On the Investigation Discovery program “The Coroner: I Speak For The Dead,” Graham Hetrick exposes everything from the over-diagnosis of Covid-19 on death certificates to the spiraling addiction crisis in the United States. “I’ve got more people dying of drugs than I do homicides,” he tells Zenger News.
Hetrick, a professor at Harrisburg University, has been the coroner of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania for 25 years. He investigates nearly 700 suspicious deaths every year.
Being around death seems abnormal to most people, but it’s par for the course if you’re a coroner. Hetrick figures out how you died — and how you lived. he has nearly 3,000 autopsies under his belt, plus 600 homicide investigations and more than 13,000 death certificates. Raised above a funeral home, he says being a coroner is a calling, not a job.
“Death has always been my companion,” he tells Zenger, but he always wants to see less of it. Covid-19 is being overdiagnosed and listed on too many death certificates, he says. And while the world is focused on one disease, more silent killers like opioids are lurking.
Percy Crawford interviewed Graham Hetrick for Zenger News.
Zenger News: I’m an avid fan of your show, “The Coroner: I Speak For The Dead.” How was this show put together?
Graham Hetrick: Well, I was originally approached by A&E from a sizzle reel that we did, and it was called “Graham of Evidence,” a takeoff from my name. And we did a pilot, and the pilot was liked, but they were going in a different direction. But the people who produced the pilot brought the rights to “Graham of Evidence,” and about six months later they came back and said, “We bought the rights; we want to do a show with you.” So we produced another sizzle and that one was picked up very quickly by ID Discovery. I had been on “Forensic Files” and all that other stuff before, but not my own series. Actually, it was then picked up by ID Discovery without a pilot. They just went into the first season. We did three seasons with them. And now that it’s over on Amazon Prime now, it’s in about 143 countries.
What I’m working on now — because I do want to make a difference — I’m working with Howdy Productions out of Los Angeles on a documentary called, right now it’s called “UnAddicted.” It’s going to be a docu-series on addiction. Overall addiction, not just drug addiction, but addiction. The question I am always asked is, “Why do the richest and most free people on earth choose to be addicted?” We’re the capital city for addiction in all countries. It doesn’t matter whether it’s food, sex, money, drugs. I mean, I am writing out so many drugs right now with Covid as it is, with these lockdowns.
My personal opinion is that the cure is worse than the disease itself. You can look at it statistically, you can look at it clinically, you can look at it psychologically, but the bottom line is loss of employment, isolation, mental depression, failing grades in school because distance learning is not working. We have not been prepared to implement it. It’s not practical and it doesn’t cause healthy social interaction like being in a school. It’s also affected mostly lower income and minority groups. So when you put all of that together, what we have is a total failure of implementation of a program. The other silliness in this is that if you’re under the age of 70, your survival rate is — I believe it’s 99.6%. So why are we doing this?
I have this argument with the Department of Health all the time. I know what I’m seeing on the street. In Pennsylvania they took away the power of coroners to review death certificates. They’re supposed to be notified on all infectious diseases. And we have been sort of cut out of that loop here. So you can have someone that has a very bad heart problem. They might be dying of “CHF,” which is Chronic Heart Failure. But mysteriously it’s classified as Covid. Now, at best, there’s two things you have to describe on a death certificate. One of them is the cause of death. Well, if you have five years of cardiac failure, or you’re going into the end stages of heart failure, then the cause of the death is actually heart failure. You might say another significant cause is Covid. But then the question is, well, how did you do the Covid [test]? Because the reliability of PCR tests are good. Unless you’ve done an autopsy or have a really good radiologist who can differentiate between pneumonia and Covid, that’s not going to happen. And it’s not going to happen when you put money behind inferential statistics because they’re paying people to certify it as Covid.
Zenger: What’s the balance there? What’s the solution?
