Tragic Happenings

Marie Ogrinc - Shot During Home Break-In

12016 Lake Shore Boulevard

Tragedy struck the Ogrinc family on January 12, 1972. About 3:00 p.m., a window washer said two men approached him and said they were taking subscriptions to the Cleveland Press. They were told that the family already took the paper and the window washer went into the house, locking the door behind him. The men broke the lock and followed into the house. They forced him to lie on the floor while they searched him for money.

The robber walked down a hallway into the kitchen where a five-month pregnant Mrs. Ogrinc and her 15-year-old son Frank were talking. Motioning for Frank to remain in the kitchen, Mrs. Ogrinc led the man into the living room. She then saw another man with a gun and screamed. Hearing the scream, Frank ran into the living room. The robber who had been in the kitchen slipped on the living room rug and fell on the floor. Frank began punching him, not realizing there was another man in the room.

Mrs. Ogrinc screamed again, and the gunman fired his pistol. As the two men ran from the house, one of them yelled at the window washer, "Don't tell anyone about this, or I'll kill you."

Frank went to a neighbor's home to call the police. His mother said she was all right except for a twisted ankle. A few minutes later, she noticed blood on her clothes and told Frank that she had been shot. She was taken to the Cleveland Clinic. The bullet that hit Mrs. Ogrinc ripped through the uterus and placenta. The baby was not struck by the bullet but never had a chance. Mrs. Ogrinc was in fair condition after surgery.

Bratenahl police arrested Roslyn Powell, 20, who gave his address as 9343 Pratt Avenue. They later filed delinquency charges against a 16-year-old Cleveland youth lodged in the Cuyahoga County Detention Home. The coroner said the death of a fetus is not a homicide because Ohio law requires that a homicide victim must have been alive and existing independently.

Marie Ogrinc was a member of one of Cleveland's most prominent families in Slovenian-American social and cultural circles. Her father was Frank L. Grdina, manager of Grdina & Sons Funeral Home.

Marie was married to Dr. Lawrence Bernard Ogrinc, an internist at St. Vincent Charity Hospital with offices in Cleveland's Slovene settlement at 6414 St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland.

The Ogrinc's saw their home as an ideal setting for their growing family of four children, with a fifth on the way. There were nine children: Mary Lourdes, Anton, Francis, Marie (Stehli), Joseph, Lawrence Jr., Madonna, Maryjo (Starrett), and Gregory.