We’re not trying to besmirch the good name of the fine folks of Florida…but it seems that of all 50 states, theirs is the one that seems to be getting the most attention these days. The Florida Man meme is a pretty popular one and there are a million reasons why.
One of those reasons has to do with a former hospital worker named Grant Amato, a man who many of his Internet friends believed to be quite the big shot. Grant’s assertions about his lavish lifestyle were the perfect lie for someone needing an emotional leg-up, but they concealed a very troubled psyche underneath…
The letter that Grant Amato was currently typing up was addressed to six of his friends that he’d met in an online porn group. He told these friends the truth in the letter. That he lived at home with his parents, drove a Honda Accord, and was a former nurse who had been fired from that job for being accused of stealing medicine.
This admission is important because it indicates the type of person Grant Amato was and not what he presented to be. Our story begins a few years back with a viral video that showed Orlando police encountering a strung-out Seminole County man in front of his house. Little did they know that they would be seeing him again for a much more serious crime sometime later…
Scruffy in Scrubs
The video, taken from a police bodycam, shows Amato, dressed in his blue hospital scrubs and standing in a parking lot. His arms are crossed defensively and officers from the Orlando Police Department are questioning him about stealing medicine from his employer in June of 2018. Amato doesn’t know it just yet, but he’s about to be under arrest.
The police informed Amato that the hospital had accused him of stealing Propofol, a powerful anesthetic that is most known for being one of the drugs used to kill Michael Jackson. The officers seemed somewhat concerned about Amato as well and asked him if he ever thought about committing suicide. His response was highly defensive…
Amato took offense to the officers’ questions. He told them that he’d never ever think of committing suicide, cursing while he did so. The reason for the questions was simple, they wanted to know why he would take the stuff in the first place. His reasons were even worse than they’d thought.
The First of Many
The officers accused Amato of administering Propofol to patients. These patients had allegedly not been described the drug and he had been giving it to them in order to “keep them quiet” so he didn’t have to deal with them at night. It was a stretch but it certainly would end up fitting with the type of person Amato turned out to be…
After his arrest, Amato’s life got turned even more upside down. He blamed his actions on sheer stupidity but he did try to justify what he had done. “With my history of anesthesia school, I almost felt like, you know, I know what all the drugs do,” he explained. He wrote an apology letter to the hospital but was let go regardless.
Clearing his Name
The following months saw Amato trying his best to clear his name as he lived on unemployment at his parent’s house. It was around this time that the real trouble started. Amato started spending inordinate amounts of time by himself. He would go online, watch pornography and meet up with like-minded pornography addicts. But that wasn’t all…
Over time, Amato began to develop an online relationship with a Bulgarian online call girl named Silvie. He wanted to give her everything he had. The problem was, he didn’t have much. So he ended up stealing money from his family. His parents, his brothers. In the end, he stole more than $200,000 from them to pay for his addiction and pay for Silvie.
The family knew what was happening but wanted to get help for the 29-year-old. They found him a place at a Fort Lauderdale rehab facility and managed to convince him to voluntarily attend for his internet and sex addiction. When he returned home, presumably clean, they asked him not to contact Silvie. It was a promise he would never be able to keep…
Betrayal on all Sides
The loss of contact with Silvie made Amato even more depressed than he already was. He was an addict coming off a strong mental addiction and his family couldn’t understand the impact that it had on his already fragile psyche. When he found out that the family had hacked into his computer while he was at the clinic, he snapped.
Infuriated that the family had found all of his correspondence and personal information relating to Silvie, Amato stormed off. His father later confronted him about the fact that he had promised not to speak to Silvie and clearly still was. An argument broke out and Chad Amato ordered his son to get out…
The story may have ended there and Amato would have sunk deep into homelessness and despair. Unfortunately, it ended in a much more tragic way. The next day, Grant’s brother Cody failed to show for work at Advent Hospital East Orlando. His girlfriend hadn’t heard from him all night either. Not since he’d gone over to his parents’ house to help with his brother.
Officers arrived at the family’s Chuluota home to find Chad Amato, his wife Margaret, and their son Cody all dead, execution style. The first deputy to enter couldn’t get into the locked house and had to use his knife to open the rear door. Chad Amato was lying in the kitchen, bloody and with a semi-automatic handgun holstered on his right hip. This was unusual for several reasons…
The thing is, Chad’s holster was a cross-draw holster, which meant that somebody who was right-handed, like Chad, would have to wear it on the left to draw the gun. Chad was wearing it on the left side. He couldn’t have drawn the gun that way. Cody was in the doorway, in a fetal position, he was wearing his nursing scrubs and had a handgun about five feet away.
Margaret Amato was found seated and slumped over her desk in the family’s home office. Grant Amato was missing entirely. So what had happened? Had there been a terrible shootout in the house? Had Grant fled when it happened, leaving his family to kill one another? Or were things much worse than that?
Faith in a Brother
Grant was picked up the very next day and taken into custody. His brother Jason Amato came to visit him, convinced that despite everything that had been going on, his damaged brother could not have broken to the point of mass murder. Unfortunately for Grant, the police believed otherwise.
Eventually, Cody Amato’s girlfriend came forward with information that her late boyfriend had been afraid of his brother. Cody had expressed that he was worried Grant might snap and “kill everyone.” Grant also admitted some telling things, like how his father Chad was “controlling and abusive” and how his family couldn’t see how much he loved Silvie…
Currently, Orlando prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for Grant Amato. He has pleaded not guilty to the killings but is being held without bail. In the end, though, it may all come back to his letter, the one he sent to his six porn group friends. In it, Amato admits his true feelings without admitting overtly what the police believe him to have done.
He apparently learned that Silvie, a Bulgarian call girl, “moved on” and that it broke him. “I hate myself for what I did and I hate the thought of never getting to be with her again,” Amato said of Silvie. “After everything that I gave and everything that I tried to do with her…I just can’t comprehend being without her.” Did it break him to the utmost degree? We may find out soon enough.