[Loscho_Enews] ​EPL Podcast Series and Digital Collection

Snocoheritage snocoheritage at gmail.com
Mon Oct 23 19:42:11 PDT 2017

From: Lisa Labovitch <LLabovitch at everettwa.gov>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 23:50:10 +0000
Subject: New
EPL Podcast Series and Digital Collection: The Insanity Trial of John Patric

*The Insanity Trial of John Patric*

In 1958, John Patric, Snohomish resident, author, and political prankster
was involuntarily committed to a mental institution, diagnosed as insane,
then defended himself in court to prove his sanity.

Everett Public Library has released a five-part podcast to shed light on
this dimly remembered incident in Snohomish County history. It is available
at https://www.epls.org/325/John-Patric.

Political activism is what led to Patric’s near-commitment. Beginning in
1957, he wrote and edited a weekly newsletter, the *Snohomish County Free
Press*, which lambasted city officials for corruption. After only four
issues, Snohomish Police Chief Clarence Boyd petitioned to have him
involuntarily committed to Northern State Hospital for the Insane for
evaluation. There, psychiatrists diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic.

Patric demanded a jury trial to determine his sanity, as permitted by
Washington state law. This occurred in Snohomish County Superior Court in
September, 1958. Patric acted as his own attorney. The library’s podcast
series covers the events leading up to the trial, the trial itself, and its
verdict and aftermath. Each segment is 8-10 minutes long. Library staff
members share the reading parts. The series also includes the song “The
Ballad of John Patric (Eccentric But Justified),” written by historian
David Dilgard and arranged and performed by the library’s Van Ramsey. Also
included are readings straight from the pen of Patric in the *Free Press*,
read in character by Ramsey.

The library’s Northwest Room staff has also assembled a digital collection
of documents relating to Patric, including a portion of his unpublished
manuscript, “Hobo Years,” at

http://nw.epls.org/cdm/search/collection/Patric*,* and has compiled a
biographic essay on Patric, available at https://www.epls.org/327/John-

For further information about the podcast series, please contact Cameron
Johnson at  425-257-7640 <(425)%20257-7640> or cjohnson at everettwa.gov

If you have personal memories of Patric that you would like to have added
to this collection, or if you have questions about the materials included
in the digital collection, contact the Northwest Room at 425-257-8005
<(425)%20257-8005> or libnw at epls.gov

Lisa Labovitch
​ ​
Northwest Room

tel 425-257-8005 | fax 425-257-8029
2702 Hoyt Ave | Everett WA 98201


More information about the Loscho_Enews mailing list