Getting away with murder Ruth Barnett and the illegal abortion trade -- Part II
by Kerry Donaghue and Cathy Ramey
The lure of money . . .
To cease doing abortions would be impossible, Ruth Barnett wrote in her biography, since women were unceasingly searching her out for help. Nevertheless, she would have to give it a try. Later her daughter would be quoted by the media saying that Ruth Barnett, in writing her life story, "had her halo screwed on too tight" in her effort to paint a benevolent motive for her involvement in abortion. In fact, the family was feeling the pinch after the July 1951 raid. Ruth could not earn legally what she had made doing illegal abortions.
Ruth Barnett received calls from women "pleading for help," she said, and to further justify herself, she related a likely story. One especially distressing situation, she claimed, occurred around Christmas time. A young woman came to her home who was divorced and had custody of three children. Her mother lived with her and cared for the children while she worked to support them all. Then, after becoming foolishly involved in an affair, the woman became pregnant. The man responsible had gone off to Korea. She desperately wanted help.
Ruth claimed that she refused, told her it was impossible for her to help but she knew of a doctor in Seattle who could. The woman, according to her account, tried to contact him only to find he had closed his office, moved to California and left no forwarding address. She called back to plead with Ruth again. This time, Ruth suggested she find a copy of the paper from the date of the raids, get the names of the abortionists from that, and call them one by one.
A few days later she called again sobbing. This time she said her mother had found her going through newspapers in the basement and demanded to know why she was behaving so strangely. The girl broke down and told her mother of her condition and the mother angrily ordered her out of the house. Finally, the mother relented and allowed her to stay through Christmas. Whether for want of the income she had lost, or because the woman put a great deal of pressure upon her, Ruth finally gave in and told her to come to see her. But the woman never came.
After relating this story to her lawyer for his benefit alone, he seemed to be more understanding and supportive of Ruth Barnett's activity. Ruth had painted herself as the savior to poor victimized pregnant women; women who were, in reality, allowing themselves to blindly and desperately contract for a killing in an effort to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.
According to Barnett, calls from women in trouble kept coming in a steady stream. But according to her daughter Margaret, the family was getting poorer and poorer by the week, and this more than anything else was something Ruth was concerned with. So, despite the case pending against her as a result of the city-wide raid in 1951, she reopened the clinic in early 1952.
Soon afterwards she had her first court appearance, an opportunity for a redress of grievances she had against the police for their search and seizure of her clinic property without the proper warrant. She won the case and many documents taken as evidence were returned, but a lot of other things, such as "tools" or instruments and photographs were kept for evidence in her upcoming criminal trial.
On trial again . . .
Ruth's criminal trial for "willfully and unlawfully, committing, producing and procuring abortion upon women pregnant with child" opened in May of 1952 and lasted 11 days. Throughout the proceedings, accusations flew from both sides. An Oregonian article on May 28 aired the testimony; the police were "on the take" and Barnett was an inherently dishonest woman.
One officer testified to a robbery he had followed up on in 1945. According to the victim, Ruth Barnett, there had been between $50 and $100 thousand dollars in the safe at her home. The thief had taken it all but left behind a diamond ring and an expensive mink coat laying close by. The police could find no evidence of a robbery and talked of an "inside job." They doubted that a robbery had actually even occurred.
Ruth and her accomplices thought the trial was laughable. Different pieces of evidence that were produced were innocuous, ranging from weight-reducing pills to tampons and other menial tools not even used in the abortion procedure. Even the appointment books didn't record client names, only the date and time of their appointments. Ruth had covered her bases carefully, obviously prepared in the event that rumors about the raid would prove to be true.
Looking back, it is obvious that the case was bungled by authorities. Did the DA really intend to prosecute her? . . . or was this merely punishment for not "paying up" on the bribe? In one newspaper photo she is seem smiling and shaking hands with the man responsible for taking her to trial. And certainly the district attorney's office had the means at their disposal for securing more convincing evidence.
Despite the lack of hard evidence at the trial, and the fact that her attorney described the defendants as "angels of mercy," the jury found them all guilty.
Ruth claimed she and her fellow defendants were being "persecuted, not prosecuted." Her rhetoric to the media proclaimed that they were being judged on a law against killing unborn babies that was in the same category, in her mind, as "spitting on the sidewalk." She charged that the 1864 anti-abortion law was passed because of outrage over a woman dying from self-abortion or at the hands of an amateur. Crafting some of the early rhetoric meant to imply that legal abortion would mean safe abortion, she claimed that the only reason such deaths still occurred was because trained and experienced abortionists were hounded into retirement by the law. Again, Ruth was avoiding the hard reality of her own bloody abortion practice; the deaths she had brought about to countless unborn infants and the obvious injuries she had inflicted upon her not-so-innocent clients.
Prior to the jury reaching their decision, an interesting incident took place in which a friend came to Ruth and told her she had been informed by a "Mrs. X" that for a certain fee "the jury could be fixed" or influenced to not find her guilty. The price $15,000. She told her friend to forget it. The night before the trial, a man appeared at her daughters' house with the same offer. She cursed and promptly ordered him off the property.
Eventually she would be given a light sentence, completely devoid of justice for her victims, which would be delayed as her attorney pursued an appeal.
Meanwhile, despite her legal problems, business flourished until early 1953 when she was raided again. There had been complaints from women who had received abortions at her hands, and one client in particular sparked the interest of authorities.
The woman in question came to "Dr. Ruth" when her pregnancy was nearing the end of four months. Her husband, she claimed, had fathered the child, but now he was overseas in the military. Ruth Barnett agreed to help rid her of the baby, but the procedure became more problematic than usual. After a difficult process of removing a rather large baby, the woman hemorrhaged for seven hours and was eventually told she would need to go to the hospital. She was not to share where she had obtained the abortion.
After learning of the woman's condition, a detective was sent to the hospital. After warning her that she could be found guilty of a felony, he obtained information regarding who had "helped" her. Another "sting" operation was planned.
This time a woman police officer came to Ruth Barnett's office posing as a woman in trouble. She was escorted by a male newspaper reporter. The reporter handed marked bills, $300, to the receptionist, and the "patient" was escorted to the dressing room. Right then the phone rang with a tip from a friend that the DA was going to raid them again, and they needed to get everyone out.
Ruth ordered the receptionist to hand the money back, and informed them that they were to leave quickly as there might be trouble. The patient refused, pleading to be helped then and now. The receptionist responded plainly that there was going to be a raid and they wanted her out. The woman posing as a client then laughed and identified herself as a policewoman. She brought out warrants for the arrest of each of them and then got up to leave. Meanwhile, a squad of arresting officers entered and snapped up the small black appointment book.
Edith Weigar, wife of abortionist H.G. Weigar, suddenly disappeared as others in the office reacted in panic. While Ruth Barnett was taken into custody, two officers searched for the second abortionist, Dr. Weigar. They were almost immediately rewarded when a startled Weigar opened the door to peer out of an exam room. One day later his picture would be spread across the front page of The Oregonian newspaper announcing the success of this latest raid. But meanwhile, the nurse was nowhere to be found.
Finally, an observant reporter noticed the heavy drape curtains in one of the offices had seemed to move just a fraction. Pulling the cloth back, he discovered Edith Weigar doing her best to hide out. All three were led out of the office; Ruth and her nurse in surgical gowns, and Dr. Weigar sporting a black rubber apron.
Once again, Ruth and her cohorts were arrested, booked, and released on bail. The DA had taken no active part in the raid, save to post the money used by the policewoman acting as "Little Sister." As the office was stormed and arrests were made, he was sitting across from the courthouse at a lunch counter hoping he would get his money back.
Doing time, again . . .
After the second arrest Ruth began seriously considering the future. She was now 60 years old with trouble on her hands; trouble created by the evil her hands had done. She was due to go to jail soon on her prior misdemeanor conviction for manslaughter/ nuisance when her lawyer went to the District Attorney's office to see about reducing her bail. He came back rather subdued claiming that the DA was angry because she had reopened her clinic. In an outburst that was in sharp contrast to the image she had painted of herself as a woman of high society she shouted back, " I am the one that is entitled to be angry. There are enough b--- in the world with mothers and fathers and I was trying to do the world a lot of good by preventing the other kind." Her lawyer was shocked by her crude language but over time would grow accustomed to hearing it more and more.
It now looked as if her lucrative business would be closed for good. The morning she was packing things up at the clinic she received a call from the DA's office. There were still warrants out for the arrest of her and her staff, and this time they wanted them to come in themselves, be served with the warrants, and booked. An effort had been made the night before to arrest them at their homes, but some friends in the Sheriff's office arranged it so that the deputies with the warrants were not able to serve them that night. This prevented Ruth and her workers from having to spend the night in jail as it would have been too late to post bail.
After the phone call, Ruth Barnett reached again for the phone, this time to call a reporter at The Oregonian, the Portland based newspaper which owned the large building her offices were in. The folks there were much more sympathetic than those at the hated Oregon Journal, a competing newspaper, which had originally instigated the raids. Barnett's purpose now, with the help of her friends in the media, was to inform the populace that she would no longer be in business.
In a glowing interview, the woman who never spoke openly of the grisly nature of her abortion business preferring to keep the publics attention on wall dressings and alleged good will for society described in detail the "wonderful" service she and her staff provided for society, and how highly her clinic was regarded by the medical profession. She had developed some excellent skills and techniques there and was proud of them, she bubbled, as though speaking of opening orphanages or serving suppers to the destitute.
In March, 1954, Ruth Barnett went to court once more. During the trial, the DA kept pressing upon the minds of the jurors that "the law read that the state protects the child from the moment of conception."
"Why not from the time of the first twinkle in the father's eye?" Ruth scornfully wondered.
Again, the evidence compiled against her seemed scant. Even the appointment book seized by police was of little help. No names were listed and payments were marked in code making it impossible to estimate exactly what services she was rendering. Even so, the verdict came back "guilty," and she received two consecutive six month sentences. One charge stemmed from the May, 1952 misdemeanor conviction, the other, a second case, in which she pled guilty to operating an unlawful abortion business.
Her sentence on the manslaughter indictment was to have been 5 years, but instead the judge postponed implementation and put her on probation. In response Ruth railed against the jury who, she said, consisted of "a bunch of nit wits," carefully screened, and including many Catholics. She believed the Catholics to be the number one opposition to "abortion reform" which would have allowed her to make her money legally. The more intelligent members of society generally found a way out of jury duty, she complained.
She appealed her case but later decided to withdraw on account of what she described as the "constant harassment from the DA's office."
Into the weight loss business . . .
At this point it became increasingly obvious that she could no longer do abortions, so Dr. Ruth Barnett went into the weight-reducing business and, with an associate by the name of Dr. Jesse Helfrich, opened the "Slim-U-Clinic."
During this time she finally entered Rocky Butte Jail to begin serving her 6 month sentences. She was anxious to go and get the business over with and complained upon arrival that she found all the inmates had a common attitude of despair. She was able to avoid this, she believed, because her life always had purpose and meaning. In reality, she had a wealthy husband and an expensive home awaiting her upon release. The other women in Rocky Butte had nothing of the kind.
After serving four months at Rocky Butte Jail with five days off each month for good behavior, Ruth Barnett went home to her lovely 'palace' in Portland's West hills. But arriving home, she discovered that her incarceration had unexpectedly cost her her marriage to Earl Bush.
There had been a strain in their relationship for some time and her confinement to jail was the "last straw" for Bush. Also, while she was in prison he had done some legal maneuvering and got the property of the ranch in Eastern Oregon. This still left her with a "dude" ranch in the same area, a breeding farm for race horses and rare white-faced Hereford cattle, and the SW Portland home they had shared.
Shortly after her release she was also relieved of her license to practice naturopathic medicine, revoked as a result of her having pled guilty to operating an abortion business.
Still, the Oregon Journal, apparently understanding that her crimes involved murdering innocent people, questioned the wisdom and propriety of the parole board. She got off too easy considering her crimes, they said.
Back at the Slim-U-Clinic, business was also far less profitable than the abortion business. Immediately many people thought it was merely a front and that she was at her old occupation again. Not so, Ruth constantly affirmed. Over time though, despite all of the admonitions and warnings of friends, lawyers, and associates to not go back to doing abortions, but to honor her easy probationary sentence, she went back to committing abortions. She did this under the auspices of the Slim-U Clinic.
Her reasons for doing this, which she relates in her book, are interesting to note: "Former patients, many of them frantic continued to harass me. Insistence upon my retirement was only met by tearful objections and entreaties for the names of other abortionists. Since other abortionists had closed down, and many had gone underground, I could not tell them where to go. Inevitably, I began 'sneaking' cases. At first I took only the most desperate. But as months went by I took more and more cases, practicing as much discretion as possible."
