TAMPA MORNING TRIBUNE, TAMPA FLORIDA

MARIJUANA PEDDLER GETS YEAR’S TERM (Augustine Regalado), from the Tampa Morning Tribune, p. 7, Oct. 6th, 1933.

CRAZED YOUTH KILLS FIVE OF FAMILY WITH AX IN TAMPA HOME, Michael Licata, Wife and Three Children Slain By Demented Son, from Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa , Florida , pp. 1 & 8, Oct. 18, 1933, pp. 1 & 8.

LOGAN TO WAR ON MARIJUANA TRAFFIC HERE, from Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Florida, Oct. 18, 1933, p. 8.

MURDER CHARGE TO BE SOUGHT IN AX SLAYING, Case To Go to Grand Jury; Funerals Today, from Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Florida, pp. 1 & 2, Oct. 19, 1933.

STOP THIS MURDEROUS SMOKE, editorial, from The Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa , Florida , p 6, Oct. 20, 1933.

HUNDREDS ATTEND FUNNERAL SERVICES FOR AX VICTOM, from The Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa , Florida , p 2, Oct. 20, 1933.

LUNACY BOARD TO TEST SANITY OF AX KILLER, from The Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Florida, p 12, Oct 22, 1933.

REPORT SHOWS AX SLAYER OF FAMILY INSANE, Judge Delays Formal Licata Judgment, from the Tampa Morning Tribune, p. 1, Oct. 31, 1933.

MARIHUANA, Sacramento, Calif., from the Tampa Morning Tribune, p. 4, Nov. 2, 1933.  Too good not to quote from, “Recently Mexicans peddling marihuana were arrested at a California public school entrance. They allegedly were selling this drug to little children. Its use, generally among the Mexican population, is now spreading among the whites. … California thinkers for years have urged an exclusion act against the alien Amerind (American-Indian,) peon. Not a Caucasian, he is ineligible to citizenship.”

VICTOR LICATA, AX SLAYER, IS JUDGED INSANE, Will Be Taken to State Hospital , from the Tampa Morning Tribune, p. 7, Nov. 3, 1933. 5

DANGEROUSLY INSANE ESCAPE CHATTAHOOCHEE, Tampa Slayer Among Them, One Caught, from The Tampa Morning Tribune, p. 1, Oct. 15, 1945.

MURDERER ESCAPES, from The Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa , Florida , p. 4, Oct. 16, 1945.

AX KILLER ENDS LIFE IN PRISON,Victor LicataHanged With Bed Sheet, The Tampa Morning Tribune, p. 10, Dec. 7, 1950.

TAMPA DAILY TIMES, TAMPA FLORIDA

AXMAN KILLS 4 TAMPANS, Crazed Youth Slays Family, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 1 & 10, Oct. 17, 1933.

DREAM SLAYER TALKS IN CELL, Licata Tells How He Slaughtered Family of 5, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , pp. 1 & 4, Oct. 18, 1933.

JOINT FUNERAL FOR 5 VICTIMS, Services to Be Held at 4 O’clock Tuesday at Mortuary Chapel, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , pp. 1 & 4, Oct. 18, 1933.

MARIJUANA JOINTS AND DEALERS LISTED FOR CLEAN-UP DRIVE BY LAW-AGENCIES, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa, Florida, P. 2, Oct. 18th or 19th, 1933.

STAMP OUT THIS WEED OF FLAMING MURDER, editorial, Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 6, Oct. 18, 1933.

KIN TO DEFEND DREAM SLAYER, Relatives Declared Murder of Family Insane for More Than Year, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 5, Oct. 19, 1933.

REWARDS FOR MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS ANNOUNCED, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 2, Oct. 19, 1933.

AXMEN’S TOLL 19 LIVES HERE, Licata and Levins Account for 14 and 5 died in Assault on Jail, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p 3, Oct 19, 1933.

THOUSANDS VIEW VICTOMS OF MADDENED AX SLAYER, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 1, Oct. 19, 1933.

FINAL RITES FOR 5 SLAIN, Thousands Attend Funeral and Line Route of Cortege to Italian Cemetery , from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , Second Section, p. 11, Oct. 20, 1933.

LICATA’S PLAN INSANITY MOVE, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 12, Oct 21, 1933.

BOARD REPORTS LICATA INSANE, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p.3, Oct 21, 1933.

ALIENIST SAYS LICATA INSANE, Family History of Insanity Described in Report by Tampa Psychiatrist, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p 5, Nov. 2, 1933.

ORDER COMMITS SLAYER LICATA, Youthful Insane Murderer of Family to Be Sent to State Asylum, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 5, Nov. 3, 1933.

STATE ASYLUM AWAITS INSANE TAMPA KILLER, from The Tampa Daily Times, Tampa , Florida , p. 5, Aug. 15, 1950.

THE EVENING INDEPENDENT, St. PETERSBURG FLORIDA

SON HELD IN TAMPA SLAYINGS, Describes Murder Dream, Denies Killings, from The Evening Independent, St. Petersburg , Florida , p. 1, Oct. 18, 1933.

