Tuesday, September 22, 2020

September 22: The False Lure of Safe, Legal Abortion

"Amanda" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a safe and legal abortion. After years of research I was able to identify her. To allow her family to maintain their privacy, I am giving her a pseudonym Linda Michelle Hoffman.

Linda was a 19-year-old Indiana University sophomore and an outstanding student when she traveled from Indiana to New York for a legal abortion in 1970. She was 12 weeks pregnant. The doctor performed the abortion on September 3. He was unable to remove any of the fetus or placenta. For some reason, he did not suspect a problem. He discharged Linda and she returned home. 

Upon her return, she suffered from pain, nausea, and vomiting, so she sought care from a physician in her community. She was admitted to the Indiana University Medical Center's William G. Coleman hospital with a perforated uterus.

Her doctor performed a lapartotomy, and found that the fetus was still inside Linda's perforated uterus. The abortion was completed and the hole in her uterus was repaired. After the surgery, she had a series of complications beginning with difficulty breathing. On September 10, doctors performed a hysterectomy. She continued to be treated in the hospital, but despite all their efforts she died on September 22.

Dr. Paul Jarrett was one of the doctors who tried to save her life. His full story is here. This is what he had to say about the death of the woman I've concluded was Linda:
A few months into my residency, I came face to face with the issue of abortion for the first time. An 18-year-old Indiana University coed came into Coleman Hospital with lower abdominal pain. She related to me that she had been to New York City earlier that day to have a legal abortion performed at a clinic there. She had gotten on a plane at 8am at Indianapolis International Airport and flown to New York. She was taken to a legitimate clinic by a cab driver. She had believed she was two and a half months pregnant, but after the doctor had unsuccessfully attempted to abort the pregnancy, he told her she wasn't really pregnant after all and sent her home. She returned to Indiana on the 4pm flight as planned.
When she returned home in terrible pain, she realized she was in trouble and for the first time, told her mother what had happened to her. Her mother contacted her own gynecologist, who in turn referred the patient to Coleman Hospital to be evaluated by the resident on call--me. 
Even though I was still wet behind the ears, I know that this pale, frightened little girl was still 10 weeks pregnant and her blood count was only half of what it should be. The private, attending doctor came in and took the patient to surgery immediately that night, where he repaired the hole that had been torn in the back of her uterus, which had caused her massive internal hemorrhage.
Over the course of the next few days, infection set in which did not respond to antibiotics, and we made the painful decision to perform a hysterectomy. Tragically, the shock from the infection severely damaged her lungs and her course was steadily downhill. As I helplessly watched, she slipped into unconsciousness and a few days later she died.
The 1970 liberalization of abortion had made New York an abortion mecca until the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that abortionists could legally set up shop in any state of the union. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

September 21: Little-Noted Death in Chicago

On September 9, 1930, 20-year-old telephone operator Matilda Kleinschmidt underwent a criminal abortion, believed to have been performed in the office of Dr. J. Murney Nicholson. 

When she took ill, her boyfriend told her that he would call in another doctor to care for her. Matilda insisted, "Another doctor won't look at me. He won't take the case."

Matilda died on September 21. On September 22, Nicholson was held by the coroner for murder. John C. Ross was held as an accessory. Nicholson was indicted for felony murder in Matilda's death.

Friday, September 18, 2020

September 18: Falsified Documents and Inadequate Equipment

One of Three at a National Abortion Federation Clinic, 2003

Dr. Alberto Hodari
According to this administrative complaintRegina Johnson (Identified only by the initials R.J.) was 32 years old when she went to Womancare of Southfield, Michigan on September 18, 2003. The clinic was owned by Dr. Abraham Alberto Hodari, darling of Medical Students for Choice. Regina was pregnant for the fourth time, having given birth once, and either aborted or miscarried twice. Hodari, owner of Womancare, was not present at the time.

Nurse Litchtig performed an ultrasound, "even though there was no physician order for the study. She interpreted the study as showing a five week pregnancy and signed [Hodari's] name..." Nathanson initialed  the ultrasound to confirm Lichtig's finding.

CRNA Thompson did the anesthesia while Dr. Milton Nathanson did the abortion. Regina was given 200 mg of Diprivan, 2 mg Fentanyl, .2mg Gylcopyrrolate, and Droperidol to anestetize her for the abortion, which was charted as taking place from 9:55 to 10:05 a.m.