Under such reasoning, it was not unusual for Ruth to see herself as a victim with her co-conspiring "patients" as the ultimate guilty party. But in the end, aborting mothers, despite their own involvement in the murders of their children, would win the battle for victim status.
Dr. Ruth's employees at the clinic were masters of discretion. For instance, the woman who booked clients never allowed them to come to the clinic and be operated on the same day, and they developed a clever way of interviewing which made it possible to screen out those who might entrap Ruth Barnett again.
But all of her safe-guards failed to give her any real security. For some time Ruth felt that she was being "shadowed." She claimed that she would receive strange calls at night. And even reporters from the papers would openly come by the clinic to interrogate her and try to find out "what was really going on." She reassured them that she was merely a Grandma now, writing a book of memoirs and doing research for a "pet" social problem. Yes, and she still did some work with Dr. Helfrich at the weight-reducing clinic. Despite her assurances they remained skeptical.
In fact, her abortion practice was growing again to large proportions. In November of 1956 another raid eventually ensued, once again through a police woman posing as a patient. The policewoman got by Ruth's screening after pleading with her for help for three weeks and going so far as to say she had induced her own abortion. Once inside she identified herself as a police plant and summoned her fellow workers from the police force. A group of medical examiners accompanied them into the clinic to arrest Ruth and her accomplices.
Dr. Helfrich, the receptionist, and Ruth were all charged with conspiring to commit an abortion on the policewoman. The charges were dropped against Helfrich for want of evidence. Later though, in 1958, he would be charged again, plead guilty, and be sentenced to a year of probation and the surrender of his chiropractic license.
At the time of the 1956 raid Ruth hired a new attorney, a Catholic, Charles Raymond, the former DA who had once harassed her. He now was on her side and became her defender. Ruth viewed all young lawyers as being "politically ambitious" and thus, since the laws were against her, they could be of little help to her. She chose Raymond, because he was older and more experienced, also, since he had retirement in view, he was not politically ambitious. And Raymond, it is thought, may have finally been enticed to take her case because of Ruth's "abortion dollars."
The raid closed down the Slim-U-Clinic for good, and throughout 1957 and part of 1958 Raymond fought against the indictments. As fast as he would knock down one charge, another would appear from the DA's office. And when it looked as though all efforts to block prosecution had been exhausted, Ruth and her receptionist decided to change their pleas from innocent to guilty in March of 1958.
Ruth was sentenced to one year in prison, the receptionist to 6 months. Ruth spent 10 months of her sentence incarcerated and was treated well during her time there. She even had special visiting privileges with her daughter. Unlike other prisoners, they were allowed to visit in a private office.
Driven deeper under the rock . . .
At this time, the US Senate authorized a group called "The Mc'Clellan Committee" to deal with vice and racketeering operations in Portland. Also, the elected DA for Multnomah County was removed and replaced with a tougher, sterner man, one who was not only acting DA for Multnomah County, but also the attorney for the dreaded Catholic Archdiocese of Portland. Ruth Barnett expected no mercy from this man.
All things considered, the public could have expected that Ruth would have quit her practice now for good. She faced serious penalties if arrested again, and no one would rent office space to her because of all the bad publicity she had received. But she could not help but go back to doing what had been so profitable for her in the past.
This time, she scorned to admit it, she had to do "the back alley thing" by opening a clandestine clinic out of the basement of her SW Portland home. She had a make-shift operating table atop a washer and dryer pair and used a rubber mat for the patient to lie down on.
Also, to aid in the secrecy of the business, she would pick up women for their appointments and bring them to her home. This went on undisturbed for 6 years for two reasons she believed. One, her former attorney, Charles Raymond had decided to run again as DA for the county. He was elected and left her alone. And two, the publicity surrounding her had become old news; the public was no longer interested in her and her crimes.
But perhaps the biggest reason, at least in her mind, was the fact that, with the coming of the 1960s a "new public enlightenment" was dawning upon the world in relation to social issues. She believed that only "unenlightened" societies forbade abortion, and many magazines, adopting her philosophy of neglect for the unborn, began advocating a change in people's attitudes towards abortion. Some prominent Catholics also gave their voice in speaking against church dogma on the subject, even suggesting that by eliminating unwanted people, abortionists might be benefactors to society rather than profiteers!
