My part researching was done but there were three Rochester area patients still without names. It wouldn’t take long to find out who they were. The March 8th issue of the Albuquerque Tribune had the names of two more patients. HP-10 was Daniel Nelson who was a cook and traveled. Ms. Welsome found him from a surname that was missed by DOE censors and the name of the cemetery he was buried in Beverley, NJ. Patient HP-5 was identified as Paul Galinger from a date of death and the fact that he was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Waterloo, NY.
That left only three patients total to be identified with just one from Rochester known as HP-8. Her name was first published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle but the newspaper didn’t find the relatives. A granddaughter of Janet Stadt (HP-8) was contacted by the Department of Energy and she contacted the D&C. At last all the Rochester patients had been identified. Ms. Welsome would eventually find names for 17 of the total 18 patients injected with plutonium.
The first lawsuit was brought in July 1994 for a patient, Elmer Allen that was injected in San Francisco. He had been to Strong Memorial Hospital in 1973 for follow-up studies so Strong was included in the suit brought by his heirs. Then in June 1995 another suit against Strong Memorial was brought by four Rochester families. At that same time there were hearings going on in the US government. In July 1995 the government stated that heirs should be given financial compensation. Most of the law suits were settled in November 1996 when 12 families around the country accepted a total of $4.8 million. In December 1996 Department of Energy Secretary, Hazel O’Leary came to Rochester and spoke in private with family members as well as talking to the press.
Ms. Welsome had begun the search just to put names to all of those patients that were injected. Ms. Welsome would win the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for her series in the Albuquerque Tribune in November 1993. That would bring about a book deal and in 1999 The Plutonium Files was published. Ms. Welsome did make a stop in Rochester just after the release of the book and I went to see her and she inscribed this in my copy of the book:
If you want a lot more information on the plutonium injections, there are some used copies of The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War available on Amazon. It is a difficult book to read as there is detailed medical information plus it is not a very uplifting book.
Then next postings will be biographies of the patients that were injected in Rochester.