Thursday, February 23, 2012

Four Criminal Deaths

Twenty-six-year-old doctor Lester C. Long married Helen Turner, daughter of Circuit Judge C. M. Turner of Cambridge, Illinois, in December of 1915. By February of 1916, the young couple's associates and neighbors began gossiping about a premature baby bump. Socially snubbed, the couple elected to get rid of the impending baby. Long made three surgical abortion attempts on his wife, and Helen grew successively more ill. Lester called in two other doctors, who refused to render aid until both husband and wife agreed to sign a document admitting to the abortion attempts. The aid of the other physicians came too late (not surprising, given sanitation and the state of medicine at the time), and Helen died at home on February 23, 1916

On February 23, 1917, 28-year-old Miss Bertha Dombrowski, who worked as a maid, died at Chicago's Garfield Park Hospital from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

On February 23, 1928, 26-year-old waitress Martha S. Watson died in Chicago from an illegal abortion. The person or persons responsible were never identified or prosecuted.

On February 14, 1944, Amelia Cardito, 34-year-old mother of 4, underwent an illegal abortion at the office of Dr. Anthony Renda. Amelia died nine days later in a New York hospital. Renda, author of three books on obstetrics, may have been a smart doctor, but he was a stupid crook. He implicated himself when he called police to complain that Amelia's widower was shaking him down for funeral expenses. Renda was sentenced to 7 years in Sing-Sing for Amelia's death.

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