Monday, October 31, 2005

Two more October deaths to remember

I don't have specific dates for these deaths; both women died sometime in October.

A Philadelphia boarding house owner reported that in early October of 1839, a Dr. Henry Chauncey appeared at breakfast time. "He made me make some tea of a powder that looked like black pepper." The tea was given to 21-year-old Eliza Sowers, a paper mill worker. She'd been brought to the boarding house by Chauncey the day before.

At around 2:00 the following morning, Eliza called to the boarding house owner. "She said she was very bad. She said, 'I won't take any more of that doctor's medicine; it will kill me.'" Chauncey returned later, performing some sort of procedure upon Eliza with something "which shined and looked like a knitting needle," according to the owner of the boarding house. Chauncey said that Eliza was "the most difficult person he had ever operated on. Said the medicine he gave her was too powerful, and had acted too quick."

Eliza died from the ministrations of Dr. Chauncey. The trial revealed that Eliza had been seduced by William Nixon, her superintendant at the paper mill.

In October of 1992, 19-year-old Arlin Della Cruz disappeared from her Pennsylvania home. A search found her hanging from a tree in a nearby woods. "Under her shirt, the coroner found Arlin's favorite stuffed animal -- a rabbit." Arlin's mother said that Arlin had left a suicide note saying that she wanted to go be with her baby. One of Arlin's friends reported that Arlin wanted the baby, but chose abortion to try to salvage her relationship with her boyfriend.

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