Friday, October 23, 2020

October 23: Two Busy Doctors and Four Dead Women

On October 16, 1936, 26-year-old Katherine DiDonato, mother of two, was admitted to Roosevelt Hospital to be treated for complications of a criminal abortion. Katherine's husband, who was left to raise their two children alone, reported that the abortion had taken place three days earlier. Detectives were told that Katherine had bought pills from drug clerk Hyman Kantor, who had then recommended Dr. Aloysius Mulholland to perform an abortion. Katherine died at 2:00 AM on October 23. Both Mulholland and Kantor were arrested and charged with homicide. Mulholland had previously been charged with the 1931 abortion death of Jane Merrill. He finally went to prison in 1943 on charges related to a number of abortions not fatal to the mothers. He reportedly committed up to 10 abortions a day for which he charged $100 to $300, or a little over $1,500 to $4,600 in 2020 dollars. This meant that he could make the equivalent of  $46,000 in a single day. (Sources: "Doctor Arrested for Woman's Death," Brooklyn Times Union, October 23, 1936; "Dr. Mulholland Guilty Of Abortion Charges," Sunday News, December 19, 1943; "2 Doctors Taken In Abortion Raids," NY Daily News, April 8, 1943; Sing Sing receiving blotter)

On October 23, 1920, 19-year-old Francis Karies died at Chicago's Swedish Covenant Hospital from a criminal abortion that had been performed in Akron, Ohio, by Dr. C. W. Milliken. The coroner recommended Milliken's arrest, but there is no record if any legal action was taken against him for Francis's death. It's not likely that any action was taken, since Milliken was free to perpetrate a fatal abortion on Iva Triplet in Akron the following year.

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