[The Honorable Harry J. Anslinger - Our first Drug Czar]
19 – CONCLUSIONS:
It is this author’s sincere opinion that Victor Licata was innocent. Whatever else Victor Licata was, he was no murderer. This was no opinion conveniently derived in order to write a book, but a conclusion reached by happenstance while examining the evidence. For like so many others I believed that Victor was guilty and as long as the Medical Marihuana was not responsible for his actions, simply accept his actions as those of a deranged madman. It was only after learning that there was a serial axe murderer operating in the Tampa area during that my natural skepticism began to kick in and begin to question the established viewpoint.
Soon however, as I examined the evidence, that skepticism turned into pure shock. How could I have fallen for yet another of Harry Anslinger’s lies. I who have disproved so many Reefer Madness era lies, had fallen for the biggest one out there. And the evidence itself made it clear that I had. How would that Comedian Groucho Marx have stated it: “Lady, Half the Evidence was Fake, and the Other Half isn’t all that much better!”
19.1 – CONCLUSIONS ON THE EVIDENCE:
As we have already shown, that is to say that we can state with a more than a 95% certainty:
THE FOLLOWING conclusions, we can state with at least a 75% certainty:
The evidence that does look incriminating consists solely of the following:
Now let us also look at the evidence that was NEVER introduced or much talked about. On the cover of this book we stated the following: DID YOU KNOW
Then there is the evidence that contradicts the evidence:
19.2 – CONCLUSIONS ON THE CONSPIRACY
That there was a conspiracy is not in question; --The evidence is overwhelming. But as to the exact nature of the conspiracy, HERE there is much room for debate. Here let us go over the facts as we see them:
Granted it is possible for a person in authority (years removed from the incident), to have simply repeated the facts as stated to him/her by others. And it would have been possible for a lower level person (say a police officer) who did not have all the information to have believed. However, this would NOT have been the case for the higher-ups originally involved. They (by shear position) would have had to have known the truth. And as such were either participants in the conspiracy or (by their decision to keep quiet), also participated. Here let us go over three of the big names involved:
J. REX FARRIOR (the local DA)
As the local District Attorney (a post he held until well into the 1940’s) there is no way this man could not have known the truth. And there is no way he could not have known what was being said around him about the case. As one of the leading characters in the July 1938 ‘Inside Detective Magazine’ article, “Marihuana Maniac”; Would it not have been his place to have made corrections on the matter. Instead he either played along or worse yet, actively became involved in the cover up. And in fact wasn’t it his office that gave Earl Rowell the dis-information that he then repeated in his book, “On the Trail of Marihuana, the Weed of Madness”:
“On our tour of the states we arrived in Tampa a few months after this horrible crime took place. The police and district attorneys' staff who worked on the case told us the entire terrible and fantastic story, and took us to the house where the crime had been enacted.And if so, then this would mean that Farrior was not just keeping quiet, but was actively involved, if not directly in the murders, then certainly in the cover up that followed.
FRANK S. CASTOR - State Drug and Narcotic Inspector
As stated elsewhere; --- Conspiracy, laziness, compliance, whatever it is that happened, this guy is obviously up to his neck in it. No question about it he was one of the conspirators.
