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Rape - Robberies - Mutilation Number of victims: August 25, Date of birth: Shooting - Stabbing - Beating Location: Sentenced to death on November 7, Died in prison on June 7, He shot her before entering her house. The bullet had ricocheted off the keys she held in her hands, as she lifted them to protect herself. He jumped year-old Tsai-Lian Yu and pulled her out of her car onto the road. He shot her several times and fled. A policeman found her still breathing, but she died before the ambulance arrived.

The two attacks occurring on the same day bolstered media attention, and in turn caused panic and fear among the public. The news media dubbed the attacker, who was described as having long curly hair, bulging eyes and wide-spaced rotting teeth, "The Walk-in Killer" and "The Valley Intruder".

Zazzara's body was mutilated with several stab wounds and a T-carving on her left breast, and her eyes were gouged out. The autopsy determined that the mutilations were post-mortem. This was virtually the only evidence that the police had at the time. Bullets found at the scene were matched to those found at previous attacks, and the police realized a serial killer was on the loose.

Vincent and Maxine's bodies were discovered in their Whittier home by their son, Peter. By this time, a multi-county police investigation was in operation. He left behind more clues to his identity, and was named 'The Night Stalker' by the media. Survivors of his attacks provided the police with a description of a tall Hispanic and long dark haired man. Using lipstick, he drew pentagrams on Keller's thigh and on the wall in the bedroom. Blanche survived the attack.

In June and July, three more women were killed. Two had their throats slit, one was beaten to death, and all three had their homes invaded in the process. On July 5 Whitney Bennett, age 16, survived being beaten with a tire iron. On July 20 he again struck twice. In Sun Valley he shot and killed a year-old man, Chitat Assawahem, and his wife Sakima, 29, was beaten and forced to perform oral intercourse.

Later in the same day a Glendale couple, Maxson Kneiding, 66, and his wife Lela, also 66, were shot and their corpses mutilated. Miraculously, they both survived. The description of their attacker fit the previous ones given for "The Walk-in Killer". The wife survived her wounds and was able to identify her attacker as "The Walk-in Killer" from police sketches.

Since "The Walk-in Killer" no longer fit the modus operandi of the attacker, the news media re-dubbed him the "Night Stalker". He demanded she swear her love for Satan and afterwards, forced her to perform oral intercourse on him. He then tied her and left. A teenager later identified the car from news reports and wrote down half its license plate number. The stolen car was found on August 28, and police were able to obtain one fingerprint that was on the mirror of the vehicle. Two days later, his mugshots were broadcast on national television and printed on the cover of every major newspaper in California.

Jury selection for the case started on July 22, , and on September 20, , he was found guilty of 13 counts of murder, 5 attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. During the penalty phase of the trial on November 7, , he was sentenced to die in California's gas chamber. Nearly 1, prospective jurors were interviewed. Consequently, a metal detector was installed outside of the courtroom and intensive searches were conducted on people entering.

On August 14, the trial was interrupted because one of the jurors, Phyllis Singletary, did not arrive to the courtroom. Later that day she was found shot to death in her apartment. The alternative juror who replaced Singletary was too frightened to return to her home. Since , freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy wrote him nearly 75 letters during his incarceration. On August 7, his first round of state appeals ended unsuccessfully when the California Supreme Court upheld his convictions and death sentence.

On September 7, , the California Supreme Court denied his request for a rehearing. Her throat was slashed. Dayle was shot to death. Murder, attempted murder, robbery. Drug from her car and shot. Two counts of murder, sexual charges. Murder, robbery, sexual charges. Rape, Sodomy, oral copulation, burglary. Burglary, sex charges, robbery. Keller was bludgeoned to death, and satanic symbol were scrawed in various placces. Beaten and throat slashed. Burglary, robbery, sex charges. Both shot to death.

Murder, robbery, burglary, sex offenses. Murder, robbery, burglary, rape. Ramirez, 53, had been taken from San Quentin's death row to a hospital where authorities said he died of liver failure. Prison officials said they could not release further details on the cause of death, citing federal patient privacy laws.

