At 11 AM on October 17, 1947, Dr. Paul Singer, a gynecologist, called police and reported that a woman had come to his office suffering from an incomplete abortion. She reportedly had staggered in, "slumped over with her head down on her chest." Singer said she lapsed into a coma while he was beginning his examination.
He said that he had taken 22-year-old Jane Ward, heir to the Drake Bakeries fortune, to Park East Hospital, "almost pulseless -- lifeless -- she was almost dead." Dr. Oswald Glasberg, a plastic surgeon, had helped him to complete the abortion.
Jane died on October 28, and the autopsy confirmed the cause of death as criminal abortion.
After the death, Singer and Glasberg were arrested and released on bail. The baby's father, Eduardo Schneidewind, a trade promotion executive for a South American government, was questioned as a material witness but was never indicted. He said that he had arranged the abortion through Dr. Alejandro Ovalle, an X-ray technician, paying $2,000. Ovalle then gave Glassman $900.
Ovalle was sentenced to one year after pleading guilty as an accessory, having profited from abortion referrals.
Singer's first trial ended in a mistrial when one juror fainted during testimony regarding Jane's injuries. He was eventually convicted of manslaughter in Jane's death, and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. The judge, Francis L. Valente, said that Jane had been subjected to "surgical mayhem," and that Singer and Glassberg were "completely devoid of human feeling and decency."
Glassberg was also convicted and sentenced to prison, but was never sentenced because six hours after the verdict on June 14, 1948, Glassberg committed suicide in his cell, having poisoned himself.
Singer appealed his conviction, which was upheld.