Is Kermit Gosnell a Serial Killer?

on January 20, 2011 in Serial Killers by

One of the stories going viral in true crime circles today is the arrest of Kermit Gosnell, an abortion provider in Philadelphia. From the article:

Gosnell has now been charged with killing one woman during an operation and slicing the spines of seven children. He’s also been charged with infanticide, conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks of pregnancy, corpse abuse, theft, corruption of minors, and solicitation.

Gosnell is neither an obstetrician nor a gynecologist, and did not have a medical degree, but was able to provide abortions in the state of Pennsylvania by retaining a doctor as a consultant.

He specialized in treating the very poor, and in extremely late abortions. His facilities were horribly unsanitary, and his operations were poorly managed. In an number of cases, the planned abortion resulted in a live birth of the child. He would then take a pair of scissors and severe the child’s spinal cord.

And that, dear readers, is murder.

The most commonly cited definition of a serial killer is someone who kills three or more people, over a time period of at least one month, with a significant cooling off period between murders (some criminologists define it as two or more people). Under that definition, it’s hard to see him as anything but a serial killer.

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