Karen Silkwood death still unsolved

Nuclear plant worker’s car crash ruled an accident but evidence points to murder.


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.


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. 

Karen Silkwood death unsolved

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.

Karen Silkwood bio here

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12 thoughts on “Karen Silkwood death still unsolved

  1. Despite the fact she was so young, she had the courage and the strength to reveal things and stuff. How much i admire this !

    This had a cost, though. Which makes me angry. “Who doesn’t get angry when he listens to something like this ?”, you ‘re gonna say. Who doesn’t ?

  2. Indeed! And she paid for it with her life! And the bastards who killed her were never caught! Huge coverup! Shocking injustice!

  3. Do you think, Sir, that the same thing would have happened today ? After some 45 years which is the distance from Karen Silkwood’s story.

  4. Yes I do. This is America, and as much as I love living here, it’s still the same corrupt, coverup-for-big-business crooked land it’s always been.

  5. I, also, Love U.S. And how much i love the people here ! For many reasons.

    Probably, dear Sir, she would have been able to tell (or uncover, if you wish) her story much more quick, without having to get into the car to meet the reporter or some union people, due to the way or the speed that the contemporary tech offers to us. And probably she would have time to protect herself.

    Of course, these are some assumptions of mine. No one can go back and change anything. To remember and to honor her youth, though, is important.