This was a book that truly horrified me. The things revealed in this detailed account of Gosnell’s "work" over the years are some of the most horrific stories I have ever heard. Sincerely. There were definitely moments while reading this book that I had to stop, put the book down and step away for a few minutes. It’s truly maniacal and abhorrent what this man has gotten away with.
I’ll give you a little rundown but, I am not going to tell you too much because I want you to read the book. There’s also a movie made about this guy so I am going to be trying to find that soon as well.
Basically, what we have here is a man who is a sworn doctor and is trusted to perform medical and abortion services to the best of his ability and while observing every law regarding such matters. Needless to say, this is NOT what happened.
This is a man who has perverted the field of medicine. Preying on the already poor, the already weak and the already victimized to make his money. He turned his practice into a revolving door of back alley abortions, illegal medications, drug trafficking and murder.
The biggest crime this man committed is a crime against humanity. These women, his patients, came to him needing help, needing an expert, needing medical care and treatments. What they got was something far below standards of care and treatment so careless and inhumane that I would classify it as a form of torture.
What I read about in this book details the crimes of a man who only sees himself and the bottom line. He has no concern for human beings, especially for women, their struggles with womanhood and motherhood, the dangers of practicing improper medicine and the letter of the law.
He had unqualified people in the nurse role, doling out narcotic medication and sedatives without any knowledge of dosages, what can’t be mixed with what, no training on health codes and sanitation and disinfection. He had flea-infested cats roaming his practice, the operating rooms, the recovery areas, reception, everywhere. There was cat urine and feces all over the facility. There was dried blood, fresh blood and all kinds of other things contaminating the facility.
Woman were lied to about the gestational age of their fetuses. Babies were born alive and then killed, instead of performing the correct procedure or refusing to do the procedure altogether. He routinely performed procedures on women who were carrying fetuses BEYOND the legal gestational age for termination. These women would be told they were just under the wire when in reality, they were way over it.
The things that stick out in my mind and made me have an OMG moment were these:
Gosnell delivered fully developed, healthy babies time and time again and murdered them after delivery.
Gosnell had a collection of severed baby feet in his office. Many different baby’s feet.
He stored the removed fetuses in cut off milk jugs and left them in his facility.
He had women “recovering” from these procedures in hard wooden chairs with no medication or antibiotics.
His facility was beyond filthy.
No government or state agency EVER fully did their job.
Gosnell’s facility was called on by a number of officials numerous times. They almost always seemed to either overlook the obvious nastiness or they didn’t follow through with calling him out on it. None of his staff was ever checked out and in fact, staff at other clinics and facilities were directing patients to Gosnell. Medical and nursing schools were directing would-be professionals to go intern at Gosnell’s office! Seems everyone was either clueless or in denial about the tragedies that were occurring at 3801 Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia.
There’s much, much more detail to this story. I’ve only brushed the surface of the horrors this man and his personnel put these woman and infants to. And his personnel were almost just as bad as he was.
Still, the actual number of deaths that occurred at his clinic will never be known. But, at least we know what we know…now.
The most gruesome and horrifying things you can read for yourself. You must get this if you love true crime. This is a serial killer of a different order than what we are used to. I highly recommend this book. Just be ready for some shock factor.
I got this book yesterday and after lunch I decided to read a chapter or two to get a feel for the story. By the end of the night, I had read the whole book. It’s rare that I can sit and read a book cover to cover in just one sitting. With a few regular life interruptions halting me every once in a while, I still got the whole thing read in just a few hours’ time.
In an incredible first-hand account, we read of a horribly disturbed and vicious man who preyed on the vulnerable, the weak and the frail, the disenfranchised. Most of these victims were female. Unsuspecting at the start and slowing driven to the terror of knowing their demise was looming over them.
Robert Durst is currently being held in prison during his trial for the murder of Susan Berman, who happened to be his best friend at one time and for many years.
William Steel is NOT the author’s real name. It is a pseudonym that he is using for his protection. Protection from whom? From what? Robert Durst. And the law. He is currently at an undisclosed location and will be until the Durst matter is fully resolved.