DENVER POST, DENVER COLORADO

PEDDLERS OF MARIJUANA LEAD YOUTHS TO CRIME, Harvest Near for ’48 Crop, from the Denver Post, section C, pp. 1 & 3, July 18, 1948. NOTE: Small paragraph and picture mentioning Licata’s 1945 escape from Florida state mental hospital.

JACKSONVILLE JOURNAL, JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA

THE WORKINGS OF A GOOD LAW, from the Jacksonville Journal, Oct. 27, 1933, p. 4.

FLORIDA STATE DOCUMENTS

AX MURDER (LICATA FAMILY), 1701 5th Avenue, October 17th, 1933, Occurrence about midnight, report from the City of Tampa Police Department, address as of October 2004 when copy of police report was obtained-One Police Center-411 N. Franklin Street-Tampa, Florida 33602.

IN THE COURT OF THE COUNTY JUDGE IN AND OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, STATE OF FLORIDA: EX-PARTEE, Victor Fiorito Licata, Inquisition of Lunacy Petition, from the Florida State Archives Department of State, Series 1062, Carton 62, address as of September 2004 when state hospital admission report was obtained-R.A. Gray Building (M.S. 9A)-500 South Bronough Street-Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0205.

MUG SHOT PICTURE

Picture of Victor Licata resides at The Pennsylvania State University, Historical Collections and Labor Archives, Harry Anslinger Papers, 104 Paterno Library, University Park, PA. 16802-1808, Box 14 , Series: 03 entitled The Most Heinous Crime of 1933. When I contacted the Tampa Police department to purchase a copy of Victor Licata’s mug shot I was informed they couldn’t find it, suggesting the one in Anslingers papers is the original.

FEDERAL DOCUMENT

1930 United States Census, Licata, Place: Tampa , Hillsborough , Florida ; Roll 320, pp. 12B & 13A, District 74, Image 213.0 NOTE: Census records state Victor Licata was 16 years old in 1930, indicating he was probably 19 in 1933 when he committed the murders, not 21 as stated in most newspaper accounts.

Robert Crown Law Library

Stanford Law School

559 Nathan Abbott Way

Stanford, Ca. 94305-8612

The following newspaper articles regarding the Victor Licata murder case accompanied John Kaplan’s material deposited in the Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford in a box marked “Miscellaneous Material On Marijuana” HV5822.M3 M57 V.8 l LAW BASEMENT. Only one newspaper reference request, an August 15 Tampa Times reply letter,was deposited to help explain the source of Kaplan’s bad citations. The list provided below is what Kaplan received as references attached to the copies. I did not find a copy of “Order Commits Slayer Licata” cited by Kaplan as reference number 13?

“Son Held In Tampa Slaying”, St. Petersburg, Florida, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 1933

“Insane Tampa Boy Wipes Out Family”

“Murder Charge Sought In Ax Slayings”, Tampa, Oct. 19, 1933

“Victor Licata Ax Slayer, Is Judged Insane”, Tampa, Nov. 3 1933, Pg. 7

“Logan To War On Marijuana Here”, Tampa, Oct. 18, 1933

“Crazed Youth Kills Five In Family Here”, Tampa, Oct. 18, 1933

“Marihuana”, Letter to editor, Tampa, Nov. 2, 1933

“Report Shows Ax Slayer Of Family Insane”, Tampa, Oct. 31, 1933, Pg. 1

“Crazed Youth Kills Five Of Family With Ax In Tampa Home”, Tampa, Oct 18, 1933, Pg. 1

“Stop This Murderous Smoke”, Tampa, Oct 20, 1933, editorial

“Alienist Says Licata Insane”, Nov. 2, 1933 (Typed copy)

“Dream Inspired Slaughter Orgy, Slayer Asserts”, Oct, 18, 1933 (Typed copy-This article appears to be a re-titled version of  the newspaper story “Dream Slayer Talks In Cell”, Tampa Daily Times, Oct. 18, 1933, pp. 1 & 4)

Regarding:

Marijuana, The New Prohibition
By John Kaplan
World Publishing Company edition
Published June, 1970
Pages 97-99, Bibliography p. 142, references 5-14

Note: Reference and text corrections are highlighted in bold text and under lined. Besides John Kaplan’s reference mistakes, he also made a few quotation errors suggesting researchers use the corrected text below, or better yet, obtain all 7 articles to correctly retell the Victor Licata story as presented in his book, “Marijuana, The New Prohibition”.

Kaplan Bibliography Kaplan Text Titles
Article Corrections

5. Tampa Times
Oct. 18, 1933
p. 1
“Crazed Youth Kills Five of Family with AX in Tampa”
p. 98
“Crazed Youth Kills Five of Family With AX in Tampa Home“, Tampa Morning Tribune, Oct. 18, 1933
pp. 1 & 8
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.

8. Ibid. “to war on marijuana traffic here”
p. 98
Logan To War on Marijuana Traffic Here”, Tampa Morning Tribune, Oct. 18, 1933, p. 8
9. Ibid.

