A Pittsburgh-area foot doctor who served 10 years in prison for suffocating his wife with a plastic bag, will not be reissued his medical license, according to a Pennsylvania State Appeals Court this week.
The court upheld the State Podiatry Board’s rejection of Doctor Karl Long’s petition to have his medical license reinstated. In a written statement, they report the former Ligonier physician has shown no remorse for his wife’s murder, and they see no evidence of rehabilitation.
The State Podiatry Board said the murder of Elaine Long was a crime of “moral turpitude” and disqualified him from working as a doctor.
Long, now age 56, was convicted of the 1999 suffocation death of his wife in a high-profile trial in 2003. Prosecutors were able to prove that he used a pillow and a plastic dry cleaning bag to suffocate his wife in the bedroom of their home because he wanted to end a combative marriage.
During the trial, Long testified that his wife pulled a knife on him and he suddenly fainted and fell on top of her. He said when he woke up later he discovered she had suffocated beneath him. A Westmoreland County Court jury found his story “not believable” and convicted him of third-degree murder. He was sentenced by Judge William J. Ober to 10 years in state prison, far less than the maximum of 40 years he might have gotten. He was released in the summer of 2012.
The wayward doctor now works as a brick mason in Cambria County Pennsylvania.
Here’s another look at this case:
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The headline for a future story regarding this case will almost assuredly read, “Doctor Who Murdered His Wife Moves to Another State; Regains Medical License.”
Because we can promise you that is invariably what will happen. In the United States, we do not take doctor-murder cases all that seriously.
Now, had Karl Long been a realtor; a nurse; a truck driver; maybe a contractor. Had Karl Long been . . . oh, let’s say a driving school operator; maybe a teacher or a Paramedic. He would have lost his license for life.
Doctors, however, are held to the lowest level of professional discipline in society.
Do we see a glint of doubt in your eyes? If so, here’s a peek at one of 487 physician-murder cases we have in our files:
So rest assured this man will regain his license in another state, and will be back playing with peoples’ feet for money, at some point in the future.
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