Both scientific and circumstantial evidence, including input from
outside medical experts, showed Mays’ injection of insulin led to the
“The forensic pathologist not only looked at the
insulin injection and the remnants of insulin to help determine the
cause of death but it was also just as important for us to rule out
other causes for the low sugar readings, especially for the non-diabetic
patients,” said VA OIG Special Agent Keith Vereb. “We did this to
determine that these veterans were, in fact, murdered by Reta Mays.”
Mays was alone with patients, she took insulin from the hospital’s
medication area and injected it into the men for no medical reason. Even
if there had been a reason, nursing assistants are not authorized to
give medication. Their blood sugar dropped quickly, leading to their
Mays pleaded guilty to murder charges in July 2020, and in May 2021, she was sentenced to life in prison.
was a really old-school investigation—a lot of interviews, a lot of
digging through records, a lot of following up on leads, and help from a
group of medical experts and sources,” Archibald explained.
Investigators never learned a clear motive for such a depraved crime.
unfathomable to me, but it seemed like control. She wanted to have
control over these really vulnerable people,” Archibald said.
Archibald said the investigative team hopes the sentence, along with the safeguards the VA has added to prevent similar tragedies, will offer some comfort to the patients’ families.
hope they will be able to heal and focus on the good memories they have
with these veterans,” she said. “This was a big case and a difficult
one. I don’t know if I’ll ever have another case in my career that means