Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Murder!" She Cried

Detroit Free Press, July 20, 1875
Mrs. Bazloff of Springwells made a kind gesture towards her nephew John Polinski by allowing him to stay with her while he settled himself into this life. All was well until sometime in middle July of 1875 when he started feeling ill and acting strangely.

At first his mind merely wandered at times but he became increasingly erratic. On July 17th he seemed to begin hallucinating and openly pondered murdering a woman by means of cutting her throat. Which was followed by an argument with himself over whether one slash to the windpipe could completely sever it.

As the night wore on his manic thoughts of murder and suicide were accompanied by a fever in which he frequently cried "shoot him!" as if to fend off the internal demon that had taken hold of him. Whether that meant self-immolation or another such spirit was left to the unknown.

His condition hadn't improved by morning. Which was evidenced by his charging of auntie Bazloff with a butcher knife while she sat for breakfast. He chased her out of the house as she screamed "murder!' at the top of her lungs. Fortuitously so, as two men came to her rescue and chased Polinski into the presence of Officer John A. Hammond on Eighteenth Street. He was shuffled off to the Ninth Avenue police station and sent to Eloise the following Monday.

No comments: