Saturday, September 17, 2011

Child Care Provider Accused of Burning Babies In Her Kitchen Stove: Wilhelmena Eckhardt - 1906


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): New York. – Horrified by the alleged business of their mother, two daughters of Wilhelmena Eckhardt, of 126 East Ninety-third street, are said to have given to the police information which has landed her in the Tombs without bail and the authorities say she may have to face charges of murdering a dozen babies and destroying their bodies in her kitchen stove.

The daughters of Mrs. Eckhardt are Mrs. Wilhelmena Ihrig, of East Ninety-ninth street, and Mrs. Marie Shock, of Worcester, Mass. It is said that they gave a clue to John S. Cooper, attorney for the county medical society, which was followed by Assistant District Attorney Pinchot and led to a raid on the house of the woman by detective and the police.

Affidavits are said to be in the hands of the authorities, made by one of the daughters, charging the mother with destroying children to the number of at least twelve, within the last four months. It is said that the daughters revolted when the old woman wished one of them to engage in the business with her.

Mrs. Eckhardt was arraigned before Magistrate Walsh in the Tombs court yesterday. She denied the charges and declared her daughters had turned against her for reasons other than they gave. Saul J. Dichhauser, her attorney, says the allegations are only the result of bitter family animosities.

[“Murderer of Infants Charge Against Woman – Grave Accusations Against Mother by Her Two Daughters, Who Caused Her Imprisonment in Tombs.” The Washington Times (D.C.), Nov. 21, 1906, p. 8]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): New York. – Wilhelmena Eckhardt, an aged mid-wife, who was arrested a few weeks ago charged with mid-wifery, baby farming, the murder of infants by burning in a stove and several illegal operations, one on her own daughter, was to-day sentenced to two and one half years in the penitentiary. Clemency was asked on account of old age.

[“Light Sentence For Baby Farmer,” The Pensacola Journal (Fl.), Dec. 22, 1906, p. 1]

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For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.

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