Friday, August 12, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 12

August 12, 1913 – The Wash. State Supreme Court today upheld the conviction of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard, known as the “starvation doctor.” She was tried for first degree murder in having caused the death of Miss Claire Williamson, an English heiress, convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to from one to 20 years in prison. Mrs. Hazzard appealed the verdict, which was returned at Port Orchard on Feb. 4, 1912.

The court said that in fixing sentence at from one to 20 years the trial judge “tempered justice with mercy.”

Miss Claire Williamson and her younger sister Dora, wealthy spinsters who were touring the United States, read of Mrs. Hazzard’s starvation treatment for various ailments and went to her for treatment in Feb. 1911. In a few weeks the sisters were helpless from lack of nourishment and were removed by Mrs. Hazzard from Seattle to her sanitarium. A month later, Claire died.

Dr. Hazzard’s 100 room Sanitorium1

 Mrs. Hazzard had herself appointed administratrix of Miss Williamson’s estate and was proceeding to take charge when the British vice consul at Tacoma intervened and the prosecution was begun under direction of special counsel employed by the British vice consul.

Mrs. Hazzard formerly was well known in Minneapolis as a lecturer and fasting specialist. She married ex-Lieutenant Samuel C. Hazard, a former U. S. army officer, who had been dropped from the army rolls for desertion. After the marriage, Hazzard was prosecuted for bigamy and served a term in the Stillwater penitentiary.

Sam Hazzard Mug Shot1

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune
; “Conviction of Dr. Hazzard Upheld by Higher Court. Washington Tribunal Decides Woman Must Go to Prison for Causing Death of Heiress. Former Minneapolis Fasting Specialist Given Indeterminate Sentence.”; August 13, 1913; p. 1.


Dr. Linda Hazzard, formerly of Minneapolis, Minn., charged with murder in the first degree, was unable to obtain $10,000 bail; see Aug. 7, 2016 blog.



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