Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Serial Killer Bedtime Stories: Carl Panzram

Tonight's serial killer bedtime story is about Carl Panzram.

Not from the "Mister Nice Guy" file. The most unrepentant killer of them all. Carl started his criminal career by getting arrested at age eight for drunk and disorderly behavior. It was downhill ever since. His killing spree spanned two continents. While in Africa he hired eight blacks to help him hunt crocodiles. Instead, he killed his hired hands, sodomized their corpses and fed them to the hungry reptiles. He boasted of committing thousands of robberies, larcenies, arsons and having sodomized a thousand men.

Panzram had received a 20-year prison sentence for burglaries and was sent to a federal prison at Fort Leavenworth Prison, Kansas, in 1928. There, he began to write his memoirs of sodomy and murder, and he beat a prison laundry room worker to death. Panzram quickly confessed to the killing, asked to be hanged and got his wish. When an anti-death penalty group tried to save him, he was quoted as saying, "I wish you all had one neck, and I had my hands on it." On September 5, 1930, Panzram got his death wish. Mean to the very end, while on the scaffold Panzram snapped at his executioner, "Hurry it up, you bastard. I could hang a dozen men while you're fooling around."

In his book Panzram blamed the prison system and society for turning him into a monster. He wrote that he was "not the least bit sorry" for the murders, rapes and robberies he committed during his lifetime. In 1970, his memoirs were published and later became the basis of a movie, Killer: A Journal of Murder.

Sweet dreams, and may you forever remain Crazy 4 Crazies.

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