Kermit Gosnell is serving a life sentence for killing several babies but, believing he’ll be freed soon, he has been training from prison for a triathlon.
Gosnell was convicted of several counts of murder in 2013. He was caught killing newborns by jabbing scissors into their tiny necks and severing their spinal cords with a simple snip.
When authorities went to his clinic to investigate, the filthy surroundings shocked them. There was cat fur covering everything, Gosnell’s tools were rusted and filthy, the stench of human and cat urine blanketed the area in a fog of ammonia, and full-term newborn baby body parts were found in jars and other, less decorous, locations.
The disgusting scene got even worse, with spots on walls where patients were forced to urinate as the toilets were backed up with leftover newborn parts and the floors were covered in vomit from drug addicts who got their supply from the ex-doctor.
Gosnell’s atrocities weren’t discovered until officers investigating claims he was selling prescription drugs stumbled across 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar’s case.
Mongar was an immigrant from the Asian country Bhutan, and she was pregnant – well past the 14-week gestation time limit for legal abortions in the state of Virginia.
For whatever reason, she was desperate enough to turn to Gosnell for help but died during the procedure.
Lead investigator Jim “Woody” Wood was joined by several officers to raid the disgusting clinic in February 2010. It was at that point they “were assaulted with the rank odor of cat feces, formaldehyde and human urine,” Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAteer wrote in their new book, “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer.”
The book contains information from police reports, Gosnell’s trial, interviews with people who knew or worked with him and a two-hour prison interview with the murderer himself.
McElhinney and McAteer said Gosnell was chillingly calm throughout the interview. His obviously distorted mental state came through when he said, “There are several reasons for the cats” at his filthy clinic, which has since been dubbed the “House of Horrors.”
“I had cats because there was a Delaware patient who had paid one thousand dollars for a procedure and as she was in the waiting room, a mouse ran over her feet and that was just unacceptable.”
McElhinney and McAteer could only listen as he claimed his clinic was only dirty due to “the weather and debris from a few overgrown houseplants” patients gave him as personal gifts.
Police reports clarified Gosnell was the only doctor working at the clinic and there were investigations by the state health department in the 90s, which “noted several violations of Pennsylvania abortion regulations” but “based on more promises to improve documentation and filing” granted the clinic approval for one more year.
The next investigation found nothing wrong and for the next sixteen years, there were no inspections at all.
When the FBI and the Pennsylvania Department of Health finally raided Gosnell’s clinic on Feb. 18, 2010, they reported:
“There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets.”
Four days later, Gosnell’s medical license was suspended and the next month, the state Department of Health filed paperwork to shut the clinic down for good.
Gosnell’s trial began March 18, 2013 and was found guilty on three of four child murder charges. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for Mongar, and he narrowly escaped the death penalty.
McElhinney and McAteer were astonished to learn Gosnell firmly believes he is innocent and believes he will be released from prison soon.
Both interviewers were surprised to see how calm he was and admitted: “When you talk to Gosnell, either by phone or in prison, the first thing that strikes you is his calmness. The first time he called, he sounded like a man coming in from playing eighteen holes of golf and ready for the nineteenth-hole cocktail, not someone serving three consecutive life terms who knows he will die in prison.”
When the duo asked how he was coping in prison, Gosnell’s strange reply was: “It helps that I very strongly believe myself to be innocent of the heinous crimes of which I am accused … I continue to feel optimistic of the eventual outcome … the vindication of what I’ve done, why I’ve done it and how [it] will become accepted within my lifetime. It’s out of sight and out of my control. But I feel strongly that that will occur.”
Gosnell believes he was only incarcerated because the three leading detectives in his case were practicing Roman Catholics – not because he is a serial killer with literal blood on his hands.
In fact, so delusional is the doctor that he admitted he is trying to get into better shape. He has been exercising so he can compete in triathlons upon being freed.
“As a boy I always promised myself I would never look like the before pictures in the Atlas fitness ads. So I am working a lot on my upper body.”
Gosnell will never be released from prison. He has killed too many children and has killed at least one woman we are aware of.
Pro-life and pro-murder groups have both used Gosnell’s case to defend their views. The pro-life movement claims all abortions are murder, while other groups claim women need more access to kill their babies or they’ll be forced to turn to clinics like Gosnell’s.
Either way, both sides agree Gosnell is a disturbed individual who is responsible for the murder of several babies and at least one adult woman.
By Monique Crawford