|Kurt Danysh to police:
"I was on Prozac...it's supposed to calm me down and like
level me out, but since I got on it, when something bothers
me, it bothers me to [the] extreme...I just act differently.
I don't have the energy or personality I used to. I spend
half the time in a trance."
"I didn't even realize I did it, until after it was done,
and then I realized it."
"This might sound weird, but it felt like something else,
like I had no control [over] what I was doing; like I was
left there just holding a gun."
"It felt like someone else shot him."
This is how my son, Kurt, described the moment he
realized that he had shot and killed his father.
Kurt's story began 17 days earlier when he was prescribed
the drug Prozac by a general practitioner (who failed
to perform any psychological testing). Shortly after
beginning to take his Prozac prescription, Kurt, a normally
outgoing teenager, became withdrawn and moody. By the second
week, he was restless and violent. He got into a fight with
his best friend and purposely crashed his truck into a stone
wall. This was, to say the least, out of character for Kurt.
Tragically, only seventeen days after his first dose of
Prozac, Kurt shot and killed his father, the one person he
loved most in this world. The shooting was a complete shock
and made no sense to anyone who knew Kurt and his father.
It was clear that the Prozac had caused a drastic,
violent change in Kurt. In spite of this fact, Eli Lilly
& Co., the maker of Prozac, claimed that their drug
would not cause aggressive behavior. As a result of this
claim and regardless of the fact that Kurt had no history of
violence prior to Prozac, he was convicted of murdering his
father and sentenced to 22.5 to 60 years in prison.
Finally, in 2004, eight years after Kurt's conviction,
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized that
so-called SSRI antidepressants, including Prozac can cause
suicidal and/or violent behavior particularly in adolescents
and children. Additionally, it's been revealed that Eli
Lilly & Co. concealed data from 1988 which linked Prozac to
violence. Armed with this new evidence we hope to gain Kurt
a new trial. Our goal is to obtain justice for both Kurt and
The Truth About SSRIs
|A visit from Dana, a friend
SSRI antidepressants (Prozac, paxil, Zoloft, Luvox,
Celexa and Lexapro) were originally advertised as miracle
drugs with few side effects. This has been proven to be
untrue. On March 22, 2004 the FDA warned that SSRIs may
cause anxiety, aggitation, panic attacks, insomnia,
irritability, hostility, impulsiveness, akathisia (extreme
restlessness), hypomania and mania.
In 2004 the FDA issued a so-called Black Box Warning
for all SSRIs. This kind of warning is one step below a ban.
It's reserved for drugs which can result in death. The
warning indicates that the drugs increase suicidal thinking
and suicidal behavior.
The FDA's Advisory Event Reporting System reports 70
cases of murder linked to Prozac.
On January 1, 2005 the British Medical Journal
quoted the original FDA reviewer of Prozac as stating, "I do
agree now that those stimulatory side effects, especially in
regard to suicidal ideation and homicidal ideation are worse
than I thought at the time that I reviewed the drug."
SSRIs are similar to cocaine in their effects on the
brain chemical serotonin. SSRIs are known to trigger manic
episodes in bi-polar patients.
Kurt Is Not Alone
Saddly, Kurt's experience is not rare. Many incidents of
violence and/or suicide have been linked to adolescents
taking prescription antidepressants.
- Eric Harris, the triggerman in the Columbine school
shootings, killed his fellow students and took his own
life while taking Luvox.
- Fifteen year-old Kip Kinkel killed his parents and
two classmates while taking Prozac.
- Thirteen year-old Chris Fetters killed his favorite
aunt while taking Prozac.
- Twelve year-old Christopher Pittman murdered both
his grandparents while taking Zoloft.
- Thirteen year-old Mathew Miller hung himself in his
bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.
- Fifteen year-old Jarred Viktor stabbed his
grandmother 61 times after 5 days on Paxil.
- This is just a few examples of antidepressant
violence. The list goes on and on.
Additional information on SSRI antidepressants and
violence may be found at by pressing
How To Help Kurt
The only obstacle in the way of getting a new trial for Kurt
is the inability to afford an attorney. Neither Kurt nor his
family can afford the fee required for an attorney to handle
the appeal. For this reason, we've started the Kurt
Danysh Legal Aid Fund.
It's our hope that after people hear Kurt's experience,
they'll help gain justice for him and his father. The sad
fact is that if we can't raise enough funds to cover the
cost of an attorney, Kurt will spend the next 13 to 51 years
in prison. We pray that Kurt's plight will inspire you to
make a financial contribution and/or share this plea with
others who may.
You may also send letters of support directly to Kurt in
Kurt Danysh DL-4879
1111 Altamont Blvd.
Frackville, PA 17931
In spite of the fact that he IS imprisoned, Kurt strives
to warn others about the dangers of SSRIs. He hopes that his
experience will educate others so that no more families will
have to suffer.
His efforts even caught the attention of the
Oprah Winfrey Show which wrote to Kurt: "We
have been following your story and admire your honesty and
desire to try and make a difference. We think you have an
important message for others to hear."