Karen Silkwood is buried in Kilgore, Texas, approximately 20 miles east of Winona. Silkwood was a nuclear-plant worker at Kerr-McGee in Oklahoma. She was a member of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union. Her first assignment as Kerr-McGee's first female member of the union bargaining committee was to study health and safety issues at the plant. Silkwood "discovered evidence of spills, leaks, and missing plutonium... Silkwood testified to charges before the Atomic Energy Commission that she had suffered radiation exposure in a series of unexplained incidents. On November 13, 1974, she was killed in an automobile crash while on her way to meet with an Atomic Energy Commission official and a New York Times reporter... Speculations over foul play in her death were never substantiated... Her case, which began in 1974, emphasized the hazards of nuclear energy and raised questions about corporate accountability and responsibility."

--Diana J. Kleiner, Handbook of Texas Online

© 2000 Karen Silkwood's grave