"the Robert Nixon case"|
From the Chicago Tribune, 5 June 1938 --
IS LIKENED TO
BY CHARLES LEAVELLE
Beneath an alley fire escape policemen and detectives stand three and four deep. From a fifth floor window others lean out and call: "Let him come."
Handcuffs click. A slouchily dressed colored youth detaches himself from the crowd of detectives and begins making his way up the side of the building effortlessly. At the second floor, where the fire escape begins, he poises himself lightly and swings over on to it.
"Look at him go," says a policeman. "Just like an ape."
By the time this has been said the youth has swung himself over the sill and is in the fifth floor room where two years ago he raped and murdered with a brick Mrs. Florence Thompson Castle. As detectives watch he shows in pantomime how he committed the crime, one of the five savage murders he has confessed.
The Negro youth is Robert Nixon. He is 18 years old and comes from a pretty little town in the old south -- Tallulah, La. But there is nothing pretty about Robert Nixon. He has none of the charm of speech or manner that is characteristic of so many southern darkies.
That charm is a mark of civilization, and so far as manner and appearance go, civilization has left Nixon practically untouched. His hunched shoulders and long, sinewy arms that dangle almost to his knees; his out-thrust head and catlike tread all suggest the animal.
He is very black-- almost pure Negro. His physical characteristics suggest an earlier link in the species.