Angels and demons

Dr Death s4 logo

Dr Death season 4 review

Production company – Wondery

Rating – 5 Brains

Cast your mind back to the beginning of December when I had a bumper review covering all the series of this truly chilling podcast. Back then, season 4 was only two episodes old, so I couldn’t really review it fairly. The premise was very interesting though, and somewhat different to the earlier cases.

Now that the series is most of the way through (unless you have Wondery+, in which case you’ll no doubt have finished it ages ago), I figured it was time to revisit this gripping show and give it the attention it truly deserves.

So what’s it all about?

News of a groundbreaking and underground trial to treat AIDS comes to the attention of renowned LA drag artist and AIDS sufferer Geoffrey Drew. Against all advice, Geoffrey stops his regular treatment and dives in with this new regime of medication. His friend, and filmmaker Zeberiah Newman decides to document the trial. After getting clearance from the doctors, and a not inconsiderable list of rules, he was given the green light to make the documentary. The film was a harrowing insight into the life and treatment of AIDS sufferers. The camera caught all the pain and sickness that Geoffrey endured through the course of the treatment.

The almost zero budget film was a huge success, garnering support from Hollywood A-Listers, and getting widespread release. And it was from here that the wider world heard about a mysterious man called Dr. Serhat Gumrukcu.

Serhat was something of a phenomenon in LA at the time. He was young, handsome and brilliant. Despite being something of a fixture at high class parties, he still managed to remain somewhat aloof. This only added to his reputation. Everybody knew someone who clailed to know him, but nobody really did.

As the tale unravels, you discover a man who carefully curated an air of mystery around himself. Someone who seemed to just drift through life indulging in whatever whim took his fancy. Whilst not a bad thing per se, the fact that his schemes usually resulted in severe financial and physical hardships for his victims cannot be understated. The list of crimes was extensive, and far reaching, with victims across the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and America.

Is it any good?

This is exactly what you will have come to expect from this podcast. It is as gripping as it is unbelievable. Series 4 is by far the most complex case, mainly because it covers so many different crimes over so many countries. Previously, the “doctors” have confined their malpractice to medicine. Serhat though was something of a renaissance man whan it comes to crime. Seemingly getting bored easily, he had an extensive record of fraud. He was therefore able to amass a huge fortune, and the influence that goes with it.

The research is incredibly well done, something you will have come to expect from Wondery. The sheer range of people interviewed is testament to how far reaching Serhat’s crimes were. Understandibly there are some who don’t want anything to do with the media, particularly to relive the devastation he caused. What is uncovered though is enough to chart how this remarkable man’s life unfolded. I dont use that term as a form of admiration.

The sobering thought here though, is that there is a seemingly endless supply of rogue doctors in America to draw on for such a series. Not that I’m really one to get all paranoid about things, but it seems that Americans are either losing their houses paying medical costs, or losing their lives with bad doctors. A sweeping generalisation I know, but I can’t help it. I’m lucky enough to live in a country where medical care is free (for now at least).

Final thoughts

This is the latest, thrilling instalment of this great podcast. Whilst not really as gory as earlier seasons, particularly season 1, this tale of how one man’s self confidence and greed affected so many is just as remarkable.

Like so many criminals, not just in this podcast, you have to wonder what they could have achieved had they not turned to crime. The self discipline and focus required is incredible, and I can’t help but wonder what the outcome would have been had things been different.

As this series progressed, I was reminded of a certain super wealthy businessman. Someone who has a diverse portfolio of interests, who is also somewhat mysterious, and who is also no doubt, nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is. Not that he is conducting medical trials (I want to make that clear just so I can’t get sued for libel).

You can get Dr Death here:


If you want to discover many more great podcasts, then I recommend GreatPods

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *