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Starvation Heights Audiobook

Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest

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Publisher's Summary

In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, came to a sanitorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary fasting treatment of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, waiting for death. They were not the first victims of Linda Hazzard, a quack doctor of extraordinary evil and greed who would stop at nothing short of murder to achieve her ambitions.

As their jewelry disappeared and forged bank drafts began transferring their wealth to Hazzards accounts, Dora Williamson sent a last desperate plea to a friend in Australia, begging her to save them from the brutal treatments and lonely isolation of Starvation Heights.

In this true story, a haunting saga of medical murder set in an era of steamships and gaslights, Gregg Olsen reveals one of the most unusual and disturbing criminal cases in American history.

©2005 Gregg Olsen (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A fascinating turn-of-the-century story of medical malpractice and murder. If you liked The Alienist, you'll find Starvation Heights all the more gripping because this story is true." (Michael Connelly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (20 )
5 star
 (11)
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4.4 (13 )
5 star
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Story
4.3 (14 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Anne Holywell, United Kingdom 20/11/2010
    Anne Holywell, United Kingdom 20/11/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    64
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    "A chilling true story told very well"

    This audio book gripped me from the start, based on a true story and incredibly well researched, this is an oftentimes chilling tale but in no way sensationalised. The narration is unobtrusive, not in the least bit annoying or over-dramatic (as some can be). I highly recommend this audio book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzy 06/06/2015
    Suzy 06/06/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good, fascinating historical true crime"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Starvation Heights to be better than the print version?

    Don't know, only have experience of the audio version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Starvation Heights?

    The scene where Dora crawls from her bedroom to Claire's and is so emaciated her knees bleed.


    Which character – as performed by Jennifer Van Dyck – was your favourite?

    She performed all the characters well, but my favourite was Linda Burfield Hazzard, because I really got the sense of her dominating controlling character.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt very sad for the sisters that they could be so easily misled. They seemed to be very vulnerable, although both in their 30's when they had the misfortune to come across Linda Burfield, they were dangerously naive


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fascinating story and demonstrates what a person can get away with when they have a cunning nature, false title and a complete lack of compassion. I think over time Linda Burfield actually believed her own spin. I find it absolutely incredible that this women managed to hoodwink so many and operate as a 'doctor' over such a long period.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • bebe
    South Carolina
    27/12/10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Intersting"

    A fascinating account of a couple of eccentric ladies with too much money and time, and an evil woman willing to take everything they have. It is a sad story in many respects but also has satisfying moments. It is almost a five star in my estimation, but not quite.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Ebensburg, PA, United States
    27/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Very Detailed Oriented Book"
    Where does Starvation Heights rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Starvation Heights is a very detailed oriented book that I found very interesting but not overly fascinating. The book covers the death of Claire Williamson in great detail. The trial of Dr. Linda Hazzard and her way of think is done in exact detail. However, I found that some parts were very dry and not really worthy of inclusion in this book such as the great details about the lifes of the Williamson sisters before the starvation treatment. While other subjects such as why Dr. Hazzard was granted a medical license is not covered at all...


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shawn
    Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada
    23/12/10
    Overall
    "Compelling narration + story, too much information"

    I think that the most striking aspect of this audiobook is the narrator, Jennifer Van Dyck. She did an excellent job of illustrating the personalities of those involved in this story, which is compelling. However, I think it would have been much more compelling than it turned out to be if it hadn't been so overwrought with details. I kept waiting and waiting for the point where this doctor's work starts to unravel but it never came. I stopped listening half way through.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Crystal D. Jones
    11/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    A bit long winded, and the narrator took a while to get used to. (I found myself spacing in my work and not hearing a word) However, it was overall a great story! Recommend to my peeps who enjoy the mysteries & true crimes!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    18/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great story"

    This surprised me it turned out to be a good book. Greg Olsen best maybe.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle in New York City
    NYC
    01/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating story about a so-called "Doctor""
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, This story was quite interesting. The fact that, in that era, a person did not need to attend medical school or even college ,in order to give medical advice and/or medical treatment was quite surprising to me. I found it completely flabbergasting that "Dr" Hazard had starved quite a few people to death before her "practice" was finally exposed and she was brought to trial.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite person in this story is The Nanny/nurse who, ultimately, saved one of the sisters and stood up to this quack.
    I could not help to think that , even though the nanny was nervous about confronting Mrs/dr Hazard about her treatment of Dory (because of her own lack of medical raining), the nanny was probably just as qualified to be considered a doctor as Mrs. Hazard.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Starvation Heights: The Deadly Tale of a Snake Oil doctor "


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beege
    31/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Starvation Heights"

    The book was captivating,, will probably listen again. The narrator was perfect for the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jess
    Iowa
    07/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous Reading! Chilling Story!"
    Would you listen to Starvation Heights again? Why?

    Great for readers of true crime, although I think quite a few of the details were not what I'd call "non-fiction". It was chilling and I found the entire thing extremely entertaining and interesting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jane/Neal
    United States
    15/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange story early 20th century Pacific Northwest"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Got a bit tedious, but worth listening to, if only to be reminded how gullible and easily duped some people--even intelligent ones--can be.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    Willits, CA, United States
    21/12/10
    Overall
    "Not for me"

    The author seems obsessed with the sisters alleged female health problems. There are somethings that can be condensed and summarized without impacting the narrative. Menstruation troubles and malformed Utri are some of those things.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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