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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.

Dec. 23, 1919, Rattlesnake

Harry S. New Jr. and his pet rattlesnake.

Dec. 23, 1919, Harry S. New

Dec. 23, 1919, Harry S. New

I realize this is unreadable, but the headline is wonderful.
July 6, 1919, Freda Lesser

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, New Paroled 

June 19, 1931: Harry S. New Jr. is paroled. He apparently died June 15, 1950, according to state records.