Sunday, June 29, 2014
HLN Forensic series episode warns homeowners about toxic mold (horrible case in TX)
HLN offers a series called “Forensic Investigations”, partly produced by Nancy Grace, that occasionally offers some cautionary tales for ordinary consumers.
An episode aired June 28 (probably a repeat) told the story of a couple with a mansion, apparently near Austin, TX, that lost the home as a total loss to toxic mold. A leak near a refrigerator on in the kitchen was supposedly repaired, but a few months later the husband showed severed memory loss, and the wife became suddenly ill, too. The wife recovered. The husband became disabled permanently. Medical tests eventually showed severe mold poisoning, from a species that is unusually toxic but whose spores are sometimes found in drywall and construction materials. Cost to repair the home was estimated at $1 million, but Farmers Insurance would not let work begin on time, and eventually the home was a total loss The couple could not even retrieve clothing, belongings or personal papers from the home. The couple won a $32 million judgment from the insurance company, and that was eventually reduced by an appeals court to $4 million.
Another story concerned a husband who murdered a wife in Highland Park TX (a high income area called the Park Cities in Dallas) with arsenic, after first trying with barium carbonate.
Still another concerned a serial killer who abducted young women in South Carolina in the mid 1980s and taunted the families with mystery letters and phone calls. He was eventually caught with an “invisible ink” test that tracked him to a phone number in Alabama, where he had lived as a house sitter.