All of these discussions carefully avoided the fact that this brand of benevolence meant killing innocent people.
To Ruth, these attitudes were pointing the way out of a "medieval" society. There was still trouble for her ahead, but that mattered little. Society was coming to see things her way, and better days must be ahead, she hoped.
Then in 1964, Ruth Barnett's doctor noticed a mole on her leg that was cancerous. She had it removed, but it was only to reappear later. At that time, she decided not to have it removed, but to undergo natural treatments instead.
Another unhappy customer . . .
While undergoing various treatments for her cancer in the summer of 1965, Ruth purchased the Jamaica Motel in downtown Portland. It was valued at $265,000, and the city grudgingly granted her a license to operate it on the condition that she not be involved in any illegal activities in the future. The motel was an investment for her grandchildren, she said. Still, although there was never any substantial proof, the authorities saw it as a merely another cover-up.
In January of 1966, Multnomah County detectives came to search Ruth's posh SW Portland home with search warrants and two warrants for her arrest on "manslaughter by abortion" charges. Again, instead of admitting that she was in breach of the law, Ruth blamed this latest search more on a newly elected, "young, politically ambitious" DA.
Actually, the raid was the result of a complaint of injury filed by a couple who had stayed at the Jamaica Motel. The young woman, a former home economics teacher, claimed Ruth performed an abortion on her and perforated her uterus. Ruth claimed the teachers uterus had been tampered with before she came to see her, and that she had merely examined her. It looked suspicious enough for city authorities that they pressure her into selling the motel in 1966.
In court the jury found Ruth guilty and this time the judge sentenced her to 18 months in prison.
Later that same year she was on trial again, this time for doing an abortion on a forty-year-old housewife, described by Ruth as a "nymphomaniac," who was married to a sterile man and impregnated by a man on parole from the Federal Prison. Ruth Barnett claimed that the woman lied on the witness stand about not having had previous abortions and blamed them for the problems her accuser was experiencing. Ruth's attorneys argued for the lesser offense of "attempted abortion," but the jury refused it and convicted her of the more serious count. The judge handed down a 2 year jail sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Her attorneys pleaded for her sentence to be reduced based on the fact that she was "suffering from terminal cancer" and got the judge to agree that if this were indeed true, he would ask the warden to release her early so she could spend her final days at home.
This case was also appealed to the Supreme Court of Oregon, and in doing so, her attorney presented an interesting and surprisingly just question; whether "a woman who knowingly solicits and participates, aids and abets the commission of an unlawful abortion and submits her body for its perpetration is a principal and an accomplice under the provision of an Oregon Statute which stated: 'All persons concerned in the commission are principals.'"Thus, there was an official move to shift and share the blame, at least the principle blame, so that both the abortionist and the woman seeking the abortion would be mutually guilty of the crime.
Ruth Barnett had always felt it was unfair that the abortionist was punished while the women seeking the abortions went free. The woman, she complained, is the one most concerned in the commission of the offense. If it weren't for her, Ruth argued, there would be no abortion. She did not win her case, but did win a stay of sentence on account of her failing health.
Eventually though, she would have to serve the time, her last jail stint at the Oregon Penitentiary began in February of 1968.
Free again . . .
After the arrest in 1966, and before entering prison in 1968, Ruth knew it would be impossible to keep performing abortions out of her home. She was under constant surveillance, and clients didn't feel comfortable coming there with the threat of further raids. She sold the home in the SW hills and bought one outside of the jurisdiction of Multnomah County where she had been, in her mind, so vigorously pursued by the DA's office. She began her new practice at premises located on McLoughlin Boulevard in the city of Milwaukie, Clackamas County.
Ruth Barnett hoped to continue without "legal interference" but that was not to be. In February of 1967 a Clackamas County Grand Jury indicted her on still another charge of "manslaughter by abortion," followed by a second, then a third charge. Someone had given the authorities a tip on her illegal operations and Clackamas County did not appreciate her moving her business to their jurisdiction.
Some fifty exhibits were presented at the trial, including instruments that were used in the abortion procedure. Ruth was fined $5,000 and given a two year prison sentence. However, the judge offered that if she paid the fine the two year sentence would be suspended and she would be free on bail. It was a deal she could accept. Her next move was to sell the Clackamas County property, where she had enjoyed such an unpleasant and short-lived career, and buy a home in a more obscure place.
