Willowbrook



From Geraldo's book, Willowbrook: A Report On How It Is And Why It Doesn't Have To Be That Way

When Dr. Wilkins slid back the heavy metal door of B Ward, building No 6, the horrible smell of the place staggered me. It was so wretched that my first thought was that the air was poisonous and would kill me. I looked down to steady myself and I saw a freak: a grotesque caricature of a person, lying under the sink on an incredibly filthy floor in an incredibly filthy bathroom. It was wearing trousers, but they were pulled down around the ankles. It was skinny. It was twisted. It was lying in its own feces. And it wasn't alone. Sitting next to this thing was another freak. In a parody of human emotion they were holding hands. They were making a noise. It was a wailing sound that I still hear and that I will never forget. I said out loud, but to nobody in particular, 'My God, they're children.' Wilkins looked at me and said, 'Welcome to Willowbrook'.

Videos

Willowbrook The Last Great Disgrace

01 Jan 1970

Investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera's exposé documentary of the Willowbrook State School. The exposé revealed gruesome…

Willowbrook II

01 Jan 1970

On this 20/20 show, 10 years after the initial investigation, Geraldo talks about the progress made since. Hugh Downes does…

College Of Staten Island Commencement

01 Jan 1970

05-29-2014 Today, the Willowbrook State School is long gone. On the former grounds stands a school dedicated to assisting…