From the VG Bookshelf: Gosnell
From the VG Bookshelf: Gosnell
You’ve seen the movie, now read the book. Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer will not only flesh out the events depicted in the movie, it will shock you just as much as the film. Perhaps even more.
Written by husband-and-wife team Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, the book is, like the film, more crime thriller than pro-life polemic. However, it doesn’t need to preach against abortion — the facts of this case are horrific on their own.
In Gosnell, for example, we read details about the death of the Bhutanese immigrant Karnamaya Mongar. Her demise in Kermit Gosnell’s charnal house is like the stuff of a third world nation, not a major American city. Untrained staff illegally giving drugs, an inattentive doctor, and broken medical equipment combined to create a perfect storm.
And finally, when Gosnell called 911 and the emergency medical service arrived, paramedics were unable to quickly take her from the building to the hospital.
From the book:
“But getting Mongar there wasn’t easy. The corridors were so narrow that the gurney became stuck in places. And as the police would discover the night of the February 2010 raid, the clinic’s main emergency exit was padlocked shut and nobody could find the key. Firefighters used bolt cutters to open the door.”
Then there were the babies. Oh, the poor babies:
“Baby Abrams was born, then he curled up in a fetal position before he was stabbed to death by the doctor and was moved in the Tupperware box to the next room. No one really cared where he ended up.”
The book delves into how the media turned a blind eye to the story. In fact, McAleer and McElhinney devote an entire chapter to this willful ignorance. The chapter title? “Media Malpractice,” which perfectly describes their biased disinterest.
But the next-to-final chapter is one of the most unnerving. In researching the story, McElhinney and McAleer visited Kermit Gosnell in prison, where they found an incredibly disturbed individual. He talked endlessly about the size of his hands and feet. He told the authors about his fascination with Jewish people. However, when he discussed his visit to Auschwitz, he said that his greatest fascination was with the “impressive” bins that held the effects of the victims:
“This is a man who has been convicted of murdering children, and who kept trophies of their feet. And now he was waxing lyrical about how “impressive” the neat and orderly collection of murdered children’s hair and personal effects by the Nazis was.”
And then there was the out-of-line manner in which Gosnell spoke with Ann McElhenny:
“. . . presumably to jog his memory, he touched my leg. He apologized fairly quickly, but a few minutes later touched me again. He continued apologizing—and touching me.
Gosnell sat far too close to me, in my personal space. I was backed up against the wall in my chair, so I had nowhere to go. I was trapped. It was a horrible place to be. He leaned forward even more.”
She described the experience in a 2015 interview with Dana Loesch:
Ann McElhinney concluded her account of their interview with this:
“I was numb. In all my life, I have never been in the presence of someone who so disturbed me. ”
And so this book was also unsettling to me. I began reading it on the three-and-a-half hour flight home from Seattle last month. I found it fascinating, yet I had to frequently close my iPad to clear my mind. Taking in the banality of an inflight magazine helped to clear the images in my head.
This is a difficult book. But it’s a book that is a must-read for conservatives, for the pro-life community, and especially for those who are on the fence about abortion.
Excerpts From: Ann McElhinney & Phelim McAleer. “Gosnell.” Apple Books. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gosnell/id1391842127?mt=11
Featured image: Book cover by Regnery Publishing; original artwork by Darleen Click.