Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dr. George "Middle Initial E" Hudock

I've searched the web for a picture of Luzerne County's late Coroner, Dr. George E Hudock to add to this. Couldn't find one. The title of this post comes from "Doc's" testimony in any number of cases. When being sworn in, Doc would be asked to state his name. "Dr. George, "middle initial E" Hudock."

Reading a post by fellow blogger and friend Vince Sweeney triggered this memory.

The year was 1973 or 1974. I was working as the weekend newscaster at WILK-AM in downtown Wilkes-Barre. A call came over the police radio for a body found on the sidewalk outside the Hotel Sterling. I hadn't covered many stories first hand and this was an opportunity, so I grabbed my trusty cassette recorder and ran the one block down to the Sterling.

Arriving, I saw a body covered with a cloth. And there stood the Luzerne County Coroner Dr. George Hudock. It was the first time I saw him in person. Over the years, we would meet hundreds of times. I fact, a posting on YouTube of a WDAU-TV promo includes tape of me at a crime scene with Doc and Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Joe Coyne in the background. (But I digress.)

The body that was covered was that of an elderly woman who had apparently jumped to her death from a window.

I introduced myself and asked Doc for an interview. He didn't know me and asked if I was new. Of course I said yes. He smiled.

I then started my tape recorder and began asking questions.

"Doctor, can you tell me the cause of death?"

"Well, I've narrowed it down to deceleration trauma or concrete poisoning."

As my tape recorder rolled, I began writing "deceleration..."

A couple of police officers standing nearby began to laugh. I realized then I was being had.

Doc never broke.

"So," I said, "You're saying she died from the fall?"

"No." Doc said, "She died from the landing."

True story.


Vince Sweeney said...

The first time I met Doc Hudock, he said to me, "You look pretty darned good."

Before I could politely thank him, he continued:

"...that, of course, is from my perspective."

Good to see you writing, Kevin. Don't stop.

David DeCosmo said...

I can remember many many stories involving Dr. Hudock,his humor and his hobbies.
I can see the numerous model airplanes hanging from his office ceiling at Mercy Hospital and his Sherlock Holmes 'Deerstalker hat' he was fond of wearing.
But my fondest memory was shortly after coming out of cancer surgery at Mercy. Dr. Hudock was my first visitor. I think he was the one who broke up when I said I hoped he wasn't coming to see me in his official capacity!
He was a allow me to say..a great man!

David Yonki said...

Kevin: If you still need a photo, I'll search my archives, aka attic. What I remember about Dr Hudock was the presentation he made to one of our annual Pa. Professional News Media Association Annual Dinners. You were the President, I was the Secretary and the late Ed Hughes was the Treasurer. We all had our dinner, were all fat and happy and then Doc starts pulling out the slides of lungs, hearts, ankles, what have you. Hughes leaned over to me and said, "What the **** is this all about? I thought he was a PHD, I'm gonna toss my cookies". He didn't, some of us even had seconds on desssrt and a good time was had by all.

Gio said...

Dr. Hudock was my grandfather. His dry sense of was the best.

Gio said...

Also , I have tooonnnsss of pictures if you still need one. email me