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Monday, March 16, 2020

Shawn Parcells: Forensic Imposter

     The history of forensic science is also the history of pseudoscience, phony experts, and bogus courtroom testimony. Fakes and charlatans have flourished in the fields of handwriting identification, DNA analysis, forensic toxicology, firearms identification, latent fingerprint analysis, blood spatter interpretation, and forensic pathology.

     These forensic pretenders work in our crime labs, police departments, coroners' and medical examiners' offices. They also practice as private consultants and independent contractors. Within the private sector, these experts from hell often charge less than their qualified counterparts and tailor their findings to meet the needs of the people paying their fees.

     Most forensic impersonators work in the shadows until they become involved in a celebrated case. Once in the public limelight, they are often exposed for who they are. That doesn't mean, however, that they slink, disgraced, into forensic oblivion. When the smoke clears, most of them return, with revised phony credentials, and continue to screw up the criminal justice system with their bogus work. They get away with this because in the U.S. there is very little oversight in forensic science.

Shawn Parcells

     Shawn Parcells, after graduating in 2003 with a degree in life science from Kansas State University, was accepted into a medical school in the Caribbean. He did not attend the school because he and his wife were expecting a baby. So, instead of becoming a physician and acquiring extra training in forensic pathology, Parcells started a company in Overland Park, Kansas called Regional Forensic Services.

     Mr. Parcells, calling himself a forensic pathologist's assistant, offered his services to police departments, coroners' offices and medical examiners' officers. He was not certified as a forensic pathology assistant because no such field is recognized within the forensic science profession.

     In Kansas and Missouri, Parcells testified in homicide trials as an expert witness on issues dealing with forensic cause of death. Even more disturbing, he performed autopsies without the presence or supervision of a real forensic pathologist.

     On his Linkedln page, Parcells claimed to be an adjunct professor at Washburn State University in Topeka, Kansas. He also claimed to have earned a master's degree from New York Chiropractic College. (Like that would qualify him to perform autopsies.)

     A deputy sheriff in Missouri claimed that Parcells held himself out to be a doctor. If true, this could comprise a criminal offense. Otherwise, the laws in Missouri and Kansas were not clear on whether it was legal for a person without a medical degree to perform an autopsy.

     In August 2014, in the wake of the Michael Brown police-involved shooting case in Ferguson, Missouri, Shawn Parcells came out of the shadows when he assisted Dr. Michael Baden perform an autopsy on Mr. Brown at the request of his family. (Dr. Baden was a world renowned forensic pathologist and Fox News contributor.)

     Following the Brown autopsy, Parcells made himself a TV authority on the 18-year-old's death by appearing on CNN, Fox News, and several other television networks. In watching those interviews, very few people would be under the impression that Dr. Baden's assistant was not a forensic pathologist. He came off as being quite authoritative on the subject of Michael Brown's shooting death.

     Parcells' media exposure ultimately led to an investigation by CNN regarding his credentials as a cause of death expert. On November 24, 2014, Parcells sat for a television interview conducted by a CNN correspondent. He admitted having performed autopsies on his own, and when asked how he had acquired his expertise, he said, "by watching pathologists and assisting them at various morgues." Some times he was paid, other times not, he said.

     Parcells, when asked about his master's degree from the chiropractic school, said he couldn't produce the diploma because it had not arrived in the mail. According to the CNN interviewer, when an inquiry was made at Washburn State University regarding his adjunct professorship, a spokesperson for the school said he "is not now and has never been a member of the Washburn University faculty." According to the school official, Parcells had once spoken to two groups of nursing students about the role of a forensic pathologist's assistant. He was not paid for his presentation.

   Over the next several years, Shawn Parcells continued to function and do business as a forensic pathologist, and by 2019 his false claims and deceptive business practices caught up to him. In March 2019, a judge in Shawnee County, Kansas temporarily banned Parcells and his Topeka based company, National Autopsy Services, from conducting autopsies and forensic pathology services. The shutdown would remain in place until a lawsuit against Parcells filed by the state attorney general Derek Schmidt was resolved. The suit alleged violations of the state's consumer protection and false claims act.

     In April 2019, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts filed a suit against Shawn Parcells regarding his alleged false claims of being a physician, a pathologist and a medical examiner. The board asked a judge to shut down Parcells' operation.

