Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease
An award-winning investigative journalist’s horrifying true crime story of America’s deadliest drug contamination outbreak and the greed and deception that fueled it.
Two pharmacists sit in a Boston courtroom accused of murder. The weapon: the fungus Exserohilum rostratum. The death count: 100 and rising. Kill Shot is the story of their hubris and fraud, discovered by a team of medical detectives who raced against the clock to hunt the killers and the fungal meningitis they’d unleashed.
“Bloodthirsty” is how doctors described the fungal microbe that contaminated thousands of drug vials produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Though NECC chief Barry Cadden called his company the “Ferrari of Compounders,” it was a slapdash operation of unqualified staff, mold-ridden lab surfaces, and hastily made medications that were injected into approximately 14,000 people. Once inside some of its human hosts, the fungus traveled through the tough tissue around the spine and wormed upward to the “deep brain,” our control center for balance, breath, and the vital motor functions of life.
Now, investigative journalist Jason Dearen turns a spotlight on this tragedy–the victims, the heroes, and the perpetrators–and the legal loopholes that allowed it to occur. Kill Shot forces a powerful but unchecked industry out of the shadows.