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Murder trial of a sex psychopath : the construction of homosexuality in mid-twentieth century America

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dc.contributor.advisor Graham, Lisa Jane en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Jefferson, Paul
dc.contributor.advisor Saler, Bethel Worthman, Ari en_US 2007-02-28T20:28:05Z 2007-02-28T20:28:05Z 2002 en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis traces both the popular and psychiatric assumptions about homosexuality that guided the murder trial of Seymour Levin, a seventeen-year-old native Philadelphian who in 1949 was accused of raping and murdering twelve-year-old Ellis Simons. This microhistorical approach to studying the history of sexuality provides us with a glimpse of the ways in which medical experts and laypeople during the mid-twentieth century inextricably linked notions and imagery of homosexuality and violence. The study draws heavily upon materials from the Philadelphia City Archives and the Free Library. The City Archives houses over 200 pages of courtroom transcriptions of the 1949 murder trial. The Free Library stores on microfilm the Inquirer and Daily News from 1949, which supplemented the information and details presented in the courtroom transcriptions. The court records, for example, do not include transcriptions of the lawyers' closing arguments. Furthermore, current Pennsylvania law prohibits public access to psychiatric evaluations of defendants. Because this case was highly publicized, segments of the closing arguments and the complete psychiatric evaluation of Seymour were reprinted in the Philadelphia papers. I spent countless hours sifting through these court records and microfilmed newspaper articles that covered the trial. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Dept. of History en_US
dc.format.extent 314722 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 145430 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype text/plain
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Homosexuality -- Public opinion -- History
dc.subject.lcsh Trials (Murder) -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History
dc.title Murder trial of a sex psychopath : the construction of homosexuality in mid-twentieth century America en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.) en_US
dc.rights.access Open Access

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