Do you remember those scenes in “The Shining” when a maniacal-looking Jack Nicholson would be typing and typing and typing like, well, mad, and in the end we see that he’s been typing the same insane few words over and over again? Those scenes popped into my head recently while I was reading up on story of a sensational murder case that happened in Chincoteague, Va. back in 1885.
The weekend that I’m posting this is the 131st anniversary of the day Tom Freeman finally went off the deep end. The killer was a lovestruck 20-year-old native of Chincoteague who, like Nicholson in “The Shining,” had a weird thing about writing—in this case, he labored intently on distraught letters that he would never send. It’s not hard to imagine him taking pen to paper with something like that wild-eyed look that Nicholson had in the movie while ripping up the pages he didn’t like.
Here is what Freeman wrote in one of those unsent letters to the father of his beloved: “Dear Sir, to all the peopel in the world I will tell you that I have Die for love I am going to kill myself on a count Jennie Hill Wee have been corting about 8 mount and this is the last, I will Die and I will kill my lover so good by to all and to everybody this is my request to be Bury long a side of hear.”
Spelling and grammar weren’t Tom’s strong suit.