Hetrick: Well, when you put all of that together, very little of what we’re doing is based on science as far as I’m concerned. I teach at a university. Harrisburg University in Harrisburg. I’m a professor there. It’s a science and technology university. And even there, it’s all shutdown and everything else. But believe me, I taught in this distance learning, and it is good if you’ve been doing it for years and years and you understand how to adapt the curriculum and everything else. And it’s good for certain subjects, but not other subjects. It’s easier to teach English Literature on distance learning than it is Physical Anthropology and things like that. That’s been “whip it together because we gotta do this now, because you can’t go into buildings,” which in itself is innately ridiculous, because there are no studies to show that. And if you would be concerned about people going back into buildings, what you would do is adapt things like infrared technologies, thermal imaging and nanotechnology that allows you to put a spray on a surface and you will be able to protect that surface from Covid for up to six weeks. And yet they are not utilizing those technologies. They are not doing it effectively. Anybody can do a fair amount of research: There are no scientific studies that show the shutdown has any effect on the spread of the disease. Especially masks. That’s hilarious.
Mask studies are hilarious, because the best ones were done prior to us having the Covid problems. That’s when doctors were concerned — okay, what’s the clinical impact on us the workers, if we’re in masks all day or in the OR? One of the best studies was from the American Academy of Physicians and Surgeons, with 2,700 people. Now compare that to the good Dr. Fauci’s study, where he had two hair stylists and 143 customers and they didn’t have any spread of the disease. I mean, that is just laughable. That’s like a high school science project. So I’m doing that battle. But the real tragedy [is] I’ve seen families lose every child in their family because of drug overdose lately. And it’s all coming in from China, so it’s the same gift.
Zenger: Just wrapped in a different package.
Hetrick: Same gift, different package. It’s death, and killing us off one way or another. It’s pretty wild. That’s why I’m so dedicated to this concept that we have more comorbidities than any other industrially advanced country. We have all these comorbidities — diabetes, obesity, lupus, childhood asthma — which may, by the way, if you look at the word of Bobby Kennedy and others, may very well be related or it correlates, for instance autism correlates to pediatric protocol in vaccines. But here we go again, now we’re going to do the same vaccine game again. A vaccine that has never really been effectively tested, there is no long-term testing, and it’s the first time we’ve ever put in a vaccine that’s going to continuously mess with your DNA. And the studies are not really solid studies. So anybody who is going to be taking it now, you might as well be a lab rat because you don’t know what’s going to happen. Because nobody knows what’s going to happen. This is the first time they’ve used this MRNA type of vaccine. It’s interesting to note, I just noted that multiple super-large medical corporations are saying, “Well, we’re not going to require all of our people to have the vaccination as a precautionary measure.” Isn’t that interesting?
Hetrick: Doctors are saying let’s give it to soldiers in the military, the high school kids, it’s even in the pediatric protocol, and all of this other stuff that they want to push. But then they are saying, “Well, I don’t know if we want to take it!”
Zenger: Does this get worse before it gets better? Or do you think there could be some kind of medium where things can be as normal as possible again?
Hetrick: We will not be getting back to what we thought was normal. We are going to have to learn to live a different way, economically, politically, socially, medically, and sustainability is going to be more difficult. There’s no doubt about it. This is a long period. If people think, “Oh, the virus is over, New York is coming back,” forget it. It’s a desert land right now. And I know many, many people high up on the understanding of what’s happening down there economically, and we’re just not going to recover from that.
We ourselves have about $122 trillion of obligations, and the government has no way of paying for them. So if you think we’re going to elude by just printing money — I was a criminal investigator in Germany for a period of time. And this lady who was my secretary, she lived through World War II. She gave me this 100,000 Deutsche Mark bill. It takes a bunch of these to buy a loaf of bread; like 300,000 to 400,000 Deutsche Marks. That was the cost of a loaf of bread. Just take a look at Venezuela now, the inflation is just crazy from day to day. Bottom line is, we’re not going to escape that. It’s impossible.
So as a coroner, I’m looking at these things, and I’m looking at them on multiple levels. That’s one of the reasons I agreed to do the show with ID. I would have a say in the writing and content of the show, number one, and number two, I try to show that there are a lot of different agencies together that come to a conclusion, and what was the impact on a family with homicide. Because I wanted to at least — I know they need it for entertainment, but I wanted to try and communicate that this isn’t a simple process. Investigating a homicide requires a lot of different people, a lot of different science, that type of thing. I think I accomplished that. It seems like people enjoyed it. I had a couple of offers to do different types of homicide things, and I thought, “Look, I got more people dying of drugs than I do homicides, so let’s take a look at this and see what’s going on.”
