Death at the Doctor's House
On February 3, Olive's body was exhumed for an autopsy, which was performed the following day. The cause of Olive's death was obvious. There was a quantity of pus and her cervix was nearly ragged with injuries. Dr. Frost believed that Olive had hemorrhageddue to the damage to her cervix. Another physician examined the uterus and concluded that the placenta had been retained for some time after the abortion, perhaps as long as seven to ten days. Howard was charged with abortion and manslaughter for Olive's death -- as well as for the abortion death of another patient, Miss Young, two days before Olive had died.
Olivia testified that she had traveled with her sister to Howard's home for the express purpose of the abortion. She had sat on the bed and held Olive's hand, day after day, through the three agonizing abortion attempts Howard made using instruments of some kind. Olive passed fluid at first, then blood, and finally a dead fetus approximately two-thirds the size of a normal newborn, Olivia said. Others at the house gave corroborating testimony, including one young woman who had caught one of the household dogs with a fetus of around 4 or 5 months of gestation that it had dug up from under the outhouse. Another dog grabbed the fetus and ran off with it, so it was never recovered.
Howard's defense relied upon a couple of expert witnesses giving other theories to explain the condition of Olive's uterus and cervix other than efforts to abort a living fetus. The jury convicted him of the abortion but found him not guilty of Olive's resulting death from the abortion.
Rose was buried the next day at Mount Judah Cemetery in Cypress Hills, New York. After the funeral, several people, including an anonymous caller, notified police and the District Attorney's office that the death was suspicious, and Rose was exhumed for an autopsy. The medical examiner determined that Rose had died from an abortion.