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1909 Sodomy Case

The State of Missouri v. Edward F. Clark, alias Francis

Supreme Court of Missouri, Divsion 2

June 8, 1909

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Defendant appealed his conviction by the St. Louis City Circuit Court (Missouri) for attempt to commit sodomy.

OVERVIEW: Defendant was originally charged with sodomy of a 12 year old boy. Subsequently, he was convicted for attempt to commit sodomy. The court reversed and remanded defendant's conviction. The court found that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on the crime of attempt. The court reasoned that the prosecution had established that defendant had completed the act and therefore an instruction on attempt was unwarranted by the evidence.

OUTCOME: The court reversed and remanded the case.

Source: 221 Mo. 391; 120 S.W. 21; 1909 Mo. LEXIS 145

1864 Cross Dressing Ordinance

St. Louis Ordinance No. 5421, 1864

Offenses Against Morals and Decency

Sec 2. Whoever shall, in this city, appear in any public place in a state of nudity, or in a dress not belonging to his or her sex, or in an indecent or lewd dress; or shall make an indecent exposure of his or her person, or be guilty of an indecent or lewd act or behavior; or shall exhibit, sell, or offer to sell, any indecent or lewd book, picture, or other thing; or shall exhibit or peform any indecent, immoral, or lewd play, or other representation, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

1892 Breedlove Suicide

Preface: On February 23, 1892, Dr. Charles Breedlove, a man whose desperation over an unrequited (or a no longer requited) love (Issac Judson) led to his untimely and sad end. Charles H Hughes, editor of the Alienist and Neurologist (“Alienist” was an early term for psychiatrist) gave a talk before the Section of Mental and Nervous Diseases at the Pan-American Medical Congress in 1893 on “Erotopathia” — among the many early terms given to homosexuality before the word “homosexual” entered the English language — in which he gave the following account:

"In February of the past year (1892), a quiet, cultured and gentlemanly appearing young man committed suicide by shooting himself at his room in a hotel in St. Louis. A combination of causes probably led to the despondency which ended in the rash act. Pecuniary embarrassment may have been one of them, but the chief cause, as elicited at the Coroner’s inquest, as testified by the male friend of whom he was enamored, was that he had a morbid attachment for that friend. He wrote long letters to him teeming with endearing words. They had roomed together, but at the time of the tragedy they were rooming apart. This was his second attempt at suicide. At the time of his death he carried a locket about his neck containing the picture of the man be loved. He was an educated professional man, kindhearted and of good address.

The following letters, written in a neat hand shortly prior to, and about the time of, his death, serve to show the erotopathic condition of this young man’s mind. They reveal the ardent feeling of the anxious, disappointed lover, much the same feeling as one madly in love might normally have for his heart’s idol of the other sex, but never but unnaturally and abnormally for one’s own sex, with homicidal and suicidal impulses of maddened desperation added:

