Chicago - Feb. 18, 2020
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The Mad Gasser Of Mattoon

In 1944, a bizarre criminal assaulted the small town of Mattoon, Illinois. Victims reported smelling a strange odor in their bedrooms before being overcome with nausea and paralysis. The mad gasser vanished after 10 days, leaving residents to wonder whether he had ever existed at all.


Show notes.

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"This case has long been cited in college psychology classes as a perfect example of mass hysteria. Occurring during World War II, when so many men were off fighting and so many women were left alone, the gassings have been explained away as the product of paranoia, panic, and delirium," Illinois Times reported in 2003.

"But [author Scott] Maruna dispels this idea, giving credence to many who came forward to report a smell coming through their windows at night, and in some cases seeing a shadowy figure running into the darkness."

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"[Maruna] claims Farley Llewellyn, town outcast and son of a grocery store owner, was responsible. Maruna wrote in a 2003 book that Llewellyn wanted revenge on Mattoon residents who had ostracized him for being homosexual," Belt noted in 2015.

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"There's a bit of a problem with that theory though; police were watching [Llewellyn] and he was safely tucked up at home when some of the attacks occurred. That's countered by the argument that there were copycats," Exemplore said last August.

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Jon Hansen took a crack at the case for WGN Radio last November.

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Which brings us right up to this week:

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Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on January 28, 2020


MUSIC - The Last 10 Songs I Shazamed.
TV - We're Fucked, Mate.
POLITICS - Nazi-Era Public Charge Clause Is Back.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - It's Happening Here.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Vanished Chicago Grocery Stores.


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