Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Special Day

Detroit Free Press, September 6, 1957
Walter Campau's 81st birthday was spent with 28 of his fellow patients from Wayne County General Hospital at the fair. I'm assuming that they mean the Michigan State Fair since it's capitalized. Either way, even a small town fair is better than looking at hospital walls.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Again At Large

Detroit Free Press, October 22, 1869
But not for long. Having spent time at the asylum Frank Schuetz apparently escaped and went home to bash the heads of his family in. She filed complaint of assault against him and off to the House of Corrections he went. Deservedly so.

Detroit Free Press, October 23, 1869

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The One-Eyed Wanderer

Detroit Free Press, July 11, 1928
Obsessed with the idea that he must reach California, Robert Franklin Perry, an elderly cyclops, escaped the Eloise infirmary and headed westward. He caught heat stroke in Kalamazoo but the officials at the hospital mistakenly allowed him to leave before caregivers from Detroit could retrieve him. I've been unable to track down a follow-up.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pain-Free Child-Bearing Via Hypnosis

Detroit Free Press, October 7, 1945 (enlarge)
Dr. Milton Erickson's reputation in the field of hypnotism is stellar but in this instance we're calling his bluff because outside of the psychiatrist's wife there were no willing takers for his so-called "pain-free" method of childbirth via hypnotism. The excuse that she did actually feel pain during the process because a mother should feel pain in childbirth is specious at best! Still, the article which appeared in the November 1945 issue of American Magazine seems like an interesting read in an otherwise un-breached topic up to that point.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Honey Boy Was a Bit Doy Yoy Yoy

Detroit Free Press, November 27, 1933 (enlarge)
I don't know much about Detroit's infamous mob cartel The Purple Gang but the highlighted blurb about one of their members becoming a mental case popped up in a search recently. Joe "Honey Boy" Miller spent a stint at Eloise in 1933 though I doubt that he was actually clinically insane. The group had splintered by this time but Miller was in and out of court for various charges, including the year before and after this article, which he seemingly always beat the rap for. Maybe this was a plea deal sort of thing or he was just trying to hang low for awhile.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Going Off the Rails

Detroit Free Press, November 3, 1958
Ground privileges at Eloise basically meant that you could go wherever you wanted so long as you were back before dinner. Or something like that. Either way, countless charges roamed off and caused mischief because of their supposed harmless natures.

Leslie Fudold was one such patient. He had been at the facility since 1936 and decided that 22 years of institution life was not sufficient cure for his wandering mind and ways. So he proceeded to go down to the railroad tracks--the same line that took so many lives via accidents--and loosened a few tracks of their ties. A sheriff's deputy named Richard Alex happened by at the right moment and took him in for questioning which was followed by further interrogation by the FBI.

New York Central Rail officials said that had two trains passed over the tracks that the rail would have been sufficiently loosened for a third to have a wreck.