Hardcover. ISBN #978-0-9815099-5-9. Publisher: Basket Road Press, Inc. Author: Gary Ludwig. 2012. 260 pp. True crime story. Photos.
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Patricia Ann Wolfe was a child of the 1960’s—born in 1944 amid the social revolution that occurred after World War II. She was raised in Muhlenberg, a suburb of Reading, Pennsylvania, located a hundred miles or so northwest of Philadelphia that included among others the small towns of Temple and Laureldale.
She was popular in school, although at times distant.Many considered her the most beautiful girl in her Muhlenberg High School graduating Class of 1962.
Accused of killing her was her much older husband, the beloved and respected Doctor Irvin Gilmore, known as an eccentric with an intense commitment to his patients. He was arrested and charged with criminal homicide. Her tragic death and the subsequent prosecution of Doctor Gilmore marked the beginning of a long, tangled web of legal proceedings that matched a determined team of prosecutors against a shrewd and well-respected defense attorney.
This book disentangles the police investigation, the roles medical personnel played, the maneuvers of the prosecutors and defense counsel, the conduct of the defendant and other participators, and of course the boundless judicial process that began the minute Patty Gilmore died.
One irrefutable fact exists: Patty Gilmore died tragically in the prime of her life, denied perhaps fifty years of prolonged existence. She missed her turn to be happy, content, and productive, and to mature and age with dignity. She lost the opportunity to continue to enjoy her home, love her family and friends, and experience the good and not-so-good times life serves up to all of us. At age 36 she was dead—forever.
It would be years later that Doctor Irvin Gilmore would be put on trial for criminal homicide. Facts and rumors prevailed and would get mixed up long after Patrolman Thomas Dougherty of the Muhlenberg Police Department entered the Gilmore residence that Thanksgiving morning, November 27, 1980, and failed to recognize the house as a possible crime scene. His job on that gloomy day with overcast clouds, drizzling rain, and a chilly 35 F degrees, was to routinely patrol the affluent villages of the Muhlenberg area and make sure plenty of peaceful quiet was maintained for the traditional family holiday. His patrolling turned out to be far from routine. He happened upon a situation he was not prepared for, and because of that did not follow basic police protocol—he compromised the possible crime scene by traipsing around and handling potential evidence. Most importantly however, he failed to request experienced crime investigators to come to Doctor Gilmore’s home immediately.