos show the latch to the door and the door frame were still intact. Other expert pathologists reviewed Osbourne’s ruling and were highly suspicious. Most believe there was every indication that this was a homicide.
Pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht said, “In all my years of experience, and all of the homicides that I’ve done, and suicides, I’ve never seen anything like this.” Joe Podraza is an attorney for Greenberg’s parents. Podraza spoke with Fox News Digital.
He said that “We are cautiously optimistic that the panel will find the estate of Ellen Greenberg may proceed to trial on her mandamus and declaratory actions against the City of Philadelphia and Dr. Osbourne so that the manner of her death may be changed from suicide to something else.”
He believes this is the only way to “secure justice for Ellen.” There has to be some sense that such a haphazard and baseless rush to rule death by suicide had some underlying reason. Were the authorities just too lazy to investigate Greenberg’s death as a murder?
Was there evidence that led to a massive cover-up? Or was this a sad example of medical incompetence? This family deserves closure. Allowing authorities a chance to investigate may not secure justice for Emily Greenberg’s family, but at least there might be a chance.