It was after I gave a speech to the Association of Clinical Researchers where I said, “We’re not asking the right questions. We don’t have a drug problem. We have an addiction problem. And we gotta face that.” The reason everybody is looking at the drug problem is because it’s still a profit center. It was a profit center when Purdue was selling Oxycodone. It’s a profit center now that they are making Buprenorphine, and just switching people over to a new drug, and they’re calling that a cure. So what we’ve done is we have changed the paradigm. We changed the conversation from a drug problem, which it is not. It’s an addiction problem. And we’ve created a market sector for Suboxone, for Buprenorphine, for Methadone, which keeps people on these drugs. You couldn’t have a better business plan than that because you can keep them on it forever.
I interviewed a person for this documentary, and she had been on Buprenorphine for eight years! That’s not getting anybody off of drugs. And how many people are standing down the street right now waiting to go get their dose of Methadone? It’s not changing their life. They are heroin addicts. Ultimately now a friend of mine said, “Graham, you have to understand: Addiction is when you do something over and over again and consistently have bad results.” He came from a very successful family in New York. He got strung out on opioids as well as other stuff, and it just messed up his life, but he was able to recover. He works in recovery now. He has a book, “Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction And Upgrade Your Life.” He’s a good guy, Tommy Rosen. People like that are who I will be interviewing.
There’s also another guy, Gabor Maté, up in Canada. He is a physician who was one of the people who put me down this road of clarifying what addiction really is. One of the basic works that I’m working on right now, or the key premise, is the work of Bruce Alexander, who did a study of rats in a cage. That to me is the simplest and most beautiful study I’ve ever seen on why people get addicted to anything. I think it’s going to be interesting.
What I found out about addiction and drug addiction: You’re not going to get a main line. It’s going to be on streaming. Of course it’s almost all going to streaming now. But you’re not going to get it with anybody that’s running drug advertisement. For instance, I couldn’t put this on ID Discovery because they do a lot of drug advertising. Part of the problem is, number one, the drug is out there in the first place and they were giving it out like candy, which were the opioids. But number two, to come back and say we have these other drugs that you can use and they won’t kill you as quickly? Another market study, and it’s making money and they have a lot of influence.
Zenger: Sounds like one big problematic rotation that continues its orbit.
Hetrick: The problem is — another interesting guy is Rupert Sheldrake. He’s from England. He’s a good scientist. He says the problem is you really have what used to be independent scientific studies, funded and controlled now by either big pharma and other large corporations or the government. There’s not really that independent scientist out there anymore. And I look at these things. I look at the way people die, and I say, “My God, if we can figure out how we should be living!” Number one, I know the problems earlier than anyone else because I’m seeing them on the autopsy table.
For instance, I was looking at this problem of depression and immediately using anxiety drugs, psychotropic drugs. And then I came across a fellow called Wim Hof. This guy climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in record time with shorts and shoes on and nothing else. He didn’t get frostbite; he didn’t freeze to death. And I said, “Well, that’s strange!” And then I found out that there were actually clinical studies on this dude. Not in the United States, because you couldn’t make any money off of these studies. It showed that he through meditation and breathing exercises was able to control his autonomic nervous system. Now, this is this automatic system we have, which controls the dopamine receptors in your body too. And this guy was able to walk through and control those things through breathing exercises that would then allow you to control or clear out your mind. I won’t even use the word meditate, but clear out your mind so that you can know what reality is as opposed to your subconscious, and that’s not reality, that’s your history. Because everything is clouded by how you were hurt or how you succeeded or failed and what happen when your dad said this. That’s not where you want to be when you want to find out what reality is. You want to be — what is real. Is this really me being afraid to do this because I failed back in sixth grade when I did this? It’s that type of thing. Now, how do you do that? You have to clear the mind.
For him, he had a wife who jumped out of a sixth- or seventh-story window to commit suicide because of depression and schizophrenia. He has five kids, and he said, “I’ve gotta figure this thing out.” So he looked at meditation and all these other things. But one day — he’s Dutch, so he went down by the canals in the middle of winter and he said, “I wonder what would happen if I would dive in there and feel that cold.” So he did. And he found out that the only thing he could think about was controlling his breathing in the cold. Everything else in his mind cleared out. Then he started doing it on a regular basis. And at first people were calling the police to rescue him!. He said, “No, no, I’m doing this on purpose.” So ultimately he became known as “The Iceman.” They studied him at several universities, and they found out that he was able to control his core body temperature by thinking.
