Did you ever feel like you wanted to go on a diet? Maybe lost those last five pounds you been putting off? Well in the being of the 20th century a women name Linda Laura Hazzard (1867-1938) had a retreat located in Olalla, Washington that could promise that you would lose those pesky pounds ….and perhaps your life.
Linda was one out of eight children born in Carver, Minnesota. She never studied and obtain a degree in medicine however through some weird way she was able to practice medicine that was approved by the state of Washington at the time. According to the state law if you were working as a person of alternative medicine you did need a medical degree. She even wrote two books about her fasting methods:
One book was named “Fasting for the cure of disease.(1908)” And the other was called “Scientific Fasting: The Ancient and Modern Key to Health (1927)” She wrote that book when she was studying with a doctor who was pro fasting named Edward Hooker Dewy.
Dr. Hazzard was obsessed with the idea that fasting was the only way to get rid of any impurities, and toxins. So she created an extreme form of fasting and was convince it would cure anything. Like any diseases such as cancer or the common cold.
When Linda started seeing a healthy income of money start flowing in she decided to a wellness place in Olalla, Washington called “Wilderness Heights.” Where if you can afford the pricey stay then you would follow Dr. Hazzard strict diet. Her strict diet plan include her patients (depending how long they stayed and paid) would be force to fast for day up towards to months. Then only be fed mostly liquids of either tomato, asparagus and if they behave orange juice. Many of her patients died due to starvation but Dr. Hazzard would write on their death certificate that they died of a long term illness that went unfound in them before they enter Wilderness Heights. Such as terminal things such as cancer or cirrhosis of the liver was often put on cause of death.
Dr. Hazzard was finally arrested and convicted of manslaughter in 1912. When a pair of very rich sisters named Dorothea and Claire Williamson went to Wilderness Heights and Claire died due to Dr. Hazzard very extremely diet regime. Claire only weight about fifty pounds at her time of death and Dorothea was on the same terminal path. It is believed that a telegram from one of the sisters was sneaked out to a close family member of theirs to come get the sisters. Unfortunately by the time the person was able to rescue the sisters Claire had past away but was able to save Dorothea.
Dr. Hazzard was trial and was she was also found guilty of stealing a lot of the Williamson sisters items that they took with them and she also forged a will for the Williamson sisters. Dr. Hazzard was found guilty and was served to spend two to twenty years in a Washington state jail. However she served two and was released on December 1915 and was granted a pardon shortly after by governor Ernest Lister.
Dr. Hazzard had enough of the states and decided to move with her husband to New Zealand. She continued her work as a dietitian and wanted to take on a more hands on approach with her patients so she became a osteopath for the next five years. It wasn’t until 1917 that a New Zealand newspaper claimed the Dr. Hazzard was still using her Washington State medical certificate to practice medicine and the title. However being that there are different laws in New Zealand regarding practicing medicine. She was charged under the “Medical Practitioners Act. that she was continuing to do medical work with having the proper paperwork. And was fined for all the violations she had.
Three years after the New Zealand incidents she returned to the same town she had her “Wilderness Heights” to open up a newer version of it. She deemed it as a “School of Health” and added her new title to her never ending roster supervisor. She would be the main go to person for all of the patients who wanted to take part of her fasting cure. She ended up dying from her fasting diet due to starving herself in 1938.
Linda Hazzard caused somewhere between 15-20 deaths due to her fasting diet and became one of Washington State’s most evil and well known serial killers.
Some great recourses if you would to learn more information are below: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/doctor-who-starved-her-patients-death-180953158/
Until next time!!!