The Selected Works of Kim Il Sung

The Selected Works of Kim Il Sung is a collection of speeches, essays, and interviews by the first leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea  (North Korea).

Kim Il Sung  is often referred to as the “Great Leader“, among North Koreans. After Stalin, with reportedly little resistance, took control of Pyongyang from the Japanese Kim Il Sung was placed in control;  the birth of Juche ideology N. Korea was the result of Kim Il Sung’s reign.

The selected works starts with an essay from 1946, on the establishment of the party.

Some excepts from Sung’s 1946 essay entitled: On the establishment of the Workers’ Party of North Korea and the question of founding the Workers’ Party of South Korea

With his opening sentence Kim IL Sung makes it clear, what is being formulated in North Korea is not simply Communism, but rather a fusion ; essentially a Korean flavored Communism.

” The foundation of the Workers Party representing and defending the interests of the labouring masses of Korea through the merger of the Communist Party and the New Democratic Party is the greatest event in the political life of our people at the present time.”

He goes on to reinforce the claim of the Party being truly a people’s party by pointing out the fact that the majority of the people who made up the People’s committee membership were in fact of the peasant class.

“The composition of the people’s committee membership now active in north Korea is as follows: 

Workers- 5.7%

Peasants- 71.8%

Office employees(intellectuals)- 15.8%

Handicraftsmen- 3.1%

Tradesmen- 4.6%”.

Immediately after gaining control of the helm, Kim IL Sung went directly to work on reclaiming Korea from the hands of foreign imperialists and homegrown traitors:

“Last August the provisional PPCNK (People’s Committee of North Korea) proclaimed the law on the nationalization of industrial, transport and communications facilities and banks which had been owned by the Japanese imperialists, pro-Japanese elements and traitors to the nation”.

With the imperialists, individualists, and profiteers removed from the business, economics and media sectors of North korea the foucs could once again be placed on the person rather then the pursuit of capital:

“In June this year, The PPCNK promulgated the Labour Law freeing factory and office workers from harsh, colonial exploitation and introducing the 8 hour working day and a social insurance system. And a law was passed to guarantee the women social rights equal to those of the men for the first time in the history of our country.”

Sung also addresses the struggles, suppression and eventual defeat of their South Korean counter parts:

The People’s committees set up by the south Korean people immediately after liberation were not recognized and, worse still, they were dissolved and their functionaries were arrested and thrown into jail.”

” And how have the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys who are obstructing the democratic independence and sovereignty of Korea dealt and are dealing with the Communist Party of South Korea? Those villains have arrested, imprisoned and murdered large numbers  of the leading cadres and members of the Communist Party and banned its organ Haebang-ilbo.”

” See the massacre in Kwangju of last August 15! With tanks, planes, machine guns and bayonets the Yankees attacked over 1000 workers of the Hwasun Colliery who were marching towards the city of  Kwangju to attend the mass meeting in honour of the anniversary August 15, killing one and wounding 109 seriously or lightly.”

The 2nd installment in the collection is a speech from 1955 entitled: On eliminating dogmatism and formalism and establishing Juche in ideological work.

Sung starts the speech off dealing with matters of propaganda. As the Juche idea was still, at this point, a relatively newly introduced ideal there were many confusions and contradictions within the pro Juche propaganda  production.  Sung addresses the misinformed and/or flat out bad propaganda being put out by his propagandist. Some of the propagandist, according to Sung, either were misinformed about Juche, were not effective enough of hi-lighting important aspects, or were simply not using enough of the Juche philosophy in their works. One of the main focuses of Sung’s complaints was the particularly bad or non-existent pro-Nationalist propaganda. 

“Only when our people are educated in the history of their own struggle and its traditions, can their national pride be stimulated and the broad masses be aroused to the revolutionary struggle.”

“The Kwangju Student Incident, for example, was a mass struggle in which tens of thousands of Korean youths and students rose against Japanese imperialism; it played a big part in inspiring the anti-Japanese spirit in broad sections of the Korean youth. As a matter of course, we should publicize this movement widely and educate youth and students in the brave fighting spirit displayed by their forerunners. Our propaganda workers have failed to do so. Instead, Syngman Rhee has been making propaganda of this movement in his favour. This has created a false impression that the Communists disregard national traditions. What a dangerous thing! It will be impossible for us to win over the south Korean youth if we go on working in this way.”