Zenger: That’s impressive, man. Wow!
Hetrick: I read up on it, the works that he had done and the works of another guy, a writer who was trying to discredit him. And ultimately he studied under Wim Hof and by golly, he wrote a book: If it doesn’t kill you it strengthens you. He became an advocate! So I started doing the Wim Hof method about three years ago, just to see if I can help addicts with it. Controlling your system through breathing is healthy and it’s free. Nobody’s going to make money on it. I started doing the breathing exercises where I started doing a set of 40 very deep breaths. Down into the lower lungs, by the way, which is most affected by Covid. Through Covid I’m doing these breathing exercises. I do 40, then I stop, and I release the breath I have held up in those lungs. I hold my position. I hold my breath for a period of time. I started out at 39 seconds and now I go for about 3 minutes and 20 seconds. I’m not a young guy. Looking out right now, the trees are covered with snow. It’s days like that that I go down and swim in my pond.
Hetrick: Absolutely! It’s an amazing difference as far as the immune system. The breathing makes you more basic rather than acidic or inflammatory. It boosts your immune system, it sure helps you with concentration because you are now able to walk around in that autonomic nervous system, and when you’re holding your breath — and Wim Hof calls it the crocodiles running around you saying, “You need to breathe, man. We all need to breathe.” And then you say, “No, I hyper-oxygenated my cells. I’m fine. It’s actually cleaning out bad cells. It’s good for me.” That’s why you can lay there and not breathe for 3 minutes and 20 seconds. It’s amazing. I’m so interested in alternatives that might not be good business alternatives but are not in the mechanical process of medicine today. Where we don’t look at how our systems interact. We assume we have to give someone an exogenous drug, rather than first saying, “Let’s try deep breathing.”
I had an executive in here, over this Covid period. He’s lost a lot of money. I have a private office over in my garage. I said, “Come on up. Let’s do some deep breathing exercises.” I went through a beginning set with him. We lay on the floor and we did some deep breathing. He sat up and said, “I haven’t felt this clear emotionally and in my head in about four months.” I told him to keep it going and I will coach him, and to this day he’s doing breathing.
He was getting to the point of obesity. He’s starting to lose weight. He’s controlling his diet more. Because if you can control your breathing, you surely can control your hunger. And then do what I call “timed eating,” which is our next biggest problem in America, is obesity and diabetes. Diabetes will actually break the Medicare and Medicaid system in the future, because it’s just an ongoing disease. The way we have it now, if you follow the National Institute of Diabetes way of eating you’re sure to die. Because the bottom line is with diabetes, you’re going to have to go to an almost ketogenic diet, you’re going to have to use intermittent fasting, that “timed eating.” At least four times a week, I will not eat for about 18 hours and then I have one meal. And what this does is, it breaks down insulin resistance, so even if you are diabetic — which I am, so I have to watch it — even if you are diabetic you can maintain, in many cases, without drugs of any kind. It will eliminate your insulin resistance.
One of the best individuals in that area of “timed eating” — I call it timed eating because it doesn’t sound so damn hard like fasting! — Dr. Fung is one of the best lecturers. He is a urologist, and if you go to YouTube he is a brilliant guy. And he has cured many people from diabetes.
Zenger: I appreciate your time. This was a very informative conversation and I wish you the best moving forward. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Hetrick: I am currently doing a podcast called “Human Maintenance.” You can look that up. And we talk about some of these issues. I might break out on that to another one called “The Coroner Cares,” where I just talk about issues just like I have with you right now. I think you just have to have someone out there that says, “Look, this is what I see with dead people. They’re telling us the truth.”
If it’s working so well, why are we doing so poorly? It doesn’t matter if it’s Covid, our everyday lifestyle — why are we doing so poorly? Why do we lead in anxiety drugs and benzodiazepines and all this other stuff? Why do we have so many diseases like fatty liver, diabetes, all that crap? Number one, so many people rely on a pill rather than personal responsibility in our lives. And it’s killing us. It’s killing us.
(Edited by André Johnson and David Martosko)
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