Murmurs of Misinformation in the Baltimore Swim Cult’s — Uh, Club’s — Version of Louis Lowenthal Death

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Tony Austin has analyzed the Louis Lowenthal autopsy report. One more thing I want to touch on is the absence there of any suggestion that this 14-year-old had an underlying health problem, such as a heart murmur.

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter if he lost consciousness because of a heart murmur or because of shallow water blackout syndrome while doing dangerous breath-control drills all by himself. In either event, if a lifeguard had been present, Louis probably wouldn’t have died.

But the heart murmur theory is important because it demonstrates just how far the Michael Phelps-Bob Bowman acolytes at the North Baltimore Aquatic Cult … excuse me, Club — will go in order to whitewash their narrative.

Last November 2 a commenter posted on Austin’s blog: “I was swimming with Louis that morning. There was no danger in the set we were doing and there was not a risk of a overly rapid heart rate. It is suspected by his pediatrician that Louis had an undetected heart murmur. It is preposterous that people are saying that this tragedy is anyone’s fault.”

We now know that Louis was swimming alone. The set he had been doing earlier in the group practice has nothing to do with this. The autopsy report mentions no heart condition, and that is irrelevant to his having been unconscious in the pool for a lengthy period with no lifeguard present. “Preposterous” — right.

Then there’s the contention that Über-Celebrity Phelps was in attendance at a large public memorial service for Louis Lowenthal — though this was somehow not noted in the Baltimore Sun account. The reporter later explained to me that he was too busy focusing on the speakers to pay any attention to whether one of the most famous people in America, who routinely is accompanied by a retinue of handlers, was in the crowd. Right again. See

Have it your way, Planet Baltimore — with large pitchers of Kool-Aid. Here on Planet Earth, we’ll have it our way: telling the unvarnished truth in an effort to ensure that the safety abuses at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, on several fronts, don’t happen again.

Irv Muchnick

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick