MYSTERY WIRE — Raising a child is one of the defining experiences of a parent’s life. But imagine discovering that your children were actually fathered by the doctor who delivered them.
This exact scenario is the focus of a new HBO documentary called Baby God. The documentary premiered Wednesday and is hitting home to people across the country and especially in Las Vegas.
Mystery Wire’s George Knapp reported on this bizarre mystery in 2006 and his reports were used in the HBO documentary.
In the documentary, one of Dr. Fortier’s sons claimed the doctor successfully inseminated his mother without her consent. The film also alleges the doctor inseminated at least one of his own daughters, making him both the father and grandfather.
While there is no proven crime discussed in the documentary, the doctor at the center of it did go to trial.
Dr. Quincy Fortier was a legend in the Las Vegas medical community. He began his private practice in 1945 and over the next four decades cared for thousands of patients and became a specialist in fertility medicine. In 1991, he was honored as Nevada’s physician of the year.
But the good doctor harbored dark secrets.
In 2002 Dr. Fortier was accused by a former patient of using his own sperm during artificial insemination procedures back in the 1970’s. A lawsuit was filed but was quickly settled and sealed.
Fortier continued his fertility practice from a small office behind his home, even after passing his 90th birthday. It was around this time when several people, whose wives and parents were patients of the doctor, began doing DNA tests and finding out the person they thought was their father was not.
One person was Pat Fullmer. When he saw the news about the doctor he worried his two youngest daughters, Mary and Connie might not be his.
In a sworn deposition, he explained how he surreptitiously obtained hair samples from his daughters and sent them away for DNA testing. He said this was against the wishes of his wife Carolee, who Fullmer said was in complete denial.
The tests confirmed the family’s worst fears and Pat Fullmer was excluded as the girls’ biological father.
When Fullmer told his daughters, they said it didn’t matter and he would always be their dad, but Fullmer couldn’t let it go. He said he even drove to Dr. Fortier’s home and held a rifle to the doctor’s head before breaking down crying and not shooting him.
Pat and his wife eventually divorced over this news and Pat has never talked on camera about the doctor.
Under a court order, DNA samples were obtained from Dr. Fortier and the results found a 99% likelihood that he is the biological father of Fullmer’s daughters. This led to the Fullmers filing a civil suit.
In 2006, the 93-year-old Dr Fortier closed his practice, put his multimillion dollar estate into a trust, and counted on his lawyers to keep a lid on the lawsuit while a settlement could be reached.
However, depositions already filed in the case told the story of what was alleged. Both of the Fullmers claimed they specifically told the doctor that no sperm other than Pat Fullmer’s was to be used in the insemination procedures.
When asked if he had mixed his own semen in with Pat Fullmer’s, Dr. Fortier said “very definitely.” When Dr. Fortier was asked how many other times he used his own sperm to impregnate a patient, he said the answer was “unknown.”
Briefs written by Fortier’s lawyer Brent Bryson argued there was no Nevada law to prevent a doctor from doing something like this.
Also in the depositions, the doctor claimed he told the Fullmers all about it, although he admits he never got them to sign a consent form.
The state medical board was preparing to take action against Fortier, but on November 11, 2006, Dr. Fortier passed away.
The doctor’s actions have resulted in the births of at least 24 men and women around the U.S. over the course of four decades, a number some of his children interviewed in the HBO documentary believe is actually much higher.