Thursday, June 01, 2023

June 1, 1938: The First Death Wasn't Enough to Stop Him

Otto C. Lucy
Mary Ellen Legge, a 24-year-old department store clerk, died June 1, 1938, from a criminal abortion perpetrated on May 21. The abortionist was identified as 37-year-old Otto Castro Lucy, former dean at Central State College of Edmond, OK, erstwhile speech teacher, and psychologist.

Lucy was arrested and heard without bail on a charge of murder.

Lucy had been raising eyebrows in his neighborhood. Those living nearby complained of patients arriving at Lucy's home day and night and sometimes being carried out on stretchers. This would mean that Lucy was running a clinic, in violation of zoning ordinances. Lucy insisted that he was living in the dwelling, not conducting any sort of business out of it. Strangely, new coverage of this dispute doesn't mention the death of Mary Ellen Legge less than a month earlier. In fact, Lucy wasn't even arrested until July 22 of 1940.

A practical nurse, 49-year-old Ella Hartin, admitted to helping Lucy perform the abortion. She said that Lucy had frequently brought his abortion patients to her home. She, too, was arrested.

While he was out on $9,000 bail pending disposition of this case, roughly a year after Mary Ellen's death, Lucy performed a fatal abortion on Goldie Crow. He had perpetrated another abortion, on a stenographer who lived, between his arrest and his first trial in the Mary Ellen Legge case. 

Though he was not a licensed physician, he is listed in the phone book as "Dr. Otto C. Lucy."

Otto was sentenced to sentenced to 25 years for manslaughter in the death of Goldie Crowe. He then pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in Mary Ellen's death after being told that the plea would mean both his sentences would be served concurrently. Lucy also pleaded guilty to a separate abortion charge and was given a three year sentence, to be served concurrently with the manslaughter sentences. 

 He had charged Mary Ellen $75 for the fatal abortion. 

Although he balked at first, Governor Robert S. Kerr finally granted Lucy parole in May of 1945. Prior to his parole he was granted an extended leave from prison due to poor health and the need for medical care.

Watch "The First Death Wasn't Enough" on YouTube.


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