you're reading...

Episode 2: Vanessa

Season 1, Episode 2


Age: 36
Location: Los Angeles, California
Addiction:  Shopping, agoraphobia

(Guest Post by Stefan) What’s Memorable: No other episode of the series has touched on agoraphobia. Also, the fact that she had no family present at the intervention, only friends (Annie, the bulimic dancer from Season 2, is the only other person profiled in the show’s history who can claim this).

Update: Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed by police during a welfare check on August 30, 2018. She was reportedly brandishing a BB gun when she was shot. Here is the news story about the tragic incident.

Official Synopsis:  Vanessa, who was a recurring character on the long-running medical drama ER, is addicted to shopping. She is heading towards bankruptcy.

Date Aired: March 2005
Interventionist: Tara

Categories: Addicts Who Have Died, Mental Problems, OCD, Season 1, Shopping, Tara


49 Responses to “Episode 2: Vanessa”

  1. This episode has been missing in all capacities for at least the last five years or so. Here it is if anyone wants to watch it (shared with Gabe the gambler):


    Posted by Stefan | August 6, 2018, 9:43 pm
  2. Vanessa’s Youtube channel, which features some updates. She seems to still have struggles, but it otherwise happy:


    Posted by Stefan | August 6, 2018, 9:49 pm
    • Less than a month before she rushed the cops with a BB gun asking them to kill her. I hope people see this and think about what people are dealing with when they observe someone who “still ha[s] struggles, but seem…otherwise happy.”

      Posted by George | August 24, 2020, 8:22 am
  3. The intro clip for the episode can be found on Youtube:


    Posted by Stefan | August 7, 2018, 11:13 pm
  4. Vanessa’s Facebook fan page, although it hasn’t had an update in two years:


    Posted by Stefan | August 10, 2018, 12:22 am
  5. Praise God someone has posted this episode to youtube!!!


    Posted by Stefan | August 23, 2018, 10:11 pm
    • I don’t think Dizzy wants this on her website.

      Posted by Ami | August 24, 2018, 4:06 pm
      • It’s fine

        Posted by Dizzy | August 27, 2018, 4:34 pm
        • Dizzy,

          If you wanna watch it and add your insight, feel free to swap out my words for your own (good luck getting through the Gabe moments though lol).

          The user that uploaded this has been uploading episodes like crazy, and the fact that they have this episode gives me hope they will upload the other missing episodes (Betsy, Mike/Jenny).

          Posted by Stefan | August 27, 2018, 10:21 pm
  6. Is this Vanessa?? I thought I recognized the name! She was shot dead after threatening police with a BB gun.


    Posted by RLS | August 31, 2018, 7:28 am
  7. Just saw this online. Wanted to share it with you so you can update the site accordingly. Cheers!

    Posted by Emmy | August 31, 2018, 8:06 am
  8. Yes it has been confirmed that Vanessa died today by a police shooting


    Posted by Holly | August 31, 2018, 11:50 am
    • I was sad to read of her passing – it sounds as though she continued to struggle with a variety of issues since her intervention. May she Rest In Peace.

      Posted by Elizabeth | August 31, 2018, 8:00 pm
  9. This is so sad…my heart breaks for her.

    Posted by Sue Ellen Hegstrom | August 31, 2018, 12:40 pm
  10. read that she passed away.. is it true?

    Posted by Desi | September 1, 2018, 12:19 am
  11. She needed a different kind of help

    Posted by Laura | September 1, 2018, 12:23 pm
  12. Unfortunately she was shot and killed by cops yesterday. They were doing a wellness check on her and she pulled out a bebe gun and pointed it at the officers

    Posted by Kerri B | September 1, 2018, 4:10 pm
  13. God, that is devastating.

    Posted by Laura | September 3, 2018, 10:41 pm
  14. She’s had many different demons and mental issues going on or years. Sadly, she was never able to get a control of them.

    Posted by Kitty Katt | September 4, 2018, 12:14 pm
  15. I’m so sad for Vanessa.

    Posted by Amanda | September 8, 2018, 7:52 am
  16. Why is there no page on Gabe, the guy who shared this episode with her?

    Posted by Courtney | October 4, 2018, 10:03 pm
      • I understand that Gabe exploited everyone he touched, but that seems a strange reason not to cover him at all. Before I saw the FAQ, I assumed he did something to exploit coverage of himself, maybe something directly aimed at you, but the FAQ just seems to say that he’s omitted because he’s a bad person, while many people here are bad people. Even Allison, who we generally view as a good person who made the best of a bad situation begs for money and often turns her own flaws into issues that entirely originated from the outside. There are horrible people on here, and unless there is something outside of the episode, I’m confused about his omission. His being pushed into instructing collegiate courses at an age that most people would be in high school certainly is something that people should know about. We provide links to Amy P. defending herself via poetry about how she was misrepresented despite pawning the wedding ring of her sister.

        Long story short, there are many horrible people on this show, and Gabe like most of them seems like he was partially a product of environment.

        Regardless, you’re site, and I really appreciate what you’ve done. I use it often for what is probably my favorite show.

