Thursday, September 22, 2011

Linda Burfield Hazzard, Medical Serial Killer - 1911


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Held at Port Orchard under $10,000 bail, charged with the willful murder of Miss Claire Williamson, wealthy English patient, Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard, the “starvation doctor,” is sure she will get ball today and be released. Miss Dorothea Williamson, the dead woman’s, sister, who was taken from Hazzard lodge, in Kitgap county, when but a wreck of 61 pounds, told today at the home of British Consul C. E. Lucian Agazziz at Steilacoom of her terrible experiences under Dr. Hazzard’s treatment.

The woman doctor was continually suggesting suicide to her patient, Miss Williamson says; was told of patients who threw themselves into the gulch, was warned not to throw herself out of a window to death, was told constantly that she was insane.

~ On Patient’s Property. ~

Mrs. Hazzard, who has founded her “hospital” at Olalla on the estate originally owned by Lewis Under, former speaker of the house of representatives, and who died under her care, was arrested Saturday afternoon.

The wife and children of Rader, who live in a little home near by, watched the procession pass away.

Consul Agazziz is probing several other cases of English people who died under Dr. Hazzard’s care. He charges that part of the Williamson sisters’ property has not been returned.

Dr. Hazzard tried to have herself named as the administrator of Miss Claire Williamson’s property and as guardian for Miss Dorothea. The intervention of friends blocked the plan.

The sisters were worth something like $400,000.

Under the care of Miss Conway, a family nurse, called to the case from Honolulu, Miss Williamson is slowly regaining her health.

Dr. Hazzard has been in the Sound country for several years, coming here from Minneapolis. Her husband is an ex-army lieutenant. She has one son by a former husband. The two men work for her at her “hospital.”

[“Starved Patients For Their Money - This Is Fearful Charge Made Against Mrs. Hazzard, Woman Doctor Of Seattle—Is Arrested And Held For Murder. - Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard Taken From Home, Formerly Owned By Victim, Charged With Killing Of Miss Claire Williamson.” The Tacoma Times (Wa.), Aug. 7, 1911, p. 1]

[Photo source: The Day Book (Chicago, Il.), Apr. 11, 1912, p. 30]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): Port Orchard, Wa. – After extended argument by opposing counsel, Judge Yakey today ruled with the state In permitting the prosecution to show the nature of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard’s medical advice to Claire Williamson, for the death of whom Mrs. Hazzard is on trial
for first degree murder.

Dorothea Williamson, sister of the dead woman, and star witness for the state, continued her testimony this morning. She Is an engaging little woman who looks more like 23 than 38.

~ Broth Was Diet. ~

She testified that Dr. Hazzard put them on a diet of either vegetable broth or fruit juice, never allowing them to have both in one day. Mrs. Hazzard also required them to drink about eight quarts of warm water every day, she said.

~ Grew Thin Quickly. ~

The sisters immediately became noticeably thinner, Dorothea testified, and her own eyes became sore after the first week, and she was subject to mental aberrations almost immediately.

Dr. Hazzard, she Bald, told them that they would suddenly wake tip
one line day and find themselves all well.

~ Believed Systems Poisoned. ~

The sisters were under the impression that their entire system was poisoned, she said. Miss Williamson weighed 50 pounds when she was taken from the Olalla Institution and was a living skeleton. She made her first appearance in the courtroom. She weighs 109 pounds, she said.

[“Tells How Mrs. Hazzard Treated Them at Ollala,” syndicated (UPI), The Tacoma Times (Wa.), Jan. 20, 1912, p. 1]

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~  How Williamson Sisters Were “Starved” At Ollala By Mrs. Hazzard-Told by Dora ~

“This is what we had to eat,” said Miss Dora Williamson, testifying in the trial of Mrs. Linda Burfield Hazzard on a charge of murder by starvation of Miss Claire Williamson, sister of Dora:

6 a.m. – Awake and remain in bed.

8 a.m. – One cup of orange juice.

9 a. m. – Given a bowl of water in which to wash and left to wash alone, although physically helpless from starving. I was often so weak I either could not or forgot to wash at all.

11 a. m. – Taken to bathroom, a bare rough-boarded shack with couch and oil stove and given hot water enemas until still weaker. Lie down on couch.

1 p. m. – One cup of broth. Sometimes this was very weak broth from potatoes or other vegetables. Sometimes we were given asparagus water or six asparagus tips.

6 p. m. – One cup of broth. General directions at the Olalla resort, called by many, “Starvation Heights”:

“Continue above program until --------- .

Did Mrs. Hazzard make money for this sort of treatment, receiving $25 a week for nurses and from the Williamson sisters, large sums for “expenses”?

Mrs. Hazzard was asked: ‘ “Did you make money at it?”

“I didn’t starve.”

“Yes, but did you make money at it?”

“Oh, I’ve got a comfortable home, plenty to eat and clothes to cover my back,” as she smiled knowingly. She is now trying to raise funds for her defense among followers of the fast cure in the east. She is reported as having considerable money and valuable property.

Here are some of those who tried the fast cure at Olalla while Mrs. Hazzard was not starving:

J. I. Flux started fasting Dec. 19, 1910, died Feb. 9, 1911. Mrs. Hazzard had herself appointed administrator of the estate, and all that was ever accounted for of his supposedly valuable Canadian lands and cash was $70.

L. E. Kader, began fasting April 29, 1910, died May 11, 1911, after fasting 31 days, it is alleged that through his death Mrs. Hazzard obtained her present 40-acre tract at Olalla.

E. E. Erdman, died March 29, 1911. Fasted until friends feared his death; He was “rescued” from Mrs. Hazzard and taken to a hospital for a transfusion of blood operation, but died before it could be performed.

Blanche A. N. Tindall, fasted 28 days and died June 18, 1909. Mrs. O. G. Heaton, began fasting March 24, 1909, died May 11, 1909.

Mrs. J. R. Haglund fasted 50 days and died Feb. 26. 1908.

Mrs. Elgin Wilcox, fasted 47 days and died Sept. 26, 1908, after it is alleged she was fed heartily on raw tomatoes.

Claire Williamson, started fasting in Feb., 1911, died May 19, 1911.

[“How Williamson Sisters Were “Starved” At Ollala By Mrs. Hazzard-Told by Dora,” The Tacoma Times (Wa.), Jan. 20, 1912, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Seattle, May 8.—Mrs. Linda Burfield Hazzard, 69, jailed for investigation while authorities prone her activities in connection with William Jussila, who said he lost 25 pounds in six weeks on a diet for stomach trouble. Mrs. Hazzard, whose license was revoked years ago, said she does not treat patients.

[Photo standalone, Oakland Tribune Daily Magazine (Ca,), May 8, 1936, p. 27]

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Article 4 0f 4 -- EXCERPT from Wikipedia: Despite Linda Hazzard’s lack of a medical degree, she was licensed to practice medicine in Washington. A loophole in a licensing law grandfathered in some practitioners of alternative medicine who didn’t have medical degrees, including Hazzard.

According to her book "The Science of Fasting", Burfield studied under Edward Hooker Dewey, M.D., one of the two pioneers of fasting (the other was Dr. Henry S. Tanner M.D. who famously fasted for 42 days in 1877).

She created a "sanitarium," Wilderness Heights, in Olalla, Washington, where inpatients fasted for days, weeks or months, on a diet of small amounts of tomato and asparagus juice and occasionally, a small teaspoon of orange juice. While some patients survived and publicly sang her praises, more than 40 patients died under her care. Hazzard claimed that they all died of undisclosed or hitherto undiagnosed, serious organic illnesses such as cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. Her opponents claimed that they all died of starvation. Local residents referred to the place as "Starvation Heights". She assured people that her method was a panacea for all manner of ills, because she was able to rid the body of toxins that caused imbalances in the body.

In 1912, she was convicted of manslaughter for the death of Claire Williamson, a wealthy British woman, who weighed less than 50 pounds at the time of her death. At the trial it was proved that Hazzard had forged Williamson's will and stolen most of her valuables. Williamson's sister, Dorothea, also took the treatment, and, it is alleged, only survived because a family friend showed up in time to remove her from the compound. It is suggested that one of them managed to smuggle a telegram to alert the family, however by the time of arrival Claire had already died. She was too weak to leave on her own, weighing less than 60 pounds. She later testified against Hazzard at trial.

Hazzard was sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison, which she served in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. She was released on parole on December 26, 1915 after serving two years, and the following year Governor Ernest Lister gave her a full pardon. She and her husband, Samuel Christman Hazzard, moved to New Zealand, where she practiced as a dietitian and osteopath until 1920.

In 1920, she returned to Olalla, Washington and opened a new sanitarium, known publicly as a "school of health" since her medical license had been revoked, and continued to supervise fasts until it burned to the ground in 1935; it was never rebuilt.

Linda Burfield Hazzard died in 1938 while attempting a fasting cure on herself.

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List of Hazzard’s victims – 15 cases, 8 women; 6 men, 1 (sex not identified)

1902 – (Carver County. Minnesota)
1908 – Daisey Maud Haglund
1908 – Ida Wilcox
1909 – Blanche B. Tindall
1909 – Viola Heaton
1909 – Eugene Stanley Wakelin (Died from a bullet in the head.)
1909 – Maude Whitney
1910 – Earl Edward Erdman
1911 – Frank Southard
1911 – C.A. Harrison
1911 – Ivan Flux
1911 – Lewis Ellsworth Rader
1911 – Claire Williamson
1913 – Ida J. Anderson
1913 – Mary Bailey

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