    The above administrative actions had been prompted by an investigation conducted by journalists with the Kansas City News Channel, KCTV5. Reporters spoke to families who had hired Parcells to perform private autopsies in disputed cause and manner of death cases. According to his accusers, he took their money in return for autopsy reports that were full of errors and completely useless. Some of his accusers said Parcells didn't even give them a report. All of his victims were under the impression Parcells was a certified forensic pathologist.

     Shawn Parcells, in an email to the KCTV5 investigative team, defended himself by claiming the complainants misunderstood him; that he did not offer "medical reviews" but "scientific reviews." He wrote: "People are missing the point here and it's hurting science. It is only delaying us and because I do work for the defense no one likes me and wants me gone because I actually make the other side do their job." Parcells called his forensic reports "pathophysiological" reports, documents that merely offered his analysis on why a person died. According to Parcells, this was not work that required a medical doctor.

     Shawn Parcells must have known, however, that the families who hired him needed a valid autopsy for insurance and other legal reasons, something his so-called pathophysiological report didn't accomplish.

     In Wabaunsee County, Kansas, Shawn Parcells faced criminal charges of theft and desecration of bodies. Moreover, the state attorney general had filed a civil case against him for violating the False Claims and Consumer Protection Acts. The state had also shut down Parcells' National Autopsy Services in Topeka.

     In May 2019, reporters with the CBS television affiliate in Kansas City, accompanied by Parcells,  toured his closed Topeka forensic lab. In the facility reporters saw a large quantity of tissue specimens and body parts from autopsies he conducted in Kansas and other states.

     In Illinois, Kane County Coroner Rob Russell, president of the Association of Illinois Coroners and Medical Examiners, told the CBS reporters that in his state, where Shawn Parcells had performed autopsies, it was illegal for a non-physician to do such work. On Parcells' website, he listed an office in a Naperville funeral home. While the Naperville funeral director had allowed Parcells to conduct autopsies there, Parcells didn't maintain an office at that location. The funeral director told the reporters that he had been under the belief that Parcells was a physician.

     In November 2019, based upon an order from a Shawnee County, Kansas judge, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment took control of Parcells' closed National Autopsy Services in Topeka. The agency was ordered to conduct an inventory of the biological samples and release them to requesting families. The rest would be held in storage. Parcells' attorney, Eric Kjorlie did not oppose the takeover because his client was no longer able to maintain the facility.

     At this point in the Shawn Parcells saga, one would assume the forensic pretender's career was over. This, however, given the history of such cases, is not a safe assumption.

     In April 2020, not one to miss an opportunity to make money in a field in which he was not qualified, Shawn Parcells was back at it again. He was caught trying to sell coronavirus tests to people desperate to known if their loved ones had died of COVID-19.

     On grounds Parcells' COVID-19 testing violated the conditions set by the Kansas judge that prohibited him from working with human remains, the Kansas attorney general, on May 6, 2020, filed a restraining order preventing this practice.

42 comments:

  1. are there "helpers" during autopsy and can they legally perform duties?

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    1. http://www.pathassist.org/?page=AboutUs_StateFedLaw
      According to the American Association of Pathologists Assistance, this isn't a regulated field and certification is optional. This is frightening. It should be a licensed profession and certification required.

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  2. It is sad that you jumped on this band wagon and attacked Professor Parcells without knowing any facts at all. Sadly, the reports about him are completely wrong. Lets break these down:

    Case with the brain "missing". This brain was never missing. In fact the brain had always been in the care of Parcells. His original pathologist NEVER finished the report. Since Professor Parcells ISN'T claiming to be a pathologist, he knew he legally couldn't finish the case. So there is sat, untouched. He got sued, but finally found a pathologist who is board certified to finish the report. In late 2014 the family got their report and their case fell apart. The suit was dismissed against Mr. Parcells.

    Coroner claimnig Professor Parcells said he was a doctor. Parcells never did this, this Sheriff Deputy failed his duties to get the case files to Parcells and his pathologist, Dr. Okoye, on time so they could finish their investigation. This case involved a bleed inside the brain. The person was pushed by the grandson and fell. The next day this same person fell and hit his head. The injuries were TOO close together to determine which injury caused the bleed, the push or the fall? Parcells NOR Okoye will ever go to court claiming one or the other caused it, rather both could have caused it. Parcells and Okoye are NOT jokes and know how to testify ethically.

    Body the coroner in MO has yet to claim. Parcells still has a body at his morgue that the coroner in MO has never claimed. An autopsy was done by Parcells and Dr. Okoye but after the case was completed the coroner failed to pick up the body. Parcells has tried for years now, but without the family or the coroner claiming the body it must remain at Parcells morgue.

    Parcells is an expert who holds a masters degree in Clinical Human Anatomy and Physiology. He has years experience as a pathologist assistant in autopsy and forensic pathology! Parcells is also pushing to get pathologists assitants licensed, but that is up to the states individually, at this point only Nevada is licensing pathologist assistants. Parcells has spent time at Jackson County, LA County, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as part of a internship back in the early 2000s.

    Parcells has testified in court and the judges (the judge decides who is an expert and who can testify) knows Parcells experience. Parcells has testified under oath many times and an expert is based upon EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND EXPERIENCE. Parcells has been involved in over 1500 autopsy cases, therefore his experience, training, and education holds him to be an expert. He has passed four Daugbert Hearings, which are a very RIGOROUS review of credentials and that the expert is testifying to scientific evidence, not psuedo or junk science.

    Finally, Parcells will become DR PARCELLS in 2018, putting all this crap to rest and people like yourself. Sad that you don't know him, yet you write a blog like you do know him. Get a life.

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    1. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you either are or are related to this scum bag. Yes SCUM BAG! My family paid him to do an independent autopsy on my father last September due to what we felt was clearly malpractice on the part of the doctors/hospitals responsible for his care. SCUM BAG was referred to us by the funeral pallor.

      This scum bag portrays himself as a licensed expert that is allowed to be doing autopsies. Spouting off a new slew of lies that he works with and for the Mayo clinic all the time. I'm sure he is very much aware that he is not allowed to perform one without the presence of a real doctor yet he will not mention this and go and just take money from people when they are at their weakest. He full well knows how bad he's screwing people yet continues to do so.

      My family just learned all about this when speaking with lawyers. As soon as anyone see's SCUM BAGS name attached to anything it doesn't matter how good a case you have no one will be willing to touch it. This will be laughed out of court. This guys is a joke.

      Luckily for my family it's not now and never has been about money, it's about holding those accountable. They will have their day but unfortunately it will have to be after another family is suffering the loss of a loved one. Till then we will just have to spread the word about this SCUM BAG.

      It's fantastic that in 2018 he will be Dr. SCUM BAG but he will still be a witness that has ZERO credibility in any court in this country. He has been caught in too many lies, and done too much wrong to ever be taken seriously by anyone ever again. But that won't matter because he will just keep robbing people during their time of need and making bad situations worst for them.

      You have the nerve to tell someone to get a life, how do you people sleep at night?

      By the way, it's been almost a year and we still do not have the worthless autopsy report we paid SCUM BAG for.

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    2. This man lies about everything all the way down to the fact that he is a married man. I have also recently seen an article that is saying he is a minister. Shame on this man for ever thinking he should teach anyone about honesty and religion. What a joke all around. He should have been flagged along time ago.

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    3. I personally know Shawn Parcells. He is sick. This doesn't surprise me in the least.

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    4. The response is so clearly Shawn. Completely transparent. By the way, there is no such thing as a "Daugbert Hearing". There are Daubert motions to exclude unqualified evidence to the jury. The apparent failure to get called out on a Daubert motion proves nothing about the quality of his work or extent of his knowledge. Just that he's managed to fly under the radar.

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  3. http://www.pathassist.org/?page=AboutUs_StateFedLaw
    According to the American Association of Pathologists Assistance, this isn't a regulated field and certification is optional. This is frightening. It should be a licensed profession and certification required.

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  4. You got one detail wrong:

    Parcells did not assist Baden with the autopsy. Parcells performed the autopsy himself days before Baden was even flown in.

    The Brown family attorney, Darryl Parks, announced at a press conference on a Friday that the autopsy had already been completed, but Baden didn't arrive until two days later on Sunday.

