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Old West Catacombs

Attempted Straight Razor Suicide

Straight razor suicide

April 26, 1892, Daily Light, San Antonio, Texas – A most vicious attempt at a straight razor suicide was made this morning, at 9:45 o’clock, at the boarding and lodging of Kate Patterson, corner Ooraje Street and Mala Avenue, by a young traveling salesman for a Columbus, Ohio, grocery firm, named C. H. Johnson.
This individual, a handsome, well-dressed young fellow, about 28 years of age, has been in San Antonio about give weeks, and during that time has sold or canvassed for a book entitled “Forbidden Fruit.” He has been drinking pretty heavily around several of the sporting saloons for over a week and has spent considerable money.
Straight razor suicideThis morning about 9:30 o’clock, Miss Della Patterson, who has charge of the house, called in Detectives O’Meara and Van Riper, who were coming down to recorder’s court on a street car, and stated to them that her roomer was acting very queerly, and talked a great deal about somebody who was trying to kill him, etc. She asked them to look out for him and see if anything was the matter with him. These gentlemen had a case in court and went on, returning as soon as their evidence was given.
Just as they arrived at the house they found Johnson sitting in a chair by a window with his throat cut halfway around his neck and both wrists cut. The weapon that aided him to do his work was an old razor, which he said belonged to his father. He was squeezing the blood out of his veins at the wrist with his fingers in order to make the more blood flow. The razor was lying on the window casing and was covered with blood. The young man could talk and when Dr. J. P. Oldham arrived to attend him, which was after a good deal of delay, he asked him what was the matter, he said his conscience troubled him and he wanted to die, and would try it again. After he felt somewhat revived, however, from the loss of blood and was removed to the city hospital, he changed his mind and wanted to live, and begged that the doctors save his life. He said he had over heard people threatening to kill him and believed they were in his room.
The wound made by the razor in his neck is high up under the jaw, and on the left side is nearly two inches deep, laying the flesh open in a ghastly manner. Had the blade been sunk in straight and a little lower on his throat, not only his jugular vein, but his windpipe would have been severed and he would have had no need for a physician. Only a few minor veins were found that the wound did not bleed fast enough, so he took his razor and cut the arteries in his right wrist and cut the flesh over the veins in his left wrist. He bled very profusely and was quite weak when the physician arrived.
Johnson is a very well educated, sociable and companionable young fellow, and is quite an amateur phrenologist, practicing this almost occult science merely for pleasure among his friends and acquaintances. His relatives in Columbus, Ohio, are said to be wealthy folk.

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