Friday, November 06, 2015

Early 20th Century: An Unknown Perp and a Doctor's Fatal Work

On November 6, 1914, 25-year-old Genevive Tatar died at Cook County Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

Three years to the day later, 23-year-old Ms. Anna "Annie" Merriman died at her home in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
Dr. C. L. Tinker testified that a man had come to his office on November 2 asking him to come quickly to Annie's bedside. Dr. Tinker found her deathly ill, with her heart racing at a staggering pulse rate of 190. Annie told him that she was ailing because of an abortion that had been performed by Dr. L. H. Hughes at his practice in Dennison, Ohio.

Dr. Tinker told Annie that her only hope of survival was to be hospitalized, and she consented. She was admitted to Union Hospital in Tuscarawas County. The next day she told a hospital employee that she'd gotten pregnant by a friend, rather than by her husband, Roy, from whom she had been separated for about two years. She had only been 16 years old when they had married.

Annie also told this woman, in front of two other witnesses, about the abortion, saying that he had been performed on October 25.

Annie's condition never improved, and she died at 7 p.m. on November 6. She left behind three children. Two physicians who performed a post-mortem examination concluded that Annie had died of general septic peritonitis from the abortion. Hughes was arrested in her death.

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