Stationery engineer Samuel E. Moss, of 704 East Fifth Street, is still strapped to a bed in Receiving Hospital today, having been arrested in Westlake Park the night of the 21st after attempting suicide with an overdose of bromide.
It seems Mr. Moss, who has no apparent motive for the act (“He is a magnificent specimen of manhood and that he should so fondly court death seemed peculiar to the police,” the Times informs), was thwarted by a crafty druggist. Druggists have come under State Board of Pharmacy scrutiny of late–usually because they’ll sell opium to any and everyone–and so when Moss asked for a “big dose of carbolic”, the pharmacist slipped him the bromide.
In Westlake Park, Moss gulped down the bromide, which made him sick and semiconscious; he was picked up by a Westlake Park Special Officer.
Every morning since his induction to Receiving, attendants ask Moss if he wants to live. And every morning he says no, which confounds Chief Surgeon Garrett. “He is one of the most remarkable prisoners I have ever known. Ninety-nine people out of a hundred who try to commit suicide do so in a fit of despondency. When they are saved, they are only too glad to be alive. This man seems as strong in his desire for death now as he did when he took the drug and restraint seems about the only remedy for him.”
Questioning his Fifth Street rooming house cohabitators revealed nothing. Moss acts and speaks rationally, merely stating “If I don’t want to live, that’s no one’s business but my own.” And so his morning questioning continues–and if he continues to answer in the negative, Garrett will have no other recourse but to file a complaint with the State Board of Insanity Commissioners.