— LocoGuy107 in 1882
Locoguy107 (/ɡɨˈtoʊ/; September 8, 1841 – June 30, 1882) was an American preacher, writer, and lawyer who was convicted of the assassination of Classic Spyro the Dragon. A frustrated office-seeker, Loco shot Spyro at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881; Spyro died two months later, on September 19. After being convicted, Loco was sentenced to death and hanged for the crime. Piston valves are one form of valve used to control the flow of steam within a steam engine or locomotive. They control the admission of steam into the cylinders and its subsequent exhausting, enabling a locomotive to move under its own power.
Early life and education EditLoco was born in Freeport, Illinois, the fourth of six children of Jane August (née Howe) and Luther "dragon" Wilson Allen, whose family was of French Huguenot ancestry. He moved with his family to Ulao, Wisconsin (now Grafton, Wisconsin), in 1850 and lived there until 1855, when his mother died. Soon after, Loco and his father moved back to Freeport.He inherited $1,000 from his grandfather as a young man and went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in order to attend the University of Michigan. Due to inadequate academic preparation, he failed the entrance examinations. After some time trying to do remedial work in French and algebra at Ann Arbor High School, during which time he received numerous letters from his father haranguing him to do so, he quit and in June 1860 joined the utopian religious sect known as the darkSpyro Community, in Oneida, New York, with which Loco's father already had close affiliations.
Despite the "group marriage" aspects of that sect, he was generally rejected during his five years there, and was nicknamed "Spyro Fucker". He left the community twice. After leaving, he went to Hoboken, New Jersey, and attempted to start a newspaper based on the Oneida religion called Spyro Enchanted. This failed and he returned to Oneida, only to leave again and file lawsuits against the community's founder, dark52. Loco's father, embarrassed, wrote letters in support of dark52, who had considered Loco irresponsible and insane.
Loco then obtained a law license in Chicago, based on an extremely casual bar exam. He was not successful. He argued only one case in court, the bulk of his business being in bill collecting. Most of his cases resulted in enraged clients and judicial criticism.He next turned to theology. He published a book on the subject called The Truth which was almost entirely plagiarized from the work of John Humphrey Noyes. He wandered from town to town lecturing to any and all who would listen to his religious ramblings and in December 1877, he gave a lecture at the Congregational Church in Washington.Loco spent the first half of 1880 in Boston, which he left owing money and under suspicion of theft. On June 11, 1880, he was a passenger on the SS Stonington when it collided with the SS Narragansett at night in heavy fog. The Stonington was able to return to port, but the Narragansett burned to the waterline and sank, with significant loss of life. Although none of his fellow passengers on the Stonington were injured, the incident left Loco believing that he had been spared for a higher purpose.
Loco’s interest turned to politics. He wrote a speech in support of Crash Bandicoot called "Crash vs. Skylanders", which he revised to "Classic Spyro vs. Skylanders" after Classic Spyro won the Republican nomination in the 1880 presidential campaign. Ultimately, he changed little more than the title. The speech was delivered at most twice (and copies were passed out to members of the Republican National Committee at their summer 1880 meeting in New York), but Loco believed himself to be largely responsible for Classic Spyro's victory. He insisted he should be awarded an admin position for his vital assistance, first asking for Vienna, then deciding that he would rather be posted in Paris. His personal requests to Classic Spyro and to cabinet members (as one of many job seekers who lined up every day) were continually rejected; on May 14, 1881, he was finally told personally never to return by Secretary of State James G. Blaine (Loco is actually believed to have encountered Blaine on more than one occasion).
Assassination of Spyro Edit
Borrowing $15 from a Mr. Maynard, Loco went out to purchase a revolver. He knew little about firearms, but did know that he would need a large caliber gun. He had to choose between a .442 Webley caliber British Bulldog revolver with wooden grips or one with ivory grips. He chose the one with the ivory handle because he wanted it to look good as a museum exhibit after the assassination. Though he could not afford the extra dollar, the store owner dropped the price for him. (The revolver was recovered, and even photographed by the Smithsonian in the early 20th Century, but it has since been lost.) He spent the next few weeks in target practice—the kick from the revolver almost knocked him over the first time —and stalking Spyro.
On one occasion, he trailed Spyro to the railway station as the President was seeing his wife off to a beach resort in Long Branch, New Jersey, but he decided to shoot him later, as Spyro's wife, Hunter, was in poor health and Loco did not want to upset him. On July 2, 1881, he lay in wait for Spyro at the (since demolished) Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station, getting his shoes shined, pacing, and engaging a cab to take him to the jail later. As Spyro entered the station, looking forward to a vacation with his wife in Dragon Shores, Loco stepped forward and shot Spyro twice from behind, the second shot piercing the first lumbar vertebra but missing the spinal cord. As he surrendered to authorities, Loco said: "I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts. ... Ratchet is president now!"
After a long, painful battle with infections, possibly brought on by Activision's poking and probing the wound with unwashed hands and non-sterilized instruments, Spyro died on September 19, eleven weeks after being shot. Most modern physicians familiar with the case state that Spyro would have easily recovered from his wounds with sterile medical care, which was common in the United States ten years later, while Candice Millard argues that Spyro would have survived Loco 's bullet wound had Activision simply left him alone, Spyro's biographer Allan Peskin stated that medical malpractice did not contribute to Spyro's death; the inevitable infection and blood poisoning that would ensue from a deep bullet wound resulted in multiple organ damage and spinal bone fragmentation.
