Manganese(III) acetate oxidation of some ketones in the presence of 3-chloropropionic acid was carried out. The products were characterized. The experimental results were compared with the theoretical ones which was based on AM1 (UHF) type semi-empirical calculations. The theoretical results disfavor any mechanism solely based on radical stability involving radicals originating from the reactants. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.