Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Three Tragedies, 1926, 1934, 1998

On July 13, 1926, a laborer on his way to work stumbled across a grisly find: the dismembered remains of a young woman, tossed along the side of a lonely road between two cemeteries near Boston. The dismemberment was expertly done, indicating that the killer might be a skilled surgeon. Nearly twenty families of missing women contacted the morgue in the first hours after the body was found, but the descriptions of their loved ones did not fit the victim. By July 15, the young woman had been positively identified as 20-year-old Edith Green, who had been an attendant at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital.
Police concluded that 21-year-old James V. Ford was the "sweetheart" responsible for Edith's pregnancy. Ford admitted to police that he had arranged for an abortion to be performed on Edith by Dr. Thomas E. Walsh. Edith had died on July 10. Ford said that Walsh had asked for his help in disposing of Edith's body, but that he had refused. Walsh and his wife were charged with murder in Edith's death.

In 1934, pretty Marian Mills was the 19-year-old "campus sweetheart" of Neal Myers, a 21-year-old pharmacy student. On July 10, Marian died in the apartment of Mrs. Hazel Brown, the cook for Myers' fraternity house and "the only person of mature age in the house during the 24 tragic hours preceding the girl's death." Myers was charged with murder, and could have faced life in prison if convicted. Mrs. Brown said that Myers had loved Marian and had wanted to marry her. Marian, on the other hand, insisted that her parents would never accept Myers. Brown said that Marian had taken "a harmless drug" and that this was the only attempt that she personally knew of to abort the baby. But evidently Marian had found an abortionist, or had done something herself more drastic than just take mild abortifacients, because doctors who examined her said that some sort of instruments had been used in the abortion that had caused her death.

Virginia Wolfe, age 33, went to Methodist Women's and Children's Hospital on July 6, 1998, to have a suction abortion performed by Dr. Lillian Jones. JoDuring the procedure, she punctured Virginia's uterus and bladder. Virginia suffered massive hemorrhage, losing so much blood that her heart stopped. Doctors repaired her bladder and removed her uterus, but Virginia's brain had already been damaged by the lack of oxygen. She was pronounced dead on July 10, 1998.

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