Eva Clifton

SUMMARY: Then November 18, 1942 death of Theresa Costello in Chicago was originally, and erroneously, attributed to abortion.

Dr. Harry Heiss, age 48, and his receptionist, Theresa Costello, age 47, were arrested for murder by abortion in the November 18, 1942 death of Mrs. Eva Clifton, age 31. She died at Illinois Masonic Hospital. Her husband, Joseph, was a special policeman for Con Edison.

The two were cleared and released, however, when a coroner’s jury ruled that Eva had died of heart and lung ailments and not from an abortion.


  • “Charge Doctor With Murder in Abortion Death,” Chicago Tribune, November 20, 1942
  • “Dr. Harry Heiss Exonerated in Abortion Case,” Chicago Tribune, December 31, 1943