Sunday, January 10, 2016

Half a Century of Chicago Deaths

Three Early 20th Century Deaths

On January 10, 1907, homemaker Ellen White, a 36-year-old Irish immigrant, died of shock and hemorrhage in her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated about a week before Christmas. A midwife named Emma Watchek was arrested in the death.

On January 10, 1913, 31-year-old homemaker Lizzie Orenstein died at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago from septicemia caused by an abortion perpetrated by a person who was never identified.

On January 10, 1917, 23-year-old clerk Tillie Vrzal died at Chicago's Frances Willard Hospital from peritonitis because of an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

Deadly Chicago Doctor of the Mid-20th Century

Marie O'Malley, age 36, died on January 10, 1942 after an abortion blamed on notorious Chicago abortionist Dr. Emil Gleitsman, age 76. Marie, a mother of six, had gone to Gleitsman's office with two friends on January 5.  Gleitsman insisted that he had only been treating her for peritonitis for an abortion she'd already undergone before coming to him. However, two other women that Gleitsman performed abortions on testified that he had indeed perpetrated the fatal abortion, for which she'd paid $50.

While awaiting trial for Marie's death, Gleitsman was also held culpable during an inquest into the abortion death of a woman I call Maggie Doe. He was convicted in murder in Marie's death and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Gleitsman appealed on the grounds that he'd had an incompetent attorney, but the court ruled that he'd used the same lawyer before and thus had plenty of opportunity to judge him incompetent prior to the trail in Marie's death. Gleitsman was also implicated in the abortion deaths of Lucille van IderstineJeanette Reder, and Mary Colbert,.

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