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Newspaper Page Text
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THE CASE OF NATHAN SCHWARTZ
Did Nathan Schwartz, the New York boy who brutally mti
dered poor little Julia Connors, "cheat the electric chair' as the dis
patches said, when he killed himself a few days later.
This is a question which we should answer as a people. We
should answer it not in passion for revenge, ot in lust after a life 'for
a life, but with such calmness as may be commanded in the sight of
such a horrid thing.
Young Schwartz killed little Julia Connors in such a wise that
the details are known to few. But we know this it was one of those
sex crimes in which the victim is dreadfully mutilated for no ap
The modern world had its attention first focussed oh such
things when years ago, "Jack the Ripper' carried terror to the
women of the Whitechapel district inLondon. For months, at in
tervals, these wdmen were" fdund- slashed and dismembered "by
senseless and blind Insanity. Since theri there has been a ''Jack the
Ripper" on the. criminal map somewhere almost" all the time. Prob
ably such crimes have been a pari of the mystery of sex psychology
from before the dawn of history.
The case of Nathan Schwartz should be studied if for no other
reason than to demonstrate that the perpetrators of such deeds are
not necessarily bad men. They are madmen. Nathan Schwartz
no more understood why he did the thing for which he punished
himself by- death than any normal man knows.
'Tell mother," says he in that pathetic, tragic, heartbreaking
letter which he left betiiffd, "that I am really, guilty, and that she
shall not cry her eyes and heaft Out I kn,ow sne thinks 1 afti inno
cent, am sorry I ddne it, but I got crazy, as 1 Often do, and you
can't blame me for it? flfir any one.
He was more Severe;. with himself than enlightened crimin
ology will be. For where he says "gtfifty" and "crazy," the world
will one day agree to day only "insane'
He was not a "bad boy. He Wrote "This is to my dear mother
Who I am always homesick for." He told in this last lettef of' two
days' wages owing to him and asked that the money be given "t6 '
mother for she is very poof." He wrote that he was sorry to hiake
all that trouble for his "neighbor," the boar'dinghoUse keeper. "But,"
said he, ''all he will have to do will be to call & cop.'
The letter shows that this boy's soul, like Othello's, was hot
essentially evil, but "perplexed in the extreme.1' He Was- ruled by
a recurring, fixed and uncontrollable impulse. So are all thos6 men
whose dreadful sex crimes bring them into the grip of the law hab