Ramirez had been housed on death row for decades and was awaiting execution, even though it has been years since anyone has been put to death in California.

At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled, "Hail, Satan. His marathon trial, which ended in , was a horror show in which jurors heard about one dead victim's eyes being gouged out and another's head being nearly severed. Courtroom observers wept when survivors of some of the attacks testified. Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in and as well as charges of rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary and attempted murder.

The killing spree reached its peak in the hot summer of , as the nocturnal killer entered homes through unlocked windows and doors and killed men and women with gunshot blasts to the head or knives to the throat, sexually assaulted female victims, and burglarized the residences.

He was dubbed the Night Stalker by the press while residents were warned to lock their doors and windows at night. Some of the crimes were grisly beyond imagining: A man was murdered in his bed and his wife was raped beside the dead body. The killer beat a small child and attempted to sodomize him. There were also signs of devil worship — a pentagram drawn on the wall at one murder scene and survivors' accounts of being ordered to "swear to Satan " by the killer.

Ramirez was finally chased down and beaten in by residents of a blue-collar East Los Angeles neighborhood as he attempted a carjacking. They recognized him after his picture appeared that day in the news media. The trial of Ramirez took a year, but the entire case — bogged down in pretrial motions and appeals — lasted four years, making it one of the longest criminal cases in U. The trial was almost aborted in its final stages when a woman juror was murdered during deliberations.

Jurors were 13 days into talks when the juror failed to appear one morning. She was found beaten and shot to death at the home she shared with her boyfriend. The next day, the man committed suicide and left a note saying he killed her in an argument. Jurors wept when they learned of the tragedy, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan was faced with one of his most trying legal challenges.

Lawyers said there were no legal precedents for the situation. Defense attorneys argued the jurors were too distraught to resume their talks and noted the murder was similar to the gruesome attacks attributed to the Night Stalker. Tynan decided to move forward. It was an experience I will never forget, and I'm glad the ordeal is over.

After the conviction, Ramirez flashed a two-fingered "devil sign" to photographers and muttered a single word: On his way to a jail bus, he sneered in reaction to the verdict, muttering: Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland. The black-clad killer, unrepentant to the end, made his comment in an underground garage after the jury recommended the death penalty for his gruesome crimes.

Inexplicably, Ramirez, a native of El Paso, Texas, had a following of young women admirers who came to the courtroom regularly and sent him love notes. Some visited him in prison, and in Ramirez was married to year-old freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy in a visiting room at San Quentin prison.

Her whereabouts could not be determined on Friday. She was not listed as Ramirez's next of kin, prison spokesman Samuel Robinson said in an email. In , the California Supreme Court upheld Ramirez's convictions and death sentence. Supreme Court refused in to review the convictions and sentence. Ramirez still had appeals pending when he died. His lawyers claimed the case should have been moved out of Los Angeles and said Ramirez was incompetent to stand trial.


Alton Ochsner, MD: Physician

From your first drive up to the house to the delicious breakfast the following morning, you get the impression that the owners are well schooled in culinary arts and 5 star service. We will be back. This stay at the Beall mansion was beyond our expectations. We felt welcomed and the room was perfectly decorated,clean, had a fireplace and amazing bathroom.

We had a wonderful gourmet breakfast in bed and a couple message in our room. We will be back! The innkeepers Jim and Sandy were very hospitable and kind to us during our stay.

They made us feel as if we were royalty that weekend. The room was beautiful and it took me right back to the early turn of the twentieth century!! The whirlpool tub was probably one of our favorite features of the room. Breakfast was served hot to us in bed on sunday morning making us feel even more special and more like royalty. We did a little eagle watching, took in a play, and spent an afternoon in grafton shopping and dining Jim and Sandy thank you for making us feel like royalty!!

My wife and I were looking for a way to escape the hustle and bustle of St. Louis to celebrate our wedding anniversary when we happened upon the Beall Mansion. Our only regret was that our schedules limited our first stay to only one night! Jim was a fantastic host. We felt transported back to a different time where we could truly enjoy time together away from the distractions of modern life. From the 24 hour chocolate bar to the night cap in the sitting room before retiring for the night to the excellent gourmet breakfast, we were consistently surprised and impressed by the entire experience.