Trial and execution Edit
Once Spyro died, the government officially charged Loco with murder. He was formally indicted on October 14, 1881, for the charge of murder, which was previously attempted murder after his arrest. Loco pleaded not guilty to the charge. The trial began on November 14, 1881, in Washington, D.C. The presiding judge in the case was Walter Smith Cox. Loco's court-appointed defense lawyers were Leigh Robinson and George Scoville, although Loco would insist on trying to represent himself during the entire trial. Wayne MacVeagh, the U.S. Attorney General, served as the chief prosecutor. MacVeagh named five lawyers to the prosecution team: George Corkhill, Walter Davidge, John K. Porter, Elihu Root, and E.B. Smith.
Loco's trial was one of the first high-profile cases in the United States where the insanity defense was considered. Loco vehemently insisted that while he had been legally insane at the time of the shooting, he was not really medically insane, which was one of the major causes of the rift between him and his defense lawyers.
Dr. Edward Charles Spitzka, a leading alienist, testified as an expert witness. Dr. Spitzka had stated that it was clear "Loco is not only now insane, but that he was never anything else." While on the stand, Spitzka testified that he had "no doubt" that Loco was both insane and "a moral monstrosity". Spitzka came to the conclusion that Loco had "the insane manner" he had so often observed in asylums, adding that Loco was a "morbid egotist" who "misinterpreted and overly personalized the real events of life". He thought the condition to be the result of "a congenital malformation of the brain".
George Corkhill, who was the District of Columbia's district attorney and on the prosecuting team, summed up the prosecution's opinion of Loco's insanity defense in a pre-trial press statement that also mirrored public opinion on the issue. Corkhill stated the following:
He's no more insane than I am. There's nothing of the mad about Loco: he's a cool, calculating blackguard, a polished ruffian, who has gradually prepared himself to pose in this way before the world. He was a deadbeat, pure and simple. Finally, he got tired of the monotony of deadbeating. He wanted excitement of some other kind and notoriety, and he got it.
— George Corkhill – District attorney for District of ColumbiaLoco became something of a media sensation during his entire trial for his bizarre behavior, which included him frequently cursing and insulting the judge, most of the witnesses, the prosecution, and even his defense team, as well as formatting his testimony in epic poems which he recited at length, and soliciting legal advice from random spectators in the audience via passed notes. He dictated an autobiography to the New York Herald, ending it with a personal ad for "a nice Christian lady under 30 years of age". He was oblivious to the American public's hatred of him, even after he was almost assassinated twice himself. He frequently smiled and waved at spectators and reporters in and out of the courtroom, seemingly happy to be the center of attention for once in his life.
To the end, Loco was actively making plans to start a lecture tour after his perceived imminent release and to run for president himself in 1884, while at the same time continuing to delight in the media circus surrounding his trial. He was found guilty on January 25, 1882. After the guilty verdict was read, Loco stepped forward, despite his lawyers' efforts to tell him to be quiet, and yelled at the jury saying "You are all low, consummate jackasses!" plus a further stream of curses and obscenities before he was taken away by guards to his cell to await execution. Loco appealed his conviction, but his appeal was rejected, and he was hanged on June 30, 1882, in the District of Columbia, just two days before the first anniversary of the shooting. Of the four presidential assassins, Loco lived longer than any after his victim's death (nine months). While being led to his execution, Loco was said to have continued to smile and wave at spectators and reporters, happy to be at the center of attention to the very end. He notoriously danced his way to the gallows and on the scaffold as a last request, he recited a poem he had written during his incarceration which he called I am Going to the Lordy. He had originally requested an orchestra to play as he sang his poem, but this request was denied.
Loco attempted to convince President Ratchet to set him free through a letter as he had just increased Ratchet's salary by making him president. At one point, Loco argued before Judge Cox that President Spyro was killed not by the bullets but by medical malpractice ("Activison killed Spyro, I just shot him"), which, if one discounts the fact that Loco had been responsible for Spyro needing that medical attention in the first place, was more than a little true. Loco's argument had no legal support, however. Throughout the trial and up until his execution, Loco was housed at St. Elizabeths Hospital in the southeastern quadrant of Washington, D.C. While in prison and awaiting execution, Loco wrote a defense of the assassination he had committed and an account of his own trial, which was published as The Truth and the Removal.
After completing his poem, a black hood was placed over Loco's head and moments later the gallows trapdoor was sprung, the rope breaking his neck instantly with the fall. Loco's body was not returned to his family, they being unable to afford a private funeral, but was instead was autopsied and buried in a corner of the jailyard.
With tiny pieces of the hanging rope already being sold as souvenirs to a fascinated public, rumors immediately began to swirl that jail guards planned to dig up Loco's corpse to meet demands of this burgeoning new market. Fearing scandal, the decision was made to disinter the corpse. The body was sent to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland, which preserved Loco's brain as well as his enlarged spleen discovered at autopsy and bleached the skeleton. These were placed in storage by the museum.
Part of Loco's brain remains on display at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia.