View Claire Williamson's
Olalla Bay Bridge, circa 1913
See more images of old Olalla
Several years before the trial, Linda Hazzard posed for this a portrait with her book, "Fasting for the Cure of Disease."
One of the doctor's last patients was Berneece Smith. View this page from her journal.
Read Washington State Supreme Court Ruling on Hazzard’s Appeal
See what bestselling author Michael Connelly and others have to say about the book, Starvation Heights.
See what WISPR's team of psychic investigators turned up at Starvation Heights.
Dora and Claire
Williamson with a
friend not long
before they went to
Olalla for treatment.s reporters broke the news of the dead heiress and the walking skeletons of Olalla, some suggested Dr. Hazzard had exercised some kind of black magic or mind control over her victims.
A reporter cautioned people to avoid looking onto the doctor's eyes as she might bewitch them. Another wrote, "Many accounts of the family's action declare that the woman asserts an iron will over all with whom she is thrown in contact, her powers ranging from the weakened patient at the fasting sanitarium to the husband."
The Kitsap County Courthouse in Port Orchard, Wash.ort Orchard, the Kitsap County seat, had never seen a trial the likes of the Hazzard case. In fact, no place had. The stakes in the Hazzard case were high for both the "starvation" doctor and the men who scorned her methods.
Dora Williamson just days
after her rescuehe defendant's outspoken nature had inspired women from across the Northwest and beyond and hundreds flocked to the trial. One reporter tallied 248 women in the line--the wives of navy officers, society women, even an odd consortium of female private detectives. Linda Hazzard played to the crowd like a politician on the stump. "I am a great believer in women and will defend members of my sex at all times. I would willingly place my fate in the hands of a jury of women at any time," she told the press during a court recess.
rosecuting attorney Thomas Stevenson called Hazzard a "financial starvationist" and "a serpent who trod sly and stealthy, yet with all her craft left a trail of slime." After the judge denied any of the doctor's former patients the opportunity to testify, it was clear from the outset Dr. Hazzard was in terrible trouble. The prosecution had ample ammunition. Stevenson proved Dr. Hazzard had written Claire's will. The last entry of Claire's diary, written the day she died, had also been forged by Linda Hazzard.
hroughout the three week trial, each day was marked by some spectacular feature. Dr. Hazzard was admonished repeatedly by the judge for her brazen coaching and signaling to defense witnesses. One defense witness was accused of trying to bribe a former sanitarium nurse. The vice consul's home was burglarized and Claire's trunk of personal papers was ransacked. Police speculated the culprit was one of Dr. Hazzard's zealous supporters. In the end, Dr. Hazzard lost and was convicted of manslaughter. On February 4, 1912, she was sentenced to the state penitentiary at Walla Walla for two to twenty years of hard labor. She returned to Olalla in 1920 and built her great sanitarium. She ran her business as if nothing ever happened. But it had, and old-time Olallans never forgot the woman doctor—or Starvation Heights.
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