10. Tampa Times
Oct. 20, 1933
p. 11.
“Stop This Murderous Smoke”
p. 98
“Stop This Murderous Smoke ”, Tampa Morning Tribune,
Oct. 20, 1933, p. 6

11. Tampa Times
Oct. 31, 1933
p. 1
p.99 “Report Shows AX Slayer of Family Insane”, Tampa Morning Tribune, Oct. 31, 1933, p. 1

11.5. No reference Dr. H. Mason Smith
p. 99
Alienist Says Licata Insane”, Tampa Daily Times,
Nov. 2, 1933, p. 5

12. St. Petersburg Evening Independent
Oct. 18, 1933
p. 12
p. 99 “Son Held In Tampa Slayings”, The Evening Independent
St. Petersburg, Florida, Oct. 18, 1933, p. 1

13. Tampa Times
Nov. 3, 1933
p. 7
p. 99 “Order Commits Slayer Licata”, Tampa Daily Times,
Nov. 3, 1933, p. 5

14. p. 99

Letter from Dr. C. A Rich, Florida State Hospital Dec. 30, 1968

Marijuana, The New Prohibition
By John Kaplan
Pages 97-99

97

The Licata Case

Lengthy lists of cases where marijuana use has supposedly produced violent criminal outbursts have probably provided the major support for the connection between marijuana and violent crime. Very little attention, however, has been given to tracking down, in any detail, the facts of any of the specific cases cited.  For instance, probably the most celebrated marijuana crime is the killing by one Victor Licata of his mother, father, two brother, and a sister in Tampa, Florida, on

98

October 17, 1933. The Day after the killings, the Tampa Times Morning Tribune carried the story beneath a page-one headline, “Crazed Youth Kills Five of Family with Ax in Tampa Home,” and reported that the slayer “dazed and staring wild-eyed was arrested at the scene as officers broke into the home.” [5] According to the Times Morning Tribune, “Licata was crouched in a chair in the bathroom and offered no resistance as officers searched him for weapons. He mumbled incoherently when asked about the crime.”[6] “We found the boy seated in the bathroom with the door closed,” Bell said. “I asked him “what’s the matter, Victor?” He only looked at me wildly. Made no effort to answer” [6] The marijuana connection was that

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. Caston, state drug and narcotics 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 slatings. He had also heard learnedof several places where Licata bought the doped cigarettes. [7]

The same day’s paper, announced that the police chief was “Logan To War On Marijuana Traffic Here”[8]:

Police Chief Logan said yesterday after he had been informed that the weed, used as a cigarette,had been indirectly to blame for the wholesale murder of the Michael Licata family…Maybe the weed only had a small indirect part in the alleged insanity of the youth,” …”but I am declaring now for all time that the increasing use of this narcotic must stop and will be stopped.”[9]

The same attitude was expressed two days later in the Times’ lead a Tampa Morning Tribune editorial, which also fist admitted uncertainty as to the casual connection between the marijuana and the killing, but then went on to assume that the causality was established. Under the heading, “Stop This Murderous Smoke,” the editorial stated that

…it “It may or may not be wholly true that the pernicious marijuana cigarette is responsible for the murderous mania of a Tampa young man in exterminating all the members of

99

his family within his reach-but whether or not the poisonous, mind-wrecking weed is mainly accountable for the tragedy, its sale should not be and should never have been permitted here or elsewhere…It required 5 five murders to impress the Tampa public and Tampa officials with the serious effects of the habit.[10]

The next mention of the Licata case in the Tampa newspapers occurred some eleven days later when the Times Tampa Morning Tribune reported that a psychiatric examination of Victor Licata had revealed that he was criminally insane.[11] The psychiatric report described Licata’s condition as “acute and chronic,” and asserted that he was “subject to hallucinations, accompanied by homicidal impulses and occasional periods of excitement.” [11]According to the examining psychiatrist, Dr. H. Mason Smith, Licata’s insanity was very probably inherited. Licata’s parents were first cousins, his paternal granduncle and two paternal cousins had been committed to insane asylums, and his younger brother Philip, one of his victims, had been diagnosed a year earlier as suffering from dementia praecox. [11.5] Moreover, it turned out that the police, the year before, had filled a lunacy petition seeking to have Licata himself committed but withdrew it when the youth’s parents maintained that they could take better care of him at home.[12] As a result of this information, Licata was adjudged insane and committed to the state mental hospital.[13]

Nor does Licata’s story end there: his subsequent history provides a strong inclination that his crime resulted from a long-lasting psychosis rather than from any drug effect. Licata was diagnosed twice at the Florida State Mental Hospital, first as suffering from “Dementia PrecoxPraecox with Homicidal Tendencies” and than, upon recapture after an escape, as still suffering from “Dementia Precox Praecox with Homicidal Tendencies.” In addition, from his arrival at the hospital until December 4, 1950, when he hanged himself, Licata‘s behavior was “overly psychotic.” “was behaving in a psychotic manner.”Over all this time, however, the mental-hospital records did not blame either Licata’s crime or his mental illness on marijuana; in fact, they did not even mention his use of the drug.[14]….

