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Am I blue?

Paul-Karason-2304014Papa Smurf has died.

We’re not talking about the Saturday morning cartoon character and patriarch of fictional Smurfville; we mean Paul Karason, the famously blue-skinned man, who died last month in a Washington hospital after suffering a heart attack at age 62. 

Had he died 10 years earlier, few would have noticed. But Karason became a brightly-colored public figure when he started turning blue more than a decade ago, the result of applying and ingesting colloidal silver.

Karason claimed he was trying to heal a nagging case of dermatitis when he began using the silver-based remedy, a liquid with silver particles in it, in the late 1990s. Ingesting silver is an outmoded treatment for fighting infection that was phased out by physicians after the FDA approved penicillin in the 1930s. Karason used the self-prescribed treatment despite its rather vivid side effects.

“This led to my being financially dependent,” Karason told Matt Lauer on a Today Show appearance several years ago. “Nobody really wants to hire blue people. Thank God for my family, who have loved and supported me all these years.”

As families go, Karason certainly had it better than Nevada’s Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, who also passed away last month. Johnson-Reddick’s family, on the occasion of her death, published an obituary so venomous, it immediately went viral on social media networks around the globe.

“On behalf of her children whom she abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life,” the embittered obituary read, “we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty and shame that she delivered on her children.”

The now-notorious obit was written by Johnson-Reddick’s adult children, who achieved national notoriety when they successfully severed ties with their mother in the 1980s, prompting Nevada to become one of the first states to allow children to divorce their parents.

Johnson-Reddick died at a Reno nursing home at the age of 79, after which two of the eight children removed from her care composed the nasty memorial to their mother.

“Everyone she met, adult or child, was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit,” the obit read. “Our greatest wish now is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.”

Johnson-Reddick’s son, Patrick, told the Associated Press that he and his siblings were physically and emotionally tortured as children, and that it was his intention to shame his dead mother after her death but, also, “to bring awareness to child abuse, and to shame child abuse overall.”

All that’s known about Johnson-Reddick other than her lousy parenting skills, according to the Associated Press report, is that she lived in a mobile home with 15 cats and was hospitalized in May for treatment of bladder cancer. 

Click here to read this story in our Digital Edition

This Article appears on the November 2013 issue of LPM under ¿Será Posible?

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