Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelm McAleer

Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelm McAleer

Published January 24th, 2017 by Regnery Publishing

Genres Nonfiction

Pages 339

Goodreads / Amazon


He is America’s most prolific serial killer. And yet Kermit Gosnell was no obvious criminal. The abortion doctor was a pillar of his community, an advocate for women’s “reproductive health,” and a respected member of Philadelphia’s professional elite. His Women’s Medical Society Clinic looked like admirable community outreach by a brave doctor committed to upholding women’s rights. Meanwhile, inside the filthy building, Gosnell was casually murdering born-alive infants, butchering women, and making a macabre collection of severed babies’ feet. His accomplices in crime were a staff of dropouts, drug addicts, and unlicensed medical professionals posing as doctors. But even more important to his decades-long crime spree were his enablers in the outside world—from the state bureaucrats who had copious evidence that Gosnell was breaking the law but did nothing to the politicians whose fervent support for abortion rights kept health inspectors away. The “pro-choice” political, bureaucratic, and media establishment smiled on Gosnell—and gave him carte blanche to kill. Even law enforcement seemed to not care. Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit received a complaint about Gosnell years before he was caught, gave it a cursory look, and ignored the evidence. Two women and hundreds of babies died after they closed the case. Luckily, Detective Jim Wood—a narcotics detective—opened a drug case against Gosnell. What he found when he served his warrant left even the most grizzled members of the police force stunned. Now Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, the veteran investigative journalists and filmmakers behind FrackNation, dig into Gosnell’s crimes. A record-breaking crowdfunding campaign financed their Gosnell movie starring young Superman Dean Cain, but in the research for the film, McElhinney and McAleer uncovered fascinating and previously unreported revelations that couldn’t be included in the film. Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer contains the full results of their investigation.

This book was quite difficult to read, as the descriptions of what was found in the clinic and the testaments from the workers, so be warned. I will try not to include anything too graphic.

I had of course heard about Dr. Gosnell and had watched a documentary about him last year on Amazon. I decided that I wanted to read this book before the movie adaptation was released. I have since watched the movie and although it was also fairly difficult to watch, I don’t think they did the best job with the movie adaptation. If you are interested in the case, I would recommend the book over the movie.

One of the most astonishing parts of this story, to me, is the fact that no one would have investigated Dr. Gosnell or his clinic, if it wasn’t for the fact that he was writing illegal prescriptions for narcotics to drug dealers. Reading the descriptions of what they found in the clinic and the conditions of the clinic are nothing short of horrifying. Before I go on, I want to say that I am pro-life but I respect everyone’s individual opinions on this topic and I do not mean for this review to start any arguments or make anyone feel bad. With that being said, the book was much more graphic compared to the documentary I had previously watched. It was extremely difficult to read about aborted babies shoved into juice containers in a fridge and finding a collection of aborted babies feet in the cabinet.

The conditions of the clinic were beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Regardless of you opinion on the topic of abortion, no woman deserves to ever be in a medical office that is filthy and unsafe. I can’t imagine how the staff was even able to work in the conditions described. And the fact that the Department of Health just basically turned a blind eye, even after a complaint was made, is truly unbelievable to me. I simply can not understand how it is even possible that the conditions of that clinic were allowed to get that bad. And the fact that women died under his care and an investigation was never conducted is also quite unbelievable. Dr. Gosnell himself is also a very strange person and the descriptions of how he behaved throughout the book are unbelievable at certain points.

As difficult as it was for me to read this book at points, I am glad I read it. Again, I am pro-life meaning I am anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-assisted suicide and anti-euthanasia. So the story of Dr. Gosnell and his clinic horrifies me on a variety of levels. But I have to imagine that even those who are pro-choice would be horrified by this book, as a woman should never, ever have to be exposed to these kind of conditions, regardless of what medical procedure she is receiving.

This is a hard book to review, as the topic at hand is an important one, but one that is hard to read about. If nothing else changes because of this book and the movie, I certainly hope that the Department of Health is much more careful with their inspections of any and all medical clinics in the future.


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