Nuclear plant worker’s car crash ruled an accident but evidence points to murder.
45 YEARS AGO
On November 13, 1974, Karen Silkwood, a 28-year-old chemical technician and union activist at a nuclear facility in Oklahoma, left a union meeting at the Hub cafe in Crescent.
She was carrying a binder of documents that detailed corporate malpractices related to plutonium contamination, including her own, at the facility.
Silkwood had decided to go public with the story. She got into her car and headed alone for Oklahoma City, about 30 miles (48 km) away, to meet with a New York Times reporter, and a union official.
RUN OFF THE ROAD
Later that evening, her body was found in her car, which had run off the road and struck a culvert on the side of the highway.
The binder of documents was missing.
The crash was ruled an accident but to this day it is suspected that she crashed and died when her car was rammed from behind by another vehicle.
Damage to the rear of Silkwood’s Honda had not been there before the accident, said her family and friends. They also said that Karen had received death threats before the “accident.”
Silkwood’s family sued the company, Kerr-McGee, for her plutonium contamination. The company settled out of court for $1.38 million, while not admitting liability.
The Silkwood story was chronicled in the 1983 movie ‘Silkwood’ starring Meryl Streep.