The experiences and memories told by Steel are, at the very least, disturbing and at most, bone chilling and blood curdling. Some of it is so incredible that it would be hard to believe if you didn’t know the history of the man in this book and also, the man telling the story.
William Steel is a former jewel and art thief. He has found his redemption and reformation in religion. He describes in as much detail as he can the horrific experiences he encountered as a close personal friend of Robert Durst.
There are many interesting things about this book. The first, and most obvious, is the personal and ongoing friendship with Durst. Steel felt from the very moment he met Durst (due to the circumstances) that Durst had killed his wife. This suspicion was bolstered as time went on until Durst practically confessed to Steel decades later.
William Steel was a thief. That’s an admitted fact. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have a moral compass. He talks about his ill mother and the effects growing up with her had on him. He became a front line protector of his mother and other people he saw bullied, especially women. He may have done a lot of morally questionable things during his years of thievery but, he drew the line at violence. If he witnessed a woman getting mistreated, he became the “knight in shining armor” and at the same time maintained his distance as best he could from the horrors he was so often faced with.
Durst is a multimillionaire. A man on trial for murder with millions of dollars at his disposal for his dream team legal defense squad. But there are some serious hurdles the defense will have to overcome if they are going to get a Not Guilty verdict on the trial over Susan Berman’s untimely demise. The biggest one being that Durst seems to talk about his crimes…a lot…to almost anyone. I have never heard of another serial murderer talking about his crimes so often to so many people.
There is a mountain of inside information from Steel about Durst. Not only his crimes but also just the kind of person and man that he was. Steel gives the exact kind of insight we always look for when talking about serial killers. Who was this person? How did he behave on a day to day basis? What did his eccentricities include and how did ALL of this relate to his crimes???
Another interesting thing is that, even with all his morals about human beings and women, Steel was still (AT THAT TIME) very much a criminal. His inaction in not reporting Durst to the police on many occasions stemmed from not having enough evidence, trying to set him up for blackmail or arrest AND keeping himself, and others, safe from Durst.
The ability to not only put up with someone like Robert Durst but to also be able to stomach the things he did is an incredible feat. There are MANY instances described in detail where Steel, like any normal human being, would want to kill Durst. But, his ability to read Durst and manipulate him saved his own life and at least two others.
Throughout reading this whole book it was never forgotten that the narrator was a convicted criminal. HOWEVER, not all criminals are violent and bad people and NOT ALL CRIMINALS lie. While it is true that we do see a lot of criminals lie a vast majority of the time, do NOT let that cloud your ability to accept information from a first-hand source.
Steel repeats various things many times throughout the book and although I know that books go through many drafts and editing processes, his core statements never change. He accepts what he was and is honest about what happened. Even with things, as he tells us a few times, that are incredibly embarrassing to him.
That’s not always easy for a man to do.
Plus, after reading this, you have to know that their chance meeting outside a restaurant would have been just that, a chance meeting between two strangers and nothing more. BUT, because of Robert’s big boastful mouth and that of his partner and friend at the time, Susan Berman, William Steel was immediately curious about this “millionaire” and was hoping to get a scam going to swindle some money away from the rich man. Instead, what he got was first class, front row seat to the tragic psychopathy that makes up Robert Durst.
This book will creep anyone out. But it’s ridiculous to think that people like this don’t exist. The fact that he is currently on trial does give me some relief, although, these days, the justice system doesn’t seem to be working as well as it could be. I, after reading this book, will be very curious to see how that trial progresses because I DO think Robert Durst killed his wife and others. The things in this book, some of them are just too far out to be made up. I mean, crime drama TV shows haven’t even been able to come up with this kind of stuff.
Any true crime fan will love this book. Horror fans might be partial to it as well. Anyone with a weak stomach or is easily offended, this book isn’t for you. You can wait for the Lifetime Channel made-for-TV movie.
Update: Since this is such a fast read and so fascinating, it would be ridiculous for you not to have your own copy. Visit the link below to purchase and shudder with horror and disbelief.
Amazon purchase link: