View Full Version : Karen Silkwood apartment...

08-01-2006, 02:00 AM
Hi, newb here to the forum...from Yukon. :spin:

Just out of morbid curiousity,

I was just wondering where the old Karen Silkwood (formerly-contaminated) apartment was located at...and if it's still there? I heard it was over by UCO.

I drive a truck locally and go to Edmond a few times a week. There was a few places just looking around where I thought it could be like the Rolling Green apartments with the 3 (triplex?) apartments on the east side of the complex on Danforth and Boulevard. Possibly? idk...if that's it they must've remodeled a lot... or the run down apartments right off 2nd and Blackwelder up the hill behind Wal-Mart Neighborhood.

Then, I was thinking, maybe they tore it down and built the WM Supercenter where it used to be at around 2000? Just something I was wondering about after reading the Richard Rashke book about the Silkwood case, watching the A&E documentaries about her, and going to the "accident" scene on HWY 74 and some places in Guthrie and Crescent. For some reason this whole thing really interests me, it's kind of spooky. Any help is much appreciated, Thanks. -Mike.

08-01-2006, 11:36 AM
For those who don't know about the Karen Silkwood story.. Here is a link.. I had no idea..

08-01-2006, 12:52 PM
Nothing was torn down for the Walmart Supercenter. It was empty land.

08-01-2006, 05:06 PM
My half-sister's step daughter is married to Drew Stephens (Silkwood's boyfriend at that time). Typical backwoods Oklahoma family tree. Don't ask me any questions though - I only met him one time and it was almost 20 years ago. Just tought I would pass that connection on to you.

08-01-2006, 05:38 PM
I never knew the big draw to karen silkwood......

08-01-2006, 05:44 PM
Karen Silkwood was trying to uncover unethical practices led by KerrMcGee at the time. It was never proven, but it's pretty much known that KerMcGee hired a hit man to run her off the road and kill her to prevent her from testifying.

Bobby H
08-01-2006, 05:56 PM
Hooray big business. Kill your employees. And how dare they have any problem with it.

08-01-2006, 06:06 PM
Karen Silkwood's apartment, according to my research, was just east of UCO. They are older apartment structures and was used as overflow off-campus housing for then CSU campus students. Many students still live there.

08-01-2006, 06:12 PM
Karen had taken plutonium rods from the plant home with her, just to show how lax security was at the plant. Karen was trying to get the plant shut down.

08-01-2006, 06:25 PM
frontier city should make a silkwood ride.

Bobby H
08-01-2006, 06:28 PM
Either way, if Karen Silkwood was deliberately trying to sabotage the plant or if it was gross negligence on the part of Kerr McGee, the entire outcome was inexcuseable.

I have an uncle, a retired US Army Colonel who drove tanks in the Vietnam war, who has worked at the PANTEX facility near Amarillo for nearly 2 decades. He jokes that it is the most secure site on planet Earth. They take even the most minute passing detail extremely seriously out there. They store more weapons grade plutonium, plutonium triggers and other components of dismantled nuclear weapons on that site than any other place in the world.

Even if Karen Silkwood managed to smuggle plutonium rods out of that Kerr-McGee facility, the very idea that she could manage to do that is enough reason to completely kill the Kerr-McGee corporation for negligence. If some poor white chick is able to smuggle plutonium out of the plant then what's going to stop some determined terrorists from doing the same thing -and then doing far far worse with the material they aquired?

Any facility handling nuclear materials should have an absolute zero tolerance of error and neglect. If someone is trying to do something funny, like smuggling plutonium rods out of the plant, their security should be able to catch them immediately and then viciously throw their ass in jail for a very long time. In not catching someone doing that demonstrates an extreme failure in security and is very intolerable.

08-01-2006, 06:33 PM
What's even more intolerable is that KerrMcGee was trying to cover it up by destroying the evidence: Karen Silkwood. By the way, KerrMcGee settled the case out of court.

Bobby H
08-01-2006, 06:46 PM
And that's ultimately the most sad thing of all. Extreme crimes are made totally okay or just conveniently forgotten if a check with enough zeros behind a positive integer is signed.

In our world today, any such thing should be deemed an act of extreme treason. The stakes are so much higher now with so many despots around the world cultivating the cult of personality and lying to countless minions.

Our own complancency will be our source of doom. Sure, that sounds really over the top, but considering the subject of control and management on nuclear materials, I think it is very appropriate.

The most obsessive compulsive, anal rententive, stick in the mud, geek boy, snot nose, snobbery kind of nit picking is absolutely 100% justified when it comes to securing and managing nuclear material. Any, "oh this measure is good enough" attitude should be met with a baseball bat across the teeth. It is that deadly serious. There is no room for debate, argument, who's a liberal or who's a conservatite. In this matter there is only zero and all the way.

08-01-2006, 07:25 PM
My half-sister's step daughter is married to Drew Stephens (Silkwood's boyfriend at that time). Typical backwoods Oklahoma family tree. Don't ask me any questions though - I only met him one time and it was almost 20 years ago. Just tought I would pass that connection on to you.

Wow, thanks for the replies everyone...

