September 27, 2007

Accountability--The Carl Panzram Story

On October 29, an arrest warrant for Carl arrived at the D.C. jail. It was a murder indictment (pic left) from Philadelphia charging Panzram “with homicide on an Alexander Uszacke, by strangling and choking on July 26, 1928, at Point House Road.”

Salem Police Department in the State of Massachusetts also learned about Panzram’s arrest and his extensive confession. During his stay at the Washington, D.C., jail, Salem police brought the two witnesses from the George Henry McMahon killing in 1922 to look at Panzram. Both witnesses positively identified Panzram as the person they saw on the night 12-year-old McMahon was killed. Oregon State Penitentiary contacted Washington police and asked that Panzram be held as an escapee who still owed 14 years on his original sentence at their prison.

By early 1929, Panzram must have finally realized that he would never get out of jail this time. He wrote a letter to District Attorney Clark in Salem, Massachusetts, about the McMahon killing. In this shocking letter Panzram repeated his admissions regarding the murder: “I made a full confession of this murder of McMahon…You sent a number of witnesses from Salem to identify me, which they done. I do not change my former confession in any way. I committed that murder. I alone am guilty… I not only committed that murder but 21 besides and I assure you here and now that if I ever get free and have the opportunity I shall sure knock off another 22!”
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