Lisa McPherson: The Clearwater Police Department Files

Lisa McPherson, a Dallas native, a line dancing enthusiast, and a dedicated Scientologist for most of her adult life, died on December 5, 1995, after 17 days in the custody of the Church of Scientology. She was 36 years old.

The Clearwater Police Department< investigated her death. The State of Florida ultimately charged the Church of Scientology with two felonies: abuse/neglect of a disabled adult and the illegal practice of medicine. Although the state later chose not to pursue those charges, a wrongful death case has been brought by her estate. The suit was settled< on May 28, 2004.

This site presents the information collected by the Clearwater Police Department in their investigation of Lisa's death. It offers additional information to help put the evidence in context, but tries to avoid drawing conclusions or offering opinions.

Another sites provides extensive information about Lisa.

Where Do I Start?

Learn Who's Who< | Browse Documents by Type< | Browse Documents by Year<

You may wish to start with the Felony Indictments< filed by the State of Florida at the conclusion of the investigation and the Investigative Report on Facts concerning being held against her will<.

The logs< kept by the Scientologists who watched over Lisa in the days leading up to her death are very informative. You may also want to read excerpts from Lisa's Scientology ethics files<, which were also included in the police department's investigation.

The chronological document listings< provide a useful glimpse of the documents available and offer some insight into Lisa's life and the progress of the investigation. Of particular interest are the documents from the last two years of her life, 1994< and 1995<, and from the first two years of the investigation, 1996< and

1997<. The period from 1988< to 1989< is also of interest; Lisa was on staff in 1988 and joined the Sea Org in December, resulting in fear of being assigned to the Rehabilitation Projects Force (RPF) and eventually leaving the Sea Org and returning home to Dallas.

The most recently added documents are listed on the New Pages< page.

The documents that have been transcribed so far fall into three major categories:

  • police investigation and reports<, including interviews (both sworn and unsworn), sworn statements, and depositions taken by Clearwater Police Department investigators;
  • documentary evidence, including hospital records, drugstore files, bank records, and similar items;
  • Lisa's Scientology records<, which include her Scientology ethics and personnel files, some of her correspondence, and tests and forms she filled out during her years in Scientology

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