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Gosnell book sheds light on ‘America’s most prolific serial killer’

A police car is seen outside the the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was charged Wednesday Jan. 19, 2011, with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said. (AP/Matt Rourke)

Although Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a convicted late-term abortionist, has been called America’s “most prolific serial killer,” he arguably remains almost as unknown as the infants he killed, the authors of a new book about the doctor contend.

In an interview with TheBlaze, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, the producers of the movie “Gosnell,” said that they wrote the book, “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer,” in order to share details of the case that couldn’t be included in the film. The book explores the life and crimes of the convicted killer, as well as the trial that put him behind bars.

In 2013, Gosnell was convicted of performing abortions beyond Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit, three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive and the involuntary manslaughter of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, a refugee who fled war-torn Bhutan.

Gosnell would sever the spinal cords of infants who were born alive with scissors in a process he called “snipping.”

The book details the conditions of Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, dubbed a “house of horrors” by prosecutors, where filthy conditions, unsanitized equipment and unqualified staff were the norm. McElhinney likened the clinic to “the darkest circle of hell.”

Both authors pointed to the death of one of Gosnell’s infant victims — known in court documents as “Baby Boy A” — as one of the most disturbing elements of the case.

“I think Baby Boy A, his short life,” McAleer said. “They all fought for life, and they all lived and they all breathed.”

McAleer added that the evidence surrounding the infant’s death was key to convicting Gosnell.

“I get hope from that, that their short lives are going to have such an effect on the world,” he said. “They may have lived short lives, but their influence will be felt for generations to come.”

The book also sheds light on what the authors characterize as government bureaucracy run amok in Pennsylvania. Despite multiple reports of unsafe and unsanitary conditions to the state’s health department over a period of several years, Gosnell’s clinic continued its operations. Gosnell’s methods were discovered only when narcotics detective James Wood suspected the doctor of running a pill mill out of his clinic.

“If ever there was a case for the conservative case of small government, this is it,” McElhinney said. “This shows you what large bureaucracies manage to achieve. Only a massive government could be as uncaring, I feel.”

Despite the grisly facts of the case, which included finding the remains of aborted babies haphazardly stored in the clinic, the matter earned almost no attention from the mainstream media. That is, until columnist Kirsten Powers wrote a viral op-ed in USA Today condemning the media for turning a blind eye to the case.

“This is what journalism looks like, this is a journalist’s story,” McElhinney said. “People buy newspapers for stories like this. There is an interest in this, and it needs to be documented.”

McElhinney said she had trouble coming to terms with the horrific actions detailed in the courtroom during Gosnell’s trial and the lack of attention they garnered, and they enjoyed “naming names” in a chapter addressing the lack of media coverage. They also praise a small number of journalists and Twitter users for bringing light to the case.

Although the book has also been largely ignored by the media, less than a day after the book’s release on Tuesday, it was the No. 4 book sold on Amazon in the United States. On Thursday, it topped the website’s “Hot New Releases” chart.

McAleer said that although the book has gotten “no coverage from the mainstream media” the book is climbing the best-seller charts “thanks to the same people who got Trump elected.”

“This is how he got elected and this is how the media didn’t see it,” McAleer said. “It used to be that they are the gatekeepers and they aren’t anymore.”

The book also contains details of the authors' visit with Gosnell in prison, poems the convicted killer wrote while incarcerated, as well as Bible verses that he believes justify his actions.

McElhinney said that prior to the Gosnell case, she was “neutral” on abortion — but that she got “a very swift education” on the subject during the case.

“I didn’t realize the reality of it,” she said.

McElhinney wrote in the book that the story of the case “can change hearts and minds; It has mine.”

McElhinney and McAleer are releasing the "Gosnell" film independently following a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign. They anticipate that it will be released this year.

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