Sunday, November 30, 2014

Busy Chicago Abortionists in Early 20th Century Chicago

At around 2 p.m. on November 30, 1874, Charles A. Dix went to the Madison Street police station in Chicago to report that his wife, 25-year-old Mary Dix, had died at around 12:30 that morning at their home on West Randolph Street. He told the police that Dr. W. T. Aiken had perpetrated an abortion on Mary. After an intensive investigation, however, a coroner's jury concluded that Mary had performed the abortion herself, and Aiken had only been treating her afterward.

On April 2, 1912, 25-year-old homemaker Elizabeth Jorgeson died from an abortion perpetrated that day by Katie Sauer, whose profession is not given. Sauer was held by the Coroner's Jury and indicted by a Grand Jury on November 30. The case never went to trial.
On October 27, 1926, 34-year-old Sophie Peterson underwent an illegal abortion in the Chicago office of Dr. Frederick Springe.  She was taken to Mercy Hospital, where she died on November 30.  Springe was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury on December 15.
On November 30, 1927, 22-year-old homemaker Lucille van Iderstine died in the Chicago office of Dr. Emil Gleitsman (pictured) from an abortion that had been performed on her that day. Gleitsman was indicted for felony murder in Lucille's death on January 15, 1928.  Lucille's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician. Evidently Gleitsman beat the rap on Lucille's death because he was later implicated in the abortion deaths of Jeanette Reder in 1930, Mary Colbert in 1933, and Marie O'Malley and Maggie Doe in 1942.

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