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Girl Jumping Out of Window
[ From the movie Reefer Madness ]

Just think of it -- scandalously clad co-eds, jumping out of windows.   Poor innocent young girls, acting under the influence of MARIHUANA (the Weed of Madness), lives ruined . . . etc.   BOY, that makes for good press.   But there was only one problem; -- where exactly were these innocent young girls?

To read what the narc's were saying during the Reefer Madness Era, one would think this was a common everyday occurrence.   Just look at what the narc's had to say about this one (supposed) case that took place in Chicago.
"Then another suicide is chalked up.   Actually this has occurred, as in the case of a young girl in Chicago, who hurled herself several stories from an apartment building where a reefer party was in full swing.   The death of this youth was a poignant example of how fantasies, apparently harmless, have their tragic results   -- On the Trail of Marihuana the Weed of Madness (1939) By Earle Rowell

THE sprawled body of a young girl lay crushed on the sidewalk the other day after a plunge from the fifth story of a Chicago apartment house.   -- American Magazine " Marijuana, Assassin of Youth" By H.J Anslinger - July 1937

There was that little school-girl in Chicago, having hard work to pass her exams, in Algebra, etc., and told by "reefer" addicted school-mates that she could pass anything, and would be "out of her troubles in no time" if she would smoke "reefers." She was-so far as this world is concerned.   Cannabis-crazed, she stepped out of a fifth-story window, and dashed her brains out on the pavement below!   --- War with the underworld 1946

A mother in the city of Chicago, sobbingly watching her once-lovely daughter dying as a result of the "reefer racket," told authorities that, to her knowledge, not less than fifty of her daughter's friends were virtual slaves to the power of marihuana.   -- Assassin of Youth (Book) 1954 By Robert Devine

HIGH SCHOOL, youngsters who turn to banditry for thrills, girls who leap from skyscraper windows, striplings who chop their parents to death   -- THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY - June 29, 1938

A high-school girl had heard some whisperings concerning the "kick" offered by the new kind of cigarette; after smoking a reefer, she was able to dance long without fatigue; time became elastic and in her state of exhilaration all else seemed inconsequential; studies were entirely neglected, she became despondent, but a few puffs of her faithful cigarette brought relief; finally, coming to full realization of her school problem, she deliberately walked to an open window and leaped to her death.   -- American Journal of the Medical Sciences - 1938 p351

There are numerous cases on record like that of the young girl who heard about a new thrill, a cigarette with a "real kick" which gave wonderful reactions and "no" harmful after-effects.   With some friends she experimented at an evening smoking, party.   Other parties followed and then, when she was behind with her studies and greatly worried about her grades, suddenly, under the influence of this deadly drug, she walked to and through an open window.   -- DETECTIVE WORLD (Magazine) - Dec. 1947
There is only one thing wrong with this whole story; --- An extensive (good faith effort) to locate any details about it have produced nothing! It's as if the whole thing never happened.   Now are we saying that this is yet another of Harry Anslinger's "F-A-B-R-I-C-A-T-E-D" tales, at least not at this time.   However, let us look over the facts the way this museum sees them.

According to Harry Anslinger himself :
THE sprawled body of a young girl lay crushed on the sidewalk the other day after a plunge from the fifth story of a Chicago apartment house.   -- American Magazine "Marijuana, Assassin of Youth" By H.J Anslinger - July 1937
  • The incident took place before July of 1937

  • The incident (allegedly) took place in the city of Chicago, or using loose language somewhere near there.

  • The girl jumped out of a fifth story apartment house window -- (translation, Chicago or not, there simply are only so many apartment buildings with more than five stories)
Now, ask yourself, how many "young girls" were known to have jumped out of fifth story Chicago apartment windows? Just the fact that we are talking about a fifth story (plus), apartment building should limit our search quite a bit.   Yet an extensive search of the major Chicago papers (1930-1937) have revealed nothing.

Thus our reason to question the technical accuracy of this one report -- and (while again) we are not saying that this example given by Anslinger did not actually occur (at least not at this time).   Still it has been our experience that when one does locate the actual incident  the truth proves to be quite different than what Anslinger had stated it to be.

