Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mommy's Dearest: former Save-A-Life Public Relations Director Ciprina Spizzirri - a graphic (and oral) family history

Ciprina J. Spizzirri, Carol J. Spizzirri (circa 2008)
According to press releases from 2003-2005, Ciprina Spizzirri was Director of Media & Public Relations for the Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF), the embattled Chicago-area first aid training nonprofit founded by her mother Carol J. Spizzirri. (SALF's now under investigation by the IL Attorney General and by the CDC.)

Mama Spizzirri's powers of persuasion were potent enough to convince government agencies to hand over close to $9 million to her organization (which even managed to become a member organization of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). It was daughter Ciprina's job to spread the word.

The last call bell rang when mom got busted in a November 2006 ABC Chicago I-Team report for these slices of baloney SALF used to beef up donations: pretending to be a Registered Nurse, fabricating a college degree, and falsely claiming that another of her daughters - Ciprina's older sister, the late Christina Jean Pratt - had bled to death as the result of being the victim of a hit & run car crash on Labor Day 1992.

Per this clip, there was no hit & run. Drunk at the wheel, Christina's tragic death was the result of severe injuries in a single car rollover.

One learns more about the Spizzirri household from Where Did the Save-A-Life Money Go? by Don Bauder, San Diego Reader, November 17, 2010:
May 18, 1992 - four months before the fatal (car) accident - Christina filed for an order of protection against her mother. A neighbor who lives four houses away was willing to be Christina's primary caretaker. The complaint stated that Spizzirri had struck Christina "on several occasions and threatened her on many occasions." The order of protection, granted the same month, barred Spizzirri from seeing her daughter at several locations such as school and work. Christina "fears her mother will attempt to harass her or retaliate," said the complaint. Spizzirri asserted, among other things, that she could use "reasonable force to discipline a child" who needed medical attention. In July, Spizzirri got Christina back - two months before she was killed.
Christina’s filing for protection may have been triggered by an incident on May 4, 1992, when, Lake County Circuit Court records show, Spizzirri complained that her daughter damaged a curio cabinet in the household and did physical damage to a second daughter. Christina was placed on $20,000 bail and charged with a misdemeanor.
Christina’s father, Gordon Pratt of Milwaukee, who divorced Spizzirri in 1981, says that Spizzirri had been out drinking that May evening with the other daughter and came home at 2:00 a.m. Christina, who was underage, had also been drinking and came home later. “There was a dispute and it escalated into a physical confrontation,” he says, relating a phone call he received from Christina. Soon, both Spizzirri and the other daughter were hitting Christina, who fought back, says Pratt. She shoved the curio cabinet in trying to get out the door.
Ten years after that maternal slugfest, Ciprina went to work for SALF where, among other responsibilities, she circulated the spurious version of her sister's death.  

For example, check out this 2003 letter to the editor published in USA Today.

Here's a mother/daughter tag team interview (circa 2003) in which Ciprina obediently listens while her mother spews steaming piles of bushwa - that she's a renal transplant nurse, that the car accident was a hit & run, that Christina bled to death, and that she didn't even have any broken bones. (1:00)

Ciprina then beams and in a beatific voice says: "I'm just so proud that I was blessed to have her as my mom." (6:00)

From the October 29, 1992 Lake County, IL Coroner's Inquest on the body of Christina J. Pratt:

Want more? La Familia Spizzirri does the same routine in this undated interview on a local cable show. 

Circulating phony stories about the death of your sibling has its rewards, albeit puny. Based the images below, Ciprina was paid a modest salary, received travel perks, and enjoyed the company of elderly physicians.

Dane Neal of SALF, Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, Ciprina Spizzirri, Carol Spizzirri at the White House (2005)

Here's Ciprina's tear-stained tribute to the late Peter Safar MD who was 79 when he died.

SALF has since folded and Ciprina Spizzirri has taken her talents elsewhere.

More recently she was interviewed for Lesbian Knows Best, "a talk show hosted by nationally known comedian Vicki Wagner."

If you've always wanted to watch a former executive of a United States Department of Homeland Security organization describe how she gives blow jobs, here's your opportunity.