Harvey Lothringer

HarveyLothringer.jpgLike the Jacqueline Smith case in the previous decade, the strange events surrounding the death of 19-year-old Barbara Lofrumento have become almost an urban legend. But the tale of Barbara’s tragic death and its aftermath is all too true.

Barbara, a 19-year-old college student, informed her parents that she was pregnant. Mr. and Mrs. Lofrumento cast about for a reputable abortionist and were referred by an acquaintance to Dr. Harvey Norman Lothringer. Lothringer, a Princeton graduate, examined Barbara on June 2, 1962, and assured the parents that although Barbara’s pregnancy was 5 months advanced, there was no danger. He arranged to pick up Barbara and her mother, Rose, and took them to his office, which was in his home in a wealthy section of Queens.

lofrumento.jpgBarbara Lofrumento
After spending time alone with Barbara in his office, Lothringer sent Mrs. Lofrumento home. The next morning Barbara’s parents returned to Lothringer’s home, where they found several patients waiting outside. No one had seen Lothringer. Mr. Lofrumento waited for several hours, then went home, and contacted the police to report Barbara missing. She was found, chopped into pieces, in the stopped-up drains of Lothringer’s home.

Theresa Carillo.jpgThereas CarilloLothringer, who had already been under surveillance for suspected abortion activities, appeared to have fled the country, accompanied by Theresa Carillo, a Cuban-born former stewardess who was serving as his receptionist. Lothringer was well-to-do, with reports circulating that he kept as much as a million dollars cash in safe deposit boxes. An international manhunt was launched, with Lothringer first being traced to the area of his family’s hunting lodge about 60 miles from Montreal. Eventually he was extradited from Andorra, where he was discovered in 1962.

lothringer-fbi.jpgLothringer’s wanted posterLothringer told police that Barbara had developed an air embolism. He had tried to dispose of her body, he said, to keep his receptionist from being implicated. He plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter in Barbara’s death and was sentenced to 2 to 8 years. Barbara’s mother reportedly screamed and fainted when she heard of what she considered a light sentence; Barbara’s father called it “discount justice.” But Lothringer’s lawyer reported receiving numerous calls from Lothringer’s woman patients, in support of the doctor.

Lothringer’s medical license was revoked. He served four years in prison, and in 1968 he was released on parole.

Lothringer petitioned the medical board in 1972 to get his license restored, but the request was denied. In 1973, after Roe vs. Wade was handed down, Lothringer tried again, and this time he succeeded. On October 17, 1973, he was put on a five-year probationary status and given his license back. The New York Times said, “State officials said that records explaining why Dr. Lothringer’s license was restored were in archives and not readily available.”

Lothringer practiced psychiatry with no disciplinary actions or trouble until 1996, when he was working as a prison doctor. He ordered that the antidepressant 17-year-old Nancy Blumenthal was taking be discontinued, on the ground that the girl complained that the medication made her violent. Despite pleas by Nancy’s mother, Nancy was not put on any other medication to address her depression. A month later, she hanged herself in her cell.

Lothringer was born February 1, 1921, the son of David and Helen Lothringer. He served in the US Army Medical Corps from May of 1943 to September of 1944, then went into private practice in 1946. His medical practice allowed him to thrive, with an $85,000 a year income, 100 suits, and three cars in addition to his lavish, $75,000 13-room home in a posh neighborhood. His wife, Felice, won separation from him and custody of their two children in a 1957 case; she characterized her husband as a “Jeckyl and Hyde” who was professional at work but violent at home. He died May 22, 2006 in Hastings On Hudson, Westchester County, New York.

external image Illegals.png
In the 1960s, we see the 20th Century downward trend in abortion mortality resumed — until a brief upturn starting in 1968, when some states first started loosening their abortion laws. For more, see Abortion Deaths in the 1960’s.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion


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