Hayworth, who has held several leadership roles with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said he had never seen Levy at any of the group's meetings over the years. Representatives of the Maryland chapter of ACOG, as well as several Baltimore and Maryland medical societies, also said Levy was not a member.

Although they shared an Upper East Side apartment a block from the medical school for several years, Dr. Teddy Tong, who practices in Southern California, said he never got to know Levy very well.

"He was a quiet individual," said Tong, an ophthalmologist. "On weekends, he would return home, I believe to Queens."

Former patients say Levy gave them his pager number so they could always call him with any questions or concerns.

O'Donoghue said that when she went into labor during the 2010 blizzard, she contacted Levy and he called her three times as he tried to get to Hopkins Hospital. Realizing he might not make it in time, he called his wife, a nurse at Hopkins, who rushed to the delivery room.

"She held my hand," O'Donoghue said, and helped calm her during the delivery.

Levy had performed a procedure to turn around the fetus, which was in a breech position, allowing her to avoid a cesarean and deliver vaginally as she had hoped, O'Donoghue said.

Even as O'Donoghue tries to cope with the latest revelations, she said she mostly feels sadness, for the loss of her doctor and for the wife and children he left behind.

"My heart just breaks for them, he was so proud of them," she said. "The sad part for me is the thought of his memory being tarnished."

Levy and his wife purchased their large, brick, Colonial-style home in the 900 block of Hampton Lane in Towson area in 1992 for $420,000, according to state records. Now assessed at $750,000, the house sits on a wooded lot on the busy street, across from Notre Dame Preparatory School.

It was there that police were called, shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, by Sandra Levy, who had awakened to find that her husband had apparently killed himself after two turbulent weeks.

Alerted by an employee on Feb. 4, Hopkins officials said they discovered that Levy had been "illegally and without our knowledge photographing his patients and possibly others." The following day, he was "quietly escorted" off Hopkins property — his access to patients suspended, Hopkins spokeswoman Kim Hoppe said.

Police searched Levy's home Feb. 7 and seized multiple hard drives and servers, and Hopkins fired him the next day. On Feb. 11, Hopkins sent a letter to Levy's patients saying he was no longer with the practice, and a week later, after police cleared the release of more information, sent a second and more detailed letter, Hoppe said.

Levy's wife had previously called police to the home on Feb. 13, saying he had been acting strangely since his firing, a source told The Sun. No police report was made after that call.

Sandra Levy called police to the house again last Monday, after finding her husband in the basement with a plastic bag taped over his head and a hose attached to a helium tank. He had left a note asking for her forgiveness in his car, a 2001 BMW. She told police that she had unsuccessfully begged Levy to get psychiatric help, a source said.

Several patients said they can't imagine how Levy could have photographed them, given that there generally was a nurse in the room during exams. Also, they said, there are a number of examination rooms, and they weren't always taken to the same one.

For some patients, Levy was also something of a neighbor, having worked for decades at the East Baltimore clinic that opened in 1979 to serve thousands of low-income residents in the area. It was a signature project of the East Baltimore Community Corp., led by Clarence H. Du Burns — a city councilman who became mayor — and other members of the east-side African-American political establishment.

Financial problems left it about $3 million in debt to Hopkins Hospital, which agreed to take over the medical center in the early 1980s. It remains a bustling operation, with a steady stream of people coming and going on a recent afternoon, from elderly patients using walkers to mothers pushing strollers.

"It plays a very important role," said Mary Ross, director of the Johnston Square Community Development Corp. "Large numbers of people do utilize it."

Rinnay Johnson, who lives several blocks away, became Levy's patient there about 20 years ago, and she also sees a primary-care physician and dentist at the center. She called there last week to make an appointment for her annual gynecological exam, and was instead referred to another specialist.