Regina was then sent to the recovery room, along with five or six other patients under the care of Litchtig. Though clinic protocol required more than one staff person present when patients were in recovery, Lichtig was sometimes alone in caring for the patients.

Though Hodari's recovery room was equipped with a stethescope, oxygen bag/valve mask, and digital blood pressure cuff, it was not equipped with an EKG monitor, pulse oximeter, or automatic blood pressure/pulse monitor with alarm for monitoring patients, or with oxygen, a defibrillator, or other resuscitation equipment.

Lichtig recorded Regina's blood pressure and pulse manually upon admission to recovery, and at 10 - 15 minute intervals. At 10:05, Regina's blood pressure and pulse were a normal 116/72 and 82. At 10:15, they were 108/56 and 88. This fall in blood pressure and rise in pulse, especially in combination, are an early sign that a patient might be suffering complications such as blood loss. However, Lichtig reported that Regina's respiration was easy and unlabored.

The document notes that Lichtig was actually performing above the call of duty: Womancare protocol only required her to check a patient's vitals upon arrival in recovery, at 15 minues, and at discharge, usually after about an hour in recovery. Hodari's protocol also allowed for the nurse to discharge patients from the clinic. "There was no provision that the patient be seen by a physician once she was transferred to the recovery room."

At 10:30, Lichtig was unable to rouse Regina, who still had a pulse and unlabored breathing. Lichtig tried for about ten minutes to awaken Regina. At about 10:40, she could no longer detect a pulse. She immediately told CRNA Thompson, who was then wheeling another patient into recovery. The two of them brought Regina back to the OR and began performing CPR. However, nobody called 911 until 11:00, twenty minutes after noting that Regina was pulseless. EMS arrived promptly, at 11:05.

EMS took Regina to Providence Hospital, where with continued CPR and got a pulse. Regina was put on life support, but was pronounced brain dead. She was taken off life support and declared dead on September 18. An autopsy determined that Regina had died from anoxic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest. In other words, she died because her brain had been deprived of oxygen.

The Administrative Complaint found Hodari to be negligent, incompetent, and lacking in good moral character. Hodari did not contest the findings, instead cooperating with bringing his facility up to standards to pass an inspection by an anesthesiologist in February of 2009. But in the mean time, he'd performed the fatal abortions on Tamiia Russell and Chivon Williams in 2004.

The state Attorney General's office fined Hodari $10,000 on March 4, 2009, for his part in the death.

The latest National Abortion Federation update no longer lists Womancare as a member, though they were recently. They certainly were in 2004, when Chivon and Tamiia died, which is the oldest page of Michigan NAF members that I can find on the Internet Archive. Womancare was also still a member in 2007, the most recent update on the Internet Archive. I'd be very interested in having NAF Annual Reports so I could look up what years Hodari and his mills were members.

Safe and Legal in North Carolina, 1993

Thirty-six-year-old Kathy McKnight (pictured) of Charlotte, North Carolina underwent an abortion on September 17, 1993. Early the next morning, Kathy had trouble breathing. She was taken to University Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kathy died in the emergency room. Her autopsy revealed that she died of a pulmonary embolism.

An Unknown Perp in Oklahoma, 1958

Shortly after 1:00 in the morning on September 18, 1958, Frank Tarbet of Norman, Oklahoma, was awakened by a knock on the door. Outside he found "Bettina," the 12-year-old daughter of his neighbor, 31-year old "Glenda Coe" (named changed at request of family). The little girl said that her mother was "very cold." Tarbet went with Bettina to Glenda's bedroom, where he found her dead on her bed, dressed in street clothes except for shoes. Tabet notified the police at 1:18 a.m.

The police questioned Bettina, who said that at around 8:00 the previous evening she and her four younger sisters had gotten ready for bed. At around 8:30 Glenda had taken off her shoes and laid down on her bed. The girls retired for the night. Bettina woke at around 1:00 and been unable to awaken her mother. 

Tabet told police that he had seen a pickup truck leave Glenda's house at around 10:45 the previous evening. His daughter told police that she'd seen the pickup at around midnight, and somebody had carried a woman from the truck into the Coe home. Glenda's first husband, plumber James P. Morton, was picked up by the police and brought to the station at around 2:40 a.m. He owned a pickup truck matching the description of the truck the neighbors had seen at Glenda's house. The couple had been divorced for about a year. Glenda and her second husband, "Oscar Coe," had been married for about eight months but he and Glenda has separated and she had filed for divorce in July. Oscar was quickly dismissed by the police as not involved in Glenda's death.

There were no obvious signs of foul play. At first, authorities suspected either natural death or a suicide. However, Glenda's neck was slightly swollen and discolored and all evidence indicated that Glenda, a former waitress, had been in good health before her death. X-rays found no injuries. An autopsy found that Glenda had died due to air bubbles in her bloodstream, and that she had been pregnant at the time of her death. A more careful examination determined that Glenda had died from an abortion attempt.  

Morton was held for murder by the police but I have been unable to determine if or how the case proceeded. (See newly added sources, below.)

A Doctor in Tacoma, 1929

Sometime most likely in September of 1929, physician and surgeon H. W. Coulter performed an abortion upon 21-year-old Gene Raligh, leading to her death in Tacoma, Washington on September 18 from septicemia. 

Gene's survivors alleged that not only did Coulter injure her, but he also failed to treat her infection and instead concealed the extent of her illness and injury, preventing her from getting medical care that might have saved her life.

Census records still show Coulter living at home with his wife in 1930, so if he was prosecuted he was not convicted.

  • "Mother of Four Found Dead Here," The Norman Transcript, September 18, 1958
  • "1st Husband Held In Woman's Death," The Norman Transcript, September 19, 1958
  • "Death Probe Continuing," The Norman Transcript, September 22, 1958

Thursday, September 17, 2020

September 17: When a Cute Blonde Girl Dies, it Gets Attention

With abortion, as with anything else, it seems, you need a cute blue-eyed blonde to get the MSM's attention. Thus they noticed when Holly died. Holly Patterson, age 18, died September 17, 2003, from sepsis caused by a fetus incompletely expelled in a safe and legal medical abortion. Holly had gotten the drugs for the fatal abortion at a Planned Parenthood in Hayward, California, on September 10.

Rather than follow the recommended protocols for chemical abortions, Planned Parenthood followed the more popular American approach of giving Holly the mifepristone at the facility, then giving her misoprostol to self-administer at home.

Holly had experienced severe cramping and pain, and went to the emergency room. She was examined, given pain medication, and discharged.

At her boyfriends insistence, she returned to the emergency room on September 17, but by then her condition had deteriorated and efforts to save her were futile.

Monty Patterson, Holly's father, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "The medical community treats this as a simple pill you take, as if you're getting rid of a headache. The procedure, the follow-ups, it's all too lackadaisical. The girl gets a pill. Then she's sent home to do the rest on her own. There are just too many things that can go wrong."

Three other women were identified as having died of infection deaths after RU-486 deaths in the Los Angeles area: Chanelle Bryant, Oriane Shevin, and Vivian Tran. Chanelle got her abortion drugs at a Planned Parenthood, and Oriane and Vivian got theirs from National Abortion Federation members.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Tammy Harris Clipping

Gracealynn "Tammy" Harris was 19 years old when she underwent an abortion by Dr. Mohammad Imran at Delaware Women's Health Organization on September 16, 1997. She was 18 weeks pregnant.

After the procedure, Tammy was weak, and needed a wheelchair to leave the facility. Reports indicate that Tammy also may have had a seizure in front of the clinic nurses. She died that day.

Tammy's family filed suit against Imran and the clinic.

Imran's attorney said that Tammy's death was the clinic's fault. He said that the clinic staff did not monitor Tammy's vital signs, and did not inform him of her condition.

The family's lawyer faulted Imran with leaving the clinic to go to another facility before Tammy was stable.

The lawsuit resulted in $2,252,000 to Tammy's family. The money was put into a court-controlled account for Tammy's son, who was nine months old when his mother died. Imran's insurance company was defunct, so he had to settle again with Tammy's family. He was last known to be practicing medicine, including obstetrics, in New Jersey.

September 16: An Immigrant Family's Dreams Destroyed

Dr. David Gluck's medical license had been revoked for three years after selling controlled substances to finance his gambling addiction. Two months later he was still working as Medical Director at Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health (C.R.A.S.H.) when abortion patient "K.B." died in 1988. Authorities who inspected the clinic after K.B's death found the place filthy, and noted that K.B.'s post-operative report charted her as "pink, responsive, alert," even though she had gone into full cardio-respiratory arrest during the procedure. Authorities shut the place down, leaving the unlicensed Gluck unemployed.

He found work, though, at Choices Women's Medical Center in Queens. The Choices clinic director said "We are firmly committed to helping people who are skilled medical professionals who have had a fall from grace."

Their kindness to Gluck was not a kindness to 36-year-old Alerte Desanges, an immigrant from Haiti. Told that her 19-week fetus had deformities, Alerte went to Choices for a safe, legal abortion on September 16, 1994. She didn't survive the day.

Staff said that after Gluck had completed her abortion, Alerte was "feisty, telling nurses she wanted to go home. Then all of a sudden, she coded, she went into cardiac arrest." Her blood pressure fell. Staff attempted to revive her, then transported her to a hospital. Her death was tentatively attributed to amniotic fluid embolism by staff.

Alerte's 66-year-old mother, who speaks only French, was described as throwing her hands in the air and sobbing, "What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We can't go back to Haiti." Alerte had supported her mother and three daughters working as a caretaker for an elderly woman, and had just bought a small house in Brooklyn. With her, the family's dreams died.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

September 15: A Habitual Offender in New York and Death in Chicago

A New York Midwife, 1902

Lena Schott
On September 15, 1902, Mrs. Henrietta Appel, age 31, died in New York from an abortion perpetrated by midwife Lena Schott (pictured). The police had been notified about the abortion by Henrietta's husband, Samuel, while she was on her deathbed. Henrietta admitted the abortion to the authorities and indicated that her husband had not known about it.

When police went to arrest Schott, they had to break into the home, and found Schott in the basement. She attacked the arresting officer, Captain Elbert O. Smith, nearly tearing off his uniform and pinning him on the floor until other officers could restrain her. After her arrest, Schott admitted that she had treated Henrietta.

Schott had previously been implicated in the abortion deaths of Mary Gibson, Mary Ryan, Nellie Monohan, and Emily Binney.

An Unknown Chicago Abortionist, 1925

On September 15, 1925, 
Mary Williams, a 25-year-old Black woman born in Mississippi, died at Chicago's County Hospital from an abortion performed on her that day at an undisclosed location. The person responsible for Mary's death was never identified, so it's impossible to know if she availed herself of one of the plethora of doctors and midwives practicing abortion in Chicago.

A Chicago Midwife, 1926

On September 15, 1926, 23-year-old 
Mary Bailek, a native of Poland, died at Chicago's Lutheran Deaconnes Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed at her home that day. Rozalia Ossowska, alias Olszewski, was arrested for the death on October 7. Her profession is not given but according to the 1930 Census she was a midwife. She was born around 1888 in Germany and immigrated to the US in 1906. On March 15, 1927, she was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury.

Monday, September 14, 2020

September 14: How Little Things Changed in Over Two Hundred Years

1992: Slow collapse and death

Rhonda Rollinson underwent a safe, legal abortion by Dr. Jay I. Levin at Malcom Polis's Philadelphia Women's Center September 3, 1992. The abortion attempt was unsuccessful. Rhonda was then sent home, with instructions to return on September 12 to try again.

Rhonda experienced such severe pain, dizziness, fever, and discharge that on September 10 she sought emergency care at a hospital. She was suffering "severe non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema consistent with adult respiratory distress syndrome."

Doctors did a laparoscopy, dilation and evacuation, abdominal hysterectomy, and splenectomy, to no avail. Rhonda died on September 14. The autopsy revealed a perforation from her vagina into the uterine cavity, sepsis, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a severe and often fatal clotting disorder), non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis, pulmonary infarctions, and dysplastic kidney.

The suit filed by Rhonda's survivors also charged the facility and Polis with hiring Levin despite his lack of competence, failure to properly supervise his work, violation of applicable laws and regulations, lack of informed consent, failure to give proper post-operative instructions, and failure "to respond to the requests of [Rhonda] and her family for post-operative medical advice."

A 1928 Chicago abortion

On September 14, 1928, 20-year-old Stella Wallenberg died from a criminal abortion performed in Chicago. Loretta Rybicki, identified as a "massaguer", was held by the coroner for murder by abortion. Dr. Nicholas Kalinowski was held as an accessory. Rybicki was indicted for felony murder on November 15.

1925: More of Lucy Hagenow's handiwork

Elizabeth Welter
moved from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to Chicago in the fall of 1924. On September 14, 1925, the 19-year-old clerk 
died at John B. Murphy Hospital from complications of an abortion perpetrated about a week earlier. 

Mrs. Alta Vail told the deputy coroner, "Elizabeth roomed at 658 Roscoe street. A week ago she came to me and said she was very sick. I told her to stay at my home until she was better. Little by little she told me her story. She had obtained a position as a clerk in a store. Some months ago she began going out with a man. This man, she said, was responsible for her condition. She did not even know his name, she told me."

Lawrence Vail -- who according to 1930 census records was Alta's husband --  was identified by the coroner as responsible for the pregnancy, and the coroner recommended his arrest, along with the arrest of known abortionist Dr. Lucy Hagenow.

Hagenow was held to the grand jury on $20,000 bond (nearly $150,000 in 2020 dollars). However, because Vail refused to give a statement, police were unable to gather enough evidence to prosecute. Elizabeth was the 17th of 18 abortion deaths that have been connected to Hagenow. (See newly-added sources below.)

A tragic case from Colonial America

The oldest case I have in the Cemetery of Choice is the 1742 death of 19-year-old Sarah Grosvenor. Her story is recounted extensively in public records, but begins, predictably, with a lover who didn't love her enough to marry her once she was pregnant with his child. Sarah's family rallied around her, trying to save both her life and her reputation, but by the time they realized that she was pregnant and in the middle of an herbal abortion, the die was cast. Though Dr. John Hallowell shut himself in the room with Sarah on several occasions to provide some sort of care, Sarah breathed her last on September 14.

Her death-dealing abortionist had always been a marginal practitioner who lived a lot of his life on the wrong side of the law. Her faithless lover had been a high-standing member of the community. Sarah was buried, and life in the little town went on.

Suddenly, about a year after Sarah's death, warrants were issued for the arrests of the culpable parties and a hearing was held, determining that Hallowell was guilty of murder, and that Sarah's lover, Amasa Sessions, was an accessory. This was a preliminary finding, and called for prosecution. At first the case -- against Hallowell, at least -- was pushed vigorously. Hallowell was found guilty and sentenced to be shamed, whipped, and imprisoned. He escaped before this sentence could be carried out, and vanished from public view. Nobody went to any trouble to find him.

As for Amassa Sessions, he regained his fine standing in the community, married, and fathered a house full of children before dying at a ripe old age. Reading the laudatory inscription on his 
headstone, one can almost hear the weeping of the mourners, the family and distinguished persons of the town, as they lay Amasa Sessions, pillar of the community, to rest. Less than 25 feet away lay Sarah Grosvenor, nearly 50 years dead -- evidently forgotten.


Elizabeth Welter:
  • "Girl's Brief Fling With City Night Life," Mattoon (IL) Journal Gazette, September 14, 1925
  • "Woman Surgeon Sought Following Girl's Death," Chicago Tribune, September 15, 1925
  • "Lucy Hagenow, Midwife, Held in Death of Girl," Chicago Tribune, September 16, 1925

Saturday, September 12, 2020

September 12: Abortion Pill Screw-Up Kills Chattanooga Woman

Brenda Vise, a 38-year-old pharmaceutical representative, died on September 12, 2001, of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy after what she believed would be a perfectly safe, legal abortion at Volunteer Women's Clinic in Tennessee. 

Despite having been shut down by the state, VMC continued to do business and to advertise in the yellow pages for abortions, including chemical abortions. 

On Friday, September 7, VMC staff did a pregnancy test and did an ultrasound which showed no fetus in the uterus -- a clear sign of a likely ectopic pregnancy. Instead of performing further tests, the staff just told Brenda that the fetus was "too small to be seen" and gave her a dose of Mifeprex for a chemical abortion. Brenda was then sent home from the facility with a dose Cytotec that she was to self-administer to complete her abortion. No arrangements were made for a follow-up examination. 

Over the ensuing days, Brenda called VMC repeatedly to report problems upon returning home.  "Instead of advising Ms. Vise to immediately proceed to a doctor, the Clinic continually assured her that all of these were normal symptoms and that she was not to be concerned."

When she called on Monday, September 10, indicating her deteriorating condition, she was told that her symptoms were "to be expected," and was told to travel to VMC, in Knoxville, for a check-up at 3:30 p.m. "She was specifically directed not to go to a hospital in Chattanooga because, according to the Clinic, no hospital in Chattanooga would have knowledge about the drugs that had been administered." 

Brenda's boyfriend tried to take her to Knoxville, "but was unable to do so" and called an ambulance, which rushed Brenda to a Chattanooga hospital. "Ms. Vise was immediately admitted to the hospital in very critical condition. Exploratory surgery revealed that Ms. Vise had had an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy which had ruptured. Such rupture led to massive infection and a collapse of her vital systems." 

"On September 12, 2001, the attending physician certified that Ms. Vise was terminal with no reasonable medical prospect of recovery and was in a coma and totally unresponsive. Ms. Vise died later that day."

Friday, September 11, 2020

September 11: A Socialite and Other Tragedies

A Physician in Chicago, 1976

Diane Smith, age 23, was one of the women mentioned in the Chicago Sun-Times expose, "The Abortion Profiteers." According to the report, and her death certificate, Diane was admitted to Englewood Hospital in Chicago due to hemorrhaging. She told staff that she'd had a legal abortion in a Chicago-area clinic. Diane was treated for a perforated uterus and sepsis, to no avail. Diane died on September 11, 1976.

Choosing Danger, 1970

William Day, a 21-year-old microbiology student at the University of Massachusetts, was given a five-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to charges relating to the death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old community college student Nancy Kierzek. Day, who intended to become a doctor, perpetrated the abortion in his apartment using a catheter on September 10, 1970. Nancy bled heavily so Day rushed her in his car to Holyoke Hospital in Boston. Hospital staff notified the police, who arrested Day at around 7:30 that evening at the hospital. Nancy, who had been about three months into her pregnancy, died of blood poisoning on September 11, 1970, a few hours after her admission. Abortion had been legalized in New York, and hospitals in Boston were loosening their guidelines for "therapeutic" abortions, so why Nancy would submit to an illegal abortion when she was within driving distance of a legal abortion remains a mystery. (See newly added sources below.)

A Gynecologist in New York, 1962
B&W yearbook portrait of a young white woman with thick, wavy, shoulder-length hair
Barbara Covington

Gynecologist Mandel M. Friedman, age 53, was 
out on bail for the abortion death of Vivian Greczka aka Vivian Grant when he was charged with homicide in the September 11, 1962 death of Barbara Clarke Covington. Barbara, age 35, was a Florida socialite and Chi Omega Sorority sister. 

A 31-year-old Madison Avenue advertising executive, Franklin Charles Beck, was offered immunity. He gave a 10-page statement in which he admitted to securing the $1,000 abortion fee (over $8,500 in 2020 dollars) and driving Barbara to Friedman's office at 3:00 pm. on September 10 for a consultation. They returned the next day for the abortion. He told police, "I loved her. I wanted to marry her. I did not want her to go through with this thing." He waited for about an hour while Friedman operated, only to have the doctor come out and announce, "She's gone."

Beck said that he told Friedman that he was going to call the police, but Friedman said, "Don't. You'll get us both in trouble. You'll ruin us. Think it over." He told Beck to say that Barbara had gone into convulsions and died of a heart attack.  

Friedman contacted Abbey Funeral Home to arrange for the removal of Barbara's body. The undertaker requested the necessary permission from the Board of Health and was told to contact the medical examiner's office. The medical examiner reported the case to authorities, who immediately recognized Friedman's name due to Vivian Grant's death. Their suspicions aroused, they had Barbara's body taken to the morgue at Queens General Hospital for autopsy. She had suffocated when her larynx had swollen shut during anesthesia. Her brother, State Senator D. D. Covington Jr., claimed her body and took it home to Dade City, Florida, for burial.

Friedman was questioned by authorities and released on $10,000 bail shortly after midnight, pending completion of the autopsy. He was scheduled to surrender to the Queens District Attorney's Office. Instead he fled, leading to a 13-state manhunt that ended quickly. Friedman surrendered, accompanied by his attorney and refusing to give any statement other than his name, age, address, and occupation. His original bail bondsman dropped him as a client, leaving Friedman behind bars.

After legal wrangling, Friedman entered a plea bargain, getting a manslaughter charge dropped and being sentenced to only two to four years at Sing-Sing on abortion charges.

As an aside, Friedman had two charges on his record for indecent exposure in 1939 and 1940. (See below for newly added sources.)

Physician in Chicago, 1918

On the evening of September 11, 1918, 35-year-old homemaker Gertrude Mathieson Harrington died in Chicago's Wesley Hospital. She had been admitted by Dr. John J. Gill, who noted evidence of an abortion when treating her. Dr. Helen Dugdale, an obstetrician, was arrested. She went on trial in June of 1920 but I haven't been able to determine if this was for Gertrude's death or for the death of another woman.  Dugdale had been implicated the previous year in the abortion death of Marie Benzing.


Nancy Kierzek:

  • "UMass Student Charged With Abortion," Berkshire (MA) Eagle, September 11, 1970
  • D. P. Kline, Creating Choice, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2006

Barbara Covington:

  • "13-State Alarm Is Out For MD in Abort Death," New York Daily News, September 13, 1962
  • "Frazzled Doc Surrenders In Divorcee Abort Death," New York Daily News, September 14, 1962
  • "Term in Abortions," Kansas City Times, December 12, 1963
Gertrude Harrington:
  • "Suspect Illegal Operation Caused Death of Woman," Chicago Tribune, September 12, 1918
  • "Sixteen More Face Trial as Slayers Today," Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1920

Thursday, September 10, 2020

September 10: Scanty Information on a California Death

Thirty-one-year-old Mitsue Mohar went to Pacoima Lutheran Hospital in Los Angeles County for a safe and legal abortion on August 5, 1975. Dr. Baca performed the D&C abortion under general anesthesia. After the abortion, Mitsue went into convulsions. She remained 16 days at Pacoima Lutheran without regaining consciousness.

On August 21, she was transferred to LA County/USC Medical Center, where she died on September 10 without ever regaining consciousness. The autopsy found that she had suffered hypoxic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest during the abortion, and had developed pneumonia which eventually killed her.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

September 9: Two Deaths and a Ruined Life

A Repeat Offender in Chicago, 1913

On September 9, 1913, 27-year-old Anna Adler, a homemaker, died in Chicago, on the scene of an abortion performed by Dr. Lou. E. Davis that day. Davis was arrested that day, and she was indicted by a Grand Jury on October 15, but the case never went to trial. Davis was also implicated in the 1924 abortion death of 26-year-old homemaker Mary Whitney and the 1928 abortion death of 23-year-old Esther V. Wahlstrom.

Mystery Death Leads to Ruin for Film Star

In 1921, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was one of the highest paid men in Hollywood. But on September 5 of that year, Arbuckle's life took a horrible turn nobody could have predicted. 

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A actress, 25-year-old Virginia Rappe (pronounced ra-PAY), took ill under strange circumstances at a weekend party Arbuckle was holding at a San Francisco hotel. Four days later, she was dead. A Hollywood blackmailer named Maude Delmont accused Arbuckle of raping Virginia and causing her death. He was placed on trial three times before being not only acquitted but also given a formal letter of apology from the jury for the ordeal he'd had to endure. 

Arbuckle had done nothing to harm the girl. She had taken sick at his party -- which she'd crashed. He'd put her to bed and summoned a doctor for her. For some reason, when Virginia was taken to a hospital on September 8, she was taken not to a legitimate hospital but to Wakefield Sanitorium, a maternity hospital known for performing quasi-legal abortions. Virginia died the next day, Friday, September 9. The cause of death was listed as peritonitis due to a ruptured bladder due to "external force." 

Testimony revealed that Virginia had five times availed her self of services at Roth's clinic: four times for abortions, and once to give birth to a baby. This information might seem to be unnecessarily slamming the victim, but turns out to be very relevant. Although Virginia's ruptured bladder was produced as evidence in the trial, her reproductive organs had vanished after the autopsy, which had been performed illegally on site at Wakefield Sanitorium without consulting the coroner's office. One of the doctors overseeing the autopsy, Dr. Melville Rumswell, was reputed to be an abortionist. 

Without the uterus and vagina, there was no way of knowing if Virginia had indeed suffered blunt vaginal trauma, which would have made a case against Arbuckle. But sharp instrument trauma would have cleared Arbuckle and pointed the finger at whoever performed a final, eventually fatal, abortion on Virginia Rappe. 

There is also the mystery of why Delmont directed suspicion toward Arbuckle. She was a blackmailer. Why didn't she milk Arbuckle for money? Why didn't she simply allow the police to investigate the death of the young women? To these questions, we can add two others: Why had Virginia's uterus, ovaries, and vagina been removed and disposed of? And why was Virginia brought to a marginal facility like Wakefield Sanitarium? One theory that answers the mysteries is this: Perhaps Delmont had a hand in arranging an illegal abortion that ruptured Virginia's bladder. When Virginia took ill, perhaps Delmont directed her to the Sanitarium, where the abortion may well have been performed -- where there would be accomplices who would also have a motive to keep the real reason for Virginia's death secret. And after the girl died, perhaps Delmont concocted the rape story to create a scandal that would divert attention away from herself. 

This is, of course, speculation. But since an abortionist could face murder charges if a patient died -- and since an accomplice likewise would face a prison sentence -- it's the only scenario that explains the otherwise inexplicable behavior of Delmont and whoever got rid of Virginia's uterus and vagina. 

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

September 8: Dead Teens Decades Apart

Safe and Legal in Inglewood, California

Seventeen-year-old Kathy Murphy went to Inglewood Women's Hospital in Los Angeles County for an abortion on August 24, 1973. During the days after her abortion, Kathy suffered breathing problems and became semi-conscious, so Inglewood staff transferred her by ambulance to Centinela Hospital on September 7.

Later that night, Cetinela transferred Kathy back to Inglewood, where John Dupont pronounced her dead at 1:20 on the morning of September 8. The autopsy found that Kathy had died of sepsis from the abortion; her cervix and uterus were infected, and her cervix covered with greenish-black pus.

The Inglewood facility was far better at evading responsibility than it was at providing adequate care. After Kathy's death, the next woman to die was 22-year-old Lynette Wallace, who underwent an abortion at "Inglewood Women's Hospital" on September 13, 1975, just a little over two years after Kathy Murphy's death.

Elizabeth Tsuji was the next to die. She had a saline abortion on February 2, 1978. The next to die was Cora Mae Lewis, age 23, following abortion under general anesthesia  in 1983.

Yvonne Tanner died next. The 22-year-old mother of one had an abortion performed July 10, 1984 at Inglewood. The last death I know about at Inglewood was Belinda Ann Byrd, a 37-year-old mother of three. She underwent an abortion by Steve Pine at Inglewood on January 24, 1987, when she was 19 weeks pregnant.

Belinda's mother wrote to a Los Angeles district attorney: “I am the mother of Belinda Byrd, victim of abortionists at [Inglewood]. I am also the grandmother of her three young children who are left behind and motherless. I cry every day when I think how horrible her death was. She was slashed by them and then she bled to death ... and nobody cares. I know that other young black women are now dead after abortion at that address. ... Where is [the abortionist] now? Has he been stopped? Has anything happened to him because of what he did to my Belinda? Has he served jail time for any of these cruel deaths? People tell me nothing has happened, that nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young black women dead. I’m hurting real bad and want some justice for Belinda and all other women who go like sheep to slaughter.”

In the wake of the series of abortion deaths at Inglewood, the authorities inspected the place. Among other things, they caught an abortionist writing post-operative examination notes without even examining the patients. When the state closed Inglewood for numerous violations, the facility simply re-opened as Inglewood Women's Clinic; as a clinic rather than a hospital they were no longer subject to the same intense scrutiny and were able to remain in business.

Who Killed Madge?

On September 8, 1923, 16-year-old Magdeline "
Madge" Bowman died at Chicago's Garfield Park Hospital from an abortion performed there that day. Midwife Kate Seuer and a 20-year-old man named Walter Page were arrested on October 5 based on Madge's dying declaration, but Sauer's case didn't go to court until March of 1925. As of yet I've been unable to determine the outcome. 

  • "Midwife and Youth Held Following Girl's Death," Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1923
  • "Aged Woman Held to Grand Jury as Slayer," Chicago Tribune, March 19, 1925

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Newly Discovered: The Deadly Work of Dr. Earll

While searching for new information on the Mary Ann Faulkner case, which will be posted on August 20, I found an article that mentioned Dr. Thomas Cream's cellmate: Dr. Charles Earll. Earll, like Cream, was being tried for an abortion death. I'll be doing complete write-ups of each woman's death on the anniversary. Here's a quick timeline on Earll.

Earll was incarcerated at Joliet on August 8, 1874 for one of his crimes. He was sentenced again on December 31, 1880 for the August 27, 1880 death of Etta Carll and released in February of 1885. At the time of his release he was nearly 70 years of age.

Earll was found dead in his office at 767 West Van Buren Street on the morning of March 15, 1892. He had likely died of heart disease.


  • "'True Patriots'," The Inter Ocean, August 8, 1874
  • "Earll and Cream," Chicago Tribune, November 17, 1880
  • "Etta Carl, The Inter Ocean, December 4, 1880
  • "County Gossip," The Inter Ocean, January 1, 1881
  • "Joliet," Chicago Tribune, February 6, 1885
  • "A Notorious Physician Dead," The Inter Ocean, March 16, 1892