Saturday, March 02, 2019

A Secret Legal Abortion and Three Criminal Deaths

A Secret Abortion in 1989

Sixteen-year-old Erica Richardson was brought to Dr. Gene Crawford by her aunt on March 1, 1989 for a safe, legal abortion. Erica's aunt, who had taken the girl for an abortion behind her mother's back, reported that Crawford left the girl unattended for four hours after her abortion, then at 11PM carried her to the car and instructed her aunt to take her home. Erica's aunt, a nurse, instead took the girl to a hospital. Erica died of an embolism (foreign matter or air in the bloodstream) shortly after midnight on March 2. 

An Unknown Chicago Perp in 1914

On March 2, 1914, 32-year-old Hannah Olson, a homemaker, died in Chicago, on the scene of an abortion performed that day by an unknown perpetrator.

A Chicago Midwife, 1908

"Ruby," identified as "Mrs. C." in the source document, was 24 years old when she had an abortion performed by a Chicago midwife on February 15, 1908. She began bleeding severely after the abortion. Four days later, Ruby was suffering from fever, chills, and abdominal pain. On the sixth day, a physician came to her home and performed a curettage, but her condition only continued to deteriorate. Ruby was admitted to Cook County Hospital on February 28. Her pulse was 136, her respirations 26, her fever 103.6. Her abdomen was distended and tender. She was vomiting, extremely weak, incontinent, and unable to sleep. She was evidently suffering from general peritonitis. "Death occurred on March 2, after several hours of wild delirium."

Another Chicago Midwife, 1906

Otilia Mary Winkler, age 23, was an unusual woman in 1906 Chicago. Unmarried, she worked as an electrician. At some point in early 1906, Otilia made a connection with one of Chicago's many midwife-abortionists, Wilhelmina Benn. This licensed midwife had been born in Germany around 1847, making her around 60 years old at the time. She had immigrated to the United States around 1886. Benn was charged in Otilia's death, but was never prosecuted. Benn was later charged in the June, 1916 abortion death of Rosie Kawera and the December 31, 1917 abortion death of 40-year-old homemaker Victoria Chmileuski.

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