Carl Panzram

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Carl Panzram
Carl Panzram under the alias "Jefferson Baldwin" in 1915
Background information
Birth nameCharles Panzram
Also known asHenry Panzram
Carl Baldwin
Jeff Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Rhodes
Jeff Rhodes
Jack Allen
Jefferson Baldwin
John King
John O'Leary
Cooper John
Teddy Bedard
Born(1892-06-28)June 28, 1892
East Grand Forks, Minnesota
DiedSeptember 5, 1930(1930-09-05) (aged 38)
Leavenworth, Kansas
SentenceDeath by Hanging
Number of victims5–22
Span of killings1910 {alleged but unconfirmed}
1915 (as accessory),
CountryUnited States
State(s)Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kansas
Date apprehended1928
Arrests/prison terms:
1899;1903–1905, 1906–1907,
1908–1910,1911,1915–1917, 1918, 1923,1923–1928,

Carl Panzram (June 28, 1891 - September 5, 1930) was an American serial killer who was hanged for murder. He served time under his own name and various aliases in Fresno, California; Rusk, Texas; The Dalles, Oregon; Harrison, Idaho; Butte, Montana; Montana State Reform School in Miles City; Montana State Prison (as "Jeff Davis" #4194 #3194 and "Jefferson Rhodes" #4396); Oregon State Prison ("Jefferson Baldwin" #7390); Bridgeport, Connecticut ("John O'Leary"); Sing Sing Correctional Facility, New York ("John O'Leary" #75182[1]); Clinton Correctional Facility, New York ("John O'Leary" #75182[1]); and Washington, D.C (Carl Panzram #33379) and Leavenworth, Kansas (Carl Panzram #31614). While incarcerated, Panzram frequently attacked guards and refused to follow their orders. The guards retaliated, subjecting him to beatings and other punishments.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

Panzram was born on June 28, 1892, in East Grand Forks, Minnesota the son of Johann Gottlieb Panzram 1843-1926 and Matilda. He had five other siblings who did not become thieves, but Carl was stealing since he was six years old.[3]

Death[change | change source]

After being sentenced to death for killing Warnke,in response to offers from death penalty opponents and human rights activists to intervene, Panzram wrote, "The only thanks you and your kind will ever get from me for your efforts on my behalf is that I wish you all had one neck and that I had my hands on it."[4] On September 5, 1930, Panzram was hanged for murder at Leavenworth prison. When asked if had any last words, he snapped back "Hurry it up you Hoosier Bastard. I could kill ten men while you're fooling around!".[source?] He was buried in the prison graveyard marked only by his prison number.

During his last imprisonment a prison guard Henry Lesser gave Panzram a dollar to buy cigarettes; Panzram was so surprised by this one act of kindness that in return he wrote his autobiography—making it quite clear that he did not repent at all of the robberies, murders, arsons, and rapes which he had committed-writing a detailed summary of his crimes and nihilistic philosophy.[5] It began with a straightforward statement:

In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry.

In 1938, Karl Menninger wrote Man Against Himself, including writing about Panzram using the pen name of "John Smith", with Panzram Prison Number # 31614. Lesser preserved Panzram's letters and autobiographical manuscript, then spent the next four decades in search of a publisher willing to print the material. Finally, in 1970, it was released under the title Killer: A Journal of Murder. In 1996, the book formed the basis of a film of the same name, starring James Woods as Panzram and Robert Sean Leonard as Lesser. In 1980, Lesser donated Panzram's material to San Diego State University, where they are housed, as the "Carl Panzram papers", in the Malcolm A. Love Library.[6] In 2012 filmmaker John Borowski released a documentary entitled Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Carl Panzram Autobiography - Bing images". Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  2. Gaddis, Thomas (1970). Killer A Journal of Murder. McMillian.
  3. ""Panzram Papers w/DOB" (PDF)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 25, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  4. "Carl Panzram". Serial Killer Calendar. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  5. Gaddis, Thomas E.; Long, James O. (2002). Panzram: A Journal of Murder. Amok Press. ISBN 978-1-878923-14-1.
  6. Carl Panzram papers, 1928-1982 in libraries (WorldCat catalog)