In February of1871, Dr. C. C. O’Donnell was arrested for murder in the death of Mrs. Addie C. Hand of Clemtina Street. “She was buried on a certificate that she had died of a congestive chill. The publicity given to startling rumors concerning her death led to the body being exhumed, when an examination disclosed the fact that an abortion had been preformed.” An inquest found that she had visited O’Donnell twice before her death. Addie’s friend Jennie West testified that Addie had told her that O’Donnell had made two attempts to perform an abortion on her. However, there was insufficient evidence to hold him, and O’Donnell was released.
In November of1878, Eugenie Chauvet died “under circumstances that unquestionably indicated criminal practice. At the coroner’s inquest, Mrs. Julia Harvey testified that before dying, Eugenie had told her that Dr. C. C. O’Donnell had performed an abortion on her. However, the case was thrown out because it hadn’t been ascertained that Eugenie had known that she was going to die when she told Mrs. Harvey about the abortion, thus her statement was inadmissible as a deathbed statement.
“‘Dr.’ C. C. O’Donnell,” San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 3, 1878