INTRODUCTION:  Using his position as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and America’s mass media as his forum, Harry Anslinger and his propaganda machine at the Bureau of Narcotics  propelled anti-marijuana sentiment from state law to its current federal level of enforcement using nothing but government propaganda. The media campaign involved writing articles that encouraged other writers, as well as filmmakers, to do the same by sending them government reports and quotes from the “Gore Files” (collection of police-blotter-type narratives of heinous criminal acts, typically with a very flimsy substantiation linking the criminal acts with marijuana). The following list of reference mentioning the Victor Licata case are provided as an example of how wide spread and varied tales from the Gore Files really were. The proceding list also provides one of the best examples of the game “telegraph” being played out on a national level (some spacing and indention’s have been removed from the quotation to condense text. Transcription errors may also exist ).

Please feel free to contribute additional Victor Licata references.


Denver Post

“In Florida a young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarets seized an ax and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out his entire family. In a fit of frenzy from the effect of the dope, he ran to the porch of the house shrieking madly that a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and his legs.” (‘Killer Drug’—Marihuana Blamed for Violent Crimes, Denver Post, February 24, 1935, sec 3 page 2).

Good Housekeeping

“It is sad that we Americans often have to be shocked into taking legislative action. In Tampa, Florida, a boy killed his father, mother, sister, and brother. When questioned afterward, all he could remember of the experience was that he had been smoking marijuana cigarettes all day. [Marijuana is the name in the western world for the drug derived from Indian hemp. It is identical with the oriental drug, hashish. It is deadly in its narcotic effect.] After the quadruple murder, a shocked Florida pushed the Uniform Narcotic Act through at once.” (The Dope Menace, Good Housekeeping, Feb. 1935, pp. 90, 94, 96, 98, 100, Licata quote page 96)

International Narcotic Education Association

“SOME CONCRETE EXAMPLES (Taken from the records of the Federal Narcotics Bureau) (1) It happened in Florida: “A young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarettes, in a fit of frenzy, because, as he stated while still under the marihuana influence, a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs, seized an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.”” (Marihuana or Indian Hemp and Its Preparations, issued by International Narcotic Education Association (and its affiliated organization the World Narcotic Defense Association) pp. 1-8, year 1935 through 1939? , Licata quote page 3)

Real Detective

And it was this self-same drug, according to H. J. Anslinger, federal commissioner of Narcotics at Washington, D. C., that caused the horrible murders which terrified Tampa, Florida, a few months ago. An eighteen-year-old boy, suffering from a Marijuana hallucination that someone was trying to cut off his legs, swung an ax and ran amuck until his father, mother, sister and two brothers lay weltering in their life’s blood! (Fight Against Marijuana, The “Sex” Cigarette”, by Joseph H. Appelgate, Real Detective, April 1935, pp. 26-31, 77, 78, quote page 30)

Reefer Madness

“Just a young boy, under the influence of the drug he killed his entire family with an ax” (Reefer Madness, A G & H Production, 1936, Licata quote is said half way throw the movie by Josef Forte, as Dr. Carroll, while at the Bureau of Investigation.)

Nature Of Alcoholic Drinks And Narcotics And Their Effects Upon the Human System

“It happened in Florida: A young boy who had become addicted to smoking Marihuana cigarettes, in a fit of frenzy, because, as he stated while still under the Marihuana influence, a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs seized an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.” (Nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics and Their Effects Upon the Human System, prepared by Division of High School, State Department of Education, Charleston, 1936, quote p. 83. NOTE: The two part reference for this article is, “The following is a reprint from a bulletin of the Single Press, Evanston, Illinois, entitled “The Menace of Marihuana”. “The following exert from a pamphlet by the Department of Public Health, Union of South Africa,” )

Heres to Crime

“There was an axe murder by a Florida boy who, in butchering his family while crazed by marihuana, brought about the passage of a Uniform Narcotic Drug Act.” (Heres to Crime, by Courtney Ryley Cooper, first edition February 1937, quote page 336 (“Marihuana-the New Dangerous Drug” references “Courtney Ryley Cooper, in a book entitled Here’s To Crime”)).

Hearing before the Committee on Ways and Means

“In Florida a 21-year-old boy under the influence of this drug killed his parents and his brothers and sister. The evidence showed that he had smoked marihuana.” (Testimony of H. J. Anslinger, TAXATION OF MARIHUANA, HEARING BEFOR THE COMMITTIE ON WAYS AND MEANS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SEVENTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION ON H.R. 6385, April 27-30, and May 4, 1937, PP. 1-124, quote page 23)

Hearing before the Committee on Ways and Means

“Then we have the case of a young boy in Florida. The story runs as follows: “A young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarettes, in a fit of frenzy because, as he stated while still under the marihuana influence, a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs, seized an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.”” (TAXASHION OF MARIHUANA, HEARING BEFOR THE COMMITTIE ON WAYS AND MEANS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SEVENTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION ON H.R. 6385, April 27-30, and May 4, 1937, pp. 1-124, report submitted under the title, “Marihuana-A More Alarming Menace To Society Than All Other Habit-Forming Drugs,” by Dr. Frank R. Gomila, commissioner of public safety, and Miss Madeline C. Gomila, assistant city chemist, quote page 34 (Gomila references the Licata quote to “World Narcotic Defense Association. Marihuana or Indian Hemp and Its Preparation”))

