Portland, OR: 1946.
Typed letter with typed signature ("Robert Mack"), approximately 900 words on two legal-sized pages, dated September 23, 1948, at Morningside Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Folding creases, otherwise fine. Enio Robert Mack (b. 1909) was a World War II veteran from Juneau, Alaska who lived with his parents. On July 3, 1948, he shot and killed his father, Finnish immigrant Andrew Mack. Within three weeks, he was tried, judged insane, and committed for life to Morningside Hospital, which held a federal contract to provide in-patient psychiatric services for Alaskans. In this chilling letter, Mack tells his sister that their father ("that moron") had been drinking heavily and abusing their mother. "One morning he came into my room with his eye's blazeing with hatred and shouted at me to be ready because, I was plotting against him with mother, he had taken all the axe's and a single-jack from the cellar and had place them on the porch, I could only come to the conclusion that he was insane... and that he would kill me or mother." This led Robert to break the lock on the gun cabinet and sit on the porch with a rifle, waiting for his father to come home. After warning his father not to come into the house, he "fired and killed him instantly." He further justifes the killing with the assertion that "he was color or race conscience [sic], and had the intelligence of a moron who would champion a negro above a white race...He had no right to marry a white person because he champion the black race." (Andrew Mack, it is worth noting, was white.) He criticizes his brother for testifying at trial to their father's good character, saying "the result was that I was sent to this hospital for life, as a person who is so mentally unbalanced as to have taken the life, of a person without a reason or a just cause." Although Mack clearly believed he was sane, his closing complaint that "the right side of my brain is infected, from bone decaying the right side of the skull" may suggest otherwise.