Hollywood Model Dies of Botched Abortion, Nov. 19, 1941

Nov. 19, 1941, Comics

This post has be edited. See note at bottom for explanation.

Nov. 19, 1941: Angelka Rose Gogich was 18 when she died at Glendale Emergency Hospital after undergoing an abortion. She had be working as a model, hat check girl and dancer under the name Rose Ann Rae. Her boyfriend was Alfred Mathis, a 33-year-old sports promoter. The abortion was allegedly performed by a chiropractor named James F. Petrie, who fled to Mexico, claiming that his estranged wife was ill, The Times said.

On Oct. 24, 1941, Mathis brought Gogich to see Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilly of Glendale Emergency, with the story that her name was Mrs. Ann Gray and her husband was a soldier at Ft. Ord, The Times said. An examination revealed that she was pregnant and she remained at the hospital until Oct. 31, O’Reilly said. Gogich’s mother accused O’Reilly of referring the victim to Petrie, but O’Reilly denied the allegations, the Los Angeles Examiner reported.

Petrie allegedly performed an abortion, but there were complications, and on Nov. 3, Gogich returned to O’Reilly’s hospital, where she died Nov. 15. By law, O’Reilly should have reported to incident to officials, but he told the coroner’s inquest that he thought a death certificate was all that was needed. The cause of death was listed as “peritonitis due to septic abortion and pernicious anemia.”

Gogich was survived by her mother, Rose, and a sister, Nellie.

In 1942, Petrie returned from Mexico and on March 30, he surrendered to LAPD Homicide Detective Harry Fremont. While free on bail, he was accused to trying to get a witness to change her testimony. The outcome of the case cannot be found in The Times.

If the names in this case sound familiar, there’s a reason. Harry Fremont was one of the investigators in the Black Dahlia case and was later charged in the Bloody Christmas beatings. Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilly (sometimes spelled O’Reilley or O’Riley) was a notorious character who was accused to trying to rape his receptionist and was investigated in the Black Dahlia case as a member of a “clique of sex degenerates.”   No link was ever found between him and Elizabeth Short.

A few historical notes on abortions: Like most papers of this era, The Times rarely used the word “abortion,” and preferred “illegal operation.” Other euphemisms were “criminally attacked” for rape and “mistreated” molestation. It is extremely rare to find a licensed medical doctor performing abortions in this era. They were usually done by chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists, nurses, possibly a medical student and sometimes people with no medical training whatsoever.


Tom Treanor
writes about the recent visit of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Jimmie Fidler says:That femme columnist who likes to correct other reporters (but makes so many mistakes herself that others have long since lost sport in correcting her) achieved a new high in misreporting.

Note: I have edited this post to add attribution from The Times and the Examiner, and to qualify the allegations against Petrie, because I was unable to determine the resolution of the case.

Nov. 19, 1941, Abortion

Nov. 19, 1941, Tom Treanor

Nov. 19, 1941, Jimmie Fidler

Nov. 19, 1941, Jimmie Fidler

Nov. 19, 1941, Jimmie Fidler

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1941, Abortion, Art & Artists, Black Dahlia, Columnists, Comics, Film, Hollywood, Homicide, LAPD, Medicine, Obituaries and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hollywood Model Dies of Botched Abortion, Nov. 19, 1941

  1. Mike M. says:

    We used (and they may still) use the term “attack” in place of “rape” over LAPD’s radio system. The usage goes back to the 1930′s, I was told, back when you could listen to LAPD on your home radio.. Great job on this site, Larry, et al!

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