First session of the Seventy-Fifth Congress

“A young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarettes, in a fit of frenzy became, as he stated while still under the marihuana influence, a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs, seized an ax and killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.” (EXCISE TAX ON DEALERS IN MARIHUANA, PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SEVENTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, Volume 81-Part 5, June 14, 1937, pp. 5689-5692, quote page 5689 by Mr. Reed of New York)

San Francisco Examiner

“House action followed citations of cases of crimes and insanity caused by use of the weed….Representative Reed, Republican of New York, cited the case of a boy who under the influence of marihuana murdered his entire family.” (Blow To Marihuana, U.S. House Impose Stiff Tax, San Francisco Examiner, June 5, 1937, p. 2).

U.S. Senate Subcommittee

“In Florida some years ago we had the case of a 20-year-old boy who killed his brothers, a sister, and his parents while under the influence of marihuana.” (Testimony of H. J. Anslinger, TAXATION OF MARIHUANA, U.S. SENATE, SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, July 12, 1937, pp. 1-34, quote page 12)

Monessen Daily

“Commissioner Anslinger [in AMERICAN MAGAZINE ] revealed that it was an unprovoked crime which brought the first realization that the ancient drug had gained a foothold in America. An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crimes. The police knew him as an ordinary sane, rather quite young man. But the boy said he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called “muggles,” a childish name for marijuana.” (Urges War Against Marijuana Traffic, Monessen Daily, Monessen Pennsylvania, July 29, 1937, p. 11)

News Week

“…a Florida youngster put the ax to his mother and father.” (Marihuana: New Federal Tax Hits Dealing in Potent Weed, News Week, August 14, 1937, pp. 22-23, quote page 23)

Internal Medical Digest

“One of the most atrocious examples of the effects of this age-old drug was the case, cited by Anslinger and others, of the youthful addict in Florida who murdered his entire family. When officers arrived at the home, they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an axe he had killed his father, his mother, two brothers and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze “I’ve had a terrible dream,” he said. “People tried to hack off my arms!” “Who were they?” an officer asked. “I don’t know. Maybe one was my uncle. They slashed me with knives and I saw blood dripping from an axe.” He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called “muggles,” the childish name for marihuana.” (The Menace of Marihuana, symposium section, Internal Medical Digest, Sep 1937, pp. 183-187, quote page 185.)

Hygeia

“Marihuana smokers suffering from hallucinations which often take the form of a persecution complex. While suffering such delusions a high school boy murdered an entire family as they slept. Apprehended by officers with a bloody ax in his hand he asked for protection, declaring that some one was attempting to kill him. Later he admitted that he was a marihuana addict and that he was high at the time of the murders.” (Marihuana, by George Randel McCormack, Hygeia, Oct. 1937, pp. 888-889, quote page 899)

Inside Detective

“Shortly after Florida enacted the Uniform Narcotic Law, Victor Licata, a Tampa youth addicted to marihuana, while under its influence, suffered from the hallucination that enemies were trying to cut off his arms and legs. Seizing an axe, he attacked his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, killing them all and wiping out the entire family except himself. Tampa was horrified.” (Thrill-Mad Youth Is Faced With A Sinister Menace In Marihuana-Devil’s Drug!, by Joe Massal, Inside Detective, Nov. 1937, pp. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 60, 61, quote page 18).

The American Magazine

“It was an unprovoked crime some years ago which brought the first realization that the age-old drug had gained a foothold in America. An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an ax he had killed his father, his mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze. “I’ve had a terrible dream,” he said. “People tried to hack off my arms! “Who were they?” an officer asked. “I don’t know. Maybe one was my uncle. They slashed me with knives and I saw blood dripping from an ax.” He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called “muggles,” a childish name for marijuana.” (Marijuana Assassin of Youth, by H. J. Anslinger with Couryney Ryley Cooper, The American Magazine, July 1937, pp. 18, 19, 150, 151, 152, quote page 19–see also Readers Digest, February 1938, pp. 3-6, quote page 4)

CALIFORNIA, Division of Narcotic Enforcement

“murdered his mother, father, sister and two brothers with an axe” MARIHUANA, Our Newest Narcotic Menace, Division Of Narcotic Enforcement, State of California, by Paul E. Madden, Chief, 1939?, pp 1-4?, Licata p 3 .