“I noticed in a primary school that all the portraits hanging on the walls were of foreigners such as Mayakovsky, Pushkin, etc., and there were none of Koreans. If children are educated in this way, how can they be expected to have national pride?”

In compelling schoolbooks, too, materials are not taken from our literary works but from foreign ones. All this is due to the lack of Juche.

The lack of Juche in propaganda work has done much harm to Party work.”

Sung had to remind his audience that Korean Communism was just that, and not that of Russia, or anyone else for that matter.

“Comrade Pak Yong Bin, on returning from the Soviet Union, said that since the Soviet Union was following the line of easing international tension, we should also drop our slogan against U.S. imperialism. Such an assertion has nothing to do with revolutionary vigilance. The U.S. imperialists scorched our land, slaughtered our innocent people en masse, and are still occupying the southern half of our country. They are our sworn enemy, aren’t they?”

” Many comrades swallow Marxism-Leninism whole, instead of digesting and assimilating it. It is therefore self-evident that they are unable to display revolutionary initiative.”

” Every effort should be made to unearth our national legacies and carry them forward. True, we should be active in learning from what is progressive internationally. But we should develop fine things of our own while introducing advanced culture. Otherwise, our people will lose faith in their own ability and become a spineless people who only try to copy from others.”

Next in the collection of Sung are transcripts from a press conference with Iraqi media in 1971. Many of the questions dealing with their relationship with Iraq, Socialism and the state of imperialism.

Speaking about the need for cooperation not globalism:

“By establishing Juche and relying on our own efforts we do not mean on any account building .’Socialism in isolation. We fully recognize that it is necessary for states to supply each other’s needs and cooperate with each other, and are striving to expand and develop it. Our position is that mutual cooperation between states should be conducted on the basis of the building of an independent national economy in each country. This alone makes it possible to expand and develop economic cooperation between states on the principles of complete equality and mutual benefit.”

“QUESTION : The relations between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Iraq were established already long ago. However, it was only after the July 17, 1968 Revolution that the relations took a decisive turn.

What is your appraisal of the successes attained by the Iraqi people in two years after the Revolution and, particularly, the solution of the Kurd national problem on a peaceful and democratic basis and of its influence upon the strengthening of the anti-imperialist people’s front?


The Iraqi people attained national independence through their protracted arduous struggle against the domination of foreign imperialism and took the road of new development particularly after the July 17, 1968 Revolution. This was not only a great victory of the Iraqi people but a common victory of the peoples who have risen in the anti-imperialist, national-liberation struggle and a heavy blow to the imperialists and colonialists.

Since the Revolution the Iraqi people, holding aloft the banner of anti-imperialism and independence, have unfolded a devoted struggle to consolidate national independence and build a new, prosperous Iraq and have achieved great successes in a short span of time.

Many difficulties confronted the Iraqi people who set out on the road of struggle for building a new life. The imperialists headed by U.S. imperialism and the Israeli aggressors and their accomplices, the reactionary forces at home, resorted to every underhand scheme to wrest the Iraqi people from the anti-imperialist front.”

On the relationship between the 2 countries:

” The Korean people value the experience accumulated by the Iraqi people in the struggle against imperialism and the Israeli aggressors and for unity, freedom and socialism under the leadership of the Arab Baath Socialist Party.”

On the question of Palestine:

“Our people’s solidarity with and support and encouragement to the Arab people’s revolutionary struggle are constant. The Korean people will continue to resolutely support the valiant struggle of the Palestinian people for liberating their fatherland and the struggle of the entire Arab people against Zionism and imperialist aggression and will always remain a close comrade-in-arms of the Arab people in the struggle against the common enemy. Our people will render active support and encouragement to the righteous struggle of the Arab people at all times.”

Following the transcript from the Iraqi Journalist question answer session is the speech from 1986 entitled :For the Development of the Non-Aligned Movement

In the speech Sung focuses on what the non-aligned movement is about, and what they should be striving to achieve. The speech is separated into 6 major subjects:


“Imperialism is the product of aggression and plunder, and it has grown fat on ceaseless aggression and plunder. Since the emergence of imperialism mankind has suffered disasters of recurrent aggression and war, and has been deprived of immeasurable amounts of property, wealth and the fruit of labour.”

