SUMMARY: Virginia Wyckoff, age 21, died April 24, 1932 after an abortion by Oklahoma City physician J. W. Eisiminger.

Virginia Lee Wyckoff, a University of Oklahoma student, age 21, died from complications of an abortion on April 24, 1932. Hers was one of a string of deaths in the city that year.

EisimingerHeadshot.jpg
Dr. J. W. Eisiminger
Dr. J.W. Eisiminger
, an osteopath, was tried and convicted of murder in Virginia's death. He admitted to having treated her in his office on April 3, but said that he didn't believe she was pregnant. Nevertheless, Virginia spent several days in a private home where Eisiminger kept recovering abortion patients under the care of Mrs. Luther Bryant Price. Dr. Richard Thacker also used Mrs. Price's home as a recovery center for his abortion patients.

Virginia was transferred from Mrs. Prices's home to Oklahoma City General Hospital, where she died of septicemia, first having told doctors there that Eisiminger had performed the fatal abortion.. A deathbed statement absolving Eisiminger was proven to be a forgery.

Eisiminger was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in her abortion death. The sentence was later reduced to 15 years.

Eisiminger also got in trouble when allegations arose that his wife, Marie, paid a bribe to try to secure his release.

Eisiminger was also implicated in the abortion deaths of Mrs. Isobel F. Ferguson, Lennis May Roach, and Ruth Hall in April of 1932.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1930s.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion


ReportConfession.jpgSources:
  • "Abortion", The Oklahoman, Apr. 4, 1937;
  • "Eisiminger is Given Parole", The Oklahoman, Feb. 6, 1942;
  • "Eisiminger to Face Renewed Death Charge", The Oklahoman, Mar. 26, 1937;
  • "Fixings of 'Real Guilt' Pledged by Eisiminger",The Oklahoman, Nov. 16, 1943;
  • "Second City Doctor Faces Death Charge", The Oklahoman, Apr. 29, 1932;
  • "Abortion Ring", Time, Monday, 9 May, 1932
  • "Report Confession in Death of Girl," Milwaukee Journal, Mar. 28, 1937
  • "Investigation of Many Suspected Cases Under Say," Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Apr. 29, 1932
  • "Illegal Surgery Kills Seven Girls," Asbury Park (NJ) Press, Apr. 29, 1932
  • "Jail Osteopath, Seek Doctor in Co-eds' Deaths," Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, Apr. 29, 1932
  • "Osteopath Faces Charge of Murder," Newport News (VA) Daily Press, Apr. 29, 1932
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EisimingerThackerElmiraNYStar-Gazette29Apr1932.jpg

EisimingerThackerAsburyParkNJPress29Apr1932.jpg

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ThackerInvestigationOshkoshDailyNorthwestern29Apr1932.png







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