Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April 13: "Don't tell on him," Pleads Dying Wife

"Don't tell on him -- don't tell what he did to me," 22-year-old homemaker Maybella "Mabel" Krauss reportedly said to neighbor Mary Kise as she lay dying at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Neighbors -- some as far as a block away -- reported hearing Mabel screaming on the night of Friday, April 11, 1924. They heard her begging of her husband, Nicholas Krauss, to stop hurting her and to leave her alone.

Neighbors later saw instruments Nicholas had supposedly used.

Dr. Charles W. Ursprung examined Mabel on April 11 and found her to be in serious condition, which is presumed was due to an abortion. He admitted her to the hospital and attended her until her death at 11 pm on April 13. She left two small children behind.

Husband, Nicholas Krauss, reported said of the doctors and nurses, "I have fooled them"

Nicholas Krauss's defense was that Mabel had performed the abortion herself, an assertion that was repeated as the cause of her fatal peritonitis on her death certificate. Dr. Jerry Sullivan testified that in March Mabel had told him that she was pregnant and wanted to "get rid of the child," since the two she had were enough.

After Mabel's death, Krauss reportedly asked around for a good housekeeper, only wanting "something young." He hired Helen N. Singleton. The two of them were later charged with adultery. Those charges were pending when Kraus was found guilty.


  • Death certificate
  • "Krauss is Guilty of Serious Crime on Deceased Wife," Lancaster (PA) Daily Intelligencer, September 10, 1924

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