        Posted by George B. | August 24, 2020, 8:38 am
        • You have this wrong. He isn’t “omitted because he’s a bad person.” He is not on this site because I believe the production and airing of the episode itself to be exploitative of he and his family, of Gabe’s mental illness and its effects on the family. When producers witnessed his manic abusive behavior he should have been referred/sent to a psychotherapist or in-patient mental health treatment, off-camera, certainly not followed around by a camera crew under the guise of a gambling documentary. That’s my problem. Their story wasn’t about a gambling addiction and it shouldn’t have been presented that way and it should have never aired.

          Posted by Dizzy | August 24, 2020, 5:06 pm
      • I lost my comment to website issues, but I thought Gabe was omitted because perhaps he was exploiting the episode or attacking you personally. Hearing that the episode was uncomfortable because of his generally exploitative nature seems wrong, knowing that most people on this show have the same issues. Even people like Allison, who we admire for her recovery, still after recovery has issues with pushing other people to take care of her.

        That’s just my personal opinion. Regardless, you’ve created a wonderful directory that I often use. Thanks.

        Posted by George B. | August 24, 2020, 8:53 am
  17. Good! What was Vanessa, 90 lbs? They couldn’t take her down- they had to shoot? Seriously?

    Posted by Anonymous | June 8, 2019, 3:07 am
  18. Bullshit- they didn’t have to shoot to kill. I’m military so don’t assume I don’t know what I am talking about.

    Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2019, 8:47 pm
    • First, thank you for your service. Second being in the military has nothing to do with being a police officer, they are different as night and day. If you shoot to wound that person can still kill you. As an officer you can’t assume anything, if a person is holding a gun they intend to use it. You identify yourself if they don’t drop the gun you have to defend yourself and your fellow officers and the public. You have no idea what frame of mind a person holding a gun is in. You know nothing about that person or what they are thinking.

      Posted by Darren | November 23, 2019, 6:42 am
  19. Dizzy – if you are still updating the pages, could you add one for Gabe (gambling) please? He was in the same episode as Vanessa…

    Posted by Jeanette | July 24, 2019, 11:46 am
  20. I think Corinne from season 2 may have passed, based on what I saw online. RIP, child.

    Posted by mercy | September 24, 2019, 9:54 am
  21. Vanessa was one of the first addicts on the show. This was back before they offered everyone 90 days in treatment. In Vanessa‘s case, for treatment, she only spends about a week in a hospital near her home, and then, as the show says, “her insurance said she was well enough to go home.” No way that was enough time to touch on her issues.

    I always wonder what would’ve happened if they had found her a season or two later, and if they sent her to an actual rehab for 90 days. If she would still be alive today.

    Posted by LC | October 3, 2019, 12:22 am
  22. I’d like to comment on Vanessa’s episode. I felt it was handled very poorly! She was already in therapy and treatment for every mental illness she admitted to having. Right now she would be considered disabled by the state I’m sure. As someone with bipolar 1 disorder and also agoraphobia/PTSD and anxiety I knew exactly how she felt and compulsive spending is a symptom of bipolar disorder which she was already diagnosed as so I didn’t exactly understand why they were treating her as an addict. She needed long term treatment. Maybe back then they didn’t know what they knew now about the disorder but also the doctor or interventionist I don’t know what she was was treating Vanessa’s medications that were prescribed to her like drugs on the street. You don’t detox someone from powerful psychiatric drugs and expect no side effects. Also the police were doing a wellness check on Vanessa. Again, as someone with agoraphobia you are afraid to leave your house so someone busting through the door in the door that you don’t know about you’re going to protect your house at all costs. There really should be another line people can call when others are having mental health crisis because they don’t know how to deal with those situations. And I agree with some of the other commentators that she should not have been shot, if it’s a welfare check That shouldn’t end in the owner of the home being killed.

    Posted by Luna | January 15, 2020, 8:27 pm
  23. Also in the article posted above about the wrongful death suit (if anyone read it) that the police officers arrived and she was having seizures and realized she might be having a mental health crisis and called the paramedics then somehow she pointed a BB gun and shot at them so they killed her…. that BB gun just coming out the blue doesn’t really make sense.

    Posted by Luna | January 15, 2020, 8:41 pm
  24. Today TMZ posted bodycam footage from Vanessa’s shooting. I’m not going to link it here but it’s easily found by searching.

    Posted by Julie PV | March 3, 2020, 10:51 am
  25. I watched the body cam and I’m trying to figure out where the mom is filing a wrongful death suit. She should be ashamed for allowing her daughter to live like that and it’s quite obvious she was not in her right state of mind. Also, you NEVER take a chance with a suspect who has armed themselves to what appears to be a real gun. Do I agree with them killing her of course not. Maybe hitting her in the foot or knee to drop the weapon but people forget an officers life can be taken just as quickly. This woman needed long term care treatment and for her home to look the way it did indicated she wasnt well nor was she in the right state of mind to kill her. They brought in someone to evaluate her and gave her multiple chances to surrender.

    Posted by Janice | March 20, 2020, 12:01 am
    • He should be though, right? She charged him with what he should have assumed was a normal gun, though it was a BB gun, while yelling that she wanted someone to kill her. If someone was doing that to you, I’m sure you would try and defend yourself.

      Posted by George B. | August 24, 2020, 8:43 am
  26. Her episode (along with he who shall not be named) is available on Dailymotion:


    Posted by Stefan | September 6, 2020, 2:55 pm

Leave a Reply