We are already planning our next trip back to the Beall Mansion, but next time we'll be sure to stay longer. John and Sandy are the perfect hosts. Attention is made to even the smallest detail. Always available and smiling but never intrusive.

Enjoyed a beautiful weekend in Alton--hiking Pierre Marquette in the chill early winter air, shopping and drinking wine in Grafton and wonderful dining in Alton. The Bealle breakfast upgrade was well worth it.

Did one morning in the dining room and 1 in bed. Can't wait to go back. My groom and I live in St Louis, but couldn't go on a honeymoon right after or wedding so we decided to stay a night at the Beall Mansion. The amenities with our pampered getaway package were perfect! Whirlpool, gas fireplace,a delicious breakfast in bed and the service was outstanding.

The three layer feather bed made it a great nights rest. We look forward to visiting Jim and Sandy again! Jim and Sandy are absolutely wonderful! The bed was luxurious. The food was amazing! It was a great get away at a beautiful place.

Close to St Louis to enjoy the Fox Theater too! The Beall mansion was a step back in time. We were greeted upon arrival with champagne and chocolates!! We had a wonderful suite, with a whirlpool tub in the bath. There was a carafe of water and full ice bucket in our room waiting for us.

The refrigerator on the first floor was stocked with soda for our convenience. We were served a wonderful gourmet breakfast by Jim in his tuxedo. Great stay, great value!!

We arrived at the beall mansion to be greeted at the door by Jim, who I might add was dressed in a tuxedo. He was getting the guest before us escorted to there room and he had us sign the book while we waited in the parlor. He came back an escorted us to this beautiful room and explained the furnishing of the room and made sure we had everything before he left.

I was a relaxing and wonderful stay. We had a fantastic gourmet 4 course breakfast the next morning. A beautiful home with great hosts, history and personal touches. I absolutely loved it. The room was so quiet and comfortable I found myself staying in every evening. The innkeepers were very attentive and personable. Enjoyed myself so much I can't wait to return.

You won't be disappointed with your stay here! We wanted a retreat and fun day with our son and daughter-n-law and decided to go to Grafton. First, we started out at Cahokia Mounds, then to Fast Eddies, checked into our beautiful Bed and Breakfast and was welcomed so wonderfully by Jim.

Breakfast in bed was quite a treat and delicious. Jim and Sandy were perfect hosts. We especially enjoyed Jim's stories and history. The place is very peaceful and definitely elegant.

I enjoyed sitting in the rooms and thinking about all the history. The neighborhood has many interesting homes and we took a stroll down the street.

We could not have been more pleased with our choice of accommodation! Spent three nights in this warm and inviting home. Jim and Sandy were perfect hosts and the service and rooms were exceptional. We intended to visit St Louis and use the mansion as our base but enjoyed Alton, Grafton and the mansion so much that we only made it to St.

Louis for 4 hours. I would highly recommend the Beall Mansion to one and all. During our recent visit to the St. Louis area we had the pleasure of staying at the Beall Mansion for two evenings. We were warmly greeted by Jim upon arrival with a tour and a brief history. The rooms were most elegant and spotlessly clean. The Sunday morning gourmet brunch was beyond any expectation with Jim not only serving, but providing additional detailed history of the mansion and surrounding area.

The Beall Mansion exceeded our expectations again! This was our second time of staying and we had a good experience and did last time also. Upon arrival we were greeted by Jim who made us feel at home, we were given champaign, and he carried our bags to our room.

The whole house has been restored and is very clean. The beds are so soft and cozy best night's sleep we have had in a while. Breakfast in bed was delicious and would highly recommend the upgrade. It was a great getaway that was close to home. We will for sure be back to stay again! We choose to spend Valentines day at the Beal and we were impressed!! Chocolate bar, beverages and the breakfast was perfect!! Everything was taking care of. Room with rose pedals, champagne we had it all to include bedtime brandy ; Jim and Sandy were awesome and very accommodating and full of history.

We will be back!! The home was beautiful and comfortable. We were welcomed with champaigne and then given a tour of the main floor of the home.

We were then escorted to our room. Our room was spacious with a comfortable queen size bed. We had a separate bathroom with a whirpool tub. A continental breakfast was included in the stay, but we chose to have the option of breakfast in the dining room. It was several delicious courses served on fine china. Sandy and Jean were so kind and gracious. They both made us feel at home.

We also enjoyed the area and plan on going back to visit. Service was amazing and the gourmet breakfast in bed was well worth it!! We had a belated Valentines stay and were so pleasantly surprised with how nice it was at the Beall Mansion. Jim greeted us and made us welcome, and then we got to enjoy a late afternoon in the organ room together playing music and telling stories. The area restaurants were very good and then - most importantly - our room in the Senator Beall Suite did not disappoint!

Every little detail was carefully attended to, and from the music, to the lights and the chandelier and the wondrous Jacuzzi, we were extremely pleased. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Room was large and comfortable Service was very friendly. Very quiet spot, great for getting away from work and the city. Breakfast was excellent - had purchased the 'Getaway Pkg' so we were served breakfast in bed. Would definitely go back.

We stayed at the Beall mansion February The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The all you can eat chocolate bar is wonderful. There is a nice variety of chocolates and other sweets readily available at all hours! We also enjoyed hot beverages any time we wanted. We chose to have the continental breakfast, and it was delicious. There was a good variety of choices including homemade granola! Jim and Sandy are wonderful hosts.

We could not have asked for a better stay! We stayed at the Beall Mansion Feb. When we first arrived we were greeted by Jim in full butlers attire. Jim is very friendly and gave us a tour and history of the Mansion. Jim and Sandy have done a very good job of restoring the Mansion to it's glory. It is decorated in early 's period furnishings. This brings out the splendor of the mansion and its beauty.

Each rooms wood trim type is different as the original owner Mr. Beall owned a lumber company. This is unusual and beautiful to see. Any room to stay in would be good, none better than the other. The mansion is centrally located in Alton and close to many attractions.

Jim was extremely helpful in our decision of resturants. He is also very knowledgable about Alton and the surrounding area. We will visit again as the service is personalized and he saw to all our needs. I recommend the Beall Mansion to anyone. My wife and I ordered the spa getaway and have a very nice stay. It was extremely relaxing. The mansion is fabulous and is decorated beautifully.

We will visit again. The staff were very profesional and friendly. Historic building, with great decor. The accommodations are beautiful and comfortable. Jim and Sandy are extremely knowledgeable of the history of the house.

They accommodate all your needs. The champagne was a treat! I feather bed was so comfortable This is truly an experience you should not miss. We stayed in the Veranda room.. The Beall Mansion was a great bed and breakfast. Jim showed us around and explained everything. We just enjoyed a short getaway at the Beall Mansion. It was so peaceful and the perfect place to relax. The hospitality, dining, and cleanliness were wonderful. I have nothing negative to say! I recommend to all! We had a fantastic time and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Jim and Sandy were great host and showed us the best hospitality. The owners could not have been better host. The service could not have been better. It is as good as a 5 star hotel. The Beall Mansion gift certificate was a wonderful experience. We loved the hospitality, cleanliness, breakfast in bed and the beauty of the Mansion.

Jean did a wonderful job taking care of us, and we very much enjoyed hearing about the history from Jim. All in all, a delightful experience. I enjoyed every minute. The Belotes are some of the kindest people you would ever want to meet. They were very accomodating and you get the sense that they truly have a love for people.

The bed was very comfortable. The room was nicely furnished. I had some studying to do while there and the room was perfect for doing that. I enjoyed the chocolate buffet. It was also interesting to just walk around looking at the furnishing and imagining what it would have been like living there before my time.

It was an excellent experience. My husband and I recently picked the Beall Mansion for a 2-day getaway. We enjoyed the beautifully appointed antique-filled rooms and the delicious gourmet breakfast.

Another highlight was the unlimited chocolate bar! The peaceful atmosphere was relaxing and refreshing. A great place to be pampered. We would certainly recommend it! I had booked a romantic getaway for myself and my wife. We were overwhelmed with the elegance of this beautifully restored historical mansion. We were treated like royalty form the moment we arrived and enjoyed a glass of champagne as we were given a tour.

