“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”

This excerpt is from the grand jury report for the trial of Gosnell and his constituents, who were found guilty of first-degree murder of newborns as well as two mothers. In what could characterize a serial killer documentary, the report describes how the police walked into a horror site: cat urine, trash scattered everywhere, unsanitized instruments, and most shockingly, newborn feet kept in jars. The trial, in 2011, should have received national coverage, but due to its controversial nature on abortion, it was ignored by many in the press.

Fast foward to October 12, 2018, when the new movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, will be released to the public. The movie is based on the research and book of Ann McElhinney, who also drafted the script for the movie along with fellow producer, Phelim McAleer. Both were moved to change their positions on abortion after uncovering the details of Gosnell’s abortion clinic and case. Ann McElhinney states this clearly in her book:

“Reading the testimony and sifting through the evidence in Gosnell’s case, in the research for my book and for writing the script of the movie, has been brutal. I have at times wept at my computer. I have found myself praying the Our Father sitting at my desk when I hadn’t prayed in years. At times when I was confronted with the worst of this story I didn’t know what else to do. I have had a profound sense of the presence of evil in the actions of Gosnell and his staff, and their complete lack of conscience.”

After being released on October 12th, it is receiving widespread attention from conservative and liberal media alike, giving it the attention it deserved seven years ago at the trial. Reviewers are applauding its portrayal of Gosnell’s horror house, describing the movie’s banal depiction of evil as chilling and incredibly moving. One reviewer, Rebecca Hagelin, with the Washington Times stated in her review, “The filmmakers created a brilliant work that shows no graphic details or gore, but simply presents the powerful reality of abortion as described by abortion providers and crime investigators in their actual court testimony.”

Another reviewer, Mike McGranaghan, stated in his review, “On the whole, Gosnell is a well-acted and compelling courtroom drama. Women suffered greatly under Kermit Gosnell’s “care,” as did babies who emerged alive. The story of what he did is, irrespective of the national debate on abortion, important to have told. The film tells that story passionately and with feeling.”

Go see Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer in select theaters October 12th. Check out the official Gosnell movie website for more information.

 

Helen Cook is a current honors student at Benedictine College, where she is studying History with a minor in Theology. She is heavily active in student life, participating in three music ensembles as a violinist and leading Ravens Respect Life as president. When she is not busy with school and student life activities, she is found reading the many classical works of literature.