Good Health

“H. A. Anslinger, United States Commissioner of narcotics, tells of a youth in Florida, ordinarily quiet and well behaved, who while under the influence of the drug, killed his mother, father, two brothers and a sister with an axe. He later had no recollection of his crime.” (Doctors Warn Against the Abuse of Drugs, Good Health, March 1938, pp. 90-91, quote page 91)

Finger Print Magazine

“Now let us see some actual cases taken from the records of the federal Narcotic Bureau. Florida. A young man who had become addicted to smoking Marihuana cigarettes, while under the effects of the drug, imagined that a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs, seized an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family.” (The Marihuana Menace, by A’Courte Hudson, Finger Print Identification Magazine, March 1938, pp. 3, 4, 5, 18, quote from page 5)

Opium Research Committee

“TAMPA, FLA. October 1933. Victor Licata, while under influence marihuana, murdered his mother, father, sister and two brothers with an axe.” … “There was an axe murder by a Florida boy who, in butchering his family while crazed by marihuana, brought about the passage of a Uniform Narcotics Drug Act.” (Marihuana-the New Dangerous Drug, by Frederick T. Merrill, Opium Research Committee, Foreign Policy Association, Inc., Washington D.C., March 1938, quotes pp. 29 & 31((Article references “Bureau of Narcotics” and “Courtney Ryley Cooper” in a book entitled Here’s to Crime”))

Survey Graphic

“FLORIDA-Victor Licata, while under the influence of marihuana, murdered his mother, father, sister and two brothers with an axe.” (Danger-The Menace of Marihuana, Survey Graphic, Survey Association Inc., April 1938, quote page 221)

Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan

“Then There was another kid down South had bumped off his whole family.” (Walking on Air, by Adela Rigers St. Johns, from Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan, May, 1938, pp. 36-39 & 103-110, quote page 106. Part of the introduction states: “…turn to page 34 and read the actual facts, amply documented from government sources”. Page 34 does contain a marijuana article entitled “Public Enemy No. 1″, but no mention of the Licata case or the ample documented government sources.)

MACLEANS

“A Florida boy though, while under its influence, that someone was attacking him with an axe. He had the picture reversed, as he found when he came to and saw that he had butchered parents and sister and turned their home into a shambles.” (Look Out For Mary Jane, MACLEANS, Canada’s National Magazine, June 15, 1938, pp. 11, 44, 45, quote from page 45)

Spartanburg Herald

“Many awful crimes have been traced to the smoking of marijuana. A notable case was that of Victor Licata of Tampa Fla., in 1933. He was considered a gentle and well-behaved boy before he began smoking marijuana, which transformed him into a murderous demon. When under the influence of the drug he killed his father, mother, sister and two brothers with an axe. Many similar crimes have been traced to the use of the drug.” (Marijuana  Cigarettes, Spartanburg Herald, S.C., June 16, 1938, p. 4)

The Christian Century

“In Florida, marijuana led a young man to kill his father, mother, sister and two brothers with an axe.” (Youth Gone Loco, by Wayne Gard, The Christian Century, June 29, 1938, pp. 812-813, quote page 812).

Inside Detective

The ”ONLY SURVIVOR, Badly injured by the marauder, the Licata police dog lived to damn the guilty man by growling and leaping savagely at him. It was a faithful dog that exposed the guilty of the Florida fiend who took five lives.” (Marihuana Maniac, by Detective Chief W. D. Bush, as Told To Jack De Witt, Inside DetectiveJuly 1938, pp. 44, 45, 46, 47, 51, 52, quote page 45). Oddly enough, on page 4 a brief write-up about the author states, “ONE OF THE MOST indefatigable writers in search of fact rather than fiction is Jack De Witt, co-author of the story titled “Marihuana Maniac””…LOL….This detective magazine article contains little to no real information on the case, which is plainly evident when you read the actual newspaper articles, police report, and the hospital examination following Victor Licata’s arrest.  The real challenge is finding any truth in Jack De Witt’s story. Apparently the article spins one lie after another, even going so far as to make up a story about a police dog being involved in the attack, which he declared as the only surviving witness….LOL. Dogs are notoriously brought into a script to portray someone as a real good person, or an evil doer.  No dog was present, no such criminal identification was made, and the only survivor was Anthony Licata, who was away attending Stetson University at the time. However, the real reefer madness connection is made right after the dogs appearance in the story, when it is states “The kid was an orchestra player, and those people are the biggest users of marihuana. They say ‘hot’ music is impossible without reefers.” No doubt that this detective magazine story is nothing but pure pulp fiction.

The Prairie Farmer

“A young man in Florida killed his parents, two brothers and sister with an ax and only remembered the terrible crime afterward.” (Marijuana Must Go!, By Mrs. Payne Mercer, The Prairie Farmer, July 30, 1938, p. 2, quote page 2)

Health

“It happened in Florida. A young boy marijuana addict, while still under the influence of marijuana, believed that a number of persons were trying to cut off his arms and legs; so he seized an ax and killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister.” (Marijuana-the Weed of Crime and Madness, as told to R. F. McCartney by Dr. Arthur La Roe, from Health- Builds Body, Mind and Spirit, Oct. 1938, pp. 14, 15, 25 & 26, quote page 15, magazine from Pacific Press, Mountain View, California)

Kiwanis Magazine

“…you may wake up sobbing, as did the young boy in Florida, who murdered his entire family. As the officers walked in this young addict was sobbing, “I have had a terrible dream. People tried to hack off my arms. It was my uncle, I believe. He slashed me with a knife.” And there stood a youth, in his early teens, under the influence of Marijuana, in a human slaughter house with the ax in his hand. He had killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister.” (Marijuana, by Dr. Charles B. Holman, Kiwanis Magazine, Oct. 1938, pp. 587, 638 & 639, quote page 639)

