Injected silicone


Transsexual accused of injecting poison into men heads to court
On Friday police charged Guadalupe Camarena with aggravated assault and serious bodily injury.ABC13 Eyewitness News
(8/11/03 - HOUSTON) — A transgender man charged with injecting industrial silicone into the bodies of men who wanted to look like women heads to court Monday.
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Guadalupe Camarena was arrested last week on charges of aggravated assault and serious bodily injury. Police believe Camarena injected 22-year-old Delfino Gonzales with silicone used in brake fluid, ultimately leading to his death.
Investigators say Camarena charged between $200 and $400 per injection. Police are also investigating a similar death at the Spring Branch Medical Center to see if it can be tied to Camarena.
(Copyright © 2003, KTRK-TV)
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/81103_local_transsexual.htmlMan charged after allegedly injecting people with brake fluid
Guadalupe Camerena appears as a woman, but according to police, is really a man. He's charged with aggravated assault and serious bodily injury.
By Kevin Quinn
ABC13 Eyewitness News
(8/08/03 - HOUSTON) — Houston police say they have cracked a rather bizarre case. They have arrested a transgender they say injected other transgenders with what was supposed to be pure silicone…but it wasn't. Now one of his clients is dead.
Twenty-two-year-old Delfino Gonzales died of asphyxiation just three days after being injected in May with a substance authorities now believe was brake fluid. It's an incredibly dangerous procedure transgenders are enduring instead of paying for much more expensive plastic surgery. Guadalupe Camerena is charged with aggravated assault and serious bodily injury. Though she looks like a woman, police say she's a man who was trying to make other men look like women by injecting them with what they now believe was brake fluid.
"Any type of liquid silicone that could be found at any type of auto parts or hardware store is what essentially is being injected into these people," said Captain Steve Smith with the Houston Police Department.
Detectives say Camarena charged between $200 and $400 for each procedure. It's a practice they say is much more prevalent than you might think.
"It's mutilation," said a man who wanted to only be known as 'Sam'. "For some people, it's addictive."
Sam doesn't want us to show his face. He's a Houston man who used to live as a woman. He says he paid thousands of dollars years ago to have silicone injected into his body, just as police say Camerena was claiming to do.
His scars show where he's had the silicone removed. Sam says now is the time for those who have information about Camarena to come forward and help police.
"This is what's happening," said Sam. "People are dying. The point is, we've got to stop it."
Police are investigating another silicone death to see if Camarena can be tied to it. San Chiem was pronounced dead at Spring Branch Medical Center last month, just two days after receiving silicone injections.
Police are asking for help if you know anything about these cases. You can call them at 713-308-1800. They believe many more people have been injected and may not realize the dangers associated with the procedure.
(Copyright © 2003, KTRK-TV)
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/80803_local_transgender.html Suspect in custody, accused of injecting silicone into men
A man accused of injecting silicone into men who want to look like women is taken into custody.ABC13 Eyewitness News
(8/08/03 - HOUSTON) — Houston police are expected to release details about an arrest they've made, in which a person is accused of injecting industrial silicone into the chests of men who wanted look like women.
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At least one of those men died from the injections.
Police arrested Guadalupe Camarena Thursday. Camarena is a transsexual living as a woman and police arrested her in the Montrose area, but booked the suspect as a man.
Police started investigating this case when a man died from an industrial silicone injection last month. And now police are investigating two similar cases.
Camerena is not yet charged with crime.
(Copyright © 2003, KTRK-TV)
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Aug. 8, 2003, 6:29PM
Man who lives as a woman charged in fatal silicone case
By PEGGY O'HARE
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

Police photo of Guadalupe Camarena who was arrested for injecting silicone in a transsexual. The person injected later died.
A Montrose man was charged with aggravated assault today, accused of giving silicone injections to a man who later died.
Guadalupe Camarena, 32, who lives as a woman but was booked into one of the Houston Police Department's men's jails, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. He was arrested Thursday at his apartment in the 500 block of Lovett.
Camarena is accused of giving silicone injections on May 4 to Delfino Gonzalez, 22, who went to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital three days later, complaining of chest pain and breathing difficulties. Gonzalez died of respiratory distress syndrome, or asphyxiation, after the silicone entered his bloodstream, police said.
