Monday, April 23, 2012

The Nefarious Work of Two Repeat Offenders

On April 23, 1920, 30-year-old homemaker Violet McCormick died at the practice of an abortionist named Achtenberg, leaving behind three children ages 12, 9, and 6. From information about other Chicago area abortion deaths, we can gather that the abortionist in question was Dr. Louise Achtenberg, who had already been implicated in the abortion deaths of Dora Swan in 1907 and Florence Wright in 1909. After Violet's death, Achtenberg was held by the coroner and tried, but acquitted, freeing her to cause the 1924 death of Madelyn Anderson.

Dr. Richard E. Thacker (pictured) was prosecuted for the April 23, 1932 abortion death of 21-year-old telegraph operator Robbie Lou Thompson in Oklahoma City. Robbie Lou died of sepsis.  Thacker fled the state, leading to a manhunt that finally located him in Springdale, Arkansas. Thacker, a former Army doctor, had a short but deadly abortion career, resulting in the deaths of Robbie Lou and of  Ruth HallLennis May Roach and Nancy Joe Seay Lee.

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