  • “My Dear Friend: — Are you ill, angry or merely careless? I looked for my usual Thursday’s letter Saturday morning. It came not. I then felt sure you would write me on Sunday. I watched for the postman. No letter. He has been here this A. M. and still no letter. It makes me not only unhappy, but very anxious — unhappy since I am deprived of all that is left me to care for or look forward to; unhappy in the thought that I have displeased you; in suspense and anxiety lest some bodily ailment has seized that goodly frame and rendered you unable to communicate with me. If I do not hear from you in a day or so I shall be frantic and unfit for anything. I sent the stud on Thursday, which must have reached you Saturday, and not later than Monday, in which case I should have heard from you by this time.”
  • “My Dear Friend: — I have just returned from the Cathedral, where Bishop Tuttle preached. My mind is not in a very receptive frame, so I can hardly tell anything he said. The pass was all a myth. The only pass I have is one into eternity. I even sold my dress suit and my old clothes to raise the funds to get here on. I came, intending to first kill you, then myself. I shall only make an end of my own miserable existence. My Jove for you has been my ruin. I can no more live a life apart from you than I can fly. The past month has been the test and I cannot do it. There is but one thing which could save me, and that is to pass the remainder of my life in your presence. I shall do that anyhow, for to die in your arms relieves death of half its terrors. I wish it would come to me naturally and you would have nothing to dishonor or grieve you. It is cruel in me to do this act, for it will blight your life. I should be more cruel to myself to try and live without you. You have done all but the one right and effective thing to save and make me, but it has all failed. I would gladly beg, steal, do anything — forego riches, forget friends, home, kindred, but for a life of blissful association with you. My office and outfit are all intact and you can realize something on those things. Mr. C—- H—-, XI6 M—- Avenue, will see to the things. I appreciate all you did, and the effort and sacrifice you made for me. It was not in the right direction.
  • “This letter to you is all I leave behind. I cannot write anything to my parents. The blow will probably kill my mother. I shudder to think of it. We might have been happy together had it not been for W—-. The W—-, your brother’s family, your other rich friends, your high social and business standing, your high ideas of morality, which you never filled — but ’tis too late, the end must come. I don’t see why God did not let me die that Saturday night. I suppose there was some purpose waiting till you had made the outlay and sacrificed so much. You see, the end is all the same. Good-by, dear I—-, I won’t wish you happiness; you will never have that again and you will follow in my footsteps sometime. Men of our natures and sins must have their punishment, and ours comes in a terrible shape. You are mine in the light of heaven and no family ties can claim you from me in death. I pity you, but oh, to be free from all this agony of separation, suspense, doubt, is so welcome. May God deal with me according to my weakness. Keep my stud as long as you live. send my watch and ring to my mother. Let my last rites be attended by as little expense as possible. A pauper cannot expect to repose in a metallic casket. I am going to bed, to sleep and gain nerve to face my fate. I have felt it must be, and since I have known you, I knew you were to be the last straw. I have Joved you better than you have ever loved or will ever be loved again. Think kindly of that love sometimes. I am unworthy, but my love for you is worth a thought. Pray for my soul. Amen.”

Much more than a sentiment of warm friendship for one’s benefactor is breathed in these epistles of passion, desperation and love, with its sequel of chagrin and suicide, without remorse for, or full appreciation of, the unnatural character of his perverted love. Though his Christian training had taught him to regard his unnatural passion as a sin."

Source: Charles H. Hughes, “Erotopathia — Morbid eroticism.” Alienist and Neurologist 14, no. 4 (October 1893): 531-578.)

1990 Murder

State of Missouri v. Robert A. Shafer

Preface: The case facts below are taken from a transcript of Robert Shafer's written confession as it appears in the opinion by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Case Facts: "On April 29, 1990 at about 10:30 a.m. I got fired from my job. I called my friend David Steinmeyer and asked him to come over and get high with me. David and I got stoned from about 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. with my sister, Francine, and a friend. During this time David and I talked about robbing some homosexuals, and beating them up. (My sister did not have any knowledge of this.) At 1:30 p.m., David and I went behind the apartments to play baseball with some friends. We all got stoned and drank some beer. David and I talked more about robbing somebody while playing softball. At about 4:45 p.m. David left to go to work at 5:00 p.m. I stayed and played softball until about 6:30 p.m.

I went home, took a shower and got stoned some more. At about 7:25 p.m. I went up to Hardee's on North 94 to talk to David again. I left Hardee's at 7:45 p.m. and went back home to wait for David to get off work at 8:00 p.m. At 8:15 p.m. David came to my house, we sat and got stoned and talked more about robbing somebody. David changed from his work clothes into some of mine. I went into my sister's bedroom, got the .22 revolver and got 5 .22 shells from the kitchen. I put the shells in my pocket and the .22 into my waistband. At about 8:45 p.m. David and I left my house.

We walked behind the Marina apartments until we got to North 94. We walked down North 94 until we got to Tecumseh Street. We walked to Tecumseh and Second Street and talked to a St. Charles County Sheriff's Deputy. The Deputy told us to keep on going. David and I walked to North Main Street, down North Main to the North River Road. (Earlier that day David and I talked about where to look for somebody to rob and decided to look at Blanchette's landing on North River Road.)