The Daily Oklahoman

“Some months ago a boy living in Florida murdered his parents, two brothers and a sister. He explained to the police that he had believed they were going to cut off his arms and his legs.” (A One-Way Ticket to Destruction, by Edith Johnson, from The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Okla., Nov. 8, 1938, p. 10)

Sierra Educational News

“A young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarets killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.” (Marihuana, by Mrs. Pearl Hess of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Sierra Educational News, pp. 40-41, Nov. 1938, quote p.41 (Article references “Hearing before Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Seventy-fifth Congress.))

Marihuana, Americas New Drug Problem

“There are occasional, but recognizable, instances in which a narcotized individual loses complete control of judgment and restraint and commits totally unpremeditated acts of violence. One of the most spectacular instances this sort was the case of the youth in Tampa, Florida, who massacred his entire family. In a fit of homicidal frenzy, he seized an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister.” (Marihuana, Americas New Drug Problem, by Robert P. Walton, first edition 1938, quote from page 39 (This book references the source as “Marihuana-Assassin of Youth, American Magazine, July 18, 1937))

American Journal of the Medical Sciences

“Relation to Crime. Homicides, suicides and assaults, particularly those upon sex, are among the more grave indictments of marihuana. Perhaps the most lurid and frequently repeated case is that of a Florida youth, who, while said to have been under the influence, imagined some people were going to cut off his arms and legs; whereupon, in a frenzy, he seized an ax, killed his father and mother, 2 brothers and a sister.” (Marihuana, Our New Addiction, by N. S. Yawger, M.D., American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Vol. 195, 1938, pp. 351-357, quote page 356)

Forum and Century

“In Florida, a marijuana victim butchered with an ax his father, sister, and two brothers. “ (One More Peril For Youth, Forum and Century, pp. 1-2, January 1939, quote page 1)

On The Trail Of Marihuana, The Weed Of Madness

“Madness for Profit, VICTOR LICATA, aged nineteen, sat sobbing. He was in jail in Tampa, Florida, his home town; and, although he had been there half a day, his parents had not been near him. He wondered why they had forgotten or were neglecting him. This was why he was crying. He didn’t know that his mother and father were dead; that his two brothers and his sister were also dead; in fact, that his whole family, except a brother away at the university, had been killed. He knew they were alive the day before; he had been with them then. No, he didn’t know they were dead. And, what is more, he didn’t know he was the one who had killed them! He didn’t remember that in the middle of the night he had arisen, taken an ax, and hacked his mother, father, two brothers, and sister to pieces while they slept. He didn’t know any of this; but the police did – all of it. What the police did not know was why he had killed his family. As they questioned him, he was bewildered, confused, and even surprised that his folks were dead, and astounded when told that he had killed them. After the police had told the boy why he was in jail, he told them what he could remember of what happened prior to his killing five members of his family. It was an incoherent story. He had spent most of the night, so he said, trying to prevent someone from cutting off his arms and legs. Under patient questioning the story was eventually pieced together. Victor had smoked some marihuana cigarettes that afternoon. After going to bed that night, he suddenly thought, as nightmarish hallucinations raced through his mind, that his mother and father were plotting to cut off his arms and legs as soon as they got up in the morning. This horrible obsession fixed itself in his mind; and so real was this imagined threat to him that he decided the only thing to do was to kill them first, while they slept. 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. The police confided to us also that the father, who had been murdered, was by no means blameless, for he had been making these cigarettes and having his son Victor peddle them to the students at the high school he attended. In time, Victor sampled his own product. Then came the quintuple murder. Thus the father, who had sown the wind, reaped the whirlwind. This crime struck home to the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of Florida the terrific potency of marihuana. Many months later we found the memory of this atrocity to be very vivid; the whole state had become marihuana-conscious.” (On The Trail Of Marihuana, The Weed Of Madness, by Earle Rowell and Robery Rowell, first edition 1939, quote pages 43 & 44)

The American Weekly

“The one who sets forth with knife or ax—like the Florida boy of seventeen who hacked to death all the five other members of his own family—is of the maniacal type, who has often wished for the physical prowess that would permit mass mayhem, but who always before lacked the courage.” (Alarming Growth of the Marihuana Habit Among Our Young, magazine section-San Francisco Examiner, The American Weekly, July 28, 1940, pp. 4 & 16, quote page 16)

Eagle Magazine

“A Florida boy, mad with marijuana, murdered both his parents, his sister, and his two brothers with an ax.” (Beware of the Reefer Man, Eagle Magazine, Nov. 1941, pp. 11 & 31, quote page 11)

Narcotic Agent

“Another in Tampa, Florida (scene of the Wall-Zarate-Gullo case, subject of a chapter to come), murders his mother, father, sister, and two brothers with an ax. (Narcotic Agent, by Maurice Helbrant, first edition 1941, quote page 41)

