1976: Having returned from a tour of
duty in Vietnam, Dr. David Thornton did not think he could operate on
a person ever again. He decided instead to become a physician’s
assistant. Ruth Martin took notice of David’s abilities. David admitted
that he was surgeon. Ruth helped him to recover his abilities and mental
health. He knew he could not have reclaimed his life without Ruth. He
proposed marriage, to which she reluctantly accepted.
The night Ruth was to confront her husband, Dr. Joe Martin, about David
went terribly awry. Joe was admitted for a severe case of appendicitis.
David was the only person on call who could do the surgery. When Joe recovered,
Ruth professed her love for him. She gently let David down.
1977: Dr. Chris Karass caught David’s eye. The
haunted woman had turned to the young Dr. Jeff Martin to help her determine
who was writing death threats to her. David knew that Chris needed an
experienced doctor on the job, and not the young Martin. Under hypnosis,
David determined Chris had suffered from a split personality stemming
from the night she thought she had killed her father. Chris was appreciative
for David’s help. Soon they were a couple.
Chris and David were engaged to be married when Jeff uncovered David’s
darkest secret. He was still married to his wife, Edna Thornton, and they
shared a child, Dottie Thornton. David assured Chris that their marriage
was on paper only. He began to plot how he was going to cut Edna out of
his life forever
1978: When Chris returned her engagement ring, David
knew he had to do something about Edna. She was not going to agree to
a divorce. He began to slip digitalis into Edna’s drink to cause
a rapid heart rate. He had hoped to induce a heart attack. The night he
would pour a lethal dose into Edna’s drink, the couple got in a
fight. David did not notice his daughter, Dottie, had innocently switch
their glasses. After taking a sip of the lethal wine, David experienced
major cardiac arrest. In his last moments he called Chris for help.