Man Accused of Killing Girlfriend Says He Was Insane
December 23, 2009 | 4:00 am
A tip on decorating the Christmas tree, but don’t use candles.
Harry S. New Jr. and his pet rattlesnake.
I realize this is unreadable, but the headline is wonderful.
Dec. 23, 1919: Harry S. New Jr., known as “Nutty New,” the “reputed” son of a U.S. senator from Indiana, was charged with killing Freda Lesser over the mistaken belief that she was pregnant. [The Times described him as a “reputed” son because part of New’s defense was that he was insane over concerns that he was illegitimate].
New said: "I thought that Freda was going to become a mother and she told me that she didn't want the child and refused to become a mother, so I shot her to keep her from what she meant to do, and now you tell me it was all a lie. I did what at the time I thought was right. I wanted to save her from what I thought she was going to do. I am ready to pay the price for my act."
In January 1920, New was convicted and sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.
June 19, 1931: Harry S. New Jr. is paroled. He apparently died June 15, 1950, according to state records.