Wednesday, November 29, 2023

November 29, 1926: Dr. Lucy Hagenow's Last Known Victim


On November 29, 1926, 25-year-old stenographer Mary Moorehead died from a criminal abortion perpetrated in the Chicago office of Dr. Lucy Hagenow. 

Hagenow (pictured) wasn't arrested until November 13 of the following year. 

Hagenow told the court that Mary had come to her office on November 5, giving her name as Margaret Sullivan. Hagenow said that she examined Mary, who had a foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Hagenow said that she concluded that Mary's unborn baby had died.

Hagenow said that she packed Mary's vagina with an antiseptic-soaked cotton ball and sent her home. She said that she told Mary that she would come by the next day with another doctor. If that doctor concurred that the baby was dead, Hagenow would get yet another doctor to come and perform an operation to remove the dead baby. 

Hagenow said that Mary paid her $50 in advance for the promised care and left, but when she went to the address "Margaret Sullivan" had provided she found only a vacant lot. That was the last she'd known of the woman, she said, until she was arrested for Mary's death.

The prosecution, however, asserted that several police officers had been present when Mary was about to go surgery in an attempt to save her life. With Hagenow present, Mary told the police that Hagenow had used instruments on her to perpetrate an abortion on November 5.

Dr. Charles H. Phifer testified that on November 7 he saw Mary at her home. She was in a lot of pain and told him that she had been to see Hagenow. Dr. Phifer concluded that Mary was in labor, though he could not determine if the unborn child was alive or dead. He said that he told Mary to consult with Dr. Hagenow.

The next time Dr. Phifer saw Mary it was at Illinois Central Hospital on November 12. She was no longer pregnant and was suffering from septicemia. 

Hagenow was convicted of murder by abortion for Mary's death. She was sentenced to 14 years at Joliet Penitentiary, but was able to get her conviction overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court, which ordered a new trial in 1929. The judge, noting that there was no new evidence, dismissed the case, telling Hagenow, "You had better make your peace with God, Lucy Hagenow. I do not think your months on earth are many." 

Hagenow, who also went by the name of Louise or Louisa Hagenow, had a long and unsavory history of being involved in women's abortion deaths. The first were in San Francisco before Hagenow relocated to Chicago around 1890. The abortion deaths Hagenow was linked to include:

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

November 14, 1979: Happy Birthday, Christelle Morrison

 From The Survivors, and others linked to below.

On the night of November 14, 1979, a two-pound baby girl of 28 weeks gestation was found in a Nevada field, wrapped in an old, wet, dirty shirt. Her umbilical cord was still attached. The baby was blue and unresponsive, which is hardly surprising since the temperature that night was only 15 degrees. The baby was rushed to a rural emergency clinic, where a doctor immersed her in warm water. She revived and was transferred to Medical Center in Reno. Registered Nurse Susan Walker was among the staff that tenderly cared for the little girl. When she was three months old, weighing in at three pounds, the baby underwent heart surgery.

Susan Walker and her husband adopted the discarded miracle baby, who they named Christelle. According to Mrs. Walker, Christelle is "bright, beautiful, strong and healthy, and probably the most loving person you could ever meet! She is a living testimony of God’s tremendous power and love and of the value of each and every unborn child."

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

November 7, 1979: Happy Birthday to "Kimala's" Baby

 John Roe 481 performed an abortion on "Kimala" in March of 1979. On November 7 she gave birth to an infant daughter born disfigured and with cerebral palsy. (Cook County Illinois Circuit Court Case No. 81L 26210)

Thursday, November 02, 2023

November 2, 2010: Family Alleges Improper Monotoring

The family of 32-year-old Lisa Marie Fusco sued on behalf of her surviving child after she died from abortion complications.

Lisa went to Ambulatory Surgery Center in Brooklyn on October 27, 2010. Staff inserted laminaria for an abortion and packed her vagina with gauze. The next day she returned for the abortion procedure. She suffered complications and died on November 2.

A Reddit post about Lisa's death links to the New York Law Journal, but since I'm not a subscriber I can't access it.

November 2, 2010: Lack of Diligence Proves Fatal in Brooklyn

Lisa Marie Fusco died on November 2, 2010 after an abortion performed at Ambulatory Surgery Center of Brooklyn.

Lisa went to Ambulatory Surgery Center on October 27, 2010 to begin a multi-day abortion with the insertion of laminaria to dilate her cervix. The practitioner also packed Lisa's vagina with gauze. Lisa returned the next day for the abortion. The allegations in the lawsuit are fairly vague, just noting that due diligence was not followed, the procedure performed on Lisa was contraindicated, and Lisa was not properly monitored during the procedure.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Lisa's surviving child also named Dr. George McMillan, presumably the abortionist.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October 31, 1921: Abortionist Accused by Dead Woman's Mother

 During the inquest into the 1923 abortion death of Lydia Nelson, Emma Sales of South Morgan Street, Chicago, jumped to her feet and struck Dr. Charles Klinetop in the face. Mrs. Sales said that the death of her daughter, Harriet Grimm, was due to an abortion Klinetop had perpetrated.

Harriet Ida Grimm, wife of Edward Grimm, had died at Chicago's Lakeside Hospital on October 31, 1921.

I've been unable to find any documentation on the cause of Harriet's death. She doesn't even show up on the Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database. All I can find is confirmation of her death at age 20.

Watch Did Dr. Klinetop Kill Harriet Grimm? on YouTube.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

October 28, 1876: Sarah Jane's "Interesting Condition"

 Sarah Jane and her Family

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Jane Beaver lived with her mother, Mrs. Sarah Beaver Spencer, and her two brothers, Andrew and William, on a farm owned by Shepherd Cox in Ursa Township, near Quincy, Indiana.

Sarah Jane and her brothers were the children of their mother's first marriage, prior to the Civil War. Sarah Jane's father was a soldier who died at Vicksburg. The family went north after the war. They were poor and illiterate.

What to Do About Sarah's "Interesting Condition"

In April of 1876, Mrs. Spencer sent Sarah Jane and one of her brothers into town for some medicine. The two parted ways in town, and the boy was unable to find Sarah Jane. He went home to his mother alone. Though there were sightings of her with Cox in Texas, Sarah Jane remained at large until late July.

About four weeks after her return, Mrs. Spencer "discovered that the daughter was in an interesting condition".

Oil of Tansy Found

Sarah Jane named Cox, who was there during the conversation, as the responsible party. Shortly after this conversation, Mrs. Spencer said, she discovered a bottle with a few drops of oil of tansy -- a popular abortifacient -- in it. When confronted, Cox reportedly admitted that he had bought it for Sarah Jane.

A Mother's Objection

Shortly after this confrontation, Cox reportedly came to the house indicating that he had two tickets to the Centellian, and he wanted to take Sarah Jane with him so that he could "take her to a doctor who would make things all right". Mrs. Spencer said that she objected to the plan. Sarah Jane did not go with Cox.

A Mysterious Parcel

On about Tuesday, October 17, Mrs. Spencer said, Cox came to the house with something rolled up in a small parcel. Mrs. Spencer said that she went outside to do chores for about 20 minutes, and that when she returned she found her daughter with a broom in her hands and a flushed face. She denied that Cox had said anything to offend her. She was taken sick that night, and the next night expelled her dead baby.

Condition Grave

Mrs. Spencer said she sent for Dr. Duncan, who could not come until the next Wednesday, October 25. Duncan said that Sarah Jane had not miscarried but had undergone an abortion caused by instruments of some sort, used with force. Mrs. Spencer was able to show the fetus to Duncan. It was about three and a half months old.

When Cox came to the house, Mrs. Spencer told him that he had killed her daughter. Cox pointed out that Sarah Jane wasn't dead, and said he expected her to survive her illness.

Dr. Duncan continued to provide care to Sarah Jane, at first expecting her to recover, but her condition deteriorated. He asked her repeatedly to tell him who had gotten her pregnant and who had injured her. She made a statement to him that was not admissible in court because she didn't then believe she was dying.

Deathbed Statements

On the evening of Friday, October 27, Sarah Jane called her brothers to her bedside, told them she was dying, and asked their forgiveness.

She then spoke again to Dr. Duncan, telling him that she knew she was dying. He asked her again who had injured her. Mrs. Spencer was there, telling Sarah Jane to tell Dr. Duncan who had done the deed, but shaking her head all the while as if to warn Sarah Jane not to speak. Sarah Jane told Dr. Duncan, "I did it." After her mother left the room, Duncan again asked Sarah Jane to name the guilty party.
Dr. Duncan: Who did it?
Sarah Jane: I did.
Dr. Duncan: But who helped you?
Sarah Jane: My God, I have done wrong.
Dr. Duncan: Tell me who helped you?
Sarah Jane: I did.
Dr. Duncan: You could not have done it alone. Who helped you?
Sarah Jane: He did it, with instruments.
Sarah Jane died the following morning.

Covering Up

On Sunday, Cox came to the house, crying and lamenting Sarah Jane's death. Mrs. Spencer said Cox told her to keep quiet about the death, since if she said anything about it she would get into trouble. He pointed out that she had no money, but he had money and would help the family and pay the doctor's bills.

Dr. Duncan corroborated that Cox promised to pay the $56 medical bill, although he quibbled about the price.

Andrew and William corroborated their mother's testimony about Sarah Jane's April disappearance, her return, seeing Cox at the house the night before Sarah Jane took ill, and his visiting twice during her illness. The boys also testified that they'd heard Cox say he'd help with the medical bills. They also testified to Sarah Jane's deathbed plea for their forgiveness.

Indictment, Trial, and Acquittal

Cox was indicted for murder in December, 1876. He fled to avoid prosecution. Eventually his attorney negotiated a deal for him to return for the trial but remain free on bail of $3,000. He was also able to negotiate a change of venue, so that the trial took place in Hancock County.

During the trial, several witnesses placed Cox at a distance from the farm on October 17 -- the day the abortion allegedly was performed.

Dr. Parks, another area physician, testified that Mrs. Spencer had showed him a catheter and a probe asking if they could be used to cause an abortion and lamenting that her daughter was pregnant. Parks told Mrs. Spencer that the instruments would not produce an abortion. Afterward, he testified, he saw the instruments in the possession of Dr. Springer. Springer said he'd bought them from Mrs. Spencer.

Another witness, Mrs. Arnez, stated that while she and Mrs. Spencer were in jail together, Mrs. Spencer had told her that Shep Cox had nothing to do with her daughter's death.

It took the jury a full day of sparring to come back with a verdict of not guilty.

Watch Who Killed Sarah Jane? on YouTube.


October 28, 1993: Lack of Monitoring Leave Haitian Immigrant Dead

On October 9, 1993, 25-year-old Haitian guest worker Giselene Lafontant underwent an abortion by Dr. Irwin Scher at his Gynecare in Monsey, New York. The abortion 9 or 10 week abortion was started at 10:59 AM and completed at 11:05.

Giseline was brought to the recovery room but no pulse oximeter was used to monitor her pulse and blood oxygen. Thirteen minutes later a nurse tried to awaken Giseline and found her unresponsive. Then her faint heartbeat stopped. 

The staff started resuscitation and were able to get Giseline's heart started again after about two minutes. She was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and placed on a respirator. Efforts to save her life failed; Giselene died on October 28, leaving behind a two-year-old son. Her family took her body to her native Haiti for burial.

Watch the YouTube video.

Newly added sources: