The Stars Are Right: The Irish Rose: Gangland Doctors Experimenting On Kidnaped Children

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Gangland Doctors Experimenting On Kidnaped Children[edit]

All Three Have Rare Blood Disease

Macklin's Girl Also Infected

The two young children rescued from the Purple Gang on Monday share a rare blood disease, the Detroit Evening Times has discovered during the course of an EXCLUSIVE interview to be featured in this Sunday's edition, a condition they share with the Katie Flynn, the "wife" of murdered speakeasy proprietor Danny Macklin.

The virus, dubbed "the necrophage" by Dr. Parkhurst and his team, spreads through blood contact -- through open wounds and sores -- and is therefore difficult, but not impossible, to contract. After becoming infected, progression is slow but steady. Parkhurst's clinic was able to identify a potential treatment for the disease, but not a cure. Victims suffer from anemia and may be plagued by delusions, most commonly that their friends and loved ones have been replaced by nearly-identical duplicates. In extreme cases, victims grow increasingly erratic before slipping into madness, coma, and death.

Nevertheless, many of the infected live long and full lives before succumbing to the disease. Regular blood donations mitigate many of the physical effects of the disease, and emotional support from family and friends can stave off the worst of the mental troubles. Still, the disease leaves its mark, even in the most successfully adapted sufferers. Infected persons appear feverish, with bright, manic eyes over-sensitive to light. They have difficulty eating or drinking, and are therefore often undernourished. There is something a touch otherworldly about the necrophagic, as with many of the seriously ill -- they are possessed of a strange, elfin beauty, even as the disease eats them away from the inside. Like medieval lepers, sufferers have grouped together for mutual support and protection over the years. Disease has often been misinterpreted in this country; as recently as 1859, no less a personage than Henry David Thoreau wrote of the ritual exhumation and subsequent burning of a corpse -- a supposed "vampire" accused of plaguing the town, but most likely a sufferer of some more mundane disease like tuberculosis or necrophagy. It's possible to live with a sufferer of the disease for decades without contracting the condition. Indeed, such an arrangement is not uncommon -- the small communities formed by the infected often include by necessity many uninfected persons. Even when exposed, many are not infected -- it may take several exposures before the disease is spread.

Was it this disease that prompted the kidnaping of the two children rescued earlier this week? Evidence at the site suggested that the Purple Gang or their shadowy employers had conducted medical experiments of an unknown but bloody nature on the helpless bodies of the innocents ripped from their families. Warfare by means of disease is not unknown -- plague victims were often catapulted into besieged towns during the darker periods of the Middle Ages. Could the grasping hand of Europe be reaching forth again to strike at the United States? What connection, if any, does Katie Flynn have with the kidnaped children? Be sure to read this Sunday's Times, when some -- but not, sadly, ALL -- these questions will be answered!

Published August 18, 1932