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  5. I recently heard that Mr. Parcells is no longer Mr. Parcells and is in fact in his fellowship as Dr. Parcells and recently passed his Board Certification for Forensic, Neuro, and Infectious Disease Epidemiology. I guess a lot can change in almost 4 years.

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    1. He is NOT a DOCTOR. He is NOT a PROFESSOR. But he IS a person with zero integrity and a narcissist who fudges his resume to the point it's laughable. HORRIBLE PERSON

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    2. Requirements for Board Certification by the American Board of Pathology include:

      - Graduation from an accredited MD or DO school.
      - Medical Licensure by the appropriate jurisdiction, which in this case is Kansas at minimum.
      - Anatomic Pathology/Clinical Pathology residency training requires 48 months in an accredited program.
      - Neuropathology requires an addition two years of training
      - Forensic Pathology requires an additional one year of training.
      - There is no such thing as Infectious Disease Epidemiology boards. There are non accredited certificate programs, but no boards.

      So let's do that math: 4 years medical school, 4 years residency, 2 years Neuropath, and 1 year Forensic Path. That's 11 years, so I guess not enough can chance in 4 years. Shawn, you are a fraud and have always be a fraud. Prove us wrong.

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  6. Nothing has changed, He is a piece of shit now as he was a piece of shit then. So Dr. piece of shit, it is

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  7. And how do you know nothing has changed? I am not arguing with you at all, but just curious if you actually have first hand knowledge that nothing has changed and what proof you can offer to support your statement?

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  8. Today the Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court in finding that Parcells wasn't an expert at much at all. Below is the link to the list of unpublished cases for the day, the one concerning Parcells is 116,316 - City of Topeka v. Lauck. http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/Opinions/Unpublished/ctapp/2017/20170922/UnpublishedIndex.asp

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  9. Ok, I can see your point. But what about the other cases he has testified in and they did find him to be an expert? I also wonder if this would have been different if he had testified when he was "Dr. Parcells" and also board certified. I believe he didn't have those credentials at all when doing the case you reference. Again, not arguing with you at all, but one case doesn't mean much. I know that he was found to be an expert in Western Kansas on two cases he testified in. I had heard about those cases he did with Billy Rork and he also was allowed to testify last year for Billy Rork in a case in Topeka that was a shooting case and the judge found him to be an expert. So what I think is that these judges have differing opinions as to who is an expert and who isn't and I know some other experts who are board certified forensic pathologists who were not allowed to testify, yet they have testified in other states. Do you think this hurts the legal system?

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  10. I wouldn't hold water to any court of appeals. As an attorney, just because one court says he isn't an expert doesn't mean that he cant testify in Kansas again and that other judges wouldn't find him as an expert. That makes our system inconsistent. I know that he is testifying in court in Texas on a baby death and he was found to be an expert here in our great State of Texas (saying that with a laugh). Finding out about his background since I am involved with this case that he is involved with, he has successfully testified in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas (some cases), Texas and Georgia. I have been told, again from researching him as any good attorney would do, that he has court dates coming up in Ohio, California, and Colorado. But these all relate to autopsy cases and not DUI work. So maybe he ins't an expert on DUI work, but since he has been found to be an expert in autopsy work and not denied to testify as such cases in Kansas that may hold the answer.

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  11. As of 2015 he hadn't started medical school. Med School is 4 years, plus a pathology residency is 4 years, a neuropath residency can be 1-2 years. A pathologists' assistant is a 2 year master's degree program, but Pathologists' Assistants cannot determine a cause of death, that has to be done by a medical doctor. We have a guy running around consulting families on cause of death and giving lectures on pathology when he has a BA in life science??? He claims to be an expert in pathology but he seems to be an expert of deception and inflating credentials to seem qualified.

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  12. He has his masters in forensic clinical anatomy and almost has completed his doctorate in forensic epidemiology. A Forensic epidemiologist can give opinions as to pattern of injury and disease. They can testify in court as to their opinion to cause of death. The bottoms line is if the judge allows the testimony then so be it. He also is getting board certified in epidemiology and infectious diseases along with a board certification in Forensic Pathology death investigation.

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    1. PROVE IT. I challenge this statement about his so called credentials

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    2. You know what you call an "almost doctor"? Not a doctor.