According to Tampa Morning Tribune Oct 18, 1933 p1, “Crazed Youth Kills Five of Family with Ax in Tampa Home”
“Had Smoked Marijuana W.D. Bush, city detective chief, said he had made an investigation prior to the crime and learned the slayer had been addicted to smoking marijuana cigarettes for more than six months. This he said, had unbalanced his mind, at least temporarily. A similar statement was made by Frank S. Castor; state drug and narcotic inspector, who said he had aided Bush in the investigation, and was prepared to make charges against the youth when he heard of the ax slayings. He had also learned of several places where Licata bought the doped cigarettes. “Note however, that in another version of the story by W.D. Bush (July 1938, Inside Detective)
“Get the marihuana fiends” And then I added, “Telephone Frank Caston and get the files of all the cases on which he and I worked a couple of months ago. Work with Frank in the roundup of addicts.” Frank S. Caston is drug and narcotic inspector for the state of Florida. Only a month before the bloody day in the Licata house, Frank and I had made a sortie into the realms of the reefers, confiscating supplies of the drug, placing the pitiful victims of its craving in institutions. Our investigations had revealed much that could be of value now. “Chief Detective Bush then goes on to tell about how he interrogated a Marihuana Fiend in jail and that that was how he discovered that Victor was a Medical Marihuana addict. NOT via the investigation as stated in the newspaper article above. In addition in the 1933 (actually 1934) "Annual report - State Board of Health, State of Florida" Frank S. Castor writes as follows:
Annual report - State Board of Health, State of Florida"That’s it, that’s all. No actual mention of the Licata case, nothing, --Obviously someone is trying to ignore and bury the whole thing at this point.
Detective Chief W.D. Bush (Tampa, Florida)
About this (very untruthful) Tampa Police Chief Detective we have already said so much. Here it is enough to say that he and everything that he has said has been discredited.
However, here the issue is not; Was he telling the truth? But rather, why was he lying so much about the case? --- I remember when I was in the military, being told that if we were ever captered the best answer we could give our interrogators was, “I don’t know”. If we tried lying, the interrogators would (by the direction of our lies) and those of the other prisoners, be able to get at the truth. Here it might be interesting to apply that same logic to Mr. W. D. Bush. He has been caught lying --- But in what direction was he going. What was it that he was trying hard for us NOT to find out?
Obviously he knew that Victor was innocent, and equally obviously he was trying to frame him good and solid.
19.3 – THE WHY – OUR CONCLUSION:
Here in answer, we must remember that we are actually dealing with two basic concepts.
Just ask yourself, why would W.D. Bush (still chief of Detectives at the time) want to lie about the incident as he did in the Inside Detective magazine article? And why did none of the others (in the know) not question him on the matter? Why did no one make correction to the numerous statements made by Harry Anslinger and his bureau of Narcotics (the old name for the DEA) during the Reefer madness hysteria campaign?
The answer is obvious, but we have to give them one thing. They (quite literally) took this matter to the grave with them. And in their minds (one can believe) they were probably thinking that they were also doing the kid a favor by sending him to a loving home away from the Tampa area. One full of nice young men in their clean white coats, who would take care of him, etc.
BUT there was one fly in the ointment. This would only work as long as the real axe murderer was silenced PERMANENTLY. For if he killed again (in the same manner) all hell would brake loose. Which is why this author believes that Mafia hit angle as opposed to a long serial killer.
19.4 – FINAL CONCLUSION / FINAL THOUGHTS:
Throughout the course of writing this book, (due to it’s controversial subject matter), we have tried to keep things as well documented as possible. I will not bore the reader with the number of governmental agencies we have contacted, grave yards we have looked at, newspaper and magazine articles we have examined etc. And yet have been frustrated by the shear lack of available documents.
For those of you who are still not convinced that a conspiracy took place – ONCE MORE, one must ask; How is it possible for so many vital (and normally available) documents to has simply disappeared into thin air?
But unfortunately, that also means that there simply is no way to establish (with 100% certainty) that Victor Licata was innocent. HOWEVER, we can state with 100% certainty, that if Victor had had a fair trial today, he would without a doubt be found INNOCENT. In fact, given the fact that the evidence (as we have seen) was in many cases fabricated or misleading, or just plain non-existing, one must question whether a modern day judge would not have thrown the whole thing out of court on the first day.
However here we are dealing with the past and history has already made its verdict. And barring any newly discovered “major smoking gun” (and again time is working against us), this author fears that, the legend of Victor Licata, may live on as the “Kid with an Axe.”
And unfortunately, his sad story of injustice, also lives on. In America today, each and every year, well over half a million citizens are arrested – courtesy of the legacy done by the injustice that befell unto Victor Licata. America’s first Drug Police Czar, Harry Anslinger and his co-conspirators had done their job well.
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