Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Patriarch of Matricide

The South Lyon Herald, November 30, 1939
Robert Irving Latimer was one of Michigan's most notorious murderers and prisoners from the late 1800s until his release in 1939. He murdered his mother for his father's life insurance windfall and subsequently was convicted and sentenced to a life-term in prison.

While incarcerated he helped organize a failed "Dynamite Plot" that would have allowed for a mass escape before finally escaping on his own with the help of a jailer, Captain Gill, the night shift commander whom Latimer had convinced that he knew where a hidden treasure was buried and would share the fortune with for his aid in escaping the penitentiary. The sensational plot worked and earned Latimer his desired freedom but carelessness resulted in capture after just one day on the run.

After winning clemency in 1939 he was released and given a job at a Ford plant. But a combination of sickness and an inability to function in society led to a trip to the poorhouse at Eloise where he lived out the duration of his life, dying in 1945 at the age of 80.

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