War with the Underworld

“A Rochester pastor told me of a boy he knew about while pastor in Miami, Fla., who, after smoking two Marijuanas, slaughtered his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, with an axe! When asked by the authorities why he committed the awful crime he said: “I thought father and mother and the family were going to cut my legs and arms off”; (a persecution complex, as the psychologists call it—a frequent symptom;) “and the only way I could think of to stop them was to kill them.” Poor lad! Two Marijuanas and five brutal murders!” (War with the Underworld, by Ernest L. Tiffany. M.D., second edition 1946, quote page 19)

Denver Post

“Crazed by marijuana, Victor Licata of Tampa, Fla., killed his mother, father, sister and two brothers with an ax as they slept. He was sentenced to Florida prison in 1933, escaped in 1945.” (Peddlers of Marijuana Lead Youth to Crime, by John Snyder, Denver Post, July 18, 1948, pp. 1C & 3C, quote page 1C)

True Story Magazine

“A boy in Tampa, Florida, smoked two cigarettes one afternoon. That night he got an axe and crushed the skulls of his father, mother, sister, and two brothers, as they lay in their beds. When arrested, he explained to the police that his mother and father had been attempting to cut off his arms and legs and he was only defending himself. Incidentally, the father was a peddler and had been using his son to “push” the cigarettes at school.” (The Truth About Reefers, by Charles Curtice, True Story Magazine, Dec. 1948, pp. 42, 43, 44, 127, quote page 43.)

Collier’s

“A seventeen-year-old boy in a Southern state smoked a marijuana cigarette handed him in a poolroom. When he arrived home, he imagined that his family had been conspiring to dismember him. To forestall this, he hacked his father, mother, sister and two brothers to death with an ax while they slept.” (The Crazy Dreamers, by Earl Wilson, Collier’s, June 4, 1949, pp.27 & 32, quote page 32.)

Marihuana in Latin America

“…a young man of nineteen, of the state of Florida (U.S.A.), of good character, quiet and jovial, who, under the influence of marihuana, suddenly attacked his entire family with an axe. The parents and three brothers were killed. The assailant remembered absolutely nothing about the horrible crime. He confined himself to answering that he had had a terrible dream, in which various people attacked him and tried to cut off his arms.” (Marihuana in Latin AmericaThe Threat It Constitutes, by Pablo Osvaldo Wolf, M.D., Ph. D., M.A., sponsored by Washington Institute Of Medicine, Aug 19, 1948 Spanish lecture translated into English and copyrighted in 1949 by The Linacre Press, Licata quote p. 35-36)

FORTNIGHT, Californias own Magazine

“A teen-age lad awoke in a southern jail and called for his parents. “How do you feel?” an officer asked him. “Wonderful!” the lad exclaimed. “Like a champion! I could lick Joe Louis.” After he told the officers about a high school party he attended the night before at which tea was smoked, he heard the story of what happened afterwards: “Well, son, after the party you went home, murdered your father, your mother and your sister with an axe. You set the house afire and when the firemen came you attacked them with an axe. Do you remember that?” No, he couldn’t. All he remembered was a terrible dream, in which he had to protect himself from dreadful monsters.” (Dope: Traffic In Tragedy, FORTNIGHT, Californias own Magazine, Aug. 20, 1951, pp. 9-12, quote page 12)

DARE

“Quiet, likable 17 year old boy in small Southern town played billiards at night in town’s pool room, hangout for older gang. Friend gave him marijuana cigarette to try one night. He smoked the reefer, felt mad, aggressive. In a trance on way home he dreamed family was plotting to kill him. He raced home, got ax from woodshed, hacked mother, father, sister, two, brothers to death while they slept. Curled up to sleep off drug effects after murders in pool of blood.” (DARE Smokes A Reefer, DARE Magazine, Jan. 1953, pp. 10-17, quote from page 14)

HOOKED

In Florida another reefer-smoking youth murdered his entire family, including his parents and brothers, and then killed himself. (HOOKED (Narcotics: America’s Peril), by Will Oursler, 3rd edition Oct. 1953, quote page 46)

The Murderers

“A sixteen-year-old kills his entire family of five in Florida…” (The Murderers, by Harry J. Anslinger and Will Oursler, first addition 1961, quote page 38)

The Chicago Tribune

“A 16 year old kills his entire family of five in Florida;” (Reefers: A Fast Road Downhill , by Harry J. Anslinger and Will Oursler, The Chicago Tribune, Jan 17, 1962, page 5, Article references the source of this Licata quote as “The Murders”))

TAMPA TRIBUNE, Tampa Florida

“IN OCTOBER, 1933, a young Tampan who had been smoking marijuana six months or so was “turned on” or, as he described it in 1933 words “charged to the skies”" etc… (Pot: Groovy Drug or Ghastly Killer, by Harold Tyler, Tampa Tribune Associate Editor, from the Tampa Tribune, Tampa Florida, Feb. 11, 1968, p. 3B. The author of this reefer madness story appears to have obtained original newspaper articles for his research, but than went about twisting the facts and mis-quoting news reports.).