U.S. v. Narciso, Perez & the Press


Description of Technology


Using interviews, archival video and photos, and FBI documents obtained via FOIA, U.S. v. Narciso, Perez & the Press is a half-hour documentary that reconstructs the trial of two Filipina nurses convicted of poisoning patients in the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI in the 1970s.

During a six-week period in the summer of 1975, 27 patients experienced respiratory failure and 11 patients died at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor. In June 1976, after an intense FBI investigation, two Filipina nurses, Filipina Narciso and Leonora Perez, were charged with injecting the patients with the muscle relaxant Pavulon.

The jury found the nurses guilty of conspiracy to poison three patients, and dropped the murder charge against Narciso. Interestingly, the Assistant U.S. Attorney General Richard Delonis called the evidence “highly circumstantial.” The case received international attention because it confronted political and racial tensions.

In 1977, a federal judge ordered a new trial, citing prosecutorial misconduct that gave prosecutors a chance to retry the case. However, prosecutors decided not to do so. The decision left the guilty verdict standing, but without penalty. Authorities then released the nurses, who have not been exonerated.

Read more on the documentary Facebook page.



  • Oct. 6, 2014: Radio Television Digital News Association/UNITY Award for small market TV - New York City, NY
  • June 16, 2014:  2014 Bronze Telly Award: Internet/Online Video - Documentary - National Award
  • April 16, 2014: Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.  News Special/Documentary First place - Detroit Chapter at San Marino Club in Troy, MI
  • June 15, 2013: Emmy® in the Documentary Cultural Category at the 35th Annual National Association of TV Arts & Sciences – Michigan Chapter at MotorCity Sound Board Theatre.


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Geraldine Zeldes


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Jody Lancia
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
Geraldine Zeldes