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Joseph EMORY






A.K.A.: "The Cut-Rate Osteopath"
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Osteopath - Illegal abortions
Number of victims: 1 - 11 +
Date of murders: 1960 / 1974 - 1976
Date of arrest: June 8, 1976
Date of birth: 1920
Victims profile: One woman / Children
Method of murder: Negligence
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Status: Unknown

A Los Angeles osteopath, Emory was convicted of second-degree murder in 1960, after one of his female patients died in the course of an illegal abortion. 

Paroled in 1964, he was arrested on a new abortion charge three years later, jailed from 1967 to 1969, with his medical license revoked. Against all odds, Emory won reinstatement of his license in May 1974, opening a makeshift clinic -- dubbed the Highland Medical Center -- that catered mainly to pregnant Mexican aliens. 

Over the next two years, he delivered more than 700 babies at the clinic, charging patients roughly half the normal hospital fee. As it turned out, the cut-rate deliveries were no bargain, with 25 infant deaths recorded at the clinic over two years time. (A twenty-sixth died in the hospital, hours after being removed from the clinic for emergency treatment.)

On June 8, 1976, the 55-year-old "healer" was arrested and booked for investigation on ten counts of murder, his wife held on identical charges, while son Alan, 32, was booked on five counts. Deputy District Attorney Dinko Bozanich announced that the charges were based on "a wanton and reckless disregard for life," but other spokesmen for the prosecution reported their probe was "not excluding the possibility of intentional killing." 

In the wake of Emory's latest arrest, prosecutors had some pointed questions for the state board of osteopathic examiners. "Why was this man licensed?" they asked. "And why, after a murder conviction and the rest of his record, was his license reinstated?"

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers


The Cut-Rate Osteopath

Monday, Jun. 21, 1976

Most of the patients who entered the modest house in north-central Los Angeles were poor Mexican aliens, and most were pregnant women. They were drawn to the makeshift clinic, called the Highland Medical Center, by the low child-delivery fees charged by Osteopath Joseph Emory, 55. Since 1974, in fact, Emory has delivered more than 700 babies, usually charging between $200 and $300 per case. Despite the low fees, the clinic's services were apparently no bargain.

Last week Emory was arrested and charged with the murder of ten of the more than 25 infants who, during the past two years, died soon after being born at the clinic. His wife and 32-year-old son, who despite having no medical certification served as his assistants, were also booked for murder. The deaths, charged Deputy D.A. Dinko Bozanich, stemmed from "a wanton and reckless disregard for life."

Emory's arrest was not his first. In 1962, he was convicted of second-degree murder of a patient who died after an illegal abortion. In 1963, while free on appeal from his first conviction, he was convicted of performing another illegal abortion, was subsequently sent to prison on that charge for three years and had his license revoked. Soon after his license was reinstated in May 1974, he began the cut-rate deliveries that led to his newest arrest.

At week's end the district attorney's office had not revealed what evidence had led to its murder charge, but noted that it was not excluding the possibility of "intentional" killings. Said a D.A. spokesman: "This calls into question the licensing procedures of the state board of osteopathic examiners and the state board of health. Why was this man licensed? And why, after a murder conviction and the rest of his record, was his license reinstated?"



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