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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 20, 1912, Image 20

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-05-20/ed-1/seq-20/

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By Marlen E. Pew.
Chapter 4 The Last.
Day by day the facts accumu
lated against the Rev. Clarence V.
T. Richeson the facts that soon
would bring him to the death cell
for the shameful death of Avis
Lfnnell. Yet no shadow of re
morse, no pain of conscience
showed itself as he chatted with
his new sweetheart, the rich Vio
let Edmands.
So skillfully he acted his part
that even after his arrest at the
Edmands' home the girl and her
family stood staunchly by him,
sure of his, innocence.
He left Violet with a kiss on her
cheek, smilingly protesting that a
great mistake had been made. He
was arraigned and held without
bail on the day set for his wed
ding. Richeson braved it through, re
assuring the Edmands family and
his parishioners with well chosen
lies. Even in his closely guarded
cell Richeson's amazing- confi
dence did not desert him. It is
not possible to describe his act of
self-mutilation, but the fact is
that the motive-behind it was not,
as is popularly believed, desperate
contrition. It was to defeat the
ends of justice.
Criminology records no inci
dent of such hideous conception,
tiie object of which ws to baffle
the state's claim regarding the
motive for the murder.
It was after Richeson had
filled in his last daring device to
escape the law that ne wrote; his,.
confession, in which he said: "I
am moved to this course by no in
ducement of self benefit or lenien
cy," and then followed with the
statement: "In my mental an
guish I recognize that there is
still, by the mercy of the Master,
some remnant of a divine spark
of goodness still lingering with
me. I could wish to live only be
cause within some prison's walls I,
might, in some small measure, re
deem my sinful past, help some
other despairing soul and at last
find favor with my God."
Still he would live. Was he
sincere in that statement?
Prisoners coming from Charles
Street jail say Richeson lived so
selfishly he became the object of.
detestation by the convicts who
usually pity a man condemned for
a capital crime.
He spent .him time smoking,
placying checkers with his negro
cellmate, reading magazines and
newspapers, and the bible about
10 minutes a day. He declined to
eat the prison fare, snarled at his
fellow prisoners and complained
of trivial things.
After washing in the morning
he would spend 10 minutes before
a mirror combing his hair. His
fellow prisoners jeered at him, de
risively dubbed him "Violet" and
"Canadian potash," the latter
being a gruesome prison take-off
on cyanide of potassium.
If a man can think when the
trumpet of death is calling him
bitter death at the liands of an
executioneer wjbat thQUghjt is

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