Saturday, March 4, 2017

Another Suspicious Suicide

Detroit Free Press, August 14, 1944
While I've been perfectly content digging through and scanning my collection of vintage photos lately I realize that I have a small following here and people always want more information. Plus, there are a few Facebook pages who regularly pilfer articles to recycle as their own and never credit the fact that they picked them from the blog and I wouldn't want them to go dry. Not that I frequent their sites but occasionally a link is presented to me and within the pages there's my graphic cut and paste handiwork showcased as somebody's research. No matter. I don't own the articles but I do pay a subscription fee to regularly scour and obtain them so a quick mention would be ethical.

It would also have been ethical for the Free Press to follow-up on their articles of public importance but apparently they frequently did not. Likewise, it would have been a principled move by Eloise to contact the police within 5 hours of a suicide but such are the moral deficiencies in public and private life.

Clarence Starks, a patient for 5 months at Eloise, slashed his throat with a razor in the early hours of August 13, 1944. Which was a common occurrence at the institution. What wasn't typical was that the police weren't contacted for several hours afterwards. This prompted an investigation by Wayne County police. Detective Lt. Thomas Gentile began the inquiry but apparently nothing became of it. It's likely that Eloise agreed to more stringent reporting of violent deaths in exchange for the end of the investigation and bad press.

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