Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Lunacy of Lost 'London'

The famous lost Lon Chaney film, "London After Midnight" (aka "The Hypnotist") was said to be the driving force behind the murder of Julia Mangan in London's Hyde Park in October of 1928.

The killer, a Welsh carpenter named Robert Williams, believed that Chaney's unnerving depiction of a near-supernatural killer in the film had driven him insane. It was reported that Williams could see Chaney in a corner, shouting and making faces at him and that he felt as if steam were coming out of his own ears.

Williams seemed to think he had been set into a dissociative
state by this apparition because he could not remember pulling a razor from his pocket and slitting Mangan's throat or attempting then to take his own life.

The defense attempted to pin his unhinging on the disturbing visage Chaney donned for his character in London After Midnight, but the jury didn't buy it: They sentenced Williams to death on January 10, 1929.

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