“As monopoly capital grows, so its tentacles of aggression and plunder are extended overseas. This is an inevitable outcome and a law of the development of capitalism”

“The method of its aggression and plunder has changed with the progress of time. Today the imperialists are employing mainly neocolonialism to invade, dominate and plunder other countries.”

“By entangling many developing countries in the neocolonialist web of so-called “aid” and “cooperation”, the imperialists now have seized the economic lifelines of these countries, made them nothing more than their sources of raw materials and their markets and grown rich by squeezing tremendous amounts of profit out of them.”

“The imperialists are working towards invading and dominating other countries in every possible way and in different fields. They are trying to invade other countries and establish political domination over them by resorting to military force and underhanded methods.They are also scheming to subordinate them economically and infiltrate them ideologically and culturally by means of surplus goods, unfair economic relations, decadent Western culture and bourgeois way of life.”


“To dominate the world by force, wielding nuclear weapons, is the world strategy which the imperialists have persisted in since the Second World War. The danger from this strategy is growing as the days go by.”

“In order to abolish nuclear weapons and prevent a nuclear war, we must create nuclear-free, peace zones in many regions of the world and extend them all the time.”

“The Government of our Republic and the Korean people will struggle energetically to make the Korean peninsula and the rest of Northeast Asia a nuclear-free, peace zone and, in unity with the peace-loving people of the world, make every effort to create and expand these zones in other parts of the world.”

“we must fight against the imperialist policy of military blocs and of increasing military bases.”


“Under the active aegis of the imperialists, the South African racists and Israeli Zionists overtly pursue the racist and expansionist policy of aggression in all-out opposition to the cause of national liberation.”

“In order to realize their ambition to establish a “Great Zionist Empire” in the Middle East, the Israeli Zionists have occupied Arab lands and are pursuing the policy of establishing colonies. Under the active patronage of the imperialists they are flagrantly violating the national rights of the Palestinian and other Arab people, growing more blatantly ferocious and arrogant as each day passes.”

“First, we must intensify together the struggle to put an end to the racist system of South Africa.South Africa is a major stronghold of colonialism. South African racism is the cruellest form of colonialism. It is the major obstacle to the complete liberation and decolonialization of Africa. It is clear that without putting an end to the policy of apartheid in South Africa it would be impossible to accomplish the cause of national liberation, stabilize the situation in this area and defend world peace and security.”

“Second, we must foil the expansionist, aggressive schemes of the Israeli Zionists.Zionism is a form of racism and colonialism. The aggressive, expansionist policy of the Israeli Zionists is the main factor obstructing the triumphant advance of the cause of national liberation in the Middle East. Without thwarting Israel’s aggressive schemes it would be impossible for the Middle-East countries to achieve their independence, territorial integrity and progress nor would it be possible to guarantee lasting world peace and security.”

“The non-aligned countries must strongly denounce the criminal acts perpetrated by the Israeli Zionists in their opposition to the Arab people and in their efforts to destroy the liberation cause of the Palestinian people. They must continue to extend active support and solidarity to the Palestinian and Arab peoples in their just cause. They should regard the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab people as their common cause and take strong joint action to reject Israel in the fields of diplomacy, economy, military affairs, culture and marine and air transport in accordance with the decision of the 7th Summit Conference of Non-aligned Nations.”

“The United States must stop giving the Israeli Zionists political and diplomatic support and military and economic aid, take their hands off the Middle East and discard their ambition for dominating this region.”

“Third, we must strengthen solidarity with those people who are fighting for independence, sovereignty and to build a new society.”


“South-South cooperation is a noble way for the developing countries to strengthen their economic independence and achieve complete economic freedom through close economic and technical cooperation.”

The non-aligned and developing countries must also cooperate closely with each other in their efforts to improve the farming method.The most important way to increase grain production in the developing countries is to improve the farming method and grow crops scientifically and technologically. Improving the farming method alone will mean a great increase in agricultural production even though a large investment is not required.The developing countries must create a new farming method that suits the topographical and climatic conditions of every zone and country and must make the good experience gained in this improvement widely known.The non-aligned and developing countries must establish wide cooperation and exchange with each other in the field of seed selection and production.Those countries whose technology and experience are good in this field must supply the technology on seed selection and production to other developing countries and provide progenitors where needed.In order to increase grain production, it is necessary to intensify joint study and mutual cooperation in the field of agricultural science.The non-aligned and developing countries must start a joint venture in agriculture.”

“A joint venture in agriculture is one reasonable way for the developing countries, including the African countries, to solve the food problem. If they undertake an extensive agricultural joint venture the developing countries will not only be able to save the people from starvation by a rapid increase in agricultural production but also strengthen the foundations of agricultural production.”

“Establishing a Global System of Trade Preferences between developing countries is of great importance in the improvement of trade among these countries. The non-aligned and developing countries must make joint efforts to introduce this system as early as possible.”


“Relying as ever on the old international economic order, the imperialists are plundering the developing countries of their natural resources and paying only a pittance for the results of the peoples’ labour and obstructing the economic development of these countries. Protective trade and the high-interest policy pursued by the developed countries along with the continually worsening terms of trade and the massive increase in foreign debts of the developing countries are having a serious effect on the social and economic development of the non-aligned and developing countries. Because of the unfair international economic order, the economies of the developing countries are growing weaker and becoming stagnant. The economic situation in the African countries in particular is worsening.”

“In reality, without abolishing the old economic order, the product of the colonial system and the lever of imperialist exploitation and plunder, it will be impossible for the non-aligned and developing countries to free themselves from international exploitation and plunder and then develop.”

“At present a non-equivalent exchange is being made as ever in trade between the developing countries and the developed countries. The developing countries sell raw materials at low prices and buy manufactured goods at exorbitant prices, and the share that manufactured goods make up in the exports of these countries is decreasing continually. The result is that the trade deficit of the developing countries is increasing all the time and their economic difficulties are becoming more serious.”


“The non-aligned movement is a powerful independent force of our times which is opposed to imperialism. Only when this movement is strengthened will it be possible to succeed in repelling all forms of imperialist domination and subjugation, aggression and intervention, defend the sovereignty of the non-aligned countries and settle not only the problem of establishing a new international economic order but also all other issues in the international arena in accordance with the aspirations and desire of the peoples of the newly-emergent countries for independence. And it also makes it possible to prevent a nuclear war, defend universal peace and security and give a strong impetus to the cause of national liberation.”

The Selected Works of Kim IL Sung comes to a close with a speech from 1991 entitled: For a Free and Peaceful New World.

In this speech, Sung pontificates on his “new world” vision, a reunification of Korea, nuclear disarmament among other things.

“In order to build the new world aspired to by mankind, it is necessary to abolish the unequal old international order in all fields of politics, the economy and culture and establish an equitable new international order. There are large and small countries in the world, but there cannot be major and minor countries; there are developed nations and less developed nations, but there cannot be nations destined to dominate other nations or those destined to be dominated. All countries and nations are qual members of the international community and as such have the right to independence and equality. No privilege and no arbitrariness should be tolerated in international relations; friendship and cooperation among countries must be fully developed on the principles of mutual resect, non-interference in the affairs of other countries, equality and mutual benefit.”

“Disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction is the most pressing task in ensuring peace. The large stockpile of nuclear weapons now on Earth is a menace to the survival of mankind itself. It is intolerable that the valuable results of science and technology created by mankind and social wealth be used for the production of the means of aggression and war that threaten man’s survival, and not for the well-being and development of humanity. The testing and production of nuclear weapons must be banned, the number of existing nuclear weapons must be reduced and, then, nuclear weapons must be completely abolished.”

“The political philosophy of our state is the Juche idea which requires that all consideration should be centred on man and that everything should be made to serve him. By fighting in single-hearted unity under the banner of the Juche idea our people have been able to build, even under the most difficult conditions and circumstances, man-centred socialism in which the people are the genuine masters of the society and everything in society serves them. the democratic character of our society finds clear expression in the fact that all the people, as the masters of the state, equally enjoy a sound and stable life in its material and cultural aspects, exercising completely equal political rights and that, on the basis of comradely love and obligation, they work together for a common goal and develop together, helping one another and leading one another forward.”

Reunifying Korea is the vital requirement of our nation; it is an important question in international politics.The Korean people are a homogenous nation that has lived on the same territory generation after generation, a nation celebrated for its long history and fine cultural traditions. There is no internal cause for our nation to live divided. Ours was not a defeated country in the Second World War; our people contributed to destroying fascism through their long-drawn-out national-liberation struggle. In spite of this, after the war our country was divided into north and south, contrary to the will of the Korean nation, and the nation is still divided. This is not only a source of untold misfortune and sufferingfor our nation bt also a cause of the unstable and dangerous situation in the Asian region. Both from the point of view of national independence and of the cause of peace in Asia and the rest of the world, the question of Korea’s reunification requires an immediate settlement.”

“we consistently maintain the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity which the north and the south agreed upon and jointly declared; we hold that on these principles the country should be reunified by founding a confederacy based on one nation, one state, two systems and two governments.”


Unfortunately, Selected works of Kim IL Sung is not a  great source for understanding Juche ideology philosophy, but does give insight to the beliefs of Kim IL Sung and thus a broader understanding of Juche, and the goals of the North Korean government.


With on the topic of North Korea, enjoy a North Korean propaganda flick about American and internationalist propaganda.



Panzram: A Journal of Murder

The first time I saw the name “Carl Panzram“, was when it was attached to the quote : “I wish you all(humanity) had one neck and that I had my hands on it.”  After reading that dandy of a line I knew I had to learn more about Panzram. Who was he? What made him hate life, humanity and himself?

Having  heard the names and stories of most of the (in)famous “serial killers” before, I figured there couldn’t be much about Panzram that could top a Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, or any other known mass killer… Boy, was I wrong… Carl Panzram’s story goes much deeper then simple brutality, or mental deviance; Panzram was in fact a living lesson to be taught to all who had the misfortune of being stuck in a dark alley alone with him. His life was the purest example of: cause and effect. The hypocrisies of  modern civilization and dogmatic religions all came to a head in the life of Panzram. Through an education in life’s harsh realities from a very young age Panzram quickly came to grips with the starkness of his existence; “This lesson I was taught by others: Might makes Right” 

“In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don’t believe in man, God nor Devil. I hate the  whole damned human race including myself.”

A bit  nihilistic to say the least, but, to be fair, when Panzram was not raping, robbing or killing, he was sleeping. 🙂

But really he did make one friend in life(who he also threatened to kill if he had ever made the mistake of turning his back to Panzram again), and that is how we know the story of Carl Panzram. 

Carl was befriended by a young prison guard, by the name of  Henry Lesser. Lesser convinced Panzram to write an autobiography of his life. And thus we have: Panzram: A Journal of Murder. A book containing narration from the books authors and first hand accounts of Carl’s life through his writings in prison while awaiting the noose.


Panzram was born into a large family (typical of the time) on a small farm in Minnesota on June 28, 1891 to parents of German decent; he describes them as: hardworking, ignorant and poor. By the time Panzram was 8 his parents had split up, leaving his mother to raise 6 kids on an small worked out farm. Already a liar and thief, from the start Panzram showed a natural difference from the rest of his family who were honest and hardworking according to him.

Despite his juvenile antics Panzram still found himself put to work in the fields, after school, helping out with the family, till the late hours of the evening, it was around this time that he started to question his life, and the people that surrounded him:

“My portion of pay consisted of plenty of work and a sound beating every time I looked cock-eyed or done anything that displeased anyone who was older and stronger and able to catch me and kick me around whenever they felt like it, and it seemed to me and still does now that everything was always right for the one who was the strongest and every single thing I done was wrong…Everybody thought it was all right to deceive me, lie to me and kick me whenever they felt like it, and they felt like it pretty regular, That was the way my life was lived untill I was about 11 years old.”

It was around that time that Panzram decided leave town and create his own destiny. So a 11 year old Panzram hit the road, but not before he broke into his neighbors house and stole some food and a pistol for his journey. unfortunately for a young Panzram(and over 1000 other people), his journey was cut short:

“I was caught brought back home and beaten half to death, then sent to jail and from there to the Minnesota State Training School at Red Wing Minnesota. Right there and then I began to learn about man’s inhumanity to man”

The Christian methods used at Minnesota Training School were  nothing new to a 12 year old Carl:

“There during my 2 years I was trained by 2 different sets of people to have 2 different set of morals. The good people tried to train me to be good and the bad people did train me to be bad. The method that the good people used in training me was to beat goodness into me and all the badness out of me…The more they beat me and whipped me the more I hated them and their damn religion.”

And when the usual ass beating was not sufficient enough, the training school clergy men had more creative ways of getting their point across:

“They had various methods of punishing us for doing wrong and teaching us to do right,The most popular with them was to take us to the ‘paint shop’, so called because there they used to paint our bodies black and blue…The paint shop was a very ingenious contrivance for inflicting the worst punishment where it would do the least harm and the most good. They used to have a large wooden block which we were bent over and tied face downward after first being striped naked. Then a large towel was soaked in salt water and spread on our backs from the shoulders to the knees. Then the man who was to do the whipping took a large strap about 1/4 of an inch thick by 4 inches wide and about 2 feet long. This strap had a lot of little round holes punched through it. Every time the whip came down on the body the skin would come up through these little holes in the strap and after 25 or 30 times of this, little blisters would form and then burst, and right there and then hell began. The salt water would do the rest. About a week or two later a boy might be able to sit down. I used to get this racket regularly, and when I was too ill for that sort of medicine, they used to make a smaller strap and beat me on my open palms and hands.”

To be fair, not everything was beatings and blisters for young Carl, there was also room for good Christian love… You know that kind of special love, that they proclaim to hate but obsess about it constantly and are always willing to give the most detailed descriptions of said reputed acts:

“This Mr. Moore was a christian, very much so. I was taught to pray when I got out of bed every morning, to say grace at each meal and give thanks to the lord after it…He examined my penis and rectum, asking me if I had ever committed fornication or sodomy or had ever had sodomy committed on me… He explained in detail and very thoroughly just what he meant by these things. That began my education. I have learned little more since.”

“I had learned that a boy’s penis could be used for something besides to urinate with and that a rectum could be used for other purposes than crepitating. Oh yes, I had learned a hell of a lot from my expert instructors…”

Even at his very young age Panzram displayed the testicular fortitude to not simply become a victim, but rather a reaper of vengeance; as he burned down the “paint shop” where he was so often beaten, and tried to poison (with rat poison placed in food) Mr. Moore who had continually beaten the pre-adolescent Carl. 

After serving 2 years there, upon his release Carl Panzram had found his way in life:

“When I got out of there I knew all about Jesus and the Bible- so much so that I knew it was all a lot of hot air. But that wasn’t all I knew. I had been taught by Christians how to be a hypocrite and had learned more about stealing, lying, hating, burning and killing”

“From the treatment I received while there and the lessons I learned from it, I had fully decided when I left there just how to live my life. I made up my mind that I would rob, burn, destroy, and kill everywhere I went and everybody I could as long as I lived. That’s the way i was reformed in the Minnesota State Training School.” 

After leaving the training school and getting into turmoil with a local preacher/teacher who had a touch of the beatyourassites as well, Carl decided to do what was a common act for many people looking for a new beginning; find an open door on a passing train and hitch a ride. As if a young Panzram did not already have his fill of bad experiences… He ends up in a box car with “4 burly bums”, after he (Carl) invited them on… The bums repaid the young teenage Panzram for his good deed by taking their turns sodomizing him:

” I left that box car a sadder, sicker but wiser boy than I was when I entered it.”


Needless to say, his dirty box car lovin was the final straw… Carl Panzram would become a teacher of all the lessons he had so brutality had to learn in his life; a human mirror reflecting back all the torture, misery, rape, hypocrisy, and hate on to who ever was unlucky enough to be standing in front of him.

Carl ended up doing another 2 years in  Montana institution for petty-larceny. At the age of 16, in order to enlist in the military Panzram lied about his age…He lasted about 2 months before getting 3 years in military prison for a number of offences ranging anywhere from disobeying orders to stealing merchandise:

” I got 3 years in the U.S. Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. My General Court Martial or trial was held at Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana, and my court proceedings were reviewed by the then Secretary of War, Mr. William Howard Taft. He recommended me for 3 years… 13 years later I had the very good fortune to rob him out of about 40,000 worth of jewelry and Liberty Bonds. This happened at his home in New Haven, Connecticut, in the summer of 1920.”

“I was discharged from that prison in 1910. I was the spirit of meanness personified. I had not at this time got so that I hated myself. I only hated everybody else.”

