The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on April 29, 1945 · 88
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 88

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 29, 1945
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Something: Unnatural About ' the Benign Doctor and the Nurse Made a Youn Mother Uneasy One Night When They Were Attending Her Fretful Baby. C v f y&r m Hum V km mi ic m IfL V-f llylilluftl , i JON .: .:::.::::.. ;, . 5. 4 .' DR. JEAN ANDROVSKY surely was obliging and so was her constant companion, Miss Mae Hulett, who seemed to be a combination secretary and nurse. With civilian doctors and nurses so scarce right now, the residents of the Lake Shore district of Oakland, Calif., were glad to have such an accommodating pair rent rooms and settle down in the neighborhood where they could be so helpful. Any time of the night Dr. Androvsky was always willing, even eager, to pop in and prescribe for a sick child or ailing grown-up and always with the gimlet-eyed Miss Hulett at her elbow. And Dr. Androvsky wouldn't, think of accepting fees. It wouldn't be ethical, she said, because she worked at the Children's Hospital in Oakland as a staff member. But for all the help they were to them, or seemed to be, some of the neighbors felt restless in their presence. Something was wrong. What it was the neighbors could not fathom. It was not until later that they learned, that the obliging Dr. Androvsky and Miss Hulett were ex-convicts, hiding criminal activities behind a mask of benevolence. The neighbors just sensed that there was something unnatural about the whole business, and it made some folks uneasy, especially one anxious young mother who could not keep from cringing one night vhen the pair were gazing down at her fretful baby in its- crib. She didn't know why she cringed. It just came over her, she said later, all of a sudden and she was frightened. But she did nothing about it. Then, one day recently, Dr. Androvsky stopped at a neighborhood cleaning shop where she used to bring in her clothes and chat, usually about medical matters, with the proprietor, Mrs. Ada Edwards. Mrs. Edwards went in back of the store to fetch a garment, and when she suddenly emerged from behind the partition, she found the doctor reaching across the counter and rifling the cash drawer. Amazed, Mrs. Edwards grabbed Dr. Androvsky's arm, but the doctor calmly removed the woman's grasp returned the money to the drawer and, with dignity, stalked into the street. Mrs. Edwards called the police. They, in turn notified Joseph W. Wil- Aprll2, 1915 laleintki(ial Bess Nelson, Above, Convicted Murderer, Posing as Nurse Mae Hulett, and Jean Osburn, Alias Dr. Jean Androvsky, Left, Concocted a Devilish Scheme to Rob Unsuspecting "Patients." liams, chief special agent for the California State Board of Medical Examiners. Then the truth came out and when it did it gave a lot of the neighbors the cold shivers. The name of Dr. Androvsky electrified Williams who already knew that the doctor was a fake into immediate action. The "doctor" and her "nurse" were picked up, and in their room the officers found a strange assort ment of empty wallets, purses, several watches, fountain pens and a number of pawn tickets as well as the medical kit with that inevitable stethoscope. . Fingerprinted, "Dr. Androvsky" turned out to be Jean Osburn, and her companion "Mae Hulett," the notorious Bess Nelson. Bess Nelson had been sentenced in 1932 to life in Tehachapi for her part in the gas-pipe murder of her hus band, Harry A. Nelson, an Alameaa County official, and was released later on parole. Her boy friend, Claude Forbes, a chauffeur, who wielded the gas pipe, was hanged for the murder. Jean Osburn also turned out to be well known by the police. . She had been arrested Yto fewer than 23 times since 1926 on various charges. Under the name of Helen Goddard, she had been released from the State Prison for Women at Tehachapi in June, 1943, after serving five years for forgery. Bess and Jean had become close friends in prison. They kept up their friendship after their release and had hatched out the plot of playing doctor and nurse. The idea was to gam the people's confidence and entrance into their homes. While the "doctor" examined the patient, the "nurse" exam ined the contents of the room. Then either one of them would pick up a Valuable object which the victims would not miss immediately. As a matter of fact there wasn't a single complaint filed with the police until the pnir was arrested. The victims either never missed the stolen objects or if they did, they never knew who to blame for the loss. Had Mrs. Edwards not caught the "doctor" in the act of pilfering her cash drawer, the fine - feathered friends would be still making their "professional" rounds. Neighbors who had welcomed the phony doctor in their homes are now. checking their belongings. Some of them are filing claims on articles found in the "doctor's" room. Mae Hulett, or Bess Nelson, was sent back to Tehachapi as a parole violator. "Dr." Jean Osburn was sentenced to one year for theft. The authorities thwarted her desire to be with Mae in Tehachapi and shipped her to county jail instead. The medical impersonation charges against herjwere dropped. One thing "Dr. Androvsky" told her victims was true. She was on the staff of the Children's Hospital. She was a cook there. TIIK AMERICA WEEKLY 15

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