Who are Chéri Landry and Lori Budo?
Lori Budo and Cheri Landry were nurses in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Medical Center when Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding occurred. After the bodies were discovered, autopsies were performed and morphine was immediately found in nine of the bodies. Budo, Landry and Dr. Anna Pou were all arrested in July 2006 and charged with four counts of second-degree murder because they allegedly gave four LifeCare patients doses of morphine and another drug that killed them. . Based on the book that gave the show its name, written by Sheri Fink, the police believed that Budo and Landry were working with Pou.
Landry was working at a local hospital when she was arrested. Budo was at home with her husband and two teenagers when she was arrested. The nurses who had worked with Budo and Landry set up a support fund to help them with money. Budo and Landry received monthly stipends and other cash gifts to help pay bills, buy food, and buy clothes. At the same time, the families of three of the four deceased patients sued the two nurses. Budo and Landry eventually received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury without a lawyer in exchange for not being charged.
The Louisiana Supreme Court denied Budo and Landry’s appeal against their subpoenas. This meant they had to testify before the special grand jury in exchange for immunity in the case. According to the source text, Landry testified that she “injected up to four LifeCare patients on the seventh floor and two patients on the second floor” without knowing their medical conditions. She also said she thought they were all going to “die” and that she thought they were ordered not to try to save them.
According to the show’s source text, Budo told the court that she didn’t know how sick the patients on the seventh floor were or if they had DNR orders, but that they appeared to be dying. She also said, “I put morphine and midazolam in two of them.”
Who knows what happened to Lori Budo and Cheri Landry?
Lori Budo and Cheri Landry both worked as nurses even after being granted immunity. Sheri Fink’s source text indicates that when Ochsner Health System took over Memorial Medical Center and changed its name to Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, Budo and Landry joined the hospital as nurses. In 2012, Fink went to the hospital and wrote in her book that she remembered seeing Budo and Landry’s happy faces on a bulletin board in the staff room.
Budo wrote a book called “Katrina Through Our Eyes: Stories from Inside Baptist Hospital” in 2010. It was based on the experiences of Memorial Hospital intensive care staff and their families after Hurricane Katrina. With the exception of his own, nearly all of the staff names in the book are made up. Since then, Budo has chosen to stay out of public view. Fink tried to talk to Budo several times while she was writing the show’s source text, but Budo turned her down through her lawyer. Both Budo and Landry have decided to keep their private lives quiet.