Up until the end Dr. Mel Levine, the pediatrician who was said to have molested thousands of children in his care, claimed he was innocent. The suicide note left behind says the wrongful accusations are what led him to shoot himself in the head just yards behind his house last month.
The day before the suicide, Levine had a class action lawsuit taken out on him alleging sexual abuse by 5,000 former patients at Boston Children’s Hospital.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Levine thought he was an innocent victim of a “copycat phenomenon” of accusers.
“It is Salem, Massachusetts, reborn,” he wrote in one of many journal entries.
He continued, “My lot is now hopeless!!” Levine wrote on Feb. 11. “There is absolutely nothing left to live or hope for. I thought I was well on my way to becoming a ‘comeback kid.’ That’s not going to happen.”
Levine kept journal entries leading up to the suicide in which he also described his fear surrounding the allegations:
“I could go to jail…The whole notion of a press conference is bizarre and abusive. Obviously, following this press conference there will be more people coming after me – who knows, maybe another 30 or 100 or 500! Virtually every adult who once had a physical exam performed by Mel Levine could decide to have been abused by it (especially if they’re low on funds). And they would have absolutely nothing to lose by suing me,” he wrote.
He continued to deny any wrongdoing.
“I am hoping and expecting that my suicide will in no way be read as an admission of guilt. I continue to maintain that I did nothing that was wrong or immoral in my patient care throughout more than 40 years of practicing pediatrics,” he wrote.
“Why can’t this be worked on more discreetly, so that I am not assassinated by the press and decimated by distorted public perceptions?” Levine wrote on Feb. 14.
His final journal entry was on Feb. 17. He wrote he planned to shoot himself with a shotgun in the woods that morning at 9:30, after his wife had gone to work. His body was eventually found in the woods about 100 yards behind his house the next morning.
Known for his advocacy in the field of learning disabilities, his approach emphasized that whatever learning disabilities or learning differences children had, every child had strengths that they could focus on and build upon.
Levine wrote several books on the subject including, A Mind at a Time, Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, and The Myth of Laziness. A charismatic speaker, he also had a PBS series, “Misunderstood Minds”, and maintained a high paced schedule of lectures for parents and teachers.
The last words on his suicide note perhaps eerily sum it all up. He writes ‘nothing gold can stay,’ referencing the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost which is about paradise in the Garden of Eden, and then the subsequent fall of man.
Since Levine was never prosecuted for any of the over 5,000 allegations of child sexual abuse before his death, his suicide has not provided any closure, except possibly for himself.
Source: Charlotte Observer