Monday, October 1, 2007

Carol Anne Gotbaum Dies in Holding Cell At Sky Harbor International Airport After Altercation With Authorities Update 2-21-08

Carol Anne Gotbaum, age 45, is now dead. Speculation is running rampant as to why. One theory is that she may have accidentally choked herself to death while handcuffed in the airport holding cell. Carol Anne Gotbaum was arrested Friday at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix apparently after she became angry when gate crews refused her permission to board a flight. (She was apparently late arriving to the gate.) Although she was rebooked on a later flight, she kept screaming which apparently led to officers taking her to the ground and handcuffing her. They apparently took her to a holding room. They checked on her when she finally became quiet. Unfortunately at that point, she was unresponsive according to Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill. Further speculation is that Gotbaum may have tried to get out of her handcuffs which some how ended up around her neck. A medical examiner will perform an autopsy in the immediate future.
Betsy Gotbaum, Carol Gotbaum's stepmother-in-law, said that Carol was "a wonderful mother; she was sweet and kind and loving.'' Betsy Gotbaum, the woman's stepmother-in-law is a public advocate that helps people resolve problems with the government

Neither pepper spray nor a taser were apparently used.
Update 10-2-07: The family has apparently postponed the autopsy. Whether she needed treatment for alcoholism is not the issue. Even if this allegation is true, it would not have been the cause of her death. This incident is a tragedy.
Update 10-3-07: The autopsy was inconclusive. Toxicology results are still not available. An alleged eye witness claims the lady was screaming I am not a terrorist and the police did little or nothing to calm her down. (Andy Hill disputes this witnesses account and states a video of the incident will be revealed soon.)

Update 10-4-07: The Gotbaum family has hired a noted pathologist, Dr. Cyril H. Wecht. (See JFK ? Warren Commission / Conspiracy theory). Dr, Wecht, was apparently allowed to perform a separate exam. According to family attorney, Manning Dr. Wecht is awaiting lab results before announcing his conclusion. A private investigator apparently observed signs of “very serious trauma,” including bruises and a mark on her neck from the metal chain.
Update 2-21-08 A new L.E.D. bright light which temporarily disables would be criminals may make tasers obsolete!


california surfer dude said...


I always thought flying was dangerous. Just one more reason to travel coast to coast with your board on your woody.

Surfer Dude

Anonymous said...

Just plain scary to be detained by anyone now days.


Anonymous said...

What a way to go

Anonymous said...

Damn shame.


Ron said...

I think more will come out about this strange case after the investigation continues. It sounds like she was not a stable person, based on her reaction upon missing her connecting flight to Tucson. According to reports, she was going to Tucson for an alcoholism treatment program.

Anonymous said...

She must be sick. Who would ever be upset because they missed a flight to Tucson, home of nothing significant.

Billy Bob

Anonymous said...

Wonder if she had more than an alcohol problem...?

Anonymous said...

A sweet woman. R.I.P.

colleency said...

Tragic but fascinating story ... The news this morning is that the investigation was 'inconclusive'.

I'm perplexed - how do you get from being handcuffed, hands behind your back, and then shackled (behind your back) to a bench - to having the handcuffs in front of your neck???

Maybe if the woman was on PCP or something, and didn't feel the pain of her struggle .... I just don't know. It's a puzzlement.

Has anyone with handcuff experience ever seen a person able to bring their hands up and around from behind them?

Legal Pub said...

Colleency, you are right. Toxicology is pending. L.S. is a police officer who may choose to shed light on the handcuff issue.

See update for witness account of incident.

Anonymous said...

The feat of getting the handcuffs in front is not an unheard of task. I’ve seen it done.

Although I’m guessing at the actual causes, it seems to be some combination of motivation, flexibility, lack of muscle mass around the shoulders, loose handcuffs, and tolerance for pain.

Who knows what happened? She could have been so doped up on God knows what that she just freaked out, overexerted herself, and died. It can happen when people go back to that little walnut on top of the spine (mandula oblongata?), completely lose their minds, and operate on the fight or flight instinct while maxed out.

You see it in some Taser conflicts, pepper spray, knife fights, etc. They just switch over into “I going to die might as well die fighting” mode…and they do. Be it the walls or the handcuffs…they just fight till they die.



Blond Bombshell said...

Thanks L.S.

I heard that they left her in a room by herself handcuffed to some bench. Why would they not take her to a regular police station or mental hospital if she was so out of control?

How about the eye witness that says the cops did nothing to try to calm her down?


Anonymous said...

It’s hard to sit here and Monday morning quarterback this mess. However, prisoners are not normally left alone. Much less if she was as crazy as she is made out to be. I would have transported directly to jail. But they might not have had the personnel (most law enforcement is kept on a starvation diet) to do so immediately.

As for calming her down, I’ve met people who were worse behaved than many dogs I’ve met. Just totally off the deep end…rabid animals…way past any attempt to communicate or deliberately unresponsive. Basically at the point where they need chemical restraint, a medical doctor, and a physiologist. Really nothing you can do for them or with them at the arrest level.

I’m just guessing here. It’s said. But crazy people do walk our streets and they do sometimes die. She just died in police custody. Always a bad thing.



Ron said...

The video has been released of this woman, along with the police account of the investigation. More will come out on this, I am sure. They tried to revive her and administered CPR and she threw up. I really doubt her death should be blamed on the police. This person sounds very unstable and should not have been traveling by herself. She must have been on heavy meds or heavy alcohol or both. I am tired of people blaming the authorities for everything, rather than taking responsibility for themselves. This was obviously a sick woman, and she should not have been traveling unescorted in this condition.

Greg H. said...

Cyril Wecht is the bomb. He will get to the bottom of this. Perhaps he will even give us some comments!

Greg H.

Legal Pub said...

Andrew Meyer

Everyone with a t.v. or a computer knows that Andrew Meyer was tazered by University of Florida police during a question and answer session with John Kerry. "Don't taser me bro," U-tube was played all over the networks. Some had questioned the use of force in using the stun gun against student Andrew Meyer. An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has now concluded that the use of the taser in this case was appropriate. Surprise! Surprise!

Anonymous said...

Abuse. That seems to sum it up.