Doctors told police his death was agonizing.
Police said the injections are sought by men who want a sex change but cannot afford the surgery. The silicone is injected into their breasts, or sometimes their buttocks, during "shooting sessions" that cost $200 to $400 per visit, police said.
The silicone has caused serious damage, such as deformed lips, knots and bumps on the lower portion of the chest, and in one case, paralysis, investigators said today. A Rice University professor who analyzed the silicone for police likened it to brake fluid.
"This is essentially nothing more than a time bomb," said police Capt. Steve Smith. "This is not a healthy thing, even in the best circumstances."
A second death believed to have been caused by silicone injections happened July 22 at Spring Branch Medical Center. Police identified the victim as San Chiem, 35.
Officers said they have not determined where Chiem got his injections or whether Camarena was involved.
Police believe many others besides the two victims who died have received the silicone injections. They issued an urgent plea today for the transgender community to be aware of the dangers.
"The biggest concern to us is, these people need to go seek medical attention," said Sgt. Doug Osterberg.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2038168Printer-friendly format
Aug. 9, 2003, 1:03AM
Deaths spotlight silicone shots
Direct injection used in transgender community, police say
By PEGGY O'HARE
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

Police photo of Guadalupe Camarena who was arrested for injecting silicone in a transsexual. The person injected later died.
A Montrose man's arrest for giving silicone injections to a man who later died has spotlighted a long-existing danger in the transgender community, police and activists say.
Guadalupe Camarena, 32 -- who lives as a woman, but was booked into a Houston Police Department jail as a man -- was charged Friday with aggravated assault in the man's death, but investigators believe the problem extends far beyond him.
The shots have been sold illegally for more than 20 years, but are causing a new wave of alarm since two men have died and several others have become ill. Police are urging all transgender men to beware of the dangers of injecting such an industrial substance into their bodies, even though that method might be cheaper and offer instant results.
The silicone injections are sought by men who want a sex change, but cannot afford the surgery, police said. They said the liquid is injected into their breasts, or sometimes their buttocks, during "shooting sessions," which cost $200 to $400 per visit -- far less than the $5,000 to $6,500 required for medical breast implants.
But injected silicone has caused serious damage to people's bodies -- deformed lips, knots and bumps that look similar to benign tumors on the lower portions of their chests, and in one case, paralysis. A Rice University professor asked by police to analyze the silicone from one victim's body likened it to brake fluid.
"This is essentially nothing more than a time bomb," said Houston Police Department Major Offenders Capt. Steve Smith. "Any type of liquid silicone that can be found in any type of auto parts or hardware store is what essentially is being injected into these people."
Camarena -- arrested Thursday at his apartment in the 500 block of Lovett -- is accused of giving silicone injections on May 4 to Delfino Gonzalez, 22, who went to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital three days later suffering from chest pains and breathing difficulties. Gonzalez died less than six hours later from respiratory distress syndrome, or asphyxiation, after the silicone entered his bloodstream, police said. His death was painful and agonizing, doctors told investigators.
Camarena -- who police said has received such silicone injections -- wasn't charged with murder because prosecutors can't prove he intended to cause death or serious bodily injury, said Assistant District Attorney Casey O'Brien, chief of the Harris County District Attorney's Major Offenders Division.
"In this case, we can't show he intended to cause death, but common sense would tell you taking an industrial solvent like this and injecting it would be reckless," O'Brien said.
Camarena denied any knowledge of the deadly injections.
Another man, San Chiem, 35, died July 22 at Spring Branch Medical Center two days after receiving silicone shots. Doctors first thought Chiem had pneumonia. He didn't respond to antibiotics, and his condition rapidly worsened, said Houston pulmonologist Daria Lee.
The cause of Chiem's death is still undetermined, and police have not been able to link Camarena to him. Police aren't sure if Chiem received his injections in Houston or San Antonio.
Police said there is no authorized medical procedure for injecting liquid silicone into the body. Because the shots are given subcutaneously, the silicone enters the bloodstream or might even penetrate the lungs, they said.
