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As It Was: Newspaper Condemns Application of Electrical Treatments

An “electrical butcher” was killing people in Grants Pass in 1924, according to the short-lived Southern Oregon Spokesman newspaper. 
In the span of two weeks, Mrs. Lindsay and Mrs. Krauss of nearby Kerbyville submitted to electrical treatments by Dr. Marr, who called himself an electro-physician.  Mrs. Lindsay, suffering from cancer, allowed the application of electricity into her poor, weak system, against the advice of her cancer specialist.  The treatment was so strong it melted the nails in the soles of her shoes, the paper said.

Mrs. Krauss went to the doctor for treatment of diabetes and a heart condition and died the next day. 

Among survivors of the treatments was a woman who claimed damaged lungs and another woman with cancer who said she ended up with a huge abdominal scar.  The newspaper also reported the electro-doctor got the word out to fraternal lodge brothers that he could perform electro-abortions, which prompted a woman to reveal she was asked to refer schoolgirls to him for a commission. 

The paper’s editor called their stories sickening.


Source: Hoogstraat, J.J. "Kerbyville Woman Dies Day After Electrical Treatment." Southern Oregon Spokesman, 28 June 1924 [505 So. Sixth Street Grants Pass OR], p. 3.

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.