Monday, October 19, 2020

October 19: A Deadly Quack and Other Tragedies

 One of Many Hachamovitch's Dead, New York, 1990

Nineteen-year-old Christina Goesswein ("Patient A" in medical board documents) was almost 23 weeks pregnant when she went to the office of Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch on October 17, 1990. The first part of the three-day abortion procedure was started that day. She was sent home and told to return the following day to have her cervix dilated even further for the abortion, which would take place on the 19th.


She came back on the 18th and had more laminaria inserted then returned home. That evening, her boyfriend called the doctor's office because Christina was having cramping. He was told to give her pain medicine. Christina's boyfriend called again several hours later because he felt that she was running a fever, but Christina told Dr. Hachamovitch's employee who was taking call that evening that she was okay.

Early in the morning of the 19th, the boyfriend called the employee again because Christina was experiencing heavy bleeding, cramping and vomiting. Christina stated that she felt that she was in labor. The employee instructed Christina to go to Hachamovitch's office where she and the doctor would meet her.

They all met at the office some time between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. After arriving at there, Christina lost control of her bowels. Hachamovitch then delivered her 24-week fetus in one piece.

Because Christina was not recovering as she should have, Dr. Hachamovitch decided to admit her to an area hospital, but before this could be done, Christina quit breathing and her heart stopped. Somebody called 911 at about 4:20 a.m., and Dr. Hachamovitch began CPR. Christina was taken to a Bronx hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. on October 19, due to an amniotic fluid embolism.

Hachamovitch's license was suspended over his false documentation regarding administration of oxygen, and the Christina's blood loss. The medical board also found a plethora of faults in Hachamovitch's treatment of his patient.

Christina wasn't the only patient to lose her life due to Hachamovitch's unwillingness or inability to manage his practice. Two other patients, Tanya Williamson in 1996 and Luz Rodriguez in 1986, had died of malpractice under his care. Three patients died after abortions in clinics he owned and managed elsewhere -- Lisa Bardsley and Lou Ann Herron in Arizona and Jammie Garcia in Texas.

A Naturopath in Texas, 1954

Dr. Sylvia Redman
Dr. Sylvia Redman (pictured), a 57-year-old woman who had a license to practice naturopathy in Texas, signed a written confession on October 20, 1954 regarding the death of Betty Ledel the previous day. Redman' confession said that Betty came to her on October 8, saying that she thought she was pregnant. Betty asked her "if I could help her get rid of the baby. I told her the danger of everything and she said she was not afraid. I told her I would rather her to go somewhere else and have the baby stopped in twenty four hours, because my work is slow. I do it by shooting a little air up into the womb. (uterus) By going through the cervix into the uterus, where the embryo is carried. She told me she wanted me to do it." Redman complied, repeating the process daily. 


On October 19, Betty again went to Redman. Her husband and one of their two young children waited outside in the car. Redman took Betty upstairs, "laid her on a table used for females," and inserted a canula into Betty's uterus. She pushed five syringes full of air into Betty's uterus and asked Betty if she could feel it. Betty said that she could, a little. "And she looked up at me and said I feel choky, and then she passed out." Redman also noticed that Betty was bleeding vaginally.

Redman said, "I used artificial respiration. I picked her up in my arms and laid her on the floor. And I slung water at her to try to revive her, and then I had a lady downstairs to call an ambulance. The ambulance came and got her and took her to Harris Hospital where Betty was pronounced dead on arrival. 

Redman threw away the instruments but police quickly found them and got a confession. An autopsy verified that Betty had indeed been pregnant, and blamed her death on the introduction of air into her uterus to produce abortion. The six or seven week old embryo was intact and undamaged. Betty's blood vessels had air in them, and one of her lungs had collapsed. The examiner concluded that she had died from an air embolism.

Redman seemed to have a mixed reputation in the area. She was charged with practicing medicine without a license in October of 1945, but by 1947 was in good standing, with the newspaper reporting that she had returned after a study of endo-nasal and aural therapy at Philadelphia College of Neuropathy and Naturopathy.

Redman's jury deliberated slightly under two and a half hours before finding her guilty of murder by abortion. She was sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary for four years, a far cry from the death penalty she could potentially have faced. Her appeal was denied and she was paroled in May of 1957.

Watch The Many Dead of Moshe Hachamovitch on YouTube.

(See newly added sources below.)

Two Chicago Deaths in the Early 20th Century

Russian immigrant Anna Kelson, age 20, died at her Chicago home on North Talman Avenue on October 19, 1918. Dr. Virginia Johnson, who had been called in to care for Anna, supposedly for influenzal pneumonia. She found a nurse attending to Anna but did not get the nurse's name. Dr. Johnson determined that Anna had died from an abortion and reported the death to the police.

Pelagia Usoraki, age 32, died on October 19, 1910 in a Chicago residence after an abortion perpetrated in Chicago by  Rosalie Tomajoski on October 13. Tamojosky, who was indicted by a grand jury for murder in Pelagia's death, is identified in the Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database as an "abortion provider."

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New Sources on Betty Ledel's death and Dr. Sylvia Redman:
  • "Illegal Practice Charged," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 21, 1945
  • "Dr. Redman Returns," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 22, 1947
  • "Woman Indicted on Operation Charge," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 23, 1954
  • "New Trial to Be Asked by Mrs. Redman," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 26, 1955
  • "Parole Granted To Abortionist," Fort Worth Star Telegram, May 30, 1957







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