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The real life faces behind Dr. Death, Stan's disturbing new true crime series.

If you're a true crime fan, chances are you're probably obsessing over all things Dr. Death right now.

Based on Wondery's viral podcast of the same name, the Stan series follows the sinister true story of former American neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who became known as 'Dr. Death' after he left a trail of maimed patients across various hospitals in Texas. 

Starring Joshua Jackson as Christopher Duntsch, the eight-part series follows neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater) as they set out to stop Dr. Death in his tracks. 

Watch the official trailer for Stan's Dr. Death below. Post continues after video.


Video via Stan.

With new docuseries Dr. Death: The Undoctored Truth premiering on Stan on July 30, we decided to take a look at the real faces and stories behind Dr. Death.

Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson)

Joshua Jackson as Christopher Duntsch. Image: Stan.

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Christopher Duntsch. Image: Texas Observer.

In the Dallas medical community, Christopher Duntsch was seen as a rising star.

According to the Washington Post, Duntsch would win over his patients by telling them he was "the best" in his field. He would tell others: "Everybody’s doing it wrong. I’m the only clean minimally invasive guy in the whole state."

But while he came across as confident and competent, his work told a different story.

Between 2011 and 2013, Duntsch operated on 37 patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Out of those surgeries, two patients were killed.

One woman, Floella Brown, died from a stroke after Duntsch severed her vertebral artery.

Another woman, Kellie Martin, died from blood loss after Duntsch severed a major artery in her spine.

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During that two-year period, Duntsch also injured 31 patients, with some experiencing nerve damage, chronic pain, and even paralysis after their surgeries.

In 2015, Duntsch was charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, five counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, and one count of injury to an elderly person.

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The 50-year-old is currently incarcerated at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville.

He is not eligible for parole until 2045.

Wendy Young (Molly Griggs)

Molly Griggs as Wendy Young. Image: Stan.

Wendy Young and Christopher Duntsch. Image: Facebook.

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Amid his medical career, Duntsch was in a long-term relationship with Wendy Young, who is portrayed by Molly Griggs in the series.

According to Oxygen, the pair met in 2011 at a Memphis bar. At the time, Young, then 27, was working as a stripper.

Within three months of starting a relationship with Duntsch, who was 40 years old at the time, the pair moved in together.

"You know in the beginning he talked about marriage. Mr. Prince Charming, 'I’m gonna change your life,'" Young told CNBC's American Greed. "I left with him and believed in him and then, you know, he just kind of fell apart."

During their relationship, Duntsch and Young had two sons together, Aiden and Preston. They later separated in 2014.

Although Duntsch is currently in prison, he still keeps in contact with his two sons.

"He has a job inside the prison. I don’t know what it is," Young shared. 

"He works out, he reads, he studies the Bible. You know, he’ll call and say goodnight to his boys, um, sometimes he’ll have bedtime stories and try to be as normal as possible."

Dr. Randall Kirby (Christian Slater)

Christian Slater as Dr. Robert Kirby and Alec Baldwin as Dr. Robert Henderson. Image: Stan.

Dr. Robert Kirby. Image: CNBC.

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As seen in Stan's Dr. Death, both Dr. Randall Kirby and Dr. Robert Henderson were instrumental in the takedown of Christopher Duntsch. 

Kirby became involved with the Dr. Death case after he was called in to assist Duntsch in what should have been a routine procedure. 

During the operation, Kirby noticed that Duntsch's technique was completely wrong.

"He could not wield a scalpel," Kirby said on CNBC's The Real Dr. Death. "It was pathetic."

Kirby's instincts were ultimately correct. Duntsch's patient that day was left temporarily confined to a wheelchair following the operation.

Kirby later teamed up with Dr. Robert Henderson. The pair fought hard to stop Duntsch from operating, eventually attracting the attention of the Texas Medical Board.

To this day, Kirby is still a practicing doctor in Texas. He is listed as the current President of the Society of Spinal Access Surgeons and the President of the Dallas Surgical Specialists.

Dr. Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin)

Alec Baldwin as Dr. Robert Henderson and Christian Slater as Dr. Robert Kirby. Image: Stan.

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Dr. Robert Henderson. Image: Inside Edition.

Dr. Robert Henderson, played by Alec Baldwin, became involved with the case after he was forced to do a salvage surgery on Mary Efurd, who Duntsch had operated on previously.

"It was as if he knew everything to do and then he'd done virtually everything wrong," Henderson told ProPublica, reflecting on Efurd's surgery.

Henderson continues to work as a surgeon in Texas with a focus on chronic back and leg pain.

Michelle Shughart (AnnaSophia Robb)

AnnaSophia Robb as Michelle Shughart. Image: Stan.

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Michelle Shughart. Image: CNBC.

AnnaSophia Robb plays Michelle Shughart in Stan's Dr. Death. 

Michelle Shughart became involved in the Christopher Duntsch investigation while she was working as an assistant district attorney in Texas.

Ahead of her role, Robb spoke to Shughart about the case and asked her whether she expected the case to get so much attention.

"I didn't expect it at all," Shughart said on the Dr. Death podcast.

"I was actually shocked that they filmed the entire trial... and it just went beyond."

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Shughart is currently working as a District Attorney in Dallas County. 

Kimberly Morgan (Grace Gummer)

Grace Gummer as Kimberly Morgan. Image: Stan.

Kimberly Morgan, played by Grace Gummer in the series, was a key witness in the Christopher Duntsch case.

But before Duntsch was caught, Morgan was Duntsch's nurse turned lover.

Morgan later left her role as Duntsch's surgical assistant following Kellie Martin's fatal spinal surgery.

"He was crazy, and she just didn't want to be associated with him anymore," Duntsch's former office manager told the Dr. Death podcast.

She also later took out a temporary restraining order against Duntsch.

During Duntsch's 2017 trial, Morgan provided witness testimony over video call.

Jerry Summers (Dominic Burgess)

Dominic Burgess as Jerry Summers. Image: Stan. After playing football together in high school, Christopher Duntsch and Jerry Summers were lifelong friends.

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When Summers later decided to undergo surgery to treat his chronic neck pain, he chose Duntsch as his surgeon. And like many of Duntsch's patients, Summers' surgery was botched.

As Mother Jones reported: "According to doctors who later reviewed the case, Duntsch had damaged Summers’ vertebral artery, causing it to bleed almost uncontrollably. To stop the bleeding, Duntsch packed the space with so much anticoagulant that it squeezed Summers' spine."

Following the cervical fusion surgery in 2011, Summers was left a quadriplegic.

He later passed away in February 2021. He was 50 years old.

For more on this topic:

All eight episodes of Dr. Death are available to watch on Stan now. Dr. Death: The Undoctored Truth premieres on Stan on July 30.

Feature Image: Stan.