Friday, January 22, 2021

January 22: Two Habitually Deadly Doctors

Second of Four for Paulina Bechtel

On January 22, 1900, Mrs. Barbara Shelgren, age 25, died at Augustana Hospital in Chicago of an abortion performed that day. Dr. Paulina Bechtel, identified as a midwife in the Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database, was arrested and held by Coroner's Jury and indicted of homicide by a grand jury, but the case was thrown out by Judge Holdom. Bechtel had already been tried in the October 3, 1895 abortion death of Mrs. Kittie Bassett. She had only just been implicated in the abortion death of Ida Henry earlier in January of 1900. She was later implicated in the abortion death of Mary Thorning in 1911.

Thirteenth of Eighteen for Lucy Hagenow

A bespectacled woman, past middle-age, staring intently into the camera. She wears a dark sailor-style hat and collar.
Lucy Hagenow
On January 22, 1925, 17-year-old homemaker Jean Cohen, a Connecticut native, died at Chicago's Montrose Hospital from an abortion. On January 31, Louise Hagenow was arrested in Jean's death. However, Hagenow, though a known abortionist, was for some reason cleared in Jean's death. Hagenow, had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie DorrisAbbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, then relocated to Chicago. Hagenow later noted that Chicago was corrupt and thus a genial environment for criminal abortionists. There she was connected to over a dozen abortion deaths, including  Minnie Deering, Sophia Kuhn , Emily Anderson, Hannah Carlson, Marie HechtMay Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Nina H. Pierce, Elizabeth WelterBridget MastersonLottie Lowy, and Mary MooreheadHagenow was typical of criminal abortionists in that she was a physician.

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