SUMMARY: Geraldine Schuyler, age 20, died in Chicago on January 23, 1944 after an abortion perpetrated by former physician George Fosberg.Geraldine SchuylerGeraldine Schuyler, age 20, was a secretary at Matthewson Electric Company in Chicago when she learned that she was pregnant in January of 1944. She was the daughter of a construction worker and a garment worker.
She turned to her mother, Leah Schuyler, who went with her on Monday, January 17 to meet one of Leah’s friends, 49-year-old Mrs. Avis Konradt, at the corner of 41st Street and Drexel Boulevard. Konradt, a nurse, took them to a rooming house where 79-year-old George E. Fosberg was caretaker. Fosberg was a physician whose license had been revoked in 1930 when he’d gone to prison for bank fraud. He had been implicated in the abortion deaths of Bessie Orme in 1906 and Pauline Hill in 1916, but had managed to avoid prosecution or loss of his medical license for those cases.
Mrs. Schuyler paid Fosberg $100, and he took Geraldine into the basement for the abortion, accompanied by Konradt.
Geraldine started to become ill on January 20. By the night of Saturday, January 22, she took a sudden turn for the worse and was quickly taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston shortly before midnight. Less than half an hour later, she was dead.Dr. George Fosberg
Mrs. Schuyler told the police what had happened, and led them to the rooming house, where police found him “in the dusty basement of the house, walking thru stacks of his old records as a physician.” The police confiscated seven sets of surgical instruments.
Fosberg said that Konradt had indeed brought Geraldine to him asking for an abortion, but “I resented that request.” Crying on the witness sand, he said, “I suggested that she marry the man. I told her that if she had a baby she would never regret it.”
Fosberg was convicted of manslaughter rather than the more serious charge of murder by abortion. The judge had originally sentenced him to serve 14 years in prison. The sentence was deferred while Fosberg tried to get a new trial. The attempt failed. However, Fosberg’s attorney argued that due to his client’s age, a 14-year sentence was equivalent to a death sentence. Fosberg was sentenced to between one and three years.Avis KonradtI have been unable to learn anything about the outcome of the charges against Avis Konradt.
- “Girl, 20, Dies After Abortion; Nab Ex-Surgeon,” Chicago Tribune, Jan. 24, 1944
- “Physician Held For Murder in Schuyler Death,” Decatur (IL) Daily Review, Jan. 25, 1944
- “Ex-Doctor Held In Girl’s Death,” Decatur (IL) Herald, January 26, 1944
- “True Bill Charges Two With Abortion Murder,” The Pantagraph, Feb. 9, 1944
- “Draws Conviction of Manslaughter,” The Pantagraph, May 27, 1944
- “Guilt Placed in Decatur Girl’s Abortion Death,” Decatur (IL) Herald, May 27, 1944
- “Fosberg Gets 3-Year Term,” Decatur (IL) Daily Review, Jun. 6, 1944