1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.
Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Mel Levine's Suicide Note

By March 9, 2011

Follow me on:

Mel Levine, one of the leading experts on learning disabilities, committed suicide a day after a class action lawsuit was filed by 40 of his former patients. He was accused of sexually abusing his patients.

Losing the ability to face Dr. Levine in court, some of his accusers may have been looking for something from his suicide note.

The suicide note and some journal entries left by Mel Levine were finally released. In them, he is defiant that he 'did nothing that was wrong or immoral in my patient care throughout more than 40 years of practicing pediatrics.'

His journal ends with the words 'nothing gold can stay,' from the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost. I think this poem is supposed to be talking about paradise in the Garden of Eden, and then the Fall of man. So is this to imply that his 'fall' was the suicide or something that he had done before that ruined his life and many others?

Related:
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Levine claimed innocence in suicide note
Doctor's journal denies allegations

Comments
March 9, 2011 at 10:00 am
(1) Deep Sounding says:

These creeps almost always divulge little hints about what they’ve done. They flat out don’t believe that getting sexual gratification from children is wrong, and they’re always trying to get that point across.

william hamilton ayres did it in his testimony at his first trial too. They’re subtle about it, and they think that they’re clever enough to get away with it.

Levine’s whole suicide note was a pathetic drama written to shame those who are assuming correctly that he’s guilty and to further taunt those he molested.

william ayres did THAT during his trial as well, he and his family taunted the victims and their families.

His victims should take nothing but relief from the fact that the last thing he wrote was a stark admission of guilt.

May 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm
(2) jph says:

You like so many passes judgment before the facts are tested in a court of law. I hope for Levine’s sake, you are proven wrong. He helped so many more that the 40 men who claim abuse 35-40 years ago. I am saddened by the loss of this great doctor and pediatritian .

May 31, 2011 at 6:36 pm
(3) Deep Sounding says:

I’m not the court, I’m not a judge, I’m not a jury, I’m not the prosecutor, I’m not the defense. I am just a person who knows from experience what it is like to be the victim in a VERY similar case.

I’m also not *required* to assume that Levine is innocent.

And, while I would normally try not to just assume guilt in these kinds of cases, I’m fairly familiar with the details, and they’re similar enough to my case to make me comfortable in assuming that he did molest young boys.

You say “I hope for Levine’s sake, you are proven wrong.” What a crass thing to say. Maybe instead you should say that “I hope for the alleged victim’s sake, you are proven wrong.” Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong.

If even 1/40th of the men in the lawsuit are telling the truth, then any “good” that he’s done for others is not worth it.

I care about the *actual* truth. Unfortunately the *legal* truth is far, far from it, and results in very little “justice.”

August 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(4) The truth will come out in time says:

And when it does come out…”if” it is such that he did molest scores of young boys, are you saying that it’s ok because he “helped” so many more? How do you think his victims feel about that? How would you feel if it happened to you? To one of your children? “He wrote this great book, but it’s ok because he only molested a few boys”…

March 9, 2011 at 10:00 am
(5) Evln says:

I find myself searching for answers in this sad situation and finding none. Certainly do feel the loss of Eden and whatever Levine meant by the quote is mystery but surely he has fallen.

March 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm
(6) Ann Quayle says:

You presume Dr. Levine’s guilt, but what if you’re wrong? We don’t know if he did anything wrong, but what we do know is that he had a profoundly positive impact in the field of childhood education and enriched countless young lives as a result. Why the smug self satisfaction in his death? In his suffering? Who are you to take the measure of a man’s life?

March 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm
(7) humanAgainstTheRapeOfChildren says:

You presume Dr. Levine’s guilt, but what if you’re wrong?
A- The 40 raped children wanted their day in court.

We don’t know if he did anything wrong…
A-but the 40 raped children know…

He had a profoundly positive impact in the field of childhood education and enriched countless young lives as a result…
A- Less the 40 raped children…

Why the smug self satisfaction in his death?
A- Because the RAPING will end?

Who are you to take the measure of a man’s life?
A- Lots of books, + lots of counseling + lots of RAPING of CHILDREN….hmmm my math isn’t great, but what does that add up to for you?

May 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm
(8) jph says:

To Ann Quayle — suggested reading available on “Search”
I am a supporter of his innocence until the allegations or complaints are proven in a criminal court of law or all charges are dismissed for lack of credible evidence.

IPT Volume 4 – 1992 “Defense of Child Molestation Charges

The Criminal Defense of Child Molestation Allegations:
The psychiatric Knowledge Base From Which to Evaluate
Your Case
Mark J Blotchy.M.D.

It may be laborious to read this, yet you will find so much that confirms your concepts relative to the M.Levine case.

Also, read “Mind at a Time” Chapter 9, pages 238-244 – to get a personality profile clue to themeasure of the man.

I think you may find all this very informative and interesting.

I wish for the best for his legacy.

May 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm
(9) Phil Huffman says:

Ann Quayle….I complete concur with your response. I am 80 years old, and Dr. Levine helped at this age in retrospect for my learning weakeness and problems when in school in a small Indiana town in 1936-1848. My life and vocation has proven him right, I had a different and good mind with strong strengths and few weakness. I have wondered while reading his three books how I could have strengthened more by his unique and genius, counsel and if I had read his books in 1936. If you are VP Dan Quayle’s spouse, I respect him. He was misunderstood too.

March 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm
(10) Deep Sounding says:

You presume Dr. Levine’s innocence, but what if you’re wrong? His focus on troubled youth and multiples of independent reports of molestation, his narcissistic statements in his suicide note, his claims of persecution; these are documented and classic behaviors of child molesters. I unfortunately know these behaviors well, and Levine is a mirror image of the “doctor” who molested me.

Why the smug self satisfaction in assuming his innocence, in the tragic suffering he has likely caused in multitudes of young men. Who are you to decide that he deserves more because he MAY have got some things right in the pursuit of more victims?

You are an ignorant fool, but I hope you don’t ever have to understand why.

May 22, 2011 at 11:04 am
(11) jph says:

My comments are not smug self satisfaction. It is the right of all U S citzens to be considered “innocent” until proven “guilty” by the criminal court of our country. Remember, the media reports of the legal class action suit are only “allegations”. Neither you or I have the right to pronounce or claim guilt until the legal system decides based on all scientific proven forensic evaluation and evidence. The court or a jury has the responsibility to evaluate the evidence, its weight and credibilityBoth you and I can be wrong until that happens. I prefer to be positive even though my thoughts are as subjective as yours.

May 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm
(12) Deep Sounding says:

#1: It is *not* the “right of all U S citzens to be considered “innocent” until proven “guilty” by the criminal court of our country. ”

Where do you people get this nonsense? What IS called for is the right to a fair trial by jury of peers. Presumption of innocence is often in the presentation to a jury with regard to how they are to go about the business of their deliberation. But even then “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” is rarely defined in any tangible way.

#2: I’m not a criminal court. I’m not required to presume innocence in any way, shape, or form. It’s simply not in the constitution. I can say whatever I want about whoever I want. I might get sued, but if there’s any inkling of truth to what I’m saying, it’s likely not to end in an award.

#3: These cases brought against Levine are CIVIL CASES. This means that the “presumption of innocence” does NOT likely apply to jury instructions in this case. In fact BOTH sides are expected to provide positive defense for their positions.

#4: We may not have the “right” to proclaim guilt or innocence, but we also are not prohibited from proclaiming it.

#5: I agree that both of us have subjective views. YOUR view is not inherently more “positive” than mine. You are deluding yourself in thinking that you are somehow more altruistic.

#6: A jury finding of “not guilty” does NOT equate to “innocent” EVEN in criminal law.

#7: If someone *is* guilty, they are guilty. Even if a jury finds them “not guilty.” A jury doesn’t have the magical power to undo the destruction done by an evil soulless monster in pursuit of their sick lusts. If they did, we’ll all be asking for a finding of “not guilty.”

March 13, 2011 at 5:24 am
(13) Ann Quayle says:

Dr. Iannelli: Instead of helping your readers become more fair and sophisticated in their understanding of the issue, you stirred the pot of hysteria and seemed to have encouraged your readers to jump to conclusions
Dr. Levine did a full physical exam, on boys (and girls) because he was looking for physical signs that might help explain learning differences. Did he palpate boys’ testicles and probably pull their penises to measure their length? Yes. He practiced before the age of DNA testing, and was looking for physical signs that might give him clues to what was going on with these youngsters. As you know, abnormalities like Klinefelter’s Syndrome, for example, with an XXY genotype can present with learning difficulties, as well as delayed development and microorchidism. The physical signs can be subtle but an appropriate diagnosis is useful. And the list of other similar genetic syndromes with telltale phenotypes that impact learning goes on.
Are there creeps in medicine who deserve prosecution? Yes. Are there lawyers who will do anything for a headline? Yes. Or money? Yes. Many fine physicians have left the field of medicine because of how litigious patients have become. Just like good teachers who won’t teach anymore for similar reasons.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know what actually happened between Dr. Levine and his patients. My guess is that there was ambiguity in what actually transpired. No doubt there were two sides of expert witnesses claiming different standards of care, and a prosecution that had nothing to loose and everything to gain by claiming at least sordid motivation if not overt action.
Dr. Levine’s suicide proves nothing about his guilt or innocence, only his hopelessness. Like most people who commit suicide, it sounds like he was extremely depressed. He didn’t have to be guilty.
I think you encouraged fear, along with skepticism, instead of encouraging a measure of reason and common sense.

May 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm
(14) jph says:

In support of Ann Quayle’s comment this: I would suggest that you read the “Clinical Guidelines” for the management of disorders of sex development in childhood, copyright @ 2006 Intersex Society of North America. (p4) “Because sex development involves many points of differentiation—only a few of which are mentioned above (in the full article)—the potential for DSDs exists at many stages of human development.” (p16) “Because DSDs involve sexual ambiguity, there’s a large potential for individuals and families dealing with DSDs to feel freakish and ashamed.” (p27) When they leave the clinic, patients and families go out into the world and often encounter direct or indirect messages that they should be ashamed of themselves because the child has a DSD. Heallth care professionals can help families by regularly providing opportunities to talk about and process reactionary shame.” NewsObserver.com published Sept 12, 2008 12:30 AM Dr. Edwin Sumpter, a retired pediatrician, said he studied under Levine and watched him treat patients. He never saw anything inappropriate….He chafed at the [legal] contention that the genital exms are often unnecessary for child with learning disorders. Sumpter, who lives in Raleigh. said a child’s sexual development can be linked to psychological disorders.” “When you see a child you need to know the whole child.” Sumpter said. “It’s quite different than with a fully formed adult.”
Please Note: NewsObserver.com Sat. Apr. 17, 2008 12:30am under “Claims shock doctor’s backers” — ‘Chaperones Urged” The NC. Medical Board’s position statement, adopted in 1991, “strongly advises” that a chaperone be present during an examination of the genitals….

The American Medical Assoc.’s Code of Medical Ethics says doctors should have chaperones available at all times and that they should make patients aware, either verbally or with signs, that they can request one. The guideline was adopted in 1998.”

.

May 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(15) jph says:

I want to elaborate on the above comment:
It should be noted that the current complaint (s) are filed after 1998, some 35-40 years later. I recommend that persons with concerns for justice read John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant with Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, BOOK “Brain Rules #5 -Long-Term Memory, (Mind The Gap) this: “That the passage of time inexorably leads to a weakening of events and facts that were wonce clear and chock-full of specifics. In an attempt to fill in missing gaps, the brain is forced to rely on partial fragments, inferences, outright guesswork, and often (most disturbingly) other memories not related to the actual event. It is truly a reconstructive in nature, much like a detective with a slippery imaginations….In fact, the mories you encoded as adolescents bear very little semblance to the ones you remember as adults…Merely that present knowledge can bleed into past memories and become interwined with them as if they were encountered together. DOES THAT GIVE YOU ONLY AN APPROXIMATE VIEW OF REALITY? YOU BET IT DOES. This tendency, by the way, can drive the criminal-justice system crazy. (end of quote)

March 13, 2011 at 9:02 am
(16) Victoria says:

Um, Anna- we are not talking about “just physical exams.”

- Did you not read the Boston Globe article where many of Levine’s brave victims broke their anonymity to detail the abuse? Do you realize what a risk that is for them to be taking? More than 90 per cent of male victims NEVER come forward to talk about the abuse because of shame.

-One man talked about how Levine performed oral sex on him during an examination. Another talked about how Levine forced him to go to bed with him on a trip when he was 10.
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/articles/2011/02/25/pediatricians_suicide_soothes_no_wounds/

You also realize that Levine had already SETTLED a number of lawsuits, do you not? IF this was all based on hysteria, there would have been no reason for him to do that.

-You are also aware that he was forced to surrender his medical license, do you not, and that he was kicked off the All Kinds of Minds Foundation for sexually abusing boys?

Have you read anything on this case? Why the refusal to look at the facts? You also should read up about how fairly common it is for pediatricians and child psychiatrists to molest children.

Suggested reading for you:
- Dr. Earl Bradley case
-Dr. William Ayres case
-Dr. Scott and Dr. Mark Blankenburg case
-Dr. Donald Lee Rife case
-Dr. Tobias Friedman case
-Dr. Miguel Frontera case
-Dr. Carleton Gajdusek case (who by the way was a Nobel Prize winner)

I applaud the owner of this blog for bringing this attention to light. This is news. It will make other pediatricians and child psychiatrists think twice before attempting to molest children. This blog has helped educate parents and their children as to the potential dangers of child abuse out there.

Levine committed suicide because as he stated even his lawyer thought he was guilty and told him he was probably headed for jail.

Instead of defending Levine, say a prayer for all the boys’ whose lives he’s ruined.

March 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm
(17) Rich says:

Here come the apologists!

“Oh, he was such a great man!” “He did SO MUCH for kids with different learning styles.” “His book on multiple intelligences inspired me, and my child who just doesn’t learn like other children do…” Blah, blah, blah.

Please. Differentiated Instruction has been “molesting” traditional instruction for decades now. It’s an absolute sham.

Here’s hoping the lawsuit goes forward.

May 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm
(18) jph says:

I can imagine the overwhelming fear an innocent person might have with a lawyer demandomg a jury loaded with people with your mentality and potential for a closed mind. It would be enough to commit suicide. I am for truth and facts but not closed minded pre-judgment. And the 1991 and 1993 suits were dismissed for lack of proof of any abuse committed.

June 7, 2011 at 4:33 am
(19) Heather says:

As the mother of a son with learning difficulties I really have appreciated Dr. Levines publications. They have helped me and my son immensely. HOWEVER, I was given a first vaginal exam at the age of 15 by my regular family doctor for no reason. In retrospect it was potentially medically appropriate, but psychologically I was not ready. Because I was not sexually active I believe it was not necessary. It was a violation if for no other reason than the fact that I was not asked if I was ready and I was given no medically necessary reason for the procedure. Was the doctor overly sexual, or blatantly unprofessional? NO, but I still strongly believe it was a situation in which he took advantage of my timidity because of his professional position. I was not ready to expose that part of myself to a grown man. I am present at any medical procedures for my children and will be until they are psychologically ready to discuss personal issues with a doctor. My mom had no idea he’d do this and hadn’t discussed this procedure with me at all… I’d vaguely heard about it from friends. I vividly remember the experience. I immediately told my mom, who was shocked, but did nothing (she is rather non-confrontational) and then I burst into tears.
As an adult I can look back and know that I want to ensure that nothing, even a mild indisrcetion like this, happens to my kids. I can know that it was wrong. I wish I had had the courage to speak up at the time. I hope no other girls were treated like I was.
I am so angry because I so like the concepts that this man promoted. I am wondering if anyone knows of others who have so clearly broken down and analyzed areas of learning dysfunction…
I feel as though I can’t and no longer want to use his material as references.

June 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm
(20) Jim says:

I can’t believe there are foolish people STILL defending this guy.

I figured that now that he had taken his own life, you ignorant people would finally take your fingers out of your ears and stop shouting “lalalalala”.

Innocent people don’t take their own lives to avoid a public trial.

Presumption of guilt?
I don’t presume – I KNOW.

I know because I am a victim of Dr. Levine.
He molested me when I was 12 years old.
Oh – but maybe I just misunderstood the examination procedures, right?

Tell me experts, defenders – is it standard procedure for a doctor to use his mouth in a genital exam???

I’m a 41 year old man, I have no motivation to lie about this, and I remember it vividly.

You people who make excuses for him, even after he took his own miserable life, disgust me almost as much as Levine himself.

Don’t tell me we don’t know the facts – I KNOW THE FACTS.
I know he is guilty because I know he put his mouth on my penis when I was 12 years old.
OK?!?

Continue to praise his work if you must, but don’t continue to raise doubts about his guilt.
I HAVE NO DOUBT.

He was a sick, depraved man, and now he’s dead. And I’m glad of it.

June 8, 2011 at 5:48 am
(21) Deep Sounding says:

Great comment, Jim! It saddens me that you do know the facts, and have to keep defending your position.

I’m the victim of william ayres (a “psychiatrist”), in a strikingly similar case, and I continually have people telling me that surely my memories are of misunderstood “medical procedures.” Even in court, they kept referring to them as “medical procedures” Even when one of ayres’ shrink friends heard descriptions of the procedures, they were dismissed as possibly necessary for one reason or another.

People who defend these guys are SO blinded by whatever “good” they are perceived to have done that they go to great lengths to spin insane excuses in their heads. They simply refuse to understand that ALL of that “good” was done to help further their true cause, which is molesting, and getting people to rally around them when they are finally caught molesting. These defenders are no better than the molesters themselves, just as the person who deliberately harbors a bank robber is equally guilty of the crime.

I’m glad levine is dead too, for your sake and for the sake of others he might have continued to molest, but it’s also sad that you guys didn’t get to see him on trial with a successful conclusion.

