Friday, February 26, 2021

February 26: Precursor to an Epidemic of Abortion Deaths

Marie Epperson, a 19-year-old telephone operator, died February 26, 1929 after an abortion in Oklahoma City. Two physicians were suspected: Richard Thacker and John W. Eisiminger. There wasn't even news coverage of the case and everything seemed to just blow over. 

Three years later all hell broke lose.

The spring of 1932 brought a sudden string of criminal abortion deaths to Oklahoma City, attributed to Thacker and Eisiminger either singly or as a pair:
  • March 18: Margaret Ann Kuenkel  (Thacker)
  • April 3:  Ethel Hestand (Thacker)
  • April 14:  Isobel Ferguson (Eisiminger and Thacker)
  • April 15: Ruth Hall (Eisiminger and Thacker)
  • April 20:  Robbie Lou Thompson (Thacker)
  • April 23: Virginia Lee Wyckoff  (Eisiminger)
  • April 23: Lennis May Roach (Eisiminger and Thacker)
  • April 24: Nancy Joe Lee (Thacker)
A little bit more attention from the authorities after Marie's death could have prevented the deaths of as many as eight other women.

Watch Fatal Foot-Dragging on YouTube.

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