Once on the North River Broad we went to Blanchette's Landing. We hid in the dark to see how many people were there. We seen 4-5 parked cars. As we approached the eastern part of the landing this is where we saw the guys, Parker and Young. David and I hid in the bathroom and tried to look at Parker and Young. We heard the loud music, saw Parker and Young hugging and drinking beer. (This is when we knew they would be ones we robbed.) David and I walked up to Parker and Young and started talking to them. (It seemed like Young was apprehensive about talking to us.)

They asked us what we were doing out so late, and I told them we were going to see some girls in St. Peters. I offered Young $5.00 to drive us to St. Peters. I gave the $5.00 to Parker and he gave it to Young. We sat there and talked for about 5 minutes and drank a beer they gave us. At about 9:30 p.m. we got into the car to go to St. Peters. I got in the car behind Parker on the passenger side and David got behind Young on the driver side. At this point I gave David the gun, but, kept the 5 .22 shells. Young drove down the North River Road until he got to North Main, he drove until he got to Tecumseh Street. At Fourth Street drove until he got to the hill leading to Fifth Street. He drove all the way down Fifth Street until he got to the on ramp for I-70 West.

During the drive from the North River Road we all exchanged conversation. They asked us our names, if we got high and other general conversation. (David and I knew right away Young was gay.) Young did seem real apprehensive about the whole incident, but, hadn't said much so far. Once we were on I-70 West I put 3 of the .22 shells in the gun and gave it back to David to hold. (David and I talked among ourselves about what we would do and Parker asked how come we were whispering.) Once we got to the Cave Springs Exit at St. Peters Young exited. I was going to have him drop us off at the Cave Springs Sunoco, but, I thought my brother-in-law Jeff was at work there, so I didn't. I asked Young to take us farther into St. Peters, which he agreed to. (Young said, "There isn't anything going on, is there?") Young drove the car down Cave Springs Road until he got to Mexico Road. At Mexico Road he turned right, going west until the got to Jungerman Road, he turned left, going south.

He went down Jungerman Road until he got to a 7-11 on the right hand side and turned left on Oak Tree, going east. He followed Oak Tree until I told him to turn on Peach Street. Parker then said his nephew lived on Peach, so I told Young it was the wrong street. Young drove down Oak Tree until it turned into Cherry Tree. He drove down Cherry Tree until he came to Timberidge. He drove down Timberidge until he got to New Muegge Road. He drove down New Muegge Road until he came to the Hackman and Country Club Road intersection. At Country Club Road, he took a left and went until he came to Berlekamp.

At Berlekamp he went to a circular drive and I told him that was the house. The lights were off so I told him it was the right house, but, nobody was home now. (During this whole drive through St. Peters Young kept asking if anything was wrong, he seemed scared.) (David and I whispered a lot because we didn't know where we were, or if they knew we would rob them.) At this house Young sensed something was wrong and told us to get out and find another ride from there. I asked Young to take us back to I-70 where we would get out and find a ride. At this point Young drove back pretty much the same way we had came as far as I can remember. On the trip back to I-70 we all talked about partying some time at Parker's house in St. Charles, and David and I decided to take the car when we stopped next time. Back at Cave Springs and I-70 Young got on the south service road, going east. I told him we could be dropped off at another friend's house on the service road. He drove until he got to Spring Road. At Spring Road Young turned right, going south. Spring Road dead ends and at the dead end Young pulled into a driveway on the right side.

I told Young to turn off the headlights and the motor, because my "friend" could be asleep. (I got the gun from David now.) As Parker got out he opened the seat for me to get out. On my way out I punched Parker in the face and stomach and pushed him into a hole. He tried to get up and I kicked him again. David was fighting with Young on the other side of the car, but, Young was on top of David. I dragged Parker over to Young, pointed the gun at Young's head and told him to stop fighting. I gave the gun to David an told him to shoot if they tried to get away. I got in the driver's seat, Young behind me, David in the passenger seat and Parker behind him. I told them all we would do is rob them and leave them somewhere unless they tried to get away. (David kept them at gun point while I drove.)

I drove back to the south service road and turned left, going west. I took the service road all the way to Mid Rivers Drive. At Mid Rivers Drive I crossed the over-pass to the north service road. I drove down the north service road past the Quick Trip on the right, through old town St. Peters. At the stop sign Young tried to reach for the door handle. Instead of stopping I drove through the stop sign. (From Cave Springs to Mid Rivers Drive Young tried once to choke me from behind.) At the railroad tracks next to the Lone Wolf Park I turned onto Salt River Road.

