Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thought He Owned the City Hall

The Detroit Free Press, January 5, 1898

The Detroit Police in the early 20th century were widely considered a bumbling mob of rackateers and keystone cops. They fractured crime scenes by allowing the press and general public access before they were thoroughly inspected, many were caught aiding prohibition smugglers and roguish elements were known to take the law into their own hands.

Apparently the gatekeepers at the asylum worked the same laissez faire attitude into their modus operendi. W. R. Campbell, a mental patient, took full advantage of the situation. With full access to the grounds and only the Rouge River to confine him he was left to his own devices. As autumn turned to winter and the Rouge melded into one frozen landscape with the rest of the earth surrounding it Campbell took up higher causes. Namely, reclaiming the city hall he owned. So he marched on over to the U. S Marshals in Detroit and proclaimed his throne. He was promptly sent back to Eloise.

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