Poisoned doctor's diary added to filing

Document first to provide insight into Autumn Klein's thoughts


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In the months before Autumn Klein was killed, she abandoned her attempts to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization and questioned why it was she even wanted to have a second child.

A diary page written by Klein, who died in April from cyanide poisoning, was included in a motion filed Friday by defense attorneys for Robert Ferrante, Klein's husband who is charged with killing her.

The single, hand-printed page dated July 30, 2012, is the first document released in the case that has provided any insight into Klein's personal thoughts.

In it, she wrote: "I am here writing now because I am not sure who I can talk to about things. I just found out today my third IVF cycle failed. This time not even fertilization. I am not sure where to go from here. I just know that I am incredibly unhappy. Yet I am not sure why.

"I have wanted another child for years. But is what I want another child or what that represents to me? Why do people have children? Are they a representation of self? Do they represent more love in life? More satisfaction? More pleasure? Do I want another child because these things are lacking in my life? It is not clear to me. I just feel like something is missing in my life. I think that thing missing is love."

Klein collapsed in her Oakland home on April 17 and died three days later from cyanide poisoning.

Mr. Ferrante, 65, a University of Pittsburgh researcher, was charged with homicide in July.

The couple has a daughter, who was 6 at the time of her mother's death and now lives with Klein's parents in Maryland.

The discovery issues likely will be addressed at a hearing on a number of pretrial motions scheduled Monday before Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning.

Among the discovery requests being sought by the defense are all email exchanges and text messages between Klein and a man with whom she previously worked; all of Klein's personal and work emails, as well as "the entire notebook and diary[s] recovered from Dr. Klein."

Also attached to the motion by attorneys William Difenderfer and Wendy Williams was a police supplemental report that indicated that Klein stopped using her fertility drugs in January 2013 and gave them to Maria Baldwin, with whom she worked.

When Dr. Baldwin met with investigators in the case, she took the leftover drugs to the homicide office and said she had kept them in a closet in her home.

Other issues to be addressed at Monday's hearing include whether the court will unfreeze Mr. Ferrante's assets to allow him more money to pay for his defense and child support.

The defense has said it needs additional money for experts, investigators and to go over voluminous discovery in the case.

But the prosecution has said the defendant should not have access to his funds because they may be needed to pay restitution to the couple's daughter and to UPMC, which treated Klein, should Mr. Ferrante be convicted.

The defense disagrees and said in a separate filing Friday that Mr. Ferrante has always intended to provide for his daughter. But, the motion continued, the defense does not believe that, legally speaking, the girl is either a victim or material witness in the case.

"The restitution recipients, including the couple's minor child and UPMC are not proper," the defense wrote.

The defense also dismissed an argument set forth by the prosecution earlier in the week that Mr. Ferrante showed a history of dissipating his assets. Instead, the attorneys wrote, Mr. Ferrante put $26,000 in cash in a safe deposit box to pay for future home remodeling being done for him and his wife, and that money transfers to his adult children were made prior to Klein's death.

The defense said the frozen assets have further made it impossible for Mr. Ferrante to pay child support.

Attached to the motion is a letter dated Jan. 21 from the family court attorney representing the Kleins that says Mr. Ferrante has failed to pay the required $600 per month he owes for child support since September.

In it, Margaret P. Joy threatens to file a petition for contempt against Mr. Ferrante if he does not pay.

"Due to the temporary restraining order, he is in the position of asking the court for an allowance of his own money to pay for his defense and child support," the attorneys wrote.


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.

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