Tuesday, May 31, 2011

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: MAY 31, 1964


On this date in 1964, Charles Schimd, the "Pied Piper of Tucson," murdered fifteen year old Alleen Rowe. The 23 year old Schmid--so self-conscious about his small stature that he would put crushed beer cans and rags in his boots to make himself look taller--managed to convince several local teenagers to help him set up Alleen to be killed, and then dispose of her body. His motive: he wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone. Schmid went on to murder two more teenage girls when they threatened to expose him.

Charles Schmid was arrested in November 1965. He was convicted and sentenced to death. His sentence was eventually commuted to life in prison, thanks to our ever-compassionate justice system. In 1975, his death sentence was carried out anyway, compliments of some never-compassionate inmates in the Arizona State Prison yard. They shanked the little psycho (a few dozen times) and left him in a pool of his own blood. Schmid's family refused to claim his remains. He was buried in the prison cemetery.

Schmid was the inspiration for the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. If you've never read it, the full text is posted on her website here. Great story.

truTV Crime Library - Charles Schmid, The Pied Piper of Tucson

Wikipedia - Charles Schmid

6 comments:

Charlieopera said...

compliments of some never-compassionate inmates in the Arizona State Prison yard. They shanked the little psycho (a few dozen times) and left him in a pool of his own blood.

No justice, no peace. Isn't it nice when the psychos get both?

Michelle said...

I have not heard of this creeper. I hate the part about getting some kids to set up the fifteen year old just so he could see what it feels like to kill. I hope the prison inmates did more than just shank the little creep.

John D said...

Charlie,
Call me a heartless bastard, but I think the world is a better place without Charles Schmid in it.

Michelle,
If it's any consolation, I don't think he died quickly.

Charlieopera said...

That was my point, John, my man. The world got peace and justice by a few well intentioned inmates ... it's a beautiful thing.

Charlieopera said...

Sometimes it takes a village ... this joker wound up in exactly the right village ...

John D. said...

Charlie,
It was the Village of the damned.