Another Chicago abortion death was at the hands of Dr. When Mary Strugnall was just 15, 22-year-old Vernon Keyser, who worked at a machine shop near the Strugnall home, began paying attention to Mary, despite her family's disapproval and attempts to discourage the relationship. On January 29, Mary's parents went to the hospital to visit their 9-year-old son, who was being treated after being hit by a car. When they got home, Mary, who had since turned 16, was gone. Keyser admitted that he had taken her to Harter's home/practice for an abortion he had arranged for $150. Keyser told police, "She was frightened ad began to struggle, but the doctor's brother [Irving Harter] and I held her on a table while the operation was performed. Five hours later I took her to the home of a Mrs. Irma McMullen, 7037 Clarmont avenue."
Mary's condition deteriorated, so to avert any suspicion Keyser continued to stop at the Strugnell home daily asking after Mary. On Friday, February 1, Harter told Keyser that he couldn't do anything more for Mary and suggested that he consult with Dr. J. A. Goodhart of South Kedqie Avenue. Goodhart immediately ordered that Mary be admitted to the county hospital. Per Harter's instructions as to "the simplest way out of it," Keyser persuaded Mary to lie and say that she had done the abortion herself. She died on February 3.
Dr. Harter was captured and tried for homicide, but acquitted for reasons I have been unable to determine. His brother Irving was charged as an accessory. Keyner was charged with rape and accessory to murder.
|Dr. Romeo Ferrer|