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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/558

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the material, and supposed it was for illustration in university class work. Later, he gave me the Bertillon measurements of the men, with an epitome of their history. A number of these men I have known for years. So far from this selection supporting the modern theory of a criminal type, it confutes it in a conspicuous manner. The abnormalities are slight, and there is as great a diversity among the men as could be asked. It must be remembered that these cases were selected by a shrewd and competent official, solely upon their criminal record, and not in the interests of any theory whatever.

Of course, the men do not look well, but neither would any ordinary company of citizens if their heads were shaved and they were put in prison dress. I am always shocked by the changed appearance of the men after the prison transformation. Young embezzlers of elegant figure, who have moved in good society without a question, easily look the rascal behind prison walls.

The first group are murderers. No. 1 murdered his daughter because she insisted upon going to a party against his wishes. He has the head of a philosopher. It was his first crime. It may be noted that tattooing is supposed to be common among criminals. This man is tattooed, but committed no crime until fifty years of age, and was a deputy sheriff for some years. No. 2 did not kill his victim, but the assault was murderous, and the escape from death was accidental. It is difficult to discuss the negro in crime without entering into racial and social questions beyond the present limits. No. 3 has a very good head, an excellent ear, and, barring the expression, a pleasing face. He has a life sentence for murder. He is the worst man in the prison. I have for years believed him to be insane. His family is criminal. His father murdered his mother in a brutal manner before the child's eyes, when No. 3 was only eight years old. He himself has committed several desperate assaults, growing out of his persistent mania of persecution. No. 3 is not morally responsible, and there are usually two or three such prisoners out of a thousand subjects.

The second group are very diverse in structure and temperament, but have committed the same kind of crime. No. 1 is a confidence man and a forger. He is a crafty and an habitual criminal, has served terms in various prisons, is keen of intellect, well educated, has traveled in many countries, and is a citizen of the world.

No. 2 is a confirmed forger, and has served several terms in prison for the same offense. He is a skillful bookkeeper, has an attractive manner, and as soon as he is out in the world secures employmont and plans his next crime.