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Archive for Thursday, December 15, 2011

100 years ago: Woman of the ‘underworld’ confesses, goes mad

December 15, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 15, 1911:

"Today Etta Lowery is a raving maniac and confined in the padded cell at the county jail. Only yesterday afternoon this woman called for a reporter to come and see her as she wanted to tell something. A representative of the Journal-World called at her home to whom she told a story that is filled with the remorse of one who has led a life of vice and immorality as a resident of the underworld. The gnawings of a guilty conscience would impel her to speak and endeavor to clear up her past. Something was preying upon her and seemed to driver her almost to desperation. Etta declared that she was about to die and that her sins had preyed upon her until she was forced to tell them and ask forgiveness. This morning about 4 o'clock the feeling seemed to have taken stronger hold upon her and the woman in a fit of madness is said to have almost completely demolished everything in the house. Officers were called and Etta was taken to the county jail to the padded cell where she continued her ravings all day today. Scattered about her room were page after page of writings that Etta said she had done during her recent illness. Many of them were meaningless indicating the ravages of a conscience-stricken person. One who had led a wild and worldly life and who felt that it was about to close and yet who feared the end and the consequences.... She referred continually to being at peace with God and declared she was not so bad after all."

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