Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer

When I was around ten years old, I wanted to see a scary movie.  My dear old mother took one look at it and refused to let me go watch it, saying it would give me nightmares and it was trashy anyway.  I don't remember the film, but it might have been The Mummy (1959) by Disney.  That would put me at 7 years old, so I tend to think this was the one.  I pestered Mom so much that she finally told me to read something scary.  Like what?  Like Edgar Allan Poe, for instance.

Which turned out to be a mistake on both our parts.  I chose to read The Black Cat, a short story in which the protagonist slides into violent alcoholism.  The problem was that the story was too real.  As I remember it, it was about a month before I could sleep soundly again, and it was some years before I picked up Poe's Tales again.

Such is the case with this book, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.  The trouble is that this is a true story, and it's absolutely horrific.   I've read most of it, about 80%, and I do not intend to finish it.  I read it in small pieces.  It describes the activities of a psychotic serial killer in detail.  Accounts of several witnesses are given, hard evidence is specified, and it's more than I want to read about.  It includes the findings of the Grand Jury, all of whom agreed that the only thing more horrible than Kermit Gosnell's premeditated murders is the complicity of State Health inspectors and other State officials, all of whom enabled these murders to take place.

In 1979, Kermit Gosnell opened an abortion clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA.  He named the clinic the Women's Medical Society. He ran this clinic for a little over 30 years.  During that time he provided late term abortions and third term abortions. He killed any babies that were born alive. The number of premeditated murders Gosnell committed is literally untraceable, as no accurate records were kept, but is likely in the thousands.

The commercial media refused to cover the story, and in fact when Gosnell and his assistants were finally brought to trial, only one reporter showed up to cover the trial. The judge remarked on the unusual lack of interest on the part of professional journalists, but naturally no response was forthcoming.

Eventually, commercial media responded to pressure from Internet news sites.  One fairly decent article was published by the Washington Post: The Gosnell case: Here’s what you need to know, but it's altogether too brief.

The report from the Grand Jury is available on line, and can be read here: IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA CRIMINAL TRIAL DIVISION MISC. NO. 0009901-2008 GRAND JURY XXIII

I don't recommend this book to anyone unless you have a very strong stomach. What I want to emphasize is this:
I support the right to choose, that is, I believe that abortion should remain legal. That said, the activities at Kermit Gosnell's abattoir serve to illustrate that regulation of abortion clinics, the State regulatory agencies, do not prevent atrocity.  Commercial media and its infamous investigative reporting (Watergate, anyone?), an institution that should have uncovered these crimes, refused to investigate and then refused to publish any news on the trial.  This conclusively proves that neither the Government nor the commercial media can be trusted.

Kermit Gosnell is in prison.  I believe that, given the atrocities he and his assistants committed, all of them should be summarily executed, and I include the so-called inspectors who visited that horror of a clinic and reported that no violations were taking place.

My final thought is that when the clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA was officially closed and the building boarded up, thieves and junkers wouldn't go near the place.  There was valuable copper and equipment inside, but the thieves wouldn't disturb it.  They knew the place was just plain evil.


  1. Wow. Not sure I want to read that.

    1. The thought that occurred to me was that the police and the members of the Grand Jury actually saw the site (the Grand Jury toured it) and photos documenting the murders that took place there. In the end, Gosnell was so completely mad that he would eat his lunch while performing third term abortions. I can't imagine how these people ever got over those sights.

      I think this story ought to come with a warning label.

  2. It's probably the same principle as the slaughterhouse, WL. Or euthanizing cats and dogs at the SPCA. Or working at a funeral home. Death becomes something you work with, the being in front of you is just a piece of meat, and the humane centres of your brain just shut down and stop working. Maybe they just rationalize it to themselves somehow.

    I don't trust the media or the gov't either.