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.

Murderpedia – Charles Howard Schmid

Wikipedia – Charles Schmid

4 thoughts on “this day in crime history: may 31, 1964

    • I’ve read quite a few of her stories and the conclusion that I’ve come to is that she is one warped person. And I do mean that in a good way………….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree with both of you.
    She definitely has a macabre manner about her.

    John D.:
    Helluva story about a real psycho (who got what he deserved in the end).

    Stay safe out there, people.


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