Saturday, March 02, 2019

Dr. Hagenow's 1906 Victim

On March 2, 1906, 28-year-old Lola Maddison of Salt Lake City, Utah, died from an abortion at in Chicago. She went to Chicago on the advice of a friend and made straight for Lucy Hagenow's practice, where she remained for several days. Somehow her sister, Kathryn, who was a nurse in Chicago, learned where Lola was. On February 20 she went to check on her. She found Lola seriously ill, and had her brought to her home on Cass Street before notifying the police. The police, upon seeing Lola's grave condition, had her brought immediately to Passavant Hospital.

The coroner, facing ongoing stonewalling in his investigation into the abortion death of Mercedes Berriozabal, worked hard to get as much information as possible from Lola before her lips were sealed by death. She made a deathbed statement detailing the events leading to her demise, though she adamantly refused to divulge the name of the baby's father, who she said had provided her with $100 to cover travel expenses and the cost of the abortion.

Police Sargent George W. Pearsall took Hagenow to Lola's room at Passavant Hospital about five o'clock on the afternoon of February 20. He asked Lola, "Do you know this woman?" To which Lola replied, "Oh, yes, that is the doctor." The police captain asked for clarification and Lola identified Hagenow as the doctor who had performed the abortion at her office on Clark Street. 

Abortionist Lucy "Louise" Hagenow
Hagenow was well known to Chicago police. She had been implicated the death of Minnie Deering in 1891 and Sophia Kuhn in 1892. Later that same year she was implicated in the abortion death of Emily Anderson.

Her first Cook County trial was in 1895, when Mary Putnam had died under her care. Hagenow was acquitted in the case and promptly went on to be implicated in the July, 1896 abortion death of Hannah Carlson. Though Hannah's brother identified Hagenow as the abortionist, the jury was unable to dismiss Hagenow's claims that she had only been caring for Hannah after a self-induced abortion, and she was again acquitted.

The August, 1899 abortion death of Marie Hecht brought a change in Hagenow's fortunes. Marie's deathbed statement, and corroborating testimony by one of Marie's friends, secured a conviction. In February of 1900, Hagenow was sent to Joliet Penitentiary to serve a sentence of one year to life. She served only the one year then was released and seemed to have kept herself out of trouble until Lola's death. She was arrested and held by the coroner's jury March 3. Emma L. Anderson, identified as Hagenow's niece, was unable to get the charges dismisses, but was able to argue in favor of her aunt's release on $10,000 bail. Because of technical issues with the indictment, the case was dropped on July 22, 1907. This left Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise DerchowAnnie DorrisAbbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, to perform a fatal abortion on Annie Horvatich in 1907. Annie's death finally won Hagenow a trip to Joliet. She was freed on October 29, 1917, having served less than half of her sentence. Over the next few years she botched a few abortions and got herself arrested, but all of the women survived. 

Then, suddenly in 1925, it was as if something snapped and Hagenow began making up for lost time. Five young women lost their lives at Lucy Hagenow's hands that year: Lottie LowyNina H. PierceJean CohenBridget Masterson, and Elizabeth Welter. Hagenow followed up in 1926 with her final patient death: Mary MooreheadThat makes a total of 17 abortion deaths I could positively identify for which Hagenow was implicated in some way. She served about a year for the death of Marie Hecht, and was incarcerated for the death of Annie Horvatich until 1917. Though she was sentenced to prison for the death of Mary Moorehead, when she appealed the Supreme Court of Illinois ordered a new trial in 1929. The judge, noting that there was no new evidence, dismissed the case, telling Hagenow, "You had better make your peace with God, Lucy Hagenow. I do not think your months on earth are many."

Hagenow, the Associated Press noted, was nearly deaf and "may not have heard. She muttered something, and shambled laboriously from the room."

As near as I can determine, Hagenow died September 26, 1933, in Norwood Park, Cook County, Illinois. 

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