Now that the Kermit Gosnell murder trial is over, officials involved in investigating the abortion practitioner are able to come forward for the first time and share some of the details of their investigation.
Philadelphia Police crime scene investigator John Taggart was silent for three years about some of the horrors he encountered. While most people are now are of the filthy and unsanitary conditions at Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic and how he kept the remains of aborted babies in the freezer and their severed feet in jars, Taggart provides details about which people may not be familiar.
In a local NBC television station report, Taggart describes the scene at Gosnell’s estate home. While the house would have been exquisite under normal living conditions, Taggart goes on to describe the rancid conditions and the way Gosnell let it deteriorate with his hording and litter — that was so bad his basement was flea infested.
Taggart and his team began searching Gosnell’s properties for fetal remains in February 2010 following an FBI raid of the doctor’s West Philadelphia clinic, the Women’s Medical Society.
Inside Gosnell’s West Philadelphia home, the doctor spared no expense on high-end appliances, large flat-screen TVs and a piano, but Taggart says the 72-year-old surrounded himself with filth.
“He just lived in squalor,” said Taggart. “He would leave plates of food on the floor. There was stuff everywhere in the bedroom. You couldn’t see the bed.”
Gosnell sat at the piano and played Chopin as police donned bio-hazard suits to investigate the contents of his home’s basement.
“As soon as they went down into the basement, they were covered in fleas,” Taggart said. “He actually gave us a bottle of flea repellent and said, ‘See what a nice guy I am? I told you there were fleas in the basement.’ He said ‘I didn’t have to tell ya’s’”
Investigators also visited Gosnell’s shore home in Brigantine, N.J. Taggart says the home was not well-kept, but that the property was “beautiful.”
“It backed up to the bay, he had a beautiful like four-slip boat slip,” he said.
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The Philadelphia Police Crime Scene Unit traveled down the Atlantic City Expressway to search for the remains of unaccounted fetuses.
“We went down there because we thought maybe some of the babies were thrown into the bay,” he said. “There’s a lot of babies that are still unaccounted for that we don’t know where they’re at.”
The team ventured into the bay and pulled up several crab traps owned by Gosnell to see if there were remains inside. However, nothing was found. New Jersey authorities also sent a dive team into the bay before Taggart’s search and were unable to locate any remains.
“I believe they are either buried out there or I don’t know where they are. We’ve looked, we’ve looked for three years,” he said.