A Secret Grave 128: Quack, Quack, Quack


I mused over the death of Sarah Ann Grinnell for days. When I researched the case more closely, I learned that she was at work when she expired. She told colleagues she wasn’t feeling well, left the building, and went to her car where she was found dead behind the wheel. In an interview her roommate, Mary Hernandez, claimed Sarah had been a happy person, very excited about her weight loss and her new lighter body, and that there had been no signs of illness or an impending heart attack. “She loved life and had been planning a trip to Machu Picchu when she was thin enough to climb to the top, always her dream.”


Machu Picchu

Sunrise in Machu Picchu, thecsman, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Asked about Sarah Ann’s relationship to Victor, Mary said, “She adored him. He was helping her find a new life with a healthy diet she could stick to and she was extremely grateful. Personally, though, I worried that she would do anything he told her, and that he was kind of like a guru to her.”


sarah Obituary photo

Sarah Ann Grinnell Obituary Photo (Weight Loss – cropped, Jennifer Morrow, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Well, that rang true. In matters of health, Victor was like a guru. But in a case like this, it could come back and bite him in the ass. There were a flurry of newspaper articles at the time with headlines like this:




Somehow they’d gotten hold of an early photo of Victor that showed him glowering moodily at the world, and that certainly wasn’t good press for him.


graduation photo

Victor (126.Robert Anderson Miller III Taken for Aetna Life Insurance c 1950, In Awe of God’s Creation, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


The newspaper articles suggested that, while Victor was a bonafide dermatologist who’d had success with many patients, he was possibly a quack. “All those gadgets he uses,” mused a fellow dermatologist, “they don’t really accomplish anything. All they do is fool clients into thinking they’ve been healed. It’s kind of psychological.”

Another doctor was quoted as saying people should be warned to stay away from alternative practitioners like Victor. That his kind of medicine held potential risk.

A third doc said, “Those who consult herbalists like Goodlove are wasting time, money, and possibly their own lives.”

Wow. Where had I been? I’d never heard any of this. As usual, I turned to my go-to source, Margot Baum, queen of information. She, after all, was the one who’d introduced me to Victor in the first place.


To be continued…


Cover photo ~ http://assemblyman-eph.blogspot.com/2009/10/relating-to-quacks-quackery-and.html

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