The decor is beautiful and the room was exactly as I had booked online. It is quiet, relaxing and Jim, Sandy and the staff catered to our every need with unsurpassed hospitality. If your looking for a relaxing, quiet getaway full of history and nostalgia then this is the place.

We will definitely be coming back as soon as possible! From the time we arrived we felt at home, and was pleasantly surprised at the length they went to to make our stay special. We stayed in the Sen. Beall room and everything was perfect. Could not recommend more highly. We stayed at the Beall to celebrate our wedding anniversary and "get away" for a couple of days. The experience was delightful on every level. My husband and I stayed at the Beall Mansion for our 18th wedding anniversary.

The mansion was beautiful, full of history and intrigue, and the amount of small ammenities far exceeded our expectations. And the food was excellent! We will definitely be back! The staff was welcoming and helpful. Not only did they provide us with excellent service but they also gave us a history of the mansion. The room was amazing and breakfast in bed was incredible. Wonderful service,breakfast was fantastic..

Which literally was placed on us while we stayed in bed!.. The house was gorgous. The room was wonderful, warm, soft music filled the air. The room was very private, quiet from other guests. Sleeping was a great experience as well. The breakfast - mouth watering. All good, great, superb. The owners were very friendly. Very informative about the house's history. Very down to earth people. Loved everything about the whole weekend at the Beall Mansion. This bed and breakfast is first rate. You host Jim and Sandy are the best.

You come away feeling like royalty. We booked our night stay without recommendation. We were looking for someplace special, someplace memorable What a blessing and wonderful surprise!!!! We look forward to a return trip!!!

This Bed and Breakfast is a great place to hang one's hat! The house is immaculate, with beautiful decorations and ambience. The staff is outstanding- service was excellent, food was excellent, and our room was very comfortable. We especially enjoyed the whirlpool tub and the balcony.

I would highly recommend the Beall Mansion. My wife and I plan on visiting there again, the next time we visit family in Alton. We recently stayed at the Beall Mansion for a quick getaway. The house is spectacular. Lots of neat historic features. The hosts are delightful and attentive to every detail.

Rooms are beautiful and comfortable. We look forward to returning soon. My husband booked a 2 night stay at the Beall mansion as a combination 30th anniversary and birthday celebration. The rooms were beautiful, the gourmet breakfasts amazing, and Jim and Sandy were very warm and accomodating.

The chocolate buffet was a nice touch! We will definitely return! We stayed at the Beall Mansion for 5 nights in May and had a wonderful time. Jim, Sandy and Jean were all so nice and took so very good care of us. The gourmet breakfasts were excellent and the bed was extremely comfortable. The Beall Mansion provided the most romantic setting for our April wedding.

We were married in the beautiful gardens outside the Mansion among white and pink blooming dogwoods along with other colorful spring budding flowers and greenery. The pictures taken outside and within the mansion reflect the romance of our special day. We know we selected the perfect location to start our life together. Our wedding reception included a beautiful and delicious two tiered cake much larger than expected along with the Beall Mansion special punch, both of which we got to enjoy again with our breakfast in bed the next morning.

Our room was heavenly and filled with special touches left to meet our every need. Did I mention the scrumptious chocolates left in the room, or the hour chocolate buffet in the dining room? We were pampered in every way. The attention to detail from Jim and Sandy made everything perfect. There were no worries from the time we arrived. It was as if we were transported into a world that catered only to us. We will forever cherish our wedding memories created by the Beall Mansion.

We highly recommend the Beall Mansion for anyone looking for a truly romantic wedding and honeymoon package or just a romantic get away. You will not be disappointed!! We were made to feel like royalty and cannot wait to return again and again. Everything was just perfect, this is a beautiful Mansion, all the details in decor are wonderful.

Our breakfast in bed was the icing on the cake. From being greeted by a tuxedo-ed host Jim , to the hour chocolate bar to the beautiful rooms, our stay was amazing! Our room the Mary Harris Room was incredible- very elegant, but not stuffy. I highly recommend booking a room here! My husband and I celebrated our fifth anniversary at The Beall Mansion.

