Newspaper clippings · Utah

Hostage situation in the maternity ward

September 20, 1991
Sandy, Utah
Angry over his wife allegedly being sterilized without consent, Richard Worthington enters a hospital and takes several hostages

Worthington, armed with dynamite, a shotgun, and a handgun, entered the Alta View Hospital seeking Dr. Glade Curtis. He alleged that Dr. Curtis had tied Mrs. Worthington’s Fallopian tubes without the consent of either Mr. or Mrs. Worthington, stating “those doctors raped my wife.”

During the hostage situation, Worthington took 6 adult and 3 infant hostages. One of the infants was born 3 hours into the 17.5 hour standoff. Worthington allowed nurses to attend to the babies during the ordeal. He was kept calm by one of the nurses who used their common love of the church and large families (Worthington was a father of 8 while the nurse was a mother of 11) to bond with Worthington.

Fifteen hours after the hostage situation began, police started negotiations with Worthington via telephone. He eventually agreed to surrender and release the hostages after authorities ensured his safety. One victim was killed during the incident: Karla Roth had been shot in the back as she ran from Worthington in the hospital parking lot. There were no further injuries or murders.

Worthington was sentenced to 35 years in prison and committed suicide in his cell on November 11, 1993.


Clipping from The Daily Spectrum (Saint George, Utah) September 22, 1991

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