Carl almost had a non-existence relationship with women, and the few experiences he did have were plagued with trouble. That topped with his upbringing of boys homes, perverted priests, beatings and rape he quickly came to the conclusion that women were too much trouble, as he explains after a night with a women which we woke up to robbed and with a strange burning in his loins…And not burning in a yearning way, but in a bitch gave me gonorrhea way:

“I began to suspect that ladies were a very good thing to leave alone. I have followed that policy pretty closely ever since. Once in awhile since then one would get her claws into me, but not while I was sober or in the daytime where I could see’em first.”

While, women, seemed like bad idea for Panzram, sodomy on the other hand seemed like a great idea, after all he claims over 1000 males had been sodomized by him; he’s like the Wilt Chamberlain of butt rape. The first time he speaks of forcible rape of another man is when he and a Indian (long story) are walking back from the Mexican border and they run into a poor sap, who they rob and tie up:

” I figured that while I had such a good chance as that, I would commit a little sodomy on him. This I proceeded to do. Then I invited the Indian to take a ride but the damn fool was only an Indian. He hadn’t received the full benefits of civilization yet like I had, so he declined the honor.”

A bit of sarcastic humor is shown by Panzram when he states the Indian didn’t have same same benefits of “civilization” as Panzram. 

But as Panzram put it, he was quite the booty bandit, while doing time in Prison,after prison he made sure his supply of sodomy stayed full:

( while in prison in deer lodge Montana) “At that place in time I got to be an experienced wolf. I knew more about sodomy than old boy Oscar Wilde ever thought of knowing. I would start the morning with sodomy…”

Panzram’s rape mania was not limited to solely men, but anyone, be they child or man as he explained during his time in Angola:

“While I was sitting there, a little nigger boy around 11 or 12 years old came bumming around. He was looking for something. He found it too. I took him out to a gravel pit about 1/4 mile from the main camp of the Sinclair oil company at Luanda. I left him there, but first committed sodomy on him and then killed him. His brains were coming out of his ears when I left him.”

 For having raped over 1000 people, his official death toll at 21seems a bit disproportional. But when taken into account his relativity short life was spent mostly inside prison walls it seems to make a little more sense.

“I have no desire whatever to reform myself. My only desire is to reform people who try to reform me. And I believe that the only way to reform people is to kill ’em.” 

Meanwhile speaking of Panzram and murder, back in Angola:

“I hired a canoe and 6 niggers and went out hunting in the bay and backwaters. I was looking for crocodiles. I found them, plenty. They were all hungry. I fed them. I shot all 6 of these niggers and dumped them in. The crocks done the rest.”

Panzram recounts his murders as causally as one would expect him to.

With money he had gotten from robbing Taft’s house he purchased a yacht, which started his travels to Europe, Africa then back to America, on the boy he describes how he used to murder ship-hands that he would pick up:

“There we would go to wine and dine and when they were drunk enough they would go to bed. When they were asleep I would get my .45 Colt Army Automatic, this I stole from Mr. Taft’s home, and blow their brains out. Then I would take a rope and tie a rock on them and put them in my rowboat, row out in the main channel about one mile and drop em over board. They are there yet, ten of em.”                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Panzram was not only concerned with  individual murders, but had plans of mass death:

“My whole mind was bent on figuring out different ways to annoy and punish my enemies, and everybody was my enemy.”

Panzram had a few detailed plans on how to commit mass death, but all his plans hinged on getting enough money to be able to fund these ideas:

(1) he wanted to set off large bombs in a train tunnel that would also explode various gases in glass jars that would have been instant death for any person on the train.

(2) He intended on blowing up and American ship, and making look like it was the British, in order to instigate a war.

(3) he intended on making poison, enough poison to start infecting the water supply.

None of these plans ever came to fruition as he would always end up back in jail before being able to build up the resources to commit such mass acts of violence.

Panzrams life was spent in and out of prison, mainly getting caught for smaller crimes while getting away with the larger crimes. While in prison, his violence would not stop as he got into countless fights, sodomized many fellow inmates, set fires in numerous different prisons, escaped and attempted escape whenever he felt to do so. Surprisingly enough his undoing came by his own mouth. At the age of 37 he was arrested in Washington D.C. for stealing a radio out of a house. When the officer informed Panzram of his charge, Carl brushed it off and told the officer, the charge was a “joke”. When the officer further inquired why, he had thought the charge a Joke, Panzram replied that he had killed too many people to worry about the charge. Panzram, maybe in a short laps of his mission, seemingly sabotaged any chance he would have to continue his life’s quest outside of prison, as he even gave a few specific details.