There are however, other variations on the story, the following serves as a good example:
And that other little school-girl, in a city of our Empire State.   Brilliant student; graduated from Junior High at 13.   I took the broken-hearted mother of that child to the County Jail where, at 14, she was behind prison bars for a sex-crime.   "Sweet, lovable, disposition, until she got Marijuana and it 'got' her and changed her whole nature," so two High School teachers who had known her from babyhood told me.   But before they took her to prison she attempted to set fire to their home and tried to kill her mother with a kitchen-knife.   Sex-criminal, pyromaniac and would be murderess at 14!   And Marijuana did it.   --- War with the underworld 1946
[NOTE: Again, extensive research into this other case has also failed to find any actual references to this story.]

In fact throughout the whole of the Reefer Madness Era, we have only been able to find one actual case that even fits in with the legend and that one took place in 1938, --- long after Chicago incident was (alleged) to have taken place and (for whatever reason) was NOT EVEN an official Gore file case.

Name: Miss Norma De Marco - Date: April 1938 -- Location: New York, NY
What the narc's were claiming:
Various (mostly newspaper accounts) about Miss DeMarco's (alleged Medical Marihuana use), and how she allegedly jumped out a window (just as two cop's had finished talking to her.   The following is typical - "Only the other day it was revealed, in a case typical of many tragedies throughout the nation, that Norma De Marco, 22, who plunged to her death from a 12th story apartment window in New York, was a marihuana smoker."   --- Atlanta constitution.

Newspaper accounts:
Atlanta Constitution:
[ ]- May 15, 1938 pSM3 - A Doctor Tries Marihuana by Charles Neville
New York times:
[ ]- April 13, 1938 p3 - Night-Club Bandits Shoot A Policeman
[ ]- April 14, 1938 p12 - Witness in Killing Plunges to Death
[ ]- April 16, 1938 p28 - Witnesses Suicide Starts 2 Inquiries
[ ]- April 17, 1938 p12 - Policeman dies of Hold-Up Wound
Washington Post
[ ]- April 14, 1938 p X1 - Woman Who Saw club Holdup dies of 12-Story Fall
Chicago Daily Trbune:
[ ]- April 14, 1938 p8 - Woman Eyewitness in Night club Holdup dies in Plunge

[Key-finder - Case #81]

And as can be seen from the headlines, it's questionable whether it was a jump or a push.

There are also other (male) jumpers but as can be seen below, they don't exactly fit in with the stereotype of the original story:

Example: 1
"Smoked his first 2 marihuana cigarettes; jumped 18 feet from hotel window onto adjacent garage roof barefooted, burst into Mr. K.'s room, said " God told me to kill this man ", and beat him to death with fists.   Then screaming he was Hitler, jumped thru window 30 feet to pavement, breaking ribs and legs.   No recollection in court."   -- Article by James C. Munch; "UN Bulletin on Narcotics"-1966 Issue 2
Example: 2
Then there is the case about a college boy who fell out of a window, but this one occurred in the 1960's

Name: [*Name withheld] - Date: June 1967 - Location: Annapolis MD.
What the Narc's were claiming
Annapolis, Md., June 12, 1967---A 19-year old college student from California fell or jumped from a third story window shortly after using marihuana and tranquilizers.   -- Congressional Record -- April 4, 1968

[S]- June 13, 1967 College Student Is Found Dead
*See Newspaper article for name of Student

[Key-finder - Case #67]

In general we must bring into question that which has by now become the stuff of legends.   It is our opinion that given the nature of the Reefer Madness dis-information campaign, that IF there really had been any "scandalously clad co-eds, jumping out of windows."  The narc's would have made full use of them as propaganda fodder.   Also note that NO mention of girls jumping from windows was made by Anslinger himself AFTER mid-1937.   Something that strikes one as a bit suspicious, as if he were trying to cover something up, etc.

This is not to say that the Bureau did not try to find any such cases. As can be seen from the following cover letter, the narc's were looking, it was just that they couldn't find anything.


[As per the National Archives , College park Md. ]
[File begins with a small colored post-it note]

This is an interesting case of a colored dancer, musician and entertainer, 23 yrs, old, who jumped from the roof of a four story bldg. In Indianapolis after smoking one or more marihuana cigarettes.   He had been drinking for several days, also.   He had smoked marihuana before at parties. (3-T)



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