On This Date: Dr. Michael Swango Was Sentenced
He is a convicted killer and possibly has killed up to 60 or more people both domestically and internationally, has had a book written about him (Quincy native James Stewart’s “Blind Eye”) and is currently serving a life sentence in Colorado. He is Quincy native Dr. Michael Swango who was first sentenced on April 23, 1985.
Billy Meyer (pictured), who was the chief investigator for the Quincy Police Department in the 1980s when this case presented itself, was in charge of the investigations. The case began in September of 1984 and went to trial in the spring of 1985.
Swango came onto the police radar after paramedics at Blessing Hospital were becoming ill after eating donuts and drinking iced tea that Swango gave them. The donuts and tea were later found to have ant killer in them. Swango also helped out at Quincy Notre Dame athletic events and dispersed drinking water during a game which made several players ill some 30 or so minutes after they consumed the drink.
Police investigated the incidents and after Blessing Hospital officials opened Swango’s locker they saw the ant killer. They tested the poison in Swango’s locker with what was on the donuts and found a match. A later search warrant found ant killer and other poison’s and poison recipes in Swango’s apartment. Meyer believes that after they found the poisons in Swango’s apartment, he transplanted ant hills in his yard as a defense.
With no one actually dying from those incidents, Swango was tried and convicted of aggravated battery. He was given a 5-year sentence on April 23,1985. After serving time, the craziness of Dr. Swango got even more bizarre as he ended up getting several jobs as a doctor at Ohio State University, in Long Island and also in South Africa.
In all three locations, many of Dr. Swango’s patients died leading to plenty of speculation not only on the deaths but also on just how this man could get hired again. In South Africa, Swango is wanted and would be executed if he would ever return there.
Meyer also revealed that Swango was also one of the people that many feel may have been involved in the Tylenol scare that killed seven people in the Chicago area in 1982 as well.