Alta View Hospital hostage incident

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The Alta View Hospital hostage incident began on the night of September 20, 1991, when Richard Worthington, armed with a shotgun, a handgun, and sticks of dynamite arrived at Alta View Hospital in Sandy, UT in an attempt to kill Dr. Glade Curtis who had performed a tubal ligation on his wife.

After planting the dynamite outside, Worthington entered the Hospital's Women's Center and took two nurses, Susan Woolley and Marjorie Wyler; a patient, Christan Downey, who was giving birth to her first child; her sister Carre; the baby's father Adam; and two newborn babies hostage, including Caitlan, Christan and Adam's daughter, who was born during the siege. Curtis saw what was happening and hid in his office, where he called the police. When the police arrived, nurse Karla Roth attempted to wrestle Worthington's shotgun from his hands. She was successful, but did not know he had two guns. As she ran away, Worthington shot her in the back with the handgun. Roth died several hours later from the wound.[1]

Worthington held the hostages for eighteen hours. He was talked into surrendering and releasing the remaining hostages by Sergeant Don Bell and Detective Jill Candland of the Salt Lake City Police Department, who were assisted by Susan Woolley. After an arrangement was made for his surrender, the negotiations began to break down due to mis-communication. Marjorie Wyler reached out and placed her hand on his hand holding the gun, telling him that this had to end. Worthington was worn out and surrendered without a fight as she then took the gun from him, allowing everyone to walk out without any further injuries. Worthington was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for the murder of Karla Roth, and later committed suicide in his prison cell on November 11, 1993.[2]

The incident was portrayed in the 1992 TV movie Deliver Them From Evil: The Taking of Alta View, starring Harry Hamlin and Teri Garr.[3]

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