In 1974 A Whistleblower Was On Her Way To Meet A Reporter When She Was Killed In A Mysterious Crash

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Image: Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

It’s November 1974, and laboratory technician Karen Silkwood is driving to Oklahoma City. For months, she has been a thorn in her employer’s side, flagging up serious safety violations at a local nuclear plant. Now, she is on her way to hand journalists a smoking gun. But before she can complete her mission, she is caught up in a mysterious car crash. And she takes her secrets to the grave.

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Born in February of 1946 in Texas, Silkwood grew up with her parents and two sisters in the city of Nederland. And it was there, while attending high school, that she first became interested in science – chemistry, to be precise. In fact, she was so talented that she earned a scholarship to Lamar College in nearby Beaumont, where she studied medical technology.

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However, Silkwood’s promising academic career was incredibly short-lived. After just a year of studying, in fact, she dropped out of college to marry an oil worker named William Meadows in 1965. Together, the pair had three kids: Dawn, Michael and Kristi. But before long, the cracks in their relationship began to show.

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