Blogging the Wolfe Book, Notes on L.A. Abortions in the 1940s

Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Since we’re talking about abortion and abortion rings, protection, etc., here are all the news stories involving arrests or patients’ deaths in Los Angeles between 1940 and 1949 for abortions listed in the Los Angeles Times.

    • Dr. Samuel D. Barnes, 71, 7416 Rosewood, March 10, 1940. Dorothy Lee Jones, 17, died.

  • Mrs. Maria Lopez Gomez, March 23, 1940. Placed body of patient Jovita Ochoa on railroad tracks to conceal death from abortion.

  • Lucille Johnson, 26, 1418 Las Palmas, March 28, 1940. Doris Cheslin, 23-year-old theater usher and mother of two children, died.

  • Amanda I. Lowe, 52, osteopath, March 29, 1940. Implicated in death of Doris Cheslin. Cheslin reportedly told Lowe that she would “throw herself in front of a streetcar” if they didn’t perform an operation on her.

  • Dr. David Greenwood, 1604 S. 9th St., Alhambra, June 12, 1940. Verna Marie Hendrix, 18, died.

  • May/Mae Ramsey, 57; William Chrissman, 50; Claude Ramsey; Esther Ramsey; Grace Balch; Lillian Foster; Stanley Watson and Antone Jackson, 32, Dec. 27, 1940, accused in abortion ring.

  • Dr. Eugene C. Nelson, 53, March 5, 1941. Accused of performing an abortion by Tillie D. Urazzo, 26, who was in critical condition at General Hospital. Note that The Times identifies Nelson as being black.

  • Dr. Walter R. Amlin, 39, chiropractor, 2458 E. Villa St., Pasadena, Oct. 5, 1941. Louisina Olga Bowers, 22, died. The Times identified her as black.

  • Dr. Edmund Marineau, 38, and Mabel Wilson, 38, 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Oct. 7, 1941. They charged $55. Named by unidentified patient who was taken to the hospital.

  • Al Mathis and Dr. James F. Petrie, chiropractor, Nov. 20, 1941. Angelika Gogich, 18, a dancer who performed as Rose Ann Rae, died. Ah, now this is interesting. One of the witnesses in the case is Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilley (a man of many spellings) who was investigated in the Black Dahlia case. O’Reilley said Gogich had given him a fake name, told him she was married to a solider. He testified that she stayed at his Glendale sanitarium for a time, left, and returned to die from an abortion.

  • Dr. William H. Kanner, 34, osteopath, 6636 Hollywood Blvd., March 28, 1942.

  • Dr. Phillip Murphy, 50, 617 S. Olive, Sept. 3, 1942. Reported by patient who went to hospital for treatment.

  • Dr. Arthur M. Tweedie, 61, 3326 W. 54th St., Sept. 18, 1942. Patient Leona Tarleton, 35, died.

  • Peggy La Rue Satterlee, 16, who accused Errol Flynn of statutory rape reveals that she had an abortion, Jan. 21, 1943. “The operation was the result of an indiscretion with a man other than Flynn, although the man’s name was not brought out in questioning,” The Times said.

  • Dr. Heinrich von Mullendorf, 47, 1680 N. Vine, June 16, 1943. Mabel Lois Kohny, 22, died. Interestingly enough, she lived at 1043 W. 6th St., a stone’s throw from what was abortion central, according to Wolfe and Steve Hodel.

  • Dr. Karl Weberg, 69, Pasadena chiropractor, dies under suspicious circumstances shortly before he is to face trial in the death of an abortion patient, Jan. 14, 1944. Unidentified patient died.

  • Dr. Amos Clapp, 38, Long Beach chiropractor, Jan. 22, 1944. Doris J. Branch, 18, died.

  • Dr. William J. Ross, 30, 2239 Moreno Drive, Feb. 19, 1944. Isabell Leona Jenkins, 25, died.

  • Dr. Roland K. Harris, Long Beach chiropractor. Aug. 15, 1944. Julia Zubillaga, 26, died.

  • Dr. Mae Wilson, 53, osteopath, 357 S. Hill, Oct. 24, 1944. Patient Frances Drapier, 33, reveals name before dying.

  • Dr. Frank Webb, March 27, 1945. Rita Louise Brown, 18, dies. Possibly Dr. Faye E. Cramer, 48, 134 W. Broadway, Hawthorne, April 3, 1945. Rita Brown, 18, dies.

  • Hm. Sterling W. Brooks, an agent for the State Board of Medical Examiners, was freed on charges of accepting a $100 bribe to permit a chiropractor accused of performing illegal operations to continue practicing, March 18, 1945.

  • Dr. Samuel D. Collins, 42, chiropractor, 516 S. Commonwealth, May 23, 1945. Patient in critical condition.

  • Margie F. Wilson, 22, dies from abortion, July 28, 1945.

  • Hester Ann Hesketh pleads guilty to performing an abortion, Aug. 24, 1945. Thelma Reeves, 19, died.

  • Ex-Police Officer William Malone held for performing abortions, 1501 S. Grand, Oct. 18, 1946.

  • May/Mae Ramsey (again), Oct. 30, 1946.

  • Dr. Ralph W. Dorn, chiropractor, 3041 W. 7th St., freed of murder charges, Dec. 3, 1946. Marjorie Jean Busley, 22, died.

  • Ethel Louise Gandy, 23, telephone operator. Performed an abortion at her home, 3124 Wynwood Lane, for $25, July 23, 1947. Violet C. Pagnusat, 38, died.

  • Vera McDowell Boswell and Dolores Youngs accused of performing abortion on 13-year-old girl, June 30, 1948. Youngs is the widow of Medical Board investigator Maynard Youngs.

  • Dr. Cecil R. Pollom, chiropractor, Dr. Leland Guy, chiropractor, 356 S. Broadway. Dr. Eric Kirk, chiropractor, Sept. 30, 1948. Kirk later claimed that Charles Stoker and Audre Davis tried to extort money from him.

  • Dr. James Stratford Allen, 51, osteopath, 13733 Sylvan St., Van Nuys, Feb. 16, 1949. This arrest, like Pollom’s, was by Ed Jokisch and his partner Lloyd Burton.

  • Harold J. Blake, 29, laborer, and Ralph H. Owen, haberdasher, 6404 Selma, Feb. 17, 1949. They charged $250.

  • Dr. Felix Spector, 32, osteopath, 922 S. Atlantic; Dr. Arthur E. Pike, 62, osteopath, 1833 American Ave., Long Beach. March 26, 1949.

  • Dr. Leonard Maxwell Arons, 44, 3170 Lake Hollywood Drive, May 31, 1949. Dr. Frank Bunker and Mary Jensen also arrested. Billie Burke, 17, of 2114 Rockledge, died. Another arrest by Jokisch and Burton.

  • Dr. Francis E. Ballard, 36, 9421 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Charles Smith, employee. Oct. 18, 1949.

  • Dr. Benno Z. Reinard, 50, 858 S. Fairfax Ave., Dec. 17, 1949. Ruth West, 33, died.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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1 Response to Blogging the Wolfe Book, Notes on L.A. Abortions in the 1940s

  1. Anonymous says:

    I put my family name into search and found this site about abortions in the 40’s. I scrolled down and found the name address and cost ($25)for the abortion that my mother died from 61 years ago. I knew she died from an abortion but this was a lot of information.


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