Of the many conspiracies of the 21st century, one of the most intriguing is the apparent systematic killing of holistic or alternative doctors. The suspected perpetrator? Rather ambiguously, Big Pharma.
There are certainly some gray areas of the pharmaceutical industry, mainly revolving around the cost of manufacturing against the cost to the patient. However, while drug companies are arguably guilty of making a killing in terms of mass profit, it is surely a stretch to think that they are literally killing off alternative competition, right?
When some of these cases are examined (and there are over 70 such claims and counting), many of the deceased are not (outwardly at least) holistic doctors and their deaths are not particularly suspicious. Nevertheless, they are all lumped into this conspiracy.
Others may not go as far as to prove a conspiracy of such magnitude exists, but they are perhaps worth looking at a little more closely. The vast majority of these deaths occurred during the summer and fall of 2015. Although they are most likely coincidence and nothing more, they are a little spine-tingling to say the least. Enjoy!
10 Teresa Sievers
After she failed to turn up for work one morning in June 2015, concerned colleagues arrived at the home of Dr. Teresa Sievers to find a scene of chaos, bloodshed, and undoubtedly murder. The kitchen of Sievers’s home in Bonita Springs, Florida, was covered in her blood, and her lifeless body was found bloodied and pummeled. She had been bludgeoned to death. In fact, the back of her head was almost completely smashed in.
Sievers was somewhat of a local celebrity, making regular appearances on local television as well being featured in alternative medicine literature.
Her husband, Mark Sievers, was soon arrested. Investigators claimed to have unveiled a plot in which a deal was struck between Sievers, Curtis Wayne Wright (believed to have committed the actual killing), and Jimmy Rodgers. Sievers was believed to have bankrolled the murder, with the motive appearing to be the life insurance shared by him and his wife. The policy would pay out to the tune of $4.4 million.
Police immediately suspected Mark Sievers of being involved in his wife’s slaying. Intriguingly or not, however, the apparent breakthrough in the case came from a witness contacting the Florida detectives from Illinois. This information led to the apprehension of both Wright and Rodgers.
Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is set to testify against Mark Sievers. Rodgers and Sievers each pleaded not guilty to the charges. Rightly or not, Teresa Sievers’s death was connected to several more mysterious holistic doctor deaths by conspiracy theorists, one of which is our next entry on this list.
9 Jeff Bradstreet
Although it didn’t appear that Dr. Jeff Bradstreet had been murdered, his suicide in June 2015 in North Carolina was instantly linked to the holistic doctors conspiracy by those who genuinely believed there was something to investigate.
Bradstreet had died of a gunshot wound to the chest—one that all indicators showed to be self-inflicted. His body was discovered floating in a river only days after the aforementioned murder of Dr. Teresa Sievers.
Bradstreet was an outspoken alternative doctor, so much so that many labeled him “a quack!” He was staunchly supportive of the anti-vaccine movement (incidentally, a seemingly recurring stance in this particular conspiracy) and outspoken about it to boot. He also wasted little time in exposing what he believed were the evils of “Big Pharma” and the “federal levels of deceit” that existed in the United States medical bodies.
His family and supporters believed that his regular attacks on the pharmaceutical industry led to his death. Not long after his body was discovered, a GoFundMe page was set up to “find the truth” about what had happened to Bradstreet. Although he is often one of the first alternative doctors mentioned when discussing the alleged holistic murders, his death has been officially ruled a suicide.
8 Mitchell Gaynor
Another apparent suicide of an alternative doctor also garnered the attention of conspiracy theorists in September 2015 when 59-year-old Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a respected oncologist, was found dead in the woods around his Hillsdale home in New York. Although no details were immediately released to the public, investigators from the Columbia County sheriff’s department stated unreservedly that Gaynor had taken his own life.
One of the areas of Gaynor’s work that conspiracy theorists zeroed in on was his alternative treatments for cancer patients. He used and promoted “natural methods” of treating cancer and had done so for several decades. He also studied and offered similar natural remedies for such things as obesity, aging, gene degeneration, and diabetes.
As well as practicing alternative medicine, he had authored several books on the subject and even coproduced a song with jazz pianist Jon Regen that was titled “Change Your Mind.” It went on to top Billboard’s New Age chart. (The unlikely duo also released two more albums.)
Certainly not the resume of a suicidal man at his wits’ end, right? That is certainly what the conspiracy theorists will have you believe. Of course, in reality, it is impossible for anyone to know the extent and the darkness of someone’s inner demons.
7 Baron Holt
Dr. Baron Holt, a 33-year-old chiropractor and alternative healer, was fit, healthy, and successful. He had over 500 regular patients on his books, including several Ultimate Fighting Championship stars to whom he administered regular treatments. He had even traveled to London to assist various athletes during the 2012 Olympics.
So when he dropped dead out of the blue in mid-2015 while on a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, it raised an eyebrow or two. Perhaps even more so when no official cause of death was established.
Although it is no more than speculation (as are many of the holistic doctor murders), Holt had a particular interest in helping people who struggled financially with medical bills and increasingly promoted patients’ well-being and recovery over profit. Several times, he “[worked] with people financially” to ensure that they received the treatments they required.
Might this patient-before-profit outlook have gone against what some perceive to be Big Pharma’s main interest?
