This Guy Needs Help

July 7, 2006

An Atlanta father faces child endangerment and fraud charges for lacing Campbell soup with anti-depressants and feeding it to his two children, a 3-year-old boy and his 18-month sister.

Both kids were taken to the hospital three times in January after drinking the tainted soup. On the final time, the authorities were tipped off when the little girl had to be airlifted to an Atlanta hospital after drinking the soup, which contained the anti-depressants Prozac and Amitriptyline.

Further incriminating the father, he had tried to exhort money from Campbell for the incidents.

William Allen Cunningham, 40, was charged with tampering with consumer products with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or serious bodily injury. He also was charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and communicating false statements that a consumer product had been tampered with.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Cunningham wanted to get money from the manufacturer by claiming its soup caused his children’s illnesses.

Cunningham contacted Camden, N.J.-based Campbell by mail and phone to complain, but there was no evidence the soup was tainted when it was purchased, Nahmias said.

The children are now in the custody of their mother, who has not been charged, he said. He declined to comment on their health.

Cunningham could face up to 75 years in prison. As of this story, he sits in jail and has no attorney. Those poor kids. Clearly, they weren’t the ones who needed the drugs.