Monday, February 26, 2024

February 26, 1943: Woman's Death Gets One Sentence of News Coverage

Dr. Henry Gross, age 56, had a reputable medical practice at 843 Belmont Avenue in Chicago in the 1940s. However, after a Dr. Ira Willits died, Gross purchased the dead man's office and set up an abortion practice there under Willits's name.

On January 28, 1943, 22-year-old Lavern Perez died in her Chicago home. Gross was convicted in her death but won a new trial.

Buried in the coverage of Lavern's death is a mention of the February 26, 1943 abortion death of 20-year-old waitress Dorothy Weber.

After Gross was granted a new trial, he and both the women vanish from the records.

Watch One-Sentence Coverage of Abortion Death on YouTube.


Saturday, February 17, 2024

February 17, 1995: First of Biskind's Two Dead Patients

Lisa Bardsley was 26 years old and at least 20 weeks pregnant when she had a safe and legal abortion done by Dr. John Biskind (pictured) at A to Z Women's Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona on February 16, 1995. She was discharged an hour later.

On the way home to Flagstaff, Arizona, she took ill, so she and her boyfriend, who had accompanied her, stopped at a motel at Camp Verde. Lisa hoped that if she rested a while she'd feel better. However, her pain worsened and she began suffering shortness of breath. Her boyfriend called 911. 

Lisa was taken to a hospital in Cottonwood, where she died of blood loss from a uterine laceration on February 17. 

Biskind went on to get into further trouble for delivering a live, nearly term infant during an abortion performed on a teenager, and for the abortion death of Lou Ann Herron, for which he was convicted of manslaughter. The clinic where Lisa was fatally injured was owned by abortionist Moshe Hachamovitch, who was implicated in the abortion deaths of Christina Goesswein, Tanya Williamson, Luz Rodriguez, and Jammie Garcia.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

February Stella Lickerman needs rewrite

Stella: born Chicago to Charles and Celia Stifter. Family moved to Detroit between 1910 and 1920. Married Abner Lickerman in Detroit. Everybody returned to Chicago some time between 1920 and 1930.  Abner had been born in Poland and lived in Chicago but married stella in Detroit on 31 May 1925. 

Dr. William Eugene Shelton, who went by his first initial and middle name, was charged with murder in the February 6, 1927 abortion death of 23-year-old homemaker Stella Stifter Lickerman and five other women whose names I've been unable to determine.

Shelton wasn't arrested until October of 1928.

Shelton ran two "hospital flats" in Chicago, one on 6343 Halsted St. and one at 6341 Halsted St.

Two nurses were also arrested and charged with conspiracy. Nurse Sylvia Atcherly was arrested at the 6343 address while nurse Ophelia Roper Griffith worked at the 6341 address.

Two other women were arrested and released after three days of questioning: Mrs. Gertrude Vollert, who was a cook at one of the flats, and Pearl Hawkins, a maid. Mrs. Vollert had been arrested because, clad in her white cook's uniform, she had been mistaken at first for another nurse. She indicated that she was only a substitute cook, filling in for the regular cook on occasion. 

The raid took place based on a lead provided by a barber named Elmer Duval. Duval had married Sylvia Atcherly, the nurse, in 1924 and lived with her at the hospital until the couple split up. His evident motive for spilling the beans was that he hated Shelton.

Duval said that Shelton had fired one of his nurses, Helen Goode, blaming her for Stella's death and saying that it would cost him $5,000 to "square that case."

Police found indications that Shelton would perpetrate the abortions, and if the women suffered complications he would transport them in his car to a hospital on Chicago's west side. 

Based on Duval's statements, police began an investigation that led to the raid. They found two young women in hospital beds in a front room of the flat. Both had recently undergone abortions. After giving statements they were transferred to the county hospital for care. Shelton had charged each woman $200.

Duval said that the first woman to die at Shelton's hands had died in December of 1926.

Duval  said that Stella Lickerman was the second abortion patient to die. He provided information that led police to her family. They indicated that she had been treated by Shelton, and that another doctor who examined her later found evidence of an abortion.

The only other information I've been able to obtain is that Duval said that one of the victims was 18 years old. Strangely enough, all mention of Shelton seems to vanish from the records after his indictment.

Recently added sources:

February 1, 1977: Happy Birthday, Cecelia's Baby

Suction abortion performed after misdiagnosed fetal age, baby born partially scalped but survived: Dr. Joseph Rucker reportedly examined 14-year-old Cecelia G., estimated her pregnancy as 14 weeks, and tried to perform a suction abortion on her on January 26, 1977. Cecelia began to hemorrhage, and was transported to a hospital by car. There, a doctor examined her, and discovered she was 7 months pregnant. She was released, but returned days later. Her infant girl was born February 1, with a 2-inch piece of her scalp missing.