Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bizarre Circumstances in 1915

Anna Johnson was found dead with a bullet hole in her head on May 26, 1915, in the Chicago home of Dr. Eva Shaver. Shaver told police that she had hired Johnson as a maid, and that the girl had committed suicide. But investigators concluded that Anna had died after Shaver had botched an abortion on her. They tore up the floorboards in the house, searching for the remains of aborted babies. Anna's "sweetheart", Marshall Hostetler, told the coroner that he had known Anna for a year, since they'd met at a dance hall. They'd planned to marry. When she discovered that she was pregnant, Hostetler had purchased abortifactient pills for her from Shaver's son, Clarence. The fetus survived this chemical assault, so Hostetler arranged for Shaver to perform a surgical abortion. Hostetler reportedly "sobbed" and "collapsed" at the inquest into Anna's death. New coverage painted him has having been misled by Dr. Shaver and her son, though he had gone into hiding upon the girl's death at one point been a suspect. Shaver was tried for Johnson's death and the abortion death of another patient, Lillie Giovenco, in 1914.

On May 26, 1950, Annis Whitlow Brown performed an abortion on Joy M. Joy, the unmarried mother of a six-year-old daughter. Brown botched the job, causing hemorrhage and failing to properly treat the patient. Joy died quickly from blood loss. I have not determined what Brown's profession was.

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