She Choked It: How A Young Mother Murdered Her Child 1887


The Eagle last Saturday afternoon contained an account of the finding of the body of a new born babe, with a gag in its mouth and disfigured by marks of violence, in a cigar box on a rapid transit train. The box was found under a seat by a brakeman as the 3:15 outbound train reached the Alabama avenue station. The body was handed to a policeman, who took it to the Seventeenth Precinct Station House. It was then turned over to the Coroner, who sent it to the Morgue. That the baby had been murdered there was not the slightest doubt from the very first. The wad of muslin rags stuffed almost down its throat was evidence most positive that the little one was killed. The police had not the slightest clue to work upon. The hospitals were visited, but there were no cases of recent birth that were not easily looked up and accounted for, and the police gave it up as a mystery. To Dr. Lundbeck, of 107 Bergen street, however, fell the lot of discovering and handing over to the police the murderess. This he did last evening. His notification to Coroner Lindsay is in substance appended.

"I was called," says the doctor, "to attend a woman at 426 Warren street yesterday afternoon. I was simply told to come and see her, as she was sick. Upon reaching the bedside of the invalid I inquired her name and learned that she was Christina Andersen, a Swede, aged about 22 years. She was pale and emaciated and I saw at once that she had been very ill for some days. Upon making a superficial examination I learned from unmistakable evidences that Christina had become a mother within the past ten days. I questioned her about it, and at first she denied it. Finally, however, seeing that she could not deceive me, she admitted that she had given birth to a child on the 20th ult. I asked her what had become of the infant and she said she had left it out at Hollis, L.I., where she had been employed as a domestic in the family of E.J. Debevoise. I was still auspicious of the truthfulness of her statements and questioned her further. Then she admitted that she had stuffed a rag down the baby's throat, placed its body, while yet warm, in a cigar box, and had dropped it down a vault on Mr. Debevoise's place. I remembered having read the account of the finding of the body of the child on a Long Island train and at once concluded that here was the explanation of the mystery. I told her that she had not disposed of the child in the manner she described, but had left the cigar box under the seat in a rapid transit train. She turned even paler than she was, burst into tears and admitted that I had spoken the truth."

Captain French, of the Seventeenth Precinct, was notified to send an officer to the Warren street house to guard Miss Anderson until such time as she can appear in court to answer to a charge of infanticide. Detective Kortright and Officer McKenney are now on duty at the house. No known facts could be learned there this morning. The facts above given are in accordance with the statement the girl will make to the Coroner.

Website: The History
Article Name: She Choked It: How A Young Mother Murdered Her Child 1887
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle November 2, 1887
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