Kitty Lynch

Nellie1.pngA young woman identified only as “Nellie” — which was believed to be a false name — died at 2p.m. on West Fayetteville Street in Syracuse. No doctor was called, and an undertaker wasn’t called until 1:30 the following morning. The coroner was notified at 8 am.

Stella B. Alger, who had rented Nellie a small, windowless room, was questioned by the police. She said that Nellie had arrived the previous Wednesday, renting a room and paying $2 in advance. It was she who had discovered Nellie’s body.

When he went in to investigate, the coroner found Nellie in her nightclothes, with her breast and throat discolored, blood on her lips, and evidence of internal hemorrhage. The dead woman appeared to be about 20 years old, of about average build and height, with fine red hair.

The autopsy showed intestinal congestion with a gangrenous spot a little over an inch in diameter. Her pelvic cavity contained pus. The source of the infection was attributed to an abortion.

Her room contained some clothing and a pocketbook containing eight cents.

An autopsy revealed that Nellie had died from an abortion perpetrated some 10 or 12 days earlier.

The young woman was eventually identified as 20-year-old Kitty Lynch, a worker at a knitting mill in Oriskany Falls, where she lived with her aunt, occasionally spending a week at a time with her father, Michael Lynch, at Kirkland.

After she had checked into her new rooms, Frederick B. Thompson had visited and spent about fifteen minutes alone with her in her room. Two days later, “the result of a criminal operation was apparent.” Thompson returned and assumed responsibility for Kitty’s care.

At some point during Kitty’s illness, Thompson sent a message to Kitty’s “betrayer” to summon him. Dr. J.N.F. Elliott was also summoned and treated Kitty prior to her death.

Another doctor, J. Nelson F. Elliott had treated her two days prior to her death, leaving some medicine for her. He testified that he’d been summoned by Thompson, who had called him on the phone. Elliott had known Thompson for about thhree years.

Questions were raised during the trial regarding whether the abortion could have been spontaneous or self induced.

Kitty’s aunt, Mrs. Dominick Jordan identified some writing paper as belonging to Kitty, and a letter written on the paper was in the hands of the prosecution, but not entered into evidence under defense objections.

“No Name but Nellie,” Syracuse Evening Herald, illegible date, 1902
“The People’s Case In,” Syracuse Evening Herald, illegible date, 1902

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