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    3. I call it 6 criminal counts and 17 civil counts with a restraining order temporarily and asking for permanent ban on any business in the state of Kansas. Desecrating remains, theft by deception, fabricating credentials and the list goes on. If you have been a victim of this man and found yourself his prey contact your State's Attorney general and reference the Kansas attorney general investigation and online court documents available at ks.gov/media sources tab. Any knowledge of services rendered by or on behalf of shawn Parcells is temporarily banned and condition of his bond.

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    4. If he (probably you) had almost completed his doctorate whenever this was typed in 2018, then why did "he" testify that "he" had just started his two year doctorate program a month prior during a 2019 court hearing that "he" had? The entire court hearing can be viewed on YouTube on KCTV5 News' channel.

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  13. If you have been a victim of Shawn Lynn Parcells please contact KCTV5 news investigative reporter Angie Ricano.

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    1. or Amanda Crutchfield in the office of the KS Attorney General

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    2. This person accepted $3000.00 for performing an autopsy in NYC few days ago and never showed up.

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    3. He has to pay the $3,000 back to the person from Colorado somehow. He promised Angie Ricano -- I guess we now know how he got the money.

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  14. I have tracked Mr. Parcells for years. Reading his emails from when he was applying to Caribbean Medical Schools is very enlightening. Nothing against the schools, just him. He did enroll in a maters program in an online school in Florida for Anatomy, though I do not believe it was in Forensic Clinical Anatomy and not sure if he actually finished. He enrolled in a number of schools and programs which he never completed. He also runs a Ministry and an accounting firm. His "internships" were merely several days of shadowing. I have met his family and I feel sorry for them. THey are nice people. He is not.

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    1. In high school Shawn was just this weird guy who hung around the mortuary a little too much. He's one of those people who just wasn't quite smart enough to hack it in real medicine.

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  15. This is only the beginning of charges to come! Again if you have been a victim of Shawn or Loree Parcells by way of national autopsy services aka midwest autopsy and medical services contact your local Attorney General and let them know you are a victim. Gross dissecting is the newest slang for his morbid actions. Who in the hell would hire anyone to dissect their loved one? No one! Which is why every contract ever unlawfully entered is an unconscionable agreement and then becomes criminal intent in the court of law. We The People demand federal agency action in this matter! We won't give up until we see Justice for all!

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  16. I am also a victim of Shawn Parcells. I am just glad he never showed up in PA to do a hack job on my husband. He is a fraudster, through 7 through. I've been fighting him since January to get my $3000 back too. SCUMBAG is too good of a word on the likes of him. I feel sorry for the families that have encountered him & where he desecrated their loved one's body. He needs to be Locked up.

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  17. I believe he took my 14 year old son remain I have great reason to believe and support my suspicion

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    1. Please email me..... We have a support group for victims of Shawn Parcells. He is in possession of my mom's brain...

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    2. Can I get email address plz my email is sierrawest1234@gmail.com

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    3. I really like to join support group

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  18. I have such mixed feelings today. I just discovered all of this craziness about Professor Lynn, as he told me to refer to him. My sister and I contacted him a year ago to perform an autopsy on our dad in NC. Needless to say we’ve not seen anything but the departure of money. This human is awful and I pity his children.

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  19. Please anyone else feel the family remind was tooken

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  20. If you have been a victim of Shawn Parcells aka professor Lynn please contact Kansas Attorney General consumer fraud division to see if he is still in possession of your loved ones remains. An investigation has been launched in several states and Parcells is currently operating a new "iand a consulting,ianda forensic consulting, iandaradiology" website and business in efforts of defrauding innocent people needing answers from everything regarding taxes to causes of death. (That doesn't sound like a grifter... right?) Parcells is NOT certified nor trained to perform any of the above. His attorney Kjorlie is just as big of fraud as Parcells and company. Kjorlie holds the buisiness license for the scams Parcells comes up with. Beware even with a TRO forbidding him to conduct autopsy and likewise services he's trying to find every loophole he can to continue desecrating the dead. Your days are numbered Parcells... justice is coming!

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  21. It's been a great day in the name of justice in shawnee county court. Both Parcells and his attorney Kjorlie have been sanctioned and fined for willful contempt/misusing law. It's only just begun.

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  22. Thank you Mr. Jim Fisher for remaining diligent in your reporting where truth and justice meet regarding Parcells and company.

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