The Seludo Story Project

 by Alfie and Alta Seludo

The Seludo Story Project – writing a family memoir – marks our journey to document, understand and emotionally heal from a series of tragic events that drastically affected our family.  It began on September 13, 1989 when our 46 year old father, Dr. Manolito T. Seludo, took one sip of water and his life fell apart.  The drinking water in his duplex townhouse in Napoleonville, LA was laced with a highly toxic and fatal chemical, potassium cyanide. Someone tried to kill him. He faced death but was revived in the ambulance and remained lifeless while in a coma at the hospital.  He went from seeing patients to being a patient for the rest of his life. He lived in misery and discomfort, bed-ridden and unable to walk and talk.  Our father was poisoned, our lives were shattered.  

In August of 1991, two years after our father’s poisoning, our 49 year old mother was in a near-fatal car accident while driving on a narrow two-way road in the bayou town of Raceland, LA. She was struck by a drunk driver in a head-on collision leaving her sandwiched in the car. Realizing that every wasted second could compromise her life, the emergency response team used the “jaws of life” to pry the vehicle open to remove her trapped body from car. With her life threatening injuries, she was transported to the nearest hospital by helicopter.  She survived the accident but she was never the same.

We were 15 and 13 years old when our father was poisoned. We were just beginning to enjoy our adolescent years but were forced to make an overnight transition from teenage life to adulthood.  We found ourselves faced with overwhelming responsibilities of assuring that our parents get through rehabilitation, surgeries, making medical decisions and multiple medical appointments while trying to remain in school.  With two hospitalized parents and not understanding what it meant to have financial obligations, our cars and home were eventually taken from  us.  In 1991, at 17 and 15, we were forced to separate just to find a place to live.  Totally unprepared, we were left alone to figure out this thing called “life”.

It is now 22 years later since our father was poisoned.  As teenagers, we were only capable of reacting instead of comprehending what happened to us and our parents.  As adults, we want to understand and process what happened and we are prepared to peel back the  layers of our lives as we explore our parents’ medical and legal records and talk with people who knew our  parents. For purposes of self-healing and keeping our parents’ legacy alive for our future generations, we are finally ready to chronicle “The Seludo Story” from the eyes of the “Seludo Girls”.

* We invite you to stay informed by subscribing to our blog and engage with us by leaving comments to our posts or posting on our Guest Book with a memory you shared with our family.

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Blog Entry


Alta’s Entry Regarding News Footage

Alta’s Entry: The last time I saw/watched my dad in his physical state was in 1999, before he passed. Since then, I haven’t watched a video of him in such a state. When I watched this video 2 weeks ago, it was like this was taken just yesterday. The memories came flooding through my soul so fresh. All the sorrow I felt in my heart came gushing out in tears. At that point, I quickly realized there was one major difference in seeing him in this physical state now. I am 35yrs old. I am an adult. I was only 18 in that video. I now have a better understanding. I also have some sort of understanding of the pathophysiology of what damage the cyanide had on his body since I am in nursing school. I didn’t know this back then. Back then, I just saw my dad struggling. It hurts in a different aspect now. I think that is why I could only get through the first 3 minutes and had to stop watching it. It took me 2 weeks to watch it again in it’s entirety. I guess, the initial viewing was a “shock” and once I acknowledged and expressed these emotions, it was ok. It’s funny how when you are right in the “situation” or “in the moment” you go into “auto pilot”, you just do what you have to do without thought and when everything is said and done, you then “feel” the real emotions. The importance of acknowledging, accepting,expressing and allowing yourself to ‘feel” emotions through out your life, I feel, is the utmost importance when going through traumatic times.

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Blog Entry


Dad – A Pic Before the Poisoning

Alfie’s Entry: Rummaging through a box of old photos, I found this pic of Dad taken April 1989, just 5 months before he was poisoned on September 13, 1989.  This picture was taken on a Saturday at his townhouse in Napoleonville, LA.  We spent the weekend at Dad’s place.  (Side note: Our dad had his own place in Napoleonville because he was in the process of establishing his new practice in Napoleonville after practicing in Larose for nearly 10 years).  Sporting his brand new apple red Audi 90 Sport, we cruised to the hospital with him so he can make his rounds for the day.  Dad was always proud of his new toys.  After waiting for him to do his rounds at the hospital, he wanted us to take pics next to the car.  We were eager to get back to his townhouse so that we could pull out our singing machine and his keyboard (in the background of this pic) and spend an afternoon with our dad singing and playing the keyboard.  I really believe that outside his passion for being a doctor and his family, the next important thing in his life was music.  I’ll post a video of him singing his favorite song, My Way, in the near future. 

Dad – April 1989 (Napoleonville, LA)

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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Blog Entry


The Seludo Story 1 of 3 (WWL Eyewitness News 4)

Alfie’s Entry: When Dad drank a glass of water from his gallon sized Kentwood container from his refrigerator on September 13, 1989, he went into cardiac arrest and died for three minutes in the ambulance while being transported from Napoleonville to Baton Rouge’s Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.  He was revived shortly after while in the ambulance.  It wasn’t until 5 days later after this incident that beliefs of cyanide poisoning caused this to happen to Dad.  A criminal investigation began at this time. 

With all the evidence being circumstantial, the district attorney did not want to go to trial if he didn’t believe he could win the case.  Rhetorical question but feel free to leave a comment – How many alleged criminals were found guilty based on circumstantial evidence?  

Hoda Kotb of WWL TV Eyewitness News 4 in New Orleans did a three night broadcast of our story with hope that the public can persuade the DA to go to trial so that a jury can decide if the man who allegedly poisoned our dad is guilty or not.  We just wanted it to go to trial.  This is the first of three which was aired on July 5, 1994.  The focus of the first story is our dad.

PS – Not sure what I was thinking with the bright red lipstick.  Maybe it was the “in thing” in the 1990’s. 🙂


Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Videos


The Seludo Story 2 of 3 (WWL Eyewitness News 4)

Alfie’s Entry:  This is the second of three videos that WWL Eyewitness News 4 in New Orleans did on our story.  The focus is on another family who believed JR Salsbury poisoned their father.  Aired on July 6, 1994.

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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Videos


The Seludo Story 3 of 3 (WWL Eyewitness News 4)

Alfie’s Entry: This is the third of three videos that WWL Eyetwitness News 4 in New Orleans did on our story.  The focus is “Who is Jesse Robert (JR) Salsbury,” the man who allegedly destroyed the lives of two families.  Aired on July 7, 1994.

The case never went to trial.  On October 2, 1994, JR pleaded “No Contest” to Attempted Manslaughter of our father, Dr. Manolito Seludo.  I will share the newspaper article covering this outcome from Baton Rouge’s Morning Advocate paper in a future post.

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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Videos

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