Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three Historic Chicago Abortion Deaths

Dr. Thomas Neill Cream
On August 20, 1880, Miss Mary Faulkner  died at the Chicago office of Dr. Thomas J. Cream during the commission of an illegal abortion. Cream and Mrs. Mackey, a nurse, were arrested in Mary's death. Cream was sentenced to life in prison not for Mary's death but for the death of his lover's husband, who died after taking poison Cream provided. A letter writing campaign -- and a promise to cleave the country -- got him released. He moved to London and gained infamy as a serial murderer, killing young women with poison. He was hanged in Newgate Prison in 1892.

On August 20, 1913, 20-year-old Emma Witte, a clerk, died in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated that day at the office of Dr. Otis M. Walker. Emma reportedly went to Walker's office early Wednesday morning. Dr. Charles L. West was summoned there to administer chloroform. He didn't linger, but returned late that afternoon he found Emma evidently lifeless, with Walker desperately attempting to revive her. She was rushed to St. Anthony's Hospital but declared dead on arrival. Walker was indicted by a Grand Jury that day, but the case never went to trial. 

On August 20, 1918, 28-year-old secretary Alma Heidenway died at 329 South Ashland Avenue in Chicago from an abortion performed that day by Dr. J. A. Stough. Stough, along with Fred Cordray and Alice J. Kennedy, were held by the Coroner on September 5. Eunice Magill was 'brought back from Forest Park." Stough and Cordray were acquitted on May 29, 1919. The others never went to trial for Alma's death.

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