“Gosnell’s Babies” Reveals Mental Illness Inside the Abortion Cartel

By Cheryl Sullenger

I just finished reading Steve Volk’s E-book, “Gosnell Babies: Inside the Mind of America’s Most Notorious Abortionist.” I found Volk’s essay to be an honest account written by a man who is struggling in his own mind over the moral implications of the grisly testimony that those of us in the courtroom endured day after day during Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial in the spring of 2013.

I remember Steve Volk well from my own time in the courtroom and the conversations we had during breaks concerning the morality of abortion in general and the question of whether Gosnell was unique in his field. His quest for truth and personal struggle with the matter of abortion was evident in his 52-page book that revealed insights into Gosnell’s personality gleaned through his interviews with Gosnell over a span of several weeks after his convictions on three counts of first degree murder and hundreds of other crimes.

Volk’s account is troubling, yet answers the question posed most in horrific cases such as this involving the infliction of unspeakable acts of barbarity by one human being upon another: Why?

For Gosnell, he embraced “situational ethics.” The boundaries of right and wrong were relative and dependent upon his own needs. His claims of innocence were based not on the laws that he felt justified in ignoring, but on his own comfort level with his behavior as part of some esoteric “war on poverty.”

But for me, Gosnell’s bizarre justifications and even his poetic ramblings are more convincing evidence that Gosnell suffers from some sort of mental illness. Certainly, I’m no expert, but Gosnell displays behaviors that are more reflective of those of a serial killer than those one would expect to find in a stable, mentally healthy human being.

Kermit Gosnell appears to live in a fantasy world of his own making where he is the lone determiner and controller of the rules of life. Perhaps Gosnell cocooned himself in his fantasy world as a mechanism whereby he could maintain his heroic self-image while avoiding the reality and repercussions of his sick behavior.

The laws of which he was convicted became machinations of pro-life forces that plotted to deprive poor women, who he refers to as the “throwed,” from receiving abortions would reduce crime and poverty. “Catholics” that he believed pervaded the police department and District Attorney’s office were religious bigots that had prejudged him through the filter of their Catholic teachings. He was in a “righteous” war and “they” had won.

Gosnell appears only thinly tethered to reality, if he is even tethered at all. He always believed that he would be completely exonerated, and even now fantasizes about the improbable possibility of withdrawing an agreement he made to drop all appeals in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. He maintains his innocence even though he admits to actions that were violations of the law. In his own mind, he was innocent because those laws simply did not apply to him.

He wonders why he never heard from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative, to which he sent proposals and job applications. He believes even now that he is a “fitting person” to teach young people before they embark on medical careers.

Gosnell maintained a disturbingly serene veneer that made him appear relaxed and cordial even under the stress of a murder investigation and trial. His winsome smile throughout the trial and efforts to make eye-contact in order to connect with those of us in the gallery every day could seem manipulative, but may have just been a result of his inability to grasp the gravity of the moment.

There were macabre accounts of his bizarre behavior during the police raid at his ramshackle, squalid abortion clinic and the police search of his home. Volk referred to him as “unflappable.” During the initial raid on his clinic, Gosnell asked permission to feed his turtles then proceeded to attend to a woman in the delivery of a stillborn baby after which he “calmly” sat down to eat his lunch still wearing torn and bloody surgical gloves.

At his home, Gosnell sat down to the piano to entertain the investigators with a Chopin selection while they searched his home for additional bodies, stopping to warn police that his basement, which they were about to search, was infested with fleas. Indeed, Crime Scene Unit officer Bobby Flade donned a Tyvek hazmat suit and descended into the cellar where fleas immediately attacked, “roiling in piles over his shins.”

In fact, GOsnell’s living conditions at his two homes were as bad – if not worse – than his “House of Horrors” clinic. Photos of his bedroom shown during the trial revealed a “hoarder house” appearance with junk and rotten, partially-eaten food piled and strewn everywhere. Volk notes that even high-end belongings, such as designer purses and Viking appliances, were filthy and neglected. The disorder and squalor seemed indicative of the inner working of Gosnell’s mind, according to Volk.

Then there were the feet. Gosnell kept the severed feet of some of the larger babies he aborted floating in liquid in specimen jars. Kareema Cross photographed shelves that she testified held as many as 50 jars of such grisly remains. Gosnell was never able to fully explain why he kept the feet. His excuses that they were to document fetal age were ridiculous and completely unbelievable. The behavior was more likely the keeping victim trophies, something that is well documented as the sick behavior of serial killers.

Gosnell seemed to seek out those for employment whose lives were in even worse disarray than his own. He targeted the undereducated and the mentally ill to work in his clinic, where they became dependent on him and under his control. He eased any concerned they might have had with bold-faced lies about “grandfather clauses” that made it okay for the unqualified to practice medicine. He convinced these workers that the movements of live babies as merely the “reflexes” of “dead” babies that were to be halted with the “snipping” of their spinal cords.

The lies were justified in the same way as he justified the murders; they were for the greater good. Afterall, those of us fortunate enough to have avoided poverty simply cannot understand the “throwed.” In Gosnell’s perverted world, the difficult circumstances faced by poor urban women warranted — even justified — the squalid conditions, the venereal diseases transmitted by dirty and reused disposable tools, drug overdoses, and the murder of their live infants. That, in his mind, was somehow compassionate treatment and work that was beneficial to society in general.

The mental illness theory is supported by a poem written by Gosnell describing the vulnerabilities of abortionists that he believes society misunderstands.

Abortion Providers
Are Labeled Killers!
Horrendous, Exploitive
Barbaric, Inhumane
Not Physicians, Oathed To Heal
Lest We Forget,
What Chance Have Those?
Those Without The Support
Of Their Parents
Their Families
Their Communities
Their Societies…
So Many
Without Sufficient Support
Stumble Into Drugs
Into Crime
Into Mental Illness
Into Institutions…And…
Languish In Jails…

While Gosnell considers himself somewhat of a misunderstood intellectual “Renaissance Man,” perhaps “Monster” is a more fitting designation. He remains without remorse, justifying in his mind the squalor and murder as heroic acts that those who are not “throwed” simply cannot comprehend. He continues to justify cold-blooded murder and neglect done without a shred conscience.

What is troubling is that Gosnell isn’t simply describing himself in his self-indulgent poem. He is describing his colleagues as well. Operation Rescue has documented incidents of drug use and crime that is rampant throughout the abortion cartel. We have long suspected mental illness. Gosnell’s poem is somewhat of a confession as well as a verification of our suspicions.

Gosnell laces his justifications with ample doses of pro-abortion rhetoric. It’s frightening to think that those “pro-choice” platitudes justify bad behavior on the part of abortionists everywhere. This reveals a crisis in the abortion industry where criminals, drug addicts, mentally ill men and women subject pregnant women to shockingly low standards hidden behind the inherent respectability that the title of “doctor” evokes.

Apparently Gosnell has begun to study the Bible since his incarceration in Federal Prison, and I pray that his callous heart and twisted mind will somehow be softened by the Gospel and he will experience true repentance and spiritual regeneration. We wish that for all abortionists. But until that time, the world would be a better place if they all joined Gosnell behind bars for the rest of their lives.

Gosnell Babies by Steve Volk is available for download at Amazon.com.

Pro-Life Groups Demand Release of Gosnell Victims’ Remains for Proper Burial

Philadelphia, PA — A coalition of pro-life groups gathered in Philadelphia Sunday evening to call on the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office to release to them the remains of 47 aborted babies found at Kermit Gosnell’s squalid abortion clinic so that the babies can have the dignity of a proper funeral and burial.

Gosnell was convicted earlier this year of three counts of first degree murder for intentionally severing the spinal cords of late-term babies that had been born alive during abortions. The remains of the babies were discovered in a filthy freezer in the rat-and-flea-infested basement of a brick building on Lancaster Avenue that became known as the “House of Horrors.” He was also convicted of hundreds of lesser charges related to illegal late-term abortions. He is serving three life sentences without possibility of parole.

Led by Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, a group of about 60 people gathered at Drexel University and marched with police escort to Gosnell’s now-shuttered and deteriorating abortion clinic where a moving candlelight prayer vigil was held. Participants prayed for the closure of every abortion clinic as well as for the babies that die at them.

“These children need to be treated with dignity and respect,” noted Rev. Mahoney, “and like any other member of the human family, they need to have a proper burial and funeral.”

The medical examiner has refused to release the remains to any third party saying that the remains will eventually receive “a respectful disposition.” However, that could take as long as ten years, which is unacceptable to the groups.

UPDATE: The pro-life groups held a press conference and public witness Monday morning outside the Medical Examiner’s office in Philadelphia to once again demand that Gosnell’s victims be release for proper burial. The event concluded with no movement on the Medical Examiner’s position.

Rev. Mahoney released the following statement:

The official guidelines and regulations set forth by the Medical Examiner make it clear that any “interested” party can put in a request asking for any unidentified person to be released into their care.

Numerous national and local faith and community organizations have put in written formal requests for these children.

The conviction of Kermit Gosnell on murder charges makes it clear that these babies are “persons” and must be afforded the same equal rights as anyone else under the law.

It is tragic and barbaric that government officials are playing ‘abortion politics’ with these innocent babies. These children were brutalized once by Kermit Gosnell. We are now demanding that they are not brutalized again by the City of Philadelphia.

The coalition of pro-life groups include the Christian Defense Coalition, CEC for Life, Priests for Life, Stand True, Students for Life in America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Operation Rescue, and others.

Abortionist Gosnell Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Charges

Philadelphia, PA – Abortionist Kermit Gosnell made a brief court appearance yesterday and entered a plea of not guilty to charges that he operated a pill mill out of his “house of horrors” abortion clinic between 2008 and January, 2010.

Gosnell is already being held without bail on seven murder charges for the deaths of one patient and the killings of six new born babies who were born alive them killed by stabbing and cutting their spinal cords with scissors. Nine of his unlicensed and unqualified employees were charged with him various charges from murder to participating in a corrupt organization. Since then six have pled guilty — three to murder charges — to avoid being tried with Gosnell.

The drug charges were added to Gosnell’s long list of abortion-related charges last month.

Authorities raided the medical offices of Kermit Gosnell in January, 2010, on suspicion that he was operating a pill mill that was the largest source of illegal painkillers sold on the streets of his city. That was when they discovered a squalid “house of horrors” where illegal late-term abortions were done on drugged, dazed women, where the late-term babies were born alive then murdered by severing their spinal cords with scissors, and where the severed feet of those late-term babies were kept in jars as trophies.

Gosnell is expected to be tried on the abortion-infant murder charges in March, 2013. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Attorneys for both sides of the abortion and drug cases have been placed under a gag order.

“We are thankful for the aggressive prosecution of Gosnell for all his crimes. The courage of the District Attorney’s office is commendable and has led to many reforms nationwide that have resulted in dangerous abortion clinics closing and new laws that will make women and their pre-born babies a little safer,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and the new Pro-Life Nation. “We look forward to Gosnell’s day in court where we pray his victims will receive the justice they deserve under the law.”

Read the 281-page Grand Jury Report
See Shocking photos of Gosnell’s victims
View mug shots of Gosnell and his co-defendants

Mug Shots Released After Gosnell, Co-Defendants Arraigned on Murder Charges

Philadelphia, PA — Late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell and eight of his co-defendants were arraigned yesterday for the murders of one abortion patient and seven new born babies along with a host of other charges. Below are their mug shots and a summary of their charges.

  • To read the full official list and explanation of charges, click here.
  • To view graphic photos of the murder victims, click here.
  • KERMIT GOSNELL, 69, Bail Amount: No Bail. Gosnell is considered the man in charge with the most culpability. He is charged with 39 counts including 3rd degree Murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 7 counts of Murder for killing seven living infants after birth, Abuse of Corpse, Tampering with Evidence, Corruption, Conspiracy, Obstruction, Racketeering, and Solicitation for Murder (Baby G), and more.

    ADRIENNE MOTON, 33, Bail Amount: No Bail. Moton is an unlicensed worker with no medical background. She administered anesthesia and committed other illegal acts, including “snipping” a procedure where live newborn infants were murdered by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. She is charged with Murder (Baby D), 2 counts of Conspiracy to murder, Racketeering, and Conspiracy related to corruption.

    LYNDA WILLIAMS, 42, Bail Amount: No Bail. Williams is an unlicensed worker who committed illegal abortions, administered anesthesia, and committed other illegal acts. She is charged with 3rd degree Murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, Murder (drug delivery), 2 counts of violating the Controlled Substances Act, Murder (Baby C), 2 Counts of Conspiracy to murder, Illegal late-term abortions, Conspiracy related to illegal abortions, Racketeering, and Conspiracy related to corruption.

    STEVEN MASSOF, 48, Bail Amount: No Bail. Massof was an unlicensed medical school graduate who worked as an abortionist at Gosnell’s clinic. He is charged with Murder (Baby F and Baby G), Conspiracy to murder, violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Theft by deception, Racketeering, and conspiracy related to corruption.

    SHERRY WEST, 51, Bail Amount: $2 million. West was an unlicensed worker. She committed illegal abortions, administered anesthesia, and dispensed drugs illegally. She is charged with: 3rd degree Murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 2 counts of violating the Controlled Substances Act, 5 counts of Conspiracy (related to murder, illegal drugs, and corruption), Murder (Baby C.), Illegal Abortions, and 1 count Racketeering.

    PEARL GOSNELL, 49, Bail Amount: $1 million. Gosnell is the wife of abortionist Kermit Gosnell who worked frequently at his clinic, especially on days that illegal and very late abortions were done that her husband did not want the other workers to witness. She is charged with Illegal late-term abortions, and two counts of conspiracy related to illegal abortions and corruption.

    EILEEN O’NEILL, 54, Bail Amount: $1 million. O’Neill is a medical school graduate but had no license or certification. She masqueraded as a licensed physician. She is charged with 9 counts of theft by Deception, Conspiracy to commit theft, Racketeering, Conspiracy related to corruption, Perjury, and False Swearing.

    ELIZABETH HAMPTON, 51, Bail Amount: $250,000. Hampton is Gosnell’s sister-in-law. She is charged with Obstruction, Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, Perjury, and False Swearing.

    MADDLINE JOE, 53, Bail Amount: $250,000. Joe worked as the office manager for Gosnell’s mill. She is charged with one count of conspiracy related to corruption.

    TINA BALDWIN, 45, Bail Amount: $150,000. Baldwin was an unlicensed worker. She illegally administered anesthesia and performed other medical duties that it was illegal for her to do. She is charged with racketeering, conspiracy, and corruption of a minor for allowing her 15 year old daughter to work as a staff member at Gosnell’s mill. Of this the grand jury report said, “She was required to work 50-hour weeks, starting after school until past midnight, during which she was exposed to the full horrors of Gosnell’s practice. Bad enough that he expected grown-ups to do it.”

    Photo credit: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com