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.
"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)
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.
Don't know, only have experience of the audio version
The scene where Dora crawls from her bedroom to Claire's and is so emaciated her knees bleed.
She performed all the characters well, but my favourite was Linda Burfield Hazzard, because I really got the sense of her dominating controlling character.
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
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.
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.
"A Very Detailed Oriented Book"
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...
"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.
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!
This surprised me it turned out to be a good book. Greg Olsen best maybe.
"Fascinating story about a so-called "Doctor""
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.
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.
"Starvation Heights: The Deadly Tale of a Snake Oil doctor "
The book was captivating,, will probably listen again. The narrator was perfect for the story.
"Fabulous Reading! Chilling Story!"
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.
"Strange story early 20th century Pacific Northwest"
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.
"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.
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