Neuroscientist Poisoned Wife With Cyanide: Police

Robert Ferrante told neurologist wife drink would help her conceive: cops

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 26, 2013 6:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – A University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist was arrested after he allegedly poisoned his wife using cyanide he had overnighted to his lab two days before she collapsed. According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, Robert Ferrante pushed Autumn Klein, the head of women's neurology at the university's medical school, to drink a creatine supplement he said would help her conceive a second child. A bag of creatine was found next to her body on April 17. After the 41-year-old died three days later, examiners found a lethal amount of cyanide in her body. When Ferrante, 64, saw her body being examined, his response "seemed fake and like 'bad acting'," said a witness, per TribLIVE.

Police also reported his response to their news she had died of cyanide poisoning: "Why would she do that to herself?" and then, "Who would do this to her?" His lawyer described him as "obviously disappointed." Ferrante, a top researcher on Lou Gehrig's disease, was arrested in West Virginia; his lawyer said he was on his way to Pittsburgh to turn himself in to police. The university has put him on indefinite leave. A friend told police that Klein had intended to leave her husband, who she found controlling; the source added that Ferrante believed she was having an affair. Ferrante was charged yesterday with one count of criminal homicide, ABC News reports. The couple have a 6-year-old daughter.

This undated photo provided by the Allegheny County District Attorney shows University of Pittsburgh medical researcher Dr. Robert Ferrante.   (AP Photo/Allegheny County District Attorney)
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