I drove down Salt River Road until I got to Silvers Road on the right side, this is where I planned on robbing Young and Parker because it was dark and away from people. I drove down Silvers Road for a ways and stopped. I turned off the car and headlights next. (Along the way from Cave Springs to Mid Rivers David asked if we would kill or shoot the guys, I said no until Young tried to choke me and get away.) After I stopped the car I opened the door to let Young out on the passenger side. David and Parker started to fight and Parker ended up in the ditch. As Young got out he punched me in the face, I fought with him until he also ended up in the ditch.

David came up to me after Young was in the ditch and we talked for a few seconds. I seen Parker trying to run away so I chased him. As I caught up to him he fell into the ditch again. I was not too far away when I fired 2 shots from the .22 revolver. I know at least one (1) shot hit Parker in the face because I had some blood on my hand. (Right after I shot Parker I ran over to where Young was laying in the ditch. Young begged me not to shoot him, he said he didn't remember what I looked like, he wouldn't go to the police. I fired one (1) shot at Young, hitting him in the back I think because he was trying to run away into the field. I took the last 2 shells out of my pocket, put them in the gun and fired one (1) shot.

I then walked closer to Young and fired another one (1) shot into his head. Young did not move, but, made noises. (David was back at the car.) walked over to David and he asked how come I shot them, I told him because they tried to get away.

David and I got back into the car, me driving and we to the 90 degree turn in road and turned around. As we came parallel to Young I stopped the car, walked over to Young and got into his pockets. I don't recall for sure what exactly was taken, but, I know that a silver Zippo lighter was. At this point Young was alive, but, unconscious and bleeding bad. I drove the car down to Parker and stopped again. David stayed in the car while I left to empty Parker's pockets. I took some money, close to $100.00 and his Camel cigarettes. Parker was not breathing at all, I assume he was dead. I got back into the car and drove down Silvers Road until I got to Salt River Road.

I took Salt River Road back to Highway C and through old town St. Peters. I got onto the south service road, going east and drove down that all the way to First Capitol Drive and took First Capitol to Fifth Street back into North St. Charles. Once back in North St. Charles David and I talked about where to leave the car. (It was about 10:30 p.m. when we got back to St. Charles.) I drove around North St. Charles, Boschertown looking for a place to leave the car until about 11:00 p.m. I drove to North Main Street to Bales Memorial Park. Once at Bales Memorial Park I stopped the car. I started to take out the car stereo, the speakers, cassette tapes and other things. David and I threw out trash, ashtray, cigarette lighter that might have our fingerprints on it. I also took off the vinyl steering wheel cover to alleviate fingerprints. After we took all this stuff I dumped it in the park area.

At about 11:15 p.m. we got to the Town and Country IGA on North 94 where I had decided to leave Young's car. We took the car stereo, speakers, cassette tapes and .22 gun with us. Before I closed the door I kicked the gear shifter to try and remove the plastic casing that had my fingerprints on it. David and I walked through the small field behind Steamboat Lane Apartments where I dropped the plastic from the gear shifter and the vinyl steering wheel cover. David and I walked in the dark behind all of the Marina Apartments until we got to my apartment. I put the stereo, speakers, gun and cassettes under my bedroom window. David and I walked to the front of my apartment and went in, it was 11:19 p.m. My sister Francine, her husband and son were watching VCR tapes. My sister asked how come our shoes were all wet, and what was wrong.

David and I went to my bedroom and took the stereo, speakers, cassettes and gun in through the window. David changed out of my clothes into his work uniform, and I put the clothes in the closet. David and I want onto the porch to talk. I told him not to say anything until we figured out what to do tomorrow. At 11:25 p.m. David went home. From 11:25 p.m. until about 1:30 a.m., April 30, 1990, I sat and watched t.v. with my sister and her husband. At 1:30 a.m. I went into my bedroom and locked the door. Until about 3:00 a.m. I got stoned and drunk. At 3:00 a.m. I crawled out the window, and took the stereo, speakers and some of the cassette tapes to my sister's old storage across the street at 755 Marina Drive. I went back home, in through the window. I went into my sister's room and put the .22 revolver back into the closet so my sister would never know it was gone. The (5) empty shell casings I put in my closet. I had to have my brother-in-law, Jeff, unlock my bedroom door from the outside because I got locked in at about 4:00 a.m. I stayed in the bedroom until about 7:30 a.m., April 30, 1990. At about 7:30 a.m.

