Carl Panzram

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Carl Panzram, under the alias Jefferson Davis at Deer Lodge State Prison, Montana 1913
Carl Panzram's 1915 mugshot at the Oregon State Penitentiary
Carl Panzram's 1928 mugshot, taken after his ultimate arrest in Washington, D.C.
Carl Panzram 1928 Leavenworth Prison] I am 36 years old and I have been a criminal all of my life.

Carl Panzram (June 28, 1891September 5, 1930) was an American serial killer, rapist, arsonist and burglar. He is known for his confession to prison guard and only friend, Henry Lesser. In graphic detail, Panzram confessed to 21 murders and to having sodomized over 1,000 males. He stole William Howard Taft's pistol and lured American sailors to his yacht and rape and kill them.


  • After serving about 2 years there I was pronounced by the parole board to be a nice, clean boy of good morals, as pure as lily and a credit to those in authority in the istatution where I had been sent to be reformed. Yes sure I was reformed all right, damn good and reformed too. When I got out of there I knew all about Jesus and the bible so much so that I knew it was all a lot of hot air. But that wasn’t all I knew. I had been taught by christians how to be a hypocrite and I had learned more about stealing, lying, hating, burning and killing. I had learned that a boys penis could be use for something besides to urinate with and that a rectum could be use for other purposes than crepitating. Oh yes I had learned a hell of a lot, from my expert instructors furnished to me free of charge by society in general and the state of Minnesota in particular. From the treatment I received while there and the lessons I learned from it, I had fully desided when I left there just how I would live my life. I made up my mind that I would rob, burn, destroy and kill every where I went and everybody I could as long as I lived. That’s the way I was reformed in the Minnesota State Training School. Thats the reasons why. [sic]
    • Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 172, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • These two experiences taught me several lessons. Lesson that I have never forgotten. I did not want to learn these lessons but I found out that it isn’t what one wants in this world that one gets. Force and might makes right. Perhaps things shouldn’t be that way but thats the way they are. I learned to look with suspicion and hatred on everybody. As the years went on that idea persisted in my mind above all others. I figured that if I was strong enough and clever enough to impose my will on others, I was right. I still believe that to this day. Another lesson I learned at that time was that there were a lot of very nice things in this world. Among them were Whisky and Sodomy. But it depended on who and how they were used. I have used plenty of both since then but I have recieved more pleasure of them since; than I did those first times. Those were the days when I was learning the lessons that life teaches us all and they made me what I am today. [sic]
    • Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 174, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • You know that I spent several years in one of those places [reform school] when I was a boy and the so called Training that I recieved while there is mainly the cause of my being the degenerate beast that I am today. I have thought about that system of Training young boys for all of my life and I know that the whole system is wrong. That system of beating goodness, religion and Jesus into boys in the 99 times out of 100 has the direct opposite effect of taking all of the goodness, kindness and love out of them and then replacing those with hate, envy deciete, tyrany and every other kind of meaness there is. [sic]
    • From a undated letter to Henry Lesser, Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 202, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • Panzram later claimed that while he had been a rotten yegg before imprisonment at the military pen any shred of goodness left in him was smashed out during his Leavenworth Military prision stint 1908-1910.
    • Panzram A Journal of Murder, Thomas E. Gaddis (Editor), James O. Long (Editor)
  • I am 36 years old and I have been a criminal all of my life. I have 11 felony convictions against me. I have served 20 years of my life in Jails, Reform Schools and prisons. I know why I am a criminal. Others may have different theories as to my life but I have no theory about it. I know the facts. If any man ever was a habitual criminal. I am one. In my lifetime I have broken every law that was ever made by both Man and God. If either had made more, I should cheerfully have broken them also. The mere fact that I have done these things is quite sufficient for the average person. Very few peopel ever consider it worth while to wonder why I am what I am and do what I do. All that they think it is necessary to do is to catch me, try me convict me and send me to prison for a few years, make life miserable for me while in prison and then turn me loose again. That is the system that is in practice today in this country. The consequences are that such that any one and every one can see. crime and lots of it. Those who are sincere in thier desire to put down crime, are to be pitied for all of thier efforts which accomplish so little in the desired direction. They are the ones who are decieved by thier own ignorance and by the trickery and greed of others who profit the most by crime. [sic]
    • Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 187, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • hurry up and bring on your electric chair I want to leave here and take a nose-dive into the next world just to see if that one is as lousy as is this ball of mud and meanness. I am sorry for only two things. These two things are I am sorry that I have mistreated some few animals in my life-time and I am sorry that I am unable to murder the whole damed human race. [sic]
    • Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 192, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • If you or any one else will take the trouble and have the inteligence and paitince to follow and examine every one of my crimes and actions you will find that I have consistently followed one idea thru all my life. I preyed upon the weak the harmless or unsuspecting. Those I have harmed were all either weaklings either mentaly or phisicaly. Those who were strong in either mind or body I first lied to and led into a trap where they were either asleep or drunk or helpless in some way. I always had all the best of it, because I knew ahead of time just what to expect and the others did not. I therefore was strong in my knolledge and stronger in body than those preyed upon. This lesson I was taught by others. Might makes right. [sic]
    • From a undated letter to Henry Lesser, Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 193, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • So if I succeed in my effort at suicide tonight then this will sure be the last I’ll ever say or write on this earth. The choice is mine and I fully realize just what I am doing. I would like to have it known just why I do this. I had no choice about coming into this world and nearly all of my 38 years in it I have had very little to say or do about how I should live my life. People have driven me into doing everything I have ever done. Now the time has come when I refuse to be driven any further. Tonight I die and tomorrow I go to the grave farther than that no man can drive me I am sure glad to leave this lousy world and the lousier people that live in it. But of all the lousy people in this world I believe that I am the lousiest of them all. Today I am dirty but tomorrow I’ll be just DIRT. [sic]
    • From a letter to Henry Lesser, Leavenworth, Kansas, June 20, 1930, Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, pgs. 208-9, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • In my lifetime I have murdered 22 human beings. I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies Larcenys, arsons and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. for all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don’t believe in Man, God nor devil. I hate the whole damed human race including myself. [sic]
    • Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 169, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • I have no desire whatever to reform myself. My only desire is to reform other people who try to reform me. and I believe that the only way to reform people is to kill em. My motto is, Rob em all, Rape em all and Kill em all. I am very truly yours signed Cooper John II Carl Panzram [sic]
    • From a letter to the "Society for the Abolishment of Capital Punishment", Leavenworth, Kansas, May 23, 1930, Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, pgs. 210, (1997), Brian King, ed. ISBN 096503240X
  • I hope they all go out like Kilkenny cats...
    • Panzram A Journal of Murder, Thomas E. Gaddis (Editor), James O. Long (Editor)
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