Monday, September 19, 2011

Lizzie Geisler, Utah Serial Killer Midwife - 1905

FULL TEXT: Salt Lakes, March 16. – Following the arrest of Mrs. Lizzie Geisler this morning, charged with murder, the police believe they have unearthed numerous child murders. The woman operated a lying-in hospital, patronized by young women.


[“Child Murders,” syndicated (Scripps News Association.), The Spokane Press (Wa.), Mar. 16, 1905, p. 1]

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6 comments:

  1. My grandmother was delivered by Lizzie Geisler in the home on 326 West 3rd North, Salt Lake City, in 1909. She continued to work as a midwife and advertise midwife services in the Deseret News. My guess would be that Mrs. Geisler was acquitted of the crimes mentioned.

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    1. Every single of the scores of midwives in the United States charged with murdering infants after birth was acquitted. This fact is due to strong evidentiary standards that protect defendants. You cannot have due process that protects the innocent and at the same time avoid acquitting guilty people due to the absence of hard physical evidence. In other countries, Australia, New Zealand, England, Russia and European countries many midwives and baby farmers were indeed convicted of murder of infants. --- I recommend reading my article "Death on the Baby Farm" ------ http://www.avoiceformen.com/series/unknown-history-of-misandry/death-on-the-baby-farm-the-devil-is-in-the-details/

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  2. Lizzie Geisler is listed as the midwife on my father's birth certificate in 1909. Midwives were widely used and respected in Salt Lake City. Since she performed as a midwife successfully after this period it would seem that she also provided abortions as in the movie Cider House Rules. These facilities were necessary.

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    1. And as a midwife she would have lost some babies at birth and babies were likely to be buried where they could be.

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    2. Whether or not Lizzie Geizler was innocent or guilty is something I cannot ascertain. Nevertheless it is a fact that none of the dozens of midwives and baby farmers of the United States accused of, or tried for, murdering live-born infants (or toddlers on rare occasions) was ever successfully prosecuted. It is indisputable that many midwives and baby farmers (in the US and elsewhere) were either paid to murder live-born infants or murdered them without permission in order to pocket the child care expense money received from the parent(s). I include the Geizler case in order to make the most complete collection of such cases available for the use of other researchers. When a jury finds a defendant “not guilty” it is often a just verdict (under the law as due process) based not on the opinion that the defendant is probably innocent but rather that the prosecution has failed to meet the proper standard of evidence. Acquittal dies not equate withy actual innocence. Please read “Death on the Baby Farm” to see the issue in a broader context: ---- http://www.avoiceformen.com/series/unknown-history-of-misandry/death-on-the-baby-farm-the-devil-is-in-the-details/f murder of infants.

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  3. The 2nd degree murder charges against Lizzie Geisler resulted from the death of Margaret Graham after an "illegal operation". The state could not prove that Lizzie performed the operation, so after about 6 months, the charges were reduced to battery. Lizzie paid a $250 fine. Margaret Graham had recently been divorced from here abusive husband and already had one young child. Margaret had been choked and beaten, she had been threatened with a knife and held at gunpoint by her husband. At one point, her husband actually kidnapped their daughter from her stroller. He returned her once the police got involved. Although not stated explicitly in the newspapers, based on timing, I suspect Margaret was raped by her ex-husband resulting in pregnancy. After all that, she died from infection after the abortion Lizzie performed.
    Interestingly, Lizzie was charged with murder a second time about 6 years later for a young maid for the same reason. There is no record of how that case resolved itself, but Lizzie continued to advertise as a Midwife for a few more years, so I'm assuming the charges were dropped or reduced.

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