It also included chocolates on our pillow each night. We added on an in-room massage for two. The massage therapists were both professional and courteous. And the relaxing bath in the whirlpool tub afterwards, with the homemade lavender bath salts was absolutely unforgettable. Read the rest of my review at: I felt like every detail was addressed. The Breakfast in bed was a first for my Girl and I. We enjoyed the spacious tub and Jim was able to get reservations to a nice place without any issues.

I will be back and feel like this maybe a start to a once a year event. Thank you for your house and such a great experiance. Once inside, everywhere we gazed were wonderful things: We were transported back to 19th century opulence by walking through this door in Alton, Illinois. Scintillating fireside conversation and brandy followed before we were shown to our room. There was also a walk-in shower, sink, and every imaginable toiletry available, along with two elegant bathrobes in our specific sizes for us to use then take home.

We enjoyed visits to the Mississippi River yacht club, parks, and museum, but our time at the Beall Mansion was heavenly. Then we retired to the whirlpool tub for a soak, and discovered a bottle of lavender crystals especially for us. The fire and bed were so inviting, and we enjoyed a romantic night together any Honeymoon couple would envy.

An escape to the Beall Mansion will put you in another world, another time, and if you visit in winter, even in another season. We stayed in the upper rooms,very relaxing and quiet. The mansion has been restored sparing no expense,just beautiful in every way. Warm friendly service, elegant room with a private verandah among the treetops. Perfect for a private celebration. A romantic evening walk among the mansions of old Alton was a highlight of the visit. First off the mansion is beautiful! From the building structure to the antique furniture made it like stepping into a time machine and being transported to over a years ago!

Jim and staff were very friendly and helpful we didn't get the chance to meet Sandy. The chocolate bar was great, breakfast in bed was excellent, and the bed was very comfortable! My wife and I had a very memorable 1rst year anniversary at the Beall mansion and look forward to staying there again in the future!

Beautiful place to stay. Good complimentary breakfast and endless chocolate bar. Rooms were furnished with all the conveniences of home. Our stay at the Beall Mansion was very peaceful and quiet. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the mansion was decorated beautifully and truly made you feel as though you had walked into the past. We enjoyed both the whirlpool bath and the balcony we had. We had a wonderful evening at the mansion.

We will definately be back to stay again. The building itself is very clean,beautiful, and has amazing craftsmanship. We enjoyed a night sipping tea and eating chocolate on our private balcony, a relaxing time in our whirlpool, lit by chandelier light.

And, a wonderful night sleep on our feather top bed. The had a nice continental breakfast in the morning. This bed and breakfast is a great place to stay, my husband and I recently stayed here and were very happy! Our children also surprised us while we were there to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary We went there for our 25th wedding anniversary and it was wonderful.

We had never stayed in a bed and breakfast before. I enjoyed my stay so much, I didn't want to leave. The owners are so friendly and only want to please. They will learn what you like, from how you take your coffee at breakfast to your favorite chocolate. The rooms are not only beautiful, but oh so comfortable. A very relaxing visit. After four days of wedding events, I came home relaxed and refreshed because of the excellent service and beautiful environment at the Beall Mansion.

Thank you, Jim and Sandy. Lee W-M, Austin, Texas. After being divorced for forty years,Gary and I have decided to reconnect. In doing so, we found the Beall Mansion online and made reservations. The welcome, the room, the dining,the grounds and especially, the overall warm feeling we received while being a guest was outstanding.

Jim and Sandy went out of their way to make us feel pampered and at home. They provided every possible amenity to make sure we had everything we needed while a guest at the mansion.

Would I recommend the Beall Mansion to everyone I know? The experiece of staying in a mansion was wonderful. My wife and I stayed June 11th till the 13 th and we had never been To some place so wonderful and nice the staff Jim and sandy were amazing And so helpful in our stay.