The silicone has the consistency of motor oil -- because it is so thick, it has to be injected with a large needle, said Houston transgender activist Brenda Thomas.
The shots are appealing because they are far cheaper than implants, offer instant results and allow transgender men to continue performing sexually as males, Thomas said.
"Getting the girls to quit using it is one of my passions in life," said Thomas, 61, who goes by the nickname Ms. B. "The way they're done is an HIV concern. It's a hepatitis B and hepatitis C concern. It's a life-and-death concern."
In breast implants performed by doctors, silicone is mixed with a safe, water-based solution that is encapsulated so it can't escape and migrate into other parts of the body. But illegally injected liquid silicone sometimes remains dormant and sits in pockets inside the body before circulating through the bloodstream, police said. Though the substance is supposed to stay in its target area, it sometimes falls and causes body parts to sag.
"These silicone-injected breasts, you can see that they're obviously not going to hold up and last as breast augmentation or plastic surgery does," Smith said.
Silicone can often become hard, said Dr. Charles Bailey, a plastic surgeon in Houston for 30 years and president of the Texas Medical Association. He said the substance can be as thin as water or like rubber and Formica.
"It can cause angry, permanently red skin, with big pores and the appearance of an orange peel," he said.
Many people who received such injections have refused to cooperate with police. Only those who truly believed their lives were in danger were willing to answer questions, investigators said. One man who witnesses reported had been paralyzed by the injections refused to answer his door when police went to his home on two separate occasions, Smith said.
Investigators haven't determined where the shooting sessions took place. But many of those involved in the activity knew each other from Viviana's, a transgender nightclub in the 5200 block of Washington, said Lt. Steve Jett of the HPD Homicide Division.
A transgender person who answered the door at the nightclub Friday denied knowing anything about the liquid silicone. The club was otherwise empty except for pool tables and a stage for performances.
The Houston Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center sent out an e-mail and fax to alert its subscribers Friday of the silicone dangers.
Chronicle reporters Leigh Hopper and Dale Lezon contributed to this story.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2039204
Silicone injections offer instant but deadly results
8/11/2003 8:20 AM
By: Cynthia Yip
Police say 22-year-old Delfino Gonzalez died after having silicone injected into his body. Silicone injections are sometimes sought by men who want female breasts but can't afford the surgery.
Police say Gonzalez went to the hospital on May 7 complaining of chest pains and died from asphyxiation a short time later.
On Friday, police arrested a Montrose man for giving the silicone injections to Gonzalez. Guadalupe Camarena is charged with aggravated assault in Gonzalez's death.
Physicians are warning others who might be thinking of the dangerous procedure.
Injected silicone sessions typically cost between $200 and $400. It's far cheaper than the $6,500 required for medical breast implants.
Board certified plastic surgeons warn of the health risks caused when silicone that isn't sterile is injected into a body.
“They probably got necrotizing fasciatis, [the] so-called flesh eating bacteria. Such an intense foreign body reaction went into an overwhelming septis, meaning their whole body was invaded by bacteria. There was just no way their immune system could combat something like this,” said Texas Institute of Plastic Surgery’s Dr. Franklin Rose.
Police say Camarena was not charged with murder, but with aggravated assault because prosecutors can't prove he intended to cause a death.
Thirty-two-year-old Camarena admits injecting silicone into his own body, but denies performing the procedure on anyone else.
In breast implants used by physicians, silicone is mixed with water and is encapsulated, so the fluid can't escape and move into other parts of the body. But illegally injected silicone is not sterile and moves throughout the body causing deformities that look like tumors.
“There are so many contaminants in these industrial products. It's hard to imagine that any patient, no matter how strong their desire for cosmetic surgery, would submit to these types of treatments and obviously the consequences are just disastrous,” said Dr. Rose.
Transgender men who seek silicone injections usually do so because they are cheaper than breast implants. Police warn that even though a silicone injection is cheaper and can offer instant results, the obvious risks aren't worth that price for beauty.
Before getting any kind of cosmetic surgery, it's recommended you make sure a physician is board certified and is affiliated with reputable hospitals.
Houston Police are asking anyone who knows about illegal silicone injections to call the Major Offenders Division at 713-308-3100.
8/14/03
http://www.news24houston.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=12421