True crime fans are rejoicing following the premiere of Dr Death: The Undoctored Truth – the Stan series depicting the true story of former neurosurgeon Dr Christopher Duntsch, also dubbed Dr Death.
Based on the viral podcast of the same name, the new series follows neurosurgeon, Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon, Randall Kirby (Christian Slater) as they set out to stop Dr Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), who had been maiming patients across various Texan hospitals.
With the premiere of the series on July 30, here’s a look at the real faces and stories behind the show.
Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson)
Christopher Dunch (left) and Joshua Jackon as Christopher Duntch (right). Image: Texas Observer, Stan
Though Christopher Dunstch was seen as a rising star in Dallas’ medical community and would win over his patients by claiming he was “the best” in his field, his work revealed that was far from the truth.
According to the Washington Post, Duntsch would also say: “Everybody’s doing it wrong. I’m the only clean minimally invasive guy in the whole state.”
Between 2011 and 2013, Duntsch operated on 37 patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, killing two of his patients.
One patient, a woman called Floella Brown, died from a stroke after he severed her vertebral artery.
The second, another woman named Kellie Martin, had a major artery severed in her spine by Duntsch, resulting in her death from blood loss.
Duntsch also injured 31 patients during those two years, with some going on to experience nerve damage, chronic pain, and paralysis after their surgeries.
In 2015, Duntsch was charged with multiple charges, including six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, five counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, and one count of injury to an elderly person.
He is currently incarcerated at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice serving a life sentence, and won’t be eligible for parole until 2045.
Dr. Randall Kirby (Christian Slater)
Dr. Randall Kirby (left) and Christian Slater as Dr. Randall Kirby (right). Images: CNBC, Stan.
Dr. Randall Kirby, a vascular surgeon, became involved in the case after assisting Duntsch in a routine procedure, where he realised something was wrong.
“He could not wield a scalpel,” Kirby told CNBC’s The Real Dr. Death. “It was pathetic.”
Kirby proved to be correct in his suspicions of Duntsch’s technique, as his patient that day was left temporarily confined to a wheelchair after the surgery.
Kirby would later partner with Dr. Robert Henderson to stop Duntsch from operating, eventually gaining the attention of the Texas Medical Board.
The surgeon continues to practice in Texas, and is listed as the current President of the Dallas Surgical Specialists.
Dr. Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin)
Dr. Robert Henderson (left) and Alec Baldwin as Dr. Robert Henderson (right). Images: Inside Edition, Stan.
After being forced to perform a salvage surgery on Mary Efurd, one of Duntsch’s previous patients, Dr. Henderson got involved in stopping the dangerous surgeries.
“It was as if he knew everything to do and then he’d done virtually everything wrong,” Henderson told ProPublica regarding Ms Efud’s surgery.
Henderson still practices as a surgeon in Texas, focusing on chronic back and leg pain.
Michelle Shughart (AnnaSophia Robb)
Michelle Shughart (left) and AnnaSophia Robb as Michelle Shughart (right). Images: CNBC, Stan.
Michelle Shughart was an assistant district attorney in Texas while Duntsch’s case was being heard.
Ahead of the show, Robb asked Shughart about the case and whether she expected it would draw so much attention.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” Shughart said on the Dr. Death podcast.
“I was actually shocked that they filmed the entire trial … and it just went beyond.”
Shughart now works as a District Attorney in Dallas County.
Jerry Summers (Dominic Burgess)
Jerry Summers (left) and Dominic Burgess as Jerry Summers (right). Images: NBC, Stan.
Jerry Summers and Christopher Duntsch were long-time friends who played football together in high school.
Suffering from chronic neck pain, Summers chose Duntsch to perform his surgery to treat it.
But, Summer’s surgery was botched, leaving Summers a quadrilplegic.
“According to doctors who later reviewed the case, Dunstch had damaged Summers’ vertebral artery, causing it to bleed almost uncontrollably. To stop the bleeding, Duntsch packed the space with so much anticoagulant that it squeezed Summers’ spine,” as reported by Mother Jones.
He later passed away in February 2021, aged 50.
Image: Stan Australia / Instagram
This article originally appeared on Over60.