WICHITA – There are questions about a forensic pathologist who once worked for the Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center. While there, he conducted hundreds of autopsies for murders, suicides…even testifying as an expert witness in homicide cases. Factfinder 12 investigator Alex Flippin looked into the doctor’s records, finding inconsistencies about where he said he worked and when he said worked there…raising questions about his education and training. Those questions were presented to the State of Kansas to find out if it saw the same inconsistencies and, if so, why the state then granted the doctor a license.
Because of bizarre circumstances surrounding his death, Bob Rai, of Alberta, Canada, believes his cousin was murdered…and he believes Dr. Bamidele Adeagbo was incorrect when he ruled the death a suicide while working as a forensic pathologist in Canada.
“In January of 2014, my cousin was found burned to death inside of his vehicle. Bamidele Adeagbo wrote the autopsy report,” Rai said. “That’s how he came onto my radar, and I started researching into where he started his career, where he got his education etc. and it took me all the way back to the state of Kansas.”
Dr. Adeagbo worked for the Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center from 2008 to 2011. While there, he performed 895 autopsies – 109 of them suicides – another 43 were deemed homicides. Factfinder 12 spent months combing through hundreds of pages of Adeagbo’s school records, test scores, places he worked and the applications he filled out to work there. What we found were a lot of inconsistencies.
We started in Kansas, where on his application to become licensed to practice in the state, Adeagbo said he spent a little less than a year from 1998 to 1999 working as a therapeutic counselor for the Salvation Army. Then we went to Indiana, where he works as a doctor now.
On the application to that state, he lists the same job – this time saying he worked there, not from ‘98 to ‘99, but from ‘98 to 2001. The same years, but different dates are listed for the Salvation Army job on another record held by the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) – a service used by medical boards to check a doctor’s work and education records. On three different forms, the same job is listed, but with three different date ranges.
Back in Kansas, Adeagbo’s application shows he held two positions at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia for a total of 13 months. The doctor indicates on the application that, for one of those months, he served in a “pathology observership.” In Indiana, Adeagbo lists that same position but says he started that job in December of 1999. Remember, on the Kansas form he said he began that job in January of 1999. That is a discrepancy of almost a year. Also on that form, the doctor doesn’t even list the observership. On the FCVS records, Fox Chase isn’t mentioned at all.
Factfinder 12 contacted Fox Chase Cancer Center to see if they could provide exact dates when Adeagbo was there. In an emailed response, a representative with the center wrote, “No one recalls anyone by that name and we don’t usually sponsor observerships in surgical pathology.”
We responded and asked they check again. We received another emailed response reading, “He was not in the surgical pathology department at any time.”
In June of 2008, Adeagbo tells the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA) that he had never been denied a license to practice. Except, according to the State of Louisiana, he was denied a license three months before applying to practice in Kansas. Our investigation did find that denial of license listed on his application to practice in Indiana.
The KSBHA tells Factfinder 12 that it does not allow applying doctors to supply their medical school transcripts themselves. A KSBHA wrote in an email, “Official transcripts must be provided/verified…generally the federation the Federation Credentials Verification Service.”
We checked the FCVS record on Dr. Adeagbo and found that the FCVS, after several attempts, was unable to obtain the transcripts from Adeagbo’s medical school in Nigeria.
So, why does this matter? Because the determinations made by forensic pathologists help guide criminal cases. They help determine if something criminal occurred that led to a death, and they’re often called to testify under oath about their findings. They have to be credible. Juries will use parts of their testimony to determine guilt or innocence, and Dr. Adeagbo’s records certainly raise questions and for some, like Wichita defense attorney Dan Monnat, they raise concerns.
“All those things are red flags that should suggest to you, me and the defense attorney that this expert is not qualified,” Monnat said after reviewing the findings of the Factfinder 12 investigation.
Adeagbo did testify in homicide cases, so we asked Monnat whether what we uncovered could have any impact on those cases that were all heard by juries more than a decade ago.
“You’ve got to be able to demonstrate to the court three things. Number one, that the testimony provided by the expert, as here, is in fact false. That the prosecution knew it was false and that the perjured testimony was material,” Monnat added.
Monnat says proving those three things is a complex, uphill battle that has limited possibilities of success for anyone hoping for a new trial. When asked what he would think if he had been the attorney representing a client in a trial where Dr. Adeagbo had testified, Monnat said he would have to decide whether to contact his client and suggest an additional action may be in order on that client’s behalf.
So, now removed by years, the question may not be about what can be done, but what should be done.
“Organize a panel to review all the cases in which the suspect expert testified and review them to see if there are convictions that ought to be set aside,” Monnat said. “I applaud all the prosecutors that have done that. And there’s no reason to think that wouldn’t happen here…based on what I’ve seen so far? Yes, it certainly seems like this should be reviewed by a prosecutorial authority.”
Factfinder 12 reached Dr. Adeagbo at the hospital where he works in Indiana to share with him what we found. He told us administrators at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia may not remember him because he wasn’t there very long. He also said, at the time he applied for a license in Kansas, he did not know he’d been denied a license in Louisiana.
Since leaving Kansas, Dr. Adeagbo has continued working as a forensic pathologist with no record of censure or infraction that we could find.
The real question: How was a doctor, with the inconsistent records we found, able to receive a license in Kansas? We asked that questions to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. In an emailed response, a representative with the organization said the American Medical Association confirmed Dr. Adeagbo’s education and, even though they also said they require the medical school a doctor attends to provide his record, they accepted notarized copies from Adeagbo himself and a certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
The same representative said our investigation raises new “factual allegations” that are being addressed, but that Kansas law prohibits from talking about their investigation with us unless the board files a petition for discipline.
See full video at KWCH.com