Jim even took the time to explain the history of the mansion. We will for sure return soon! We stayed here in January on an Eagle watching adventure for 1 night. Alton Ochsner noted that the person who most influenced his life was his father. School lessons were easy for Dr. In the early grades he finished his assignments before anybody else, then he looked around for something to do, often ending in trouble. Alton's mother told the teacher to assign him extra reading, which solved the problem.

He then completed a 2-year premedical course and a 2-year medical school program with a grade point average of 3. When Alton finished at the University of South Dakota on June 3, , he needed to obtain the qualifications necessary to become a practicing physician, specifically a surgeon 2. At this time Albert John AJ Ochsner became his mentor and started him on the path that would lead Alton Ochsner to develop into one of the best-trained surgeons in the United States 3.

After obtaining his medical degree in , Alton Ochsner trained in internal medicine for 1 year at Barnes Hospital and subsequently became AJ's surgical resident in Chicago. Some of Alton's recollections are important notes to the development of his professional life.

As an example, though Alton was used to working long hours at the University of South Dakota and very much enjoyed his new life in surgery, he found that it was difficult to keep up with AJ's schedule. AJ eventually imparted to Alton the work habits that shaped his future.

No one heard the mature Alton Ochsner express any reluctance about working long and hard. AJ was able to arrange surgical residences for Alton with two of the best medical surgeons in the world: Edward William Alton Ochsner Jr. All three boys went on to become great surgeons in their own right. Upon his return from Europe, he practiced surgery in Chicago before leaving to become a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. It was a new school, and all of the clinical faculty were relatively young and very enthusiastic.

In , just as Alton Ochsner was settling in Wisconsin, the famous Rudolph Matas was readying for retirement from his long-standing position as a Chairman of Surgery at the Tulane University School of Medicine. Bass, advocated bringing in someone from outside the school to fill the surgery chair and devote all of his time to Tulane. Under the same arrangement, John H. Musser had become Chairman of the Department of Medicine a year earlier.

Musser had hired George Herrmann, who had trained with Alton Ochsner at Barnes, as a member of the faculty of the Department of Medicine. In January , at the age of 30, Alton Ochsner received a letter from Dean Bass inviting him to interview for the position of Chairman of the Department of Surgery 2.

The position was offered to and accepted by Alton Ochsner, and, in the summer of , he became the new Chairman of Surgery. It was a controversial appointment. He was only 31 years old and seemed an unlikely candidate to succeed the idolized Rudolph Matas. Although Tulane did not have its own hospital, Alton Ochsner succeeded in organizing one of the America's premier surgical teaching programs at New Orleans' Charity Hospital, an institution that provided invaluable clinical and research opportunities to Ochsner and his students.

The founding of the Ochsner Clinic along with four other Tulane physicians was one of many of Alton Ochsner's accomplishments and perhaps his greatest legacy 1 , 2. By opening the Ochsner Clinic on January 2, , Dr. But the Clinic would not have been possible if not for the high regard in which the partners and Dr. Ochsner, in particular were held in the New Orleans community.

Caldwell's patients was the wife of Rudolf S. Hecht, the chairman of the board of Hibernia National Bank. Caldwell arranged a meeting between the banker and Alton Ochsner. Hecht arranged for the Hibernia bank to lend the partners up to half a million dollars on their signatures alone. Hecht, this clinic never would have been. He took a chance. Alton Ochsner's leadership in the group was never challenged.

The hard work at Tulane University was bringing local and national recognition. He also added that other clinics in the country were named after their chief surgeons; for example, the Mayo and Lahey clinics.

Later, the creation of the Ochsner Medical Foundation allowed the development of academic programs and research that distinguished the Ochsner Institutions from other private practice groups. Today, their vision has been proven right. The Ochsner Clinic Foundation is one of the largest group practices and academic centers in the nation 2. In his work in the Clinic, Alton Ochsner was always dependable and always on time.

He used his political weight when he felt that something was important for the Clinic. On him were bestowed numerous honors, including the presidencies of many national and international medical societies. Thousands of Hispanic patients came to Ochsner for treatment. Alton Ochsner made many contributions to medicine and surgery, but he will always be remembered for exposing the hazards of tobacco and its link to lung cancer.