Just another note about Drew Stephens (Karen's on-and-off boyfriend at the time). He died back in 1995 while flying a stunt plane that he crashed. I believe it was over at C.E. Page Airport between Yukon and El Reno. He is now buried over at the cemetary near Rockwell and NW 63rd in OKC.

She did smuggle at least one fuel rod back to her apartment because on the A&E History's Mysteries documentary there's taped phone convo's between her and Steve Wodka (he was a Union rep from Washington D.C. and now is an injury lawyer). She said on the tape that she "kept" one of the fuel rods.

The Kerr-McGee Cimarron plant is still there off HW 33 and 74, and the crash site/culvert is only 1 mile south of the plant. I guess they're still monitoring and cleaning up the facility. Probably will be a constant thing they have to do. This whole thing goes well beyond the movie Silkwood from '83, I saw that when I was a kid before moving to Oklahoma. I wonder what happened to Sherri Ellis (her roommate in Edmond), I know she still lives in Guthrie and have heard that she's had some mental problems over all of this. Actually getting arrested, for carrying a rifle up to the Kerr-McGee gates and screaming "Why don't you kill me, too!" Even though this happened going on 32 years ago, it still fascinates me. All the details and people involved, the cover-ups from Kerr-McGee, to the FBI, to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

I believe they (?), were trying to flag her down and scare her to get the documents and possible evidence she had collected. Her, being a race enthusiast and being scared out of her mind, it being dark out she raced along the opposite shoulder of the road with the other chase vehicle in the left lane, blocking her from getting back onto the road. Then she hit the culvert and flew her car into the other side, head on into the concrete wingwall. It's very intersting that 2 of the first people on the scene of the crash site were the Documents Control Manager and the Safety Manager from Kerr-McGee. They had the car towed to Jim Sebring's car dealership in Crescent and confiscated any incriminating documents from the car before Drew, Steve Wodka, and David Burnham (the New York Times reporter) could get a hold of them. Drew then got permission to take the car and he hid it in a friend's garage (Bob Ivins)in Oklahoma City.

Maybe that was the apartment north, up the hill, on 2nd and Blackwelder (it's east of UCO, back then CSU). I'll have to look again when I get a chance. Thanks -Mike.

...and I agree with Bobby H.

08-01-2006, 07:41 PM
It was no accident. Evidence showed that she was hit from behind. They purposely tried to kill her. Of course, now they claim she fell asleep at the wheel, but that's the biggest cover up.

08-01-2006, 08:18 PM
Sad and True, it was murder or manslaughter. According to the Rashke book and FBI documents she was headed south down HWY 74 toward OKC, (the plant is right on the left side past the Cimarron River bridge.) The chase vehicle followed her and she turned right onto a farm road (Industrial Rd. -Sherri Ellis's father owned that farm there and that's where the book hints she kept the evidence hidden) a bit past the HWY 33/74 intersection with the vehicle chasing her. Then, she made a U-turn and passing the car going the other way. She then made a left turn going back north on 74 like she was going to head back to Crescent and toward the plant. Then quickly made another U-turn to the right onto the grass and kept on the left grass shoulder again south toward OKC with the chase vehicle to her right blocking her way back onto the road. Then, without knowing it was there, hitting the culvert head on. She did take Quaaludes, they were in her system during autopsy, but her tolerence had to be pretty high to them. Why would she take too many and fall asleep, especially while driving to such an important meeting? The Guthrie PD part of the cover up.

Investigators did site there was a dent on the left rear bumper consistant with a taller vehicle that wasn't from pulling the car out with the tow truck. A tractor-trailer driver was first at the scene, but that's a little too tall to put a dent in the bumper of a '73 Honda Civic.

08-01-2006, 08:46 PM
Drew Stephens is dead huh? Shows how much I keep in contact with "family".

08-13-2006, 02:24 PM
On Main St. between Baumann and Blackwelder just north of 2nd St. and east of UCO....small 3 apt. triplex... Apartment #2. That's my guess.

??????????????? I still don't think I found it yet.

I've driven around that area about 4 different times and nothing looks like the apartment on the A&E videos.

You know how little things you DON'T REALLY need to know kind of eat at your brain and drive you...a bit :tweeted:

:beaten_fi ...sorry.

08-13-2006, 05:55 PM
You might ask to check the police reports. Research for a book, article, blah, blah, blah....Or maybe just ask a longtimer at the Edmond PD, chances are, they'll remember since it was high-profile.

By the way, the Richard Rashke book was awesome, best book I've read on the subject.

I just thought of someone else who might know. Jim Ikard served on her defense team and is a local attorney. I'm not sure he's still in practice, but I bet he could tell you - or find out. I just looked him up - he's listed in the Yellow Pages: 834-9117 .....
Good luck!


08-14-2006, 04:45 PM
Hey thanks writeranger! I'll look into that, it could work. I've even thought of trying to get a copy of her death certificate somewhere online. One of the A&E documentaries shows parts of it and that had mainly Drew's and Karen's old house in OKC listed on it, but it cuts off the number address. Just says NW 48th St....her last known residence after they confiscated everything from the Edmond apartment.

Sorry, I've become obsessed a bit with this subject.

It's old news but it's interesting to me, maybe because all of this happened around here.