1000 rapes, 21 murders, 1 friend

It was in the D.C. lock-up where Carl met his unlikely only friend. Lesser’s first encounter with Panzram as explained in the book:

“Lesser was to remember later his first awareness of something unusual in one of his prisoners. On the western side, against the setting sun that burned into a tall, dirty barred outer windows, Lesser saw the silhouette of a large man framed by a second set of bars… The young guard was affected in a way he could not explain, except to state decades later that ‘there was a kind of stillness around him, how he looked’…As lesser turned to walk away, he had a peculiar feeling. He turned to see Panzram watching him from behind the bars… ‘When is your court date’ Lesser asked casually. ‘November elventh’ Panzram said coldly. ‘Whats your racket Lesser asked smiling…’What I do is I reform people’. Lesser responded vaguely and moved away uneasily.”

Panzram, being the trouble maker he was, got himself a lot of ‘special attention’ from other prison guards, as they would beat and torture Panzram when ever they felt the need to. Lesser was horrified by what he saw being done to Panzram, and started to offer help, small talk, providing small wants to Carl. Panzram was suspicious of lesser’s friendliness at first but as time went by they became “friendly” with each other.  Lesser convinced Panzram to write his autobiography while in prison and many times supplied Panzram with the writing material to do so. 

After a trial, during which Panzram acted in his own defense, he was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison to be served at Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas. When he arrived and was read the rules of the facility by the warden in his office, he told him ominously, “I’ll kill the first man that bothers me.” Because he was believed to be too psychotic to be with the general prison population, he was assigned a job in the prison laundry which allowed him to work alone. On June 20, 1929, Panzram took a heavy iron bar and beat his supervisor, Robert Warnke, to death in front of the other inmates and then started attacking them too. Panzram went to trial on April 14, 1930, once again acting in his own defense. After a large group of witnesses gave their testimonies, Panzram was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. He was  overjoyed to have received the sentence and  left the courtroom laughing .

Lesser kept in touch with Panzram through letters at that time, sending him books, and money time to time.  On the morning of September 5, 1930, Panram was brought to the prison gallows. When the executioner asked whether he had any last words, Panzram, quite infamously, told him: “Yes, hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could kill 10 men while you’re fooling around!” 

 Henry Lesser, who had kept the manuscript of Panzram’s autobiography, spent the next four decades trying to find a publisher willing to print it. Because the story was thought to be too horrific, it wasn’t until 1970 that it was finally published under the title Killer: A Journal of a Murder.

As stated at the beginning of this article, Panzram’s life was a fine example of cause and effect. While sick and vengeful in his actions, Carl Panzram displayed a will and fortitude that if placed in any direction could have lead him anywhere he so chose, from greatness to infamy. He chose his path,  being a living ,breathing, grim reaper on the Earth to reform the fine people who brought him “civilization”. Every head he mashed in, and every life he ruined was the direct result of a hypocritical, perverted, careless surrounding that a young Carl was brought up in. 

Carl Panzram had the option, to just be a victim, to turn the other cheek, as he was surely taught to do so, but he choose differently. His life and his decisions go beyond simply right or wrong, The monster makers are sometimes bitten back by the monster they create, and this is the case of Carl Panzram. When a man has done such heinous acts as Carl had done, he essentially forces the spotlight on the question of his development. It is easy to make the mistake of simply writing Panzram off as a murderous maniac, and ignore the larger question of: what was the madness that created Panzram, and why is it  still allowed to exist?

The act of a single man being half decent to Panzram was enough to confuse him, and eventually win him over as a friend. It was not like lesser was out of the ordinary with his action, he was simply decent and friendly towards Panzram. Like a abused dog who runs across a nice person trying to actually feed it. First it hesitates, and is unsure, but after the dog eats enough and sees the general authenticity of the compassion, the beast is won over for life. 

Its been said by Carl and others that: Panzram hated the whole world and even hated himself, which in the end may be true. But, to take vengeance on humanity with such potency, shows he really mourned his death as a child, and deeply loved the innocence that was forever taken from him at such a young age. That is to say maybe he didn’t love what he was, but he loved what they had killed in him.