He was the first anti-smoking crusader. In , in a paper published in Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, he and Dr.

His peers criticized him, but his ideas about tobacco prevailed. Four years after Dr. Ochsner's death, Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals created the Alton Ochsner Award, to be presented annually to individuals and organizations for their efforts to help people stop smoking 2. In , Alton Ochsner was required to retire from performing surgery because of the clinic's rules regarding age.

Merrill Hines, the medical director of the Clinic at the time, had to deliver the reminder that Dr. Ochsner needed to retire in April Hines owed his medical career to Dr. Ochsner, and it was a difficult message for him to deliver. Ochsner's reaction was as expected: Hines waited a couple of weeks, and then paid another visit to Dr. If you won't abide by it then there is no alternative but to tear it up and we'll rewrite it.

On April 28 , Dr. Ochsner performed his last seven operations; whereupon, doctors and nurses gave him a farewell party with cake and punch. Though he was no longer performing surgical procedures, he continued to see patients until his death following an attempted aortic valve replacement and coronary bypass surgery on September 6, 2.

Several hundred persons came to pay their respects. Many people spoke of the various roles that Dr. Ochsner assumed during life. Perhaps the most pointed summary of his life was the message from President and Mrs.

Reagan, read to those assembled by Louisiana Governor David C. All the physicians he mentored throughout the years agreed with President and Mrs. You are not treating disease, but people. I remember that day. I remember thinking that for all his accolades, Alton Ochsner was a doctor in the true sense of the word, first and foremost he wanted to help patients to get well. It would take several pages to appropriately describe Alton Ochsner and to appropriately reflect upon his personality.

I will briefly examine some of my most favorite. During his tenure at Tulane, Dr. Ochsner created a diagnostic clinic that became known as the bull pen. This method of teaching made a mark on all the medical students at Tulane 2. The procedure was to have a senior medical student examine a patient in 20 to 30 minutes at Charity Hospital. The student then had to present his case in the amphitheatre and defend his diagnosis against Dr.

He also described diagnosis as largely a matter of common sense. If you know the fundamentals and if you know what makes an organ work and you know the interplay of various organs, you can figure out the symptoms pretty well.

I emphasized that they had to have a reason. Whenever they made a diagnosis, they had to have a reason. I've often said that if your reasoning is correct, if you get the right information and your reasoning is correct, you'll almost invariably come out with the right diagnosis. You may not, but I'd rather have the person reason correctly and come up with the wrong diagnosis-but you usually do not. If a person can think along in a logical sequence, things will pretty well unfold 2.

Ochsner did not like tricky cases. Ochsner would say 2. One of his innovations at Tulane was to use journals as a learning tool rather than textbooks. My personal opinion is that these concepts stood the passage of time; they are very important tools for teaching today and demonstrate the quality of Dr. Ochsner was a source of strength to the physicians and residents who worked with him.

During his medical career, Dr. Ochsner served as a mentor for many surgeons: Paul DeCamp, John B. The latter collaborated with Dr. Ochsner on many projects including the treatment of coronary disease, cancer of the lung, and ligation of the vena cava to prevent pulmonary embolism. DeBakey and Ochsner developed a close relationship.

DeBakey used to serve as a baby-sitter for the four Ochsner children. He later moved to Houston and continued his close ties with Ochsner, subsequently training Dr. Ochsner's first two sons Alton Ochsner, Jr. DeBakey became one of the most important figures in the world of cardiovascular surgery, he still related an incident that occurred when he was a resident that portrays the qualities of Dr.

Ochsner's mentorship and the importance he placed on mentoring and helping younger physicians develop confidence:. A patient with an infected patent ductus arteriosus was being operated on in the Charity Hospital amphitheatre, which was filled with visiting surgeons attending a surgical congress in New Orleans.

I was assisting Dr. Ochsner, and during the procedure and following his instructions, I was attempting to dissect and free up the aorta with my index finger on my side of the vessel in coordination with his efforts on his side when I suddenly realized, with a gripping terror, that I had entered the aorta.

The infection had made the wall of the vessel very friable. In a whisper that must have expressed my trepidation, I informed Dr.

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