Sunday, April 06, 2014

Mysterious Deaths and Straightforward Cases

Bessie Braun, a 22-year-old homemaker and immigrant from Austria, died April 6, 1906, at Michael Reese Hospital. Chicago from septic complications of an abortion. Midwife Julia Gibson was arrested in the death.


On April 7, 1880, a woman's bloody cloak, with clumps of hair clinging to it, was found hanging from a spike protruding from a bridge over the River Rough, just south of the Village of Delray, Michigan, near Detroit. After two days of dragging the river, the body of a woman was found. She was dressed in black, bound and gagged. A stone had been tied to the clothesline which had been used to tie her hands behind her back. From a description of the dead woman in the newspaper, Mr. Clemens suspected that she was his sister, 26-year-old Anna Clemens of Bay City, Michigan. An investigation ultimately revealed that Anna's fiance had arranged for an abortion to be perpetrated by Dr. W.G. Cox. Anna died on April 6, and the two men hired a man to dispose of her body.


In early April of 1969, 35-year-old Mrs. Catherine Barnard of Arvada, Colorado, flew from her home to Will Rogers Airport, and took a taxi to the office of Dr. Virgil Roy Jobe., who perpetrated an abortion on her. A cab driver testified that he'd picked Catherine up at Jobe's office and taken her to the airport, but she ended up instead at South Community Hospital. There, doctors found her gravely ill from a punctured uterus and small intestine, and in spite of surgery, she died on April 6.


Sarah Hall, a widow about 31 years old, died under suspicious circumstances on Sunday, April 6, 1873 at the Grand Central Hotel in Chicago. The Springfield Republican noted:
Her death was very sudden, and this, coupled with the strange action of her physician, Dr. Reynolds, when applied to for a certificate of death, led the proprietor of the hotel and some of the guests to suspect that she did not die from natural causes. A sworn statement to this effect was made, and the coroner caused the body to be intercepted when on its way to the depot to be taken East. The box was addressed to "Col William H. Bartlett, Portland, Ct." A post-mortem examination proved conclusively that an abortion had been performed, which doubtless caused her death
 The fatal abortion had possibly been arranged by a wealthy man who had been very attentive of Sarah, and from whom she was evidently hoping for a marriage proposal.

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