Victims of Dangerous House Calls: Kerry Spooner-Dean
Kerry Spooner-Dean, a 30 year old pediatrician, had dreams of organizing a mobile healthcare clinic to serve indigent children and their families in the San Francisco area. “Hours before she was brutally stabbed to death, Dr. Kerry Spooner-Dean joined her colleagues, fellow pediatricians and residents in a lecture hall at Children’s Hospital for a weekly professional development talk known as grand rounds. Spooner-Dean, who had completed her three-year residency at the hospital in June, was as warm and cheerful as ever at the 8 a.m. gathering, friends said. Nothing appeared to be amiss with the 30-year-old doctor, said Dr. Ted Chaconas, the hospital’s Director of Medical Education. Less than 12 hours later, Spooner-Dean’s husband, Daniel Dean, would find her dead in their home, two kitchen knives still lodged in her body.”
In May of 1998, Kerry and her husband hired Jerrol Glenn Woods after they received a carpet cleaning coupon from America’s Best Carpet Care. Dean says he and Kerry were naive when they used a carpet cleaning coupon to hire Woods. Dean says he hopes others will ask the tough questions about employees and background checks before opening their homes to strangers. Woods had eight prior convictions for armed robbery, but the carpet cleaning company never did a background check. “The carpet company claimed it wasn’t responsible, calling itself an advertising arm and not a cleaning service.”
“I don’t understand how any human being could do such a thing,” Dean said. “The manner in which Kerry was killed indicates that this type of person had a lust for blood and would have done it again.”
“Most of us have done it – let someone in to our house to do some work. A Seattle man’s wife did, and it got her killed. Her killer is behind bars serving a life sentence without parole, and now a California jury has awarded nearly $11.5 million in damages against the carpet cleaning company that hired 52-year old Jerrol Woods.”
- Ask ALL service companies if they conduct proper annual background checks on ALL employees, contractors and subcontractors. If they don’t, DON’T use them. Give them your reasons and move on to the next company. Suggest C.A.U.S.E. Certification.
- Make sure you’re never home alone when the service work is being completed. Invite a friend over for coffee or ask a neighbor to come over for a bit. Remember, your children are NOT protection- in fact, they can make you even more vulnerable.
- Understand that most referral companies are paid by the service company to market and advertise for them. Your safety is not their priority.
Previous Posts in this series:
Post : + Intro
Post: Ask a friend over for coffee
Post: Trust is earned
Post: Protect yourself in the workplace