In February of 1968, after finally entering the Oregon State Women's Penitentiary, Ruth Barnett began acclimating herself to life behind bars. She owned an extensive collection of human hair wigs and complained at not being allowed to take even one with her. She was allergic to hair dyes so, to serve her vanity, she stooped to using shoe polish to spruce up her sparse locks while incarcerated. This caused no end of amusement among the other inmates. She also had to give up her false eyelashes and don standard prison apparel.
While in prison, many of her friends on the outside petitioned for her release on account of her health. The Parole Board consented, and after 5 1/2 months Ruth was free again.
Between the 1966 convictions and her 1968 jail term, Ruth Barnett petitioned the legislature to reform the abortion laws in her favor. In 1967 Oregon began considering her petitions. Speaking like a social reformer rather than a cold-blooded-killer, Ruth stated, "The complete legislation of abortion is the only way to bring about the end of unskilled untrained practitioners. Abortion practiced openly and by those who understand it and have developed the necessary skills, will, with legalization, be lifted from the dirty backstairs room to the antiseptic operating room where it belongs as a legitimate and often necessary procedure."
How often, was it necessary, did she believe?
"Abortion is a personal and private decision," she responded, "and can be used as a means of birth control, either for economic or health reasons, or when deemed necessary. It is my opinion that safe, swift abortion is less hazardous to a woman than the use of birth control pills."
And how legitimate a procedure did she believe it to be?
She believed it to be in the same category as tonsillectomies and appendectomies.
Still, if the legislature refused to see her perspective by legalizing the killing of unborn infants, there was one last reform that she wanted. "If they don't liberalize the law," she said, "then they should make the person who seeks an abortion as guilty as the person who performs it. Maker the seeker what she is," Barnett declared, "an accomplice!"
Just prior to release from her last jail stint at the Oregon Penitentiary, in 1968, she was summoned before the Parole Board and asked to promise to never commit another abortion.
Her reply? "Never? Never is a long time. but I'm never going to prison again for someone else's delinquency."
"You were delinquent," the judge said.
"I was delinquent for 50 years, " she responded back. But by the look in the judge's eyes she could tell he didn't take this remark kindly. She would have to submit or go to prison a lot longer.
Again, he put the question: Would she promise him? She looked him in the eye and gave her word to never commit another abortion.
"That's all we want," the judge said.
Ruth Barnett requested that she be released by the 4th of July but it wasn't that easy -- she still had a fine to pay. After that was taken care of she was out, several days after July 4th. Her jail time and the promise made to a judge ended the career of the West Coast "abortion queen."
"Ruthless Ruth," romanticizing murder to the end . . .
It is hard to say, if Ruth Barnett had lived longer, if she would have honored her word and not gone back to resuming her grisly business which had made her so rich. It is highly unlikely she would have been further prosecuted by the law, for in Oregon at least, the laws were rapidly changing, and it would soon be perfectly legal to operate an abortion mill. And, with the coming of Roe v Wade, this would be true for the entire nation.
She ended her life with a plea, that laws against killing unborn infants would some day be nothing more than past reminders of "man's bottomless stupidity and monumental inertia in the face of social progress." Instead, the "bottomless stupidity" was on the part of those like "Ruthless Ruth" who failed to see the wrong in throwing thousands and now millions of lives in the "dustbin of history." There is also no doubt, as is evident by the enormous decline in public morals and decency since the legalization of abortion, that abortionists have indeed "grossly disturbed public morals and decency" as at least some in law enforcement feared they would,.
"Ruthless Ruth," as she was often called on account of the large fees she charged for her services, earned an estimated nine million dollars during her 50 years as an abortionist, yet died in 1969 at the age of 79 with an estate of only $14,000. The rest had been spent on race horses, lovely homes, her daughter, her 10 son-in-laws (Margaret St. James was married and divorced ten times!), partying and reckless living.
It is also sad but interesting to note that the woman who probably availed herself of Ruth's services the most was her own daughter who had six abortions at her mother's hands. And as a final testimony to this woman's character, she left her daughter, her only child, a mere $5 of her estate because of a disagreement they had concerning Margaret's last husband, whom Ruth disapproved of.
© 1997 Advocates for Life Ministries