Death of Samantha Reid

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For the Australian swimmer, see Samantha Reid (synchronized swimmer).

Samantha Reid (January 4, 1984 – January 17, 1999) was an American manslaughter victim. She grew up in the Detroit, Michigan Metropolitan Area and came to national attention due to her death, at the age of 15, after being drugged.


In the company of three young men at another man's apartment, Samantha and her friends, Melanie and Jessica, were offered drinks. Samantha and Melanie asked for Mountain Dew, while Jessica asked for a Screwdriver (orange juice and vodka). The young men brought them the cocktails, to which they had added either gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) or gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). Melanie stated that her face became numb soon afterward, and then both she and Samantha passed out. The boys at first did not think anything was wrong, since both GHB and alcohol can cause those drinking them to pass out if they drink too much of them, and this is not usually a medical emergency. However, Jessica noticed later that they were having difficulty breathing. The boys eventually drove them to the hospital, but Samantha stopped breathing on the way there. Both of the girls were put on life-support; Reid died roughly 18 hours later.


The three young men who poisoned her were found guilty of poisoning and involuntary manslaughter, while the older man who owned the apartment was found guilty of an accessory charge and possession of GHB. They four were sentenced to 5–15 years in prison.[citation needed]

Reid's death inspired the legislation titled the Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date-Rape Drug Prohibition Act of 2000. This law categorized GHB as a Schedule I controlled substance according to the Controlled Substance Act.[1]


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