• Alison Kartevold

Chloroquine Death Investigation Continues

Followup to Chloroquine Death, Tragic Accident or Homicide


As Gist Say'n first reported April 3rd, the Mesa Police Department continues to investigate the "chloroquine" death of Gary Lenius. The 68-year-old died on March 22nd after his wife, Wanda, admittedly gave him soda laced with fish tank treatment containing chloroquine phosphate.

"The only thing I can tell you is the death of Gary Lenius has not been ruled a homicide at this time," Detective Jason Flam told Gist Say'n today. "This is considered an active "death investigation."


While media reports claiming that it had elevated to a homicide investigation are erroneous, the homicide detective in charge is reaching out to those with whom Wanda Lenius discussed her husband's apparent poisoning death.

Per its story on Tuesday, the Washington Free Beacon turned over recordings of the interview it did last month with Wanda Lenius to Homicide Detective Teresa Van Galder. NBC also interviewed Lenius, but it has not disclosed whether Mesa Police have asked it to do the same.


In her Free Beacon interview, as well as the one given to NBC, Wanda Lenius said she and her husband both drank chloroquine phosphate formulated to medicate koi fish to avoid catching COVID-19.


The focus of most news reports at the time was that the couple were following perceived medical advice from President Trump with tragic results. He died, and she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

In a recap of his hospital phone interview with Wanda, NBC's Vaughn Hillyard tweeted:

Woman in ICU: "Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure."


NBC: "What would be your message to the American public?"


Woman: "Oh my God. Don't take anything. Don't believe anything. Don't believe anything that the President says & his people...call your doctor."


NBC's initial story by Erika Edwards and Hillyard said, "The couple unfortunately equated the chloroquine phosphate in their fish treatment with the medication —known as hydroxychloroquine — that has recently been touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19, which has infected more than 42,000 people in the U.S. and killed at least 462."


The Free Beacon reports state that friends of Gary Lenius are skeptical he would knowingly ingest any form of a fish tank treatment.


"What bothers me about this is that Gary was a very intelligent man, a retired [mechanical] engineer who designed systems for John Deere in Waterloo, Iowa, and I really can't see the scenario where Gary would say, 'Yes, please, I would love to drink some of that Koi fish tank cleaner,'" one of his close friends told the Free Beacon. "It just doesn't make any sense."


Statements from friends also seem to support reports of the couple's marital problems that include psychiatric troubles and a previous domestic assault charge against Wanda Lenius. In the assault case, Gary testified on Wanda's behalf and the judge acquitted her.

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