In mid-Fefbruary, 1929, 23-year-old Gladys Schaffer died after from a criminal abortion performed in Chicago. She died on the spot, in the home of midwife Emma Schulz, where the abortion had been performed.

On the day Gladys died, police went to the home to arrest Schulz for Gladys' death. She turned her back to them and swallowed poison in a suicide attempt.

Though evidently Schulz had indeed performed an abortion on Gladys, the coroner determined that she had actually died from an ectopic pregnancy, thus indicating that Shulz had not caused the death. Nevertheless, Schulz was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury.

Schulz had managed to remain free to ply her abortion trade despite having been arrested the previous year for the death of 23-year-old Lucille Smith.