I had to babysit my nephew Jacob. I didn't do much until 12:00 p.m. when I went to the Town and Country IGA to get a few things and had to walk by Young's car. I noticed it had been moved a few feet from where I left it, but, I kept going. At 3:00 p.m. David got out of school and I went to his house. We talked about the shooting, and he said he talked to somebody at school about it. I got the car keys from David and threw them out behind my apartment, in the woods. (At this point I didn't know that the bodies had been found.) At about 4:00 p.m. David had to go work for about one (1) hour or so and I went home. At about 5:00 p.m. David called and I told him to watch the news to see if they found the bodies.

At 5:05 p.m. or so he called to say the police had found the car at the IGA. I went to David's house and watched the police photograph Young's car. I left David's house, went home, called my mother in Salina, Kansas. I told her I might have shot 2 people, but, not to say anything until I called her back later on. At about 5:30 p.m. I went to Hardee's and told my sister I needed the car to go to confession, I was crying and my sister asked why. I told her that I couldn't tell her yet.

David and I went to confession, to my girlfriend Kelly's and a couple of other places to tell people we were leaving town. At about 7:00 p.m. I went to my brother Michael's house and told him I had to leave town because I was in trouble. He asked me what and I told him I shot (2) people last night. I kissed my (2) nieces and brother goodbye and went home. (David talked to my brother alone. I don't know what he said though.)

I packed some clothes, called David and told him to get ready to leave town. We planned on going to Corpus Christi, Texas, to see my son and then turn ourselves in. At David's house we talked to his mother, Nancy before we left. As we tried to leave my brother, Michael, tried to stop us, I kept on going. As we went down North 94 we passed (2) or (3) police cars. At about 9:00 p.m. David and I were on I-70 West leaving town. I stopped at O'Fallon to get gas. David and I both called our mothers. Our mothers encouraged us to turn ourselves in to police right away. David and I decided to turn ourselves in at St. Charles. During the ride on I-70 East David and I talked about what to say to police when we were arrested.

I made David agree to let me write a statement saying I shot Young and he shot Parker. (This was not the truth, but, David agreed, reluctantly.) At 9:30 p.m. David and I stopped at the Cave Springs Sunoco to make a few phone calls. I called my sister and told her I would turn myself in at 10:15 p.m. at the St. Charles Police Department, and to be there to ensure my safety. I drove around St. Charles, went to my girlfriend Kelly's house, but, she was gone. I called my brother-in-law, Jeff, and told him to get rid of the .22 revolver, he asked why, and he wouldn't. At 10:10 p.m. I drove to West Clay Street and parked in Sun Valley Lake Apartments. David and I walked across the street to the Police Department and were arrested at 10:14 p.m. by sheriff's detectives.

David and I were taken to the sheriff's department for questioning next. I then gave Lt. Simcox and Det. a statement to the murders. (During the kidnapping of Young and Parker on Spring Road, Young apparently lost his eyeglasses. The .22 revolver was taken into evidence by Sgt. Roach, but, later released back to my brother-in-law, Jeff. It could be in the hands of Tracy Baltazor in Salina, Kansas.

My sister gave it to him after my arrest, saying she didn't want it anymore. The car stereo, speakers and cassettes were still in the storage until a few after my arrest. I later found out that either Chauncey or Gary Regot might have them. Some of the cassettes are now in evidence. They were in my sister's car at the time of my arrest. The tape case might have Young's name on it. I don't remember for sure, but, one (1) of the shell casings could be in the evidence that police seized from my sister's car at Sun Valley Lake Apartments. The keys from Young's car are behind my apartment at 868 Marina Drive, or should be."


Copyright Steven Louis Brawley, 2007-2021. All Rights Reserved.