Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Repeat Offenders, 1926 and 1938

One of Three Blamed on Chicago Physician, 1926

Headshot from news clipping showing middle-aged white man with brown or dark-blond hair parted on the left
Thomas Ney
On June 1, 1926, Willie Pearl Walker, an 18-year-old Black homemaker born in Eaton, Georgia, died at her Chicago home from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. A white doctor, Thomas J. New, (most likely transcription error for Dr. Thomas J. Ney) was held by the coroner in Willie Pearl's death.

A little over two years later Ney was implicated in the November 14, 1928, death of 21-year-old Eunice McElroy. He was later implcated in the April 25, 1931 abortion death of Elma Bromps. There was abundant press coverage of the deaths of these two white women, but I have been unable to find any news coverage at all of Willie's death.

Willie's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a doctor.

One of Two Blamed on Oklahoma Psychologist, 1938

Mary Ellen Legge, a 24-year-old department store clerk, died June 1, 1938, from a criminal abortion. Otto Lucy, an Oklahoma City psychologist and teacher, was sentenced to 25 years after pleading guilty in her death. He had charged Mary Ellen $75 for the fatal abortion. A practical nurse, Ella Hartin, admitted to helping Lucy perform the abortion. She said that Lucy had frequently brought his abortion patients to her home.

While he was out on bail pending disposition of this case, he performed the fatal abortion on Goldie Crow. He had perpetrated another abortion, on a stenographer who lived, between his arrest and his first trial in the Mary Ellen Legge case. Though he was not a licensed physician, he is listed in the phone book as "Dr. Otto C. Lucy."

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