6 Nicholas Gonzalez
A little short of a week after the death of Baron Holt, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez died suddenly in New York City. Like the aforementioned Mitchell Gaynor (who would “commit suicide” several weeks later), Gonzalez specialized in the alternative treatments of cancer.
The fact that Gonzalez and Gaynor both resided in New York was too much for some and “obvious” proof of the involvement of the “pharma assassins” as they were increasingly called in such circles.
The cause of death was officially listed as a heart attack. When fellow alternative cancer doctor Ty Bollinger spoke to the press to confirm the death of his colleague, he did little to halt the fanning of the conspiracy flames. He referred to the cause of death as “an apparent heart attack” and labeled Gonzalez “the world’s foremost expert on cancers!”
As if to hammer the point home, Bollinger concluded that he and Gonzalez shared “the same distrust of the mainstream media and the same desire to spread the truth about cancer!” Make of Bollinger’s words what you will. Some subscribers to this theory certainly do.
5 Lisa Riley
In July 2015, Dr. Lisa Riley, a 34-year-old osteopath from Lee County, Georgia, was found close to death with a gunshot wound to the head. She was transported to the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and taken into emergency surgery, but she died a short time later. Although Riley’s ties to the alternative medical scene are murky at best, her name always seems to come up when discussing the holistic murders, mainly due to her location and the time of the murder.
There are also some genuinely suspicious actions concerning the handling of Lisa Riley’s murder. Her husband, Yathomas Riley, originally reported the discovery of his wife’s body. Later, he was arrested for the murder. He was eventually released without charge.
But in a bizarre twist, it was revealed that Yathomas had been held for two years on the charge of attempting to murder his (then) partner, Koketia King, several years earlier. The charges were eventually dropped in what appeared to be an attempt to frame him by King. (Gun residue was discovered on her hand, not Yathomas Riley’s.)
Whether King or Yathomas has any connection to the death of Lisa Riley is not known. More to the point, no one else has been arrested or charged with her killing.
4 Bruce Hedendal
Around the same time as the aforementioned Sievers and Holt and in the same state of Florida, private chiropractor Dr. Bruce Hedendal was found dead in his car. The 67-year-old, who also had a PhD from Harvard in nutrition (something that he also regularly advised on), was thought by all who knew him to be fit and healthy. So much so, in fact, that he had actually run in a competition on the day of his death—winning a gold medal to boot.
According to the official autopsy, Hedendal had died from natural causes. And despite how “fit and healthy” he may have genuinely been, the fact that he had taken part in rigorous exercise in the hours before his death perhaps does prove that it was simply a case of nature sounding the bell.
Then again, maybe the timing was sheer perfection on the part of the assassin. Family members of Hedendal certainly think so, stating to the media that they are “suspicious of his death and want answers!”
3 Andrew Moulden
One of the more well-known alternative doctor murders that occurred prior to summer 2015 was that of 49-year-old Canadian physician Dr. Andrew Moulden. To some in conspiracy circles, the reason for Moulden’s “sudden death” in November 2013 was perfectly obvious. His statement that “every vaccine produces harm!” was akin to signing his own death sentence.
He even presented “proof” of his theories to the pharmaceutical industry and medical professionals across the country—all of which were rejected outright. Was this rejection due to Moulden’s conclusions being wrong? Or, as conspiracy theorists will tell you, because he was completely correct?
Whether he was correct or not, he has become a martyr to those who subscribe to such theories. In fact, the reaction of the pharmaceutical industry almost seemed to spark a surge of interest in theories such as Moulden’s!
2 Mary Louise Yoder
Sixty-year-old chiropractor Mary Louise Yoder was respected in her field and had worked out of her New York office with her husband, William, for almost 30 years. During the last four of those years, Kaitlyn Conley worked for the Yoders. That was, until she murdered Mary by poisoning her in July 2015—the same general time as the vast majority of the other “alternative” doctors on this list met their ends!
Autopsy results showed that Conley had used the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine to induce death. Those under its influence in such large doses as Conley had administered can expect to be dead from 48 hours to a week later. Their organs slowly shut down, ultimately leading to respiratory failure, seizures, and death.
Although Yoder’s death was originally not treated as suspicious, family members began to ponder recent events in their minds, eventually taking their concerns to the police. By December 2015, Conley was charged with Yoder’s murder. Despite Conley being charged with falsifying business records and petit larceny, there appeared to be no clear motive for her drastic actions.
1 Juan Gonzalez
Although it wasn’t a massacre, the killing of Juan Gonzalez in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in March 2017 was certainly messy. As he worked one evening in his office, Omer Ahmetovic burst through the door and promptly shot Gonzalez to death.
This is a particularly dark and gritty case due to the backstory that soon unfolded. While conspiracy theorists quickly jumped on the case of another alternative doctor murdered “for their willingness to stand up to Big Pharma,” it seemed obvious that the leap was misjudged at best in this instance.
It soon came to light that Ahmetovic’s wife, Fikreta Ibrisevic, had recently died from cancer. As sad and tragic as that is, her death would take a further twist for Ahmetovic as Gonzalez had recently “treated” Ibrisevic for her cancer with an “alternative treatment.” Despite pleas by Omer, his wife opted for what he saw as Gonzalez’s mercenary ways.
For other deaths linked to conspiracy theories, check out 10 Mysterious Deaths Connected To Conspiracy Theories and 10 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About Celebrity Deaths.