June 23, 2011 at 8:46 am
(22) RHF says:

Jim,

I am so sorry that you must suffer once again — once during the crime itself and then once again as you are accused of not telling the truth or not remembering that which is seared into your consciousness. It is for this reason that many victims do not come forth to testify against their abusers.

Unfortunately, blind denial of reality is something so well known and so common that there are even people who deny the holocaust — and there were myriad witnesses, films and pictures to prove everything that happened at that time!

I know that you may have wished for your day in court and were hopeful that Mel Levine would suffer human justice, but you can feel relieved now that not only can he not molest any other children but that he will suffer Divine Justice, which needs no human help in testifying or legal wrangling, as G-d knows the truth and True Justice will be done no matter what blinded fools wish to delude themselves into thinking.

January 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm
(23) j Yarbrough says:

All the good the mad did…if offered a glass of punch mixed with motor oil, say 1 quart of motor oil to three gallons of punch, would you drink the glass? It is “mostly” good old punch. Yeah, its like that. Tainted.
The good he did will outlive him, but so will the damage, too bad he couldn’t have done the good and kept his perversions to himself.
We are NOT a court of law, we do NOT have to be fair, his behavior was NOT fair to the young people he hurt. He took the coward’s way AND tried to have the last word with his suicide note.
Hopefully his victims will find some sort of closure and peace.

February 9, 2012 at 10:14 am
(24) Reader says:

To the author: Uhmm…why would you ignore the entirety of his suicide note to hone in on the tiny afterthought that is that line? Are you not capable of reading the 4 pages of sheer denials? He stated that he was INNOCENT.
The answer to your question is a resounding,, Uhm, NO! He did not.

October 11, 2012 at 11:57 am
(25) gberke says:

I would like to know the “case” against Mel. I would like to know how many kids were “raped” and whatever that means.
The emotional response to just an accusation is overwhelming. Any man might imagine just what ones defense might be if one were accused… of bad touching, exposing oneself, being touched, being too “interested”…. you can’t hug a kid, put a kid on your lap, diaper a kid…
Remember that a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich… unless of course that ham sandwich has a couple of hundred thousand $ to defend itself.

March 30, 2013 at 7:36 am
(26) Jim Smith (Of Course) says:

Wow, I can’t IMAGINE how much that must BLOW!
A pediatrician, accused of child molestation …
How the HELL could an innocent person in that position defend themselves?
If I were innocent, but in a position where my job was to physically examine children?
I mean IT WAS HIS JOB to touch them, what are the odds of some of them misinterpreting?
Especially so much later in life as they look back and try and figure things our as they get older?
At the age of 71, could I stand to hang around and try to defend myself?
And if he’s not innocent? How the hell was it buried till now?
What an Ironic end to such a life of accomplishment.

October 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm
(27) Rain says:

Kim, statistics don’t back up your claims. In Japan, on average there are 35 confirmed cases of tetanus per year. In the United States, on average there are 31 confirmed cases of tetanus per year. It is an equally rare illness in both Japan and the United States. In the United States, hundreds of schools may close due to the flu in their student body. During the H1N1 outbreak over 700 schools closed due to the illness. Schools closing during flu outbreaks are common in both the United States and Japan. Closing schools is an effective way to slow and lessen the spread of the flu.

You are basing your decisions on emotions not fact. However, I’m sure your doctor is very supportive of taking your extra money.

January 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm
(28) J.D.T. says:

I agree with Ann Quayle and Jim Smith. Our experience with Mel Levine, in his capacity as our child’s physician was never anything but positive, an assertion corroborated by the that child more than 40 years later. I’d need a lot more information from the alleged victims in the related lawsuits to change my own assessment of Mel and his wife. I always supposed physicians routinely examined their patients. That’s why they’re called “physicians”.

April 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm
(29) DeepSounding says:

@J.D.T:
When was in my late 30′s, I “corroborated” to my parents that the shrink who I went to as a child did not molest me — He had just recently been in the news as having been accused of child molestation by another man my age.

I lied to them because I was too surprised that others had been molested too, and because I didn’t want to make my parents feel bad for sending me (repeatedly) into the hands of a child molester.

Further, molesters don’t molest ALL of the children that they come into contact with. They get very good at recognizing which parents might be more likely to report suspicions…

Just because you think you have confirmation that YOUR child was not molested doesn’t really mean anything.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
Top Related Searches
  • mel levine
  • suicide note
    1. About.com
    2. Health
    3. Pediatrics

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

    We comply with the HONcode standard
    for trustworthy health
    information: verify here.