Neuropsychiatric Exam (1933) Letter to Family (1935)


9770 BOWERS, Joe

He is 35 years of age and single. Serving
25 years for Postal Robbery

PRE-NATAL- Nothing is known of his parents or any of his relatives.
NATAL- He was born in Texas and his parents were Circus Performers.
PRE-SCHOOL- Nothing is known of his life as a child. He was raised by friends of his folks in the Circus until the age of 13 when he went to Sea.
SCHOOL- He never had any schooling at all. He is however able to read and write in six languages, he claims.
OCCUPATIONAL- He followed the life of a Seaman for four years or more when he says he quit because of the War. It is believed that he was in the German Army although he does not admit this. In 1919 he was married in Russia but separated from his wife the same year. At the age of 25 he said that he secured a position in Germany as interpreter at a salary of $350.00 a month. He however only held this for two months when it was discovered he was not a citizen of Germany and he was released. Shortly after this when he found that his citizenship was questioned he returned to the United States presumably to seek documentary evidence of his birthplace. He was however never able to locate his parents or any trace of them. In 1928 he was convicted of automobile theft and given 10 months in jail in Oregon. Says he was not guilty of this crime but was riding with a man who had stolen the car. In 1930 he says he was arrested in Washington for drunk driving and find $75.00. His present crime he says was committed because he was out of funds and was actually hungry most of the time. Says he met a man sleeping in a Park in Sacramento who persuaded him to go along while they robbed a store and post office near Orville California. He claims that he did not actually go with the man to Orville but that the man himself proceeded with his plan and robbed the store and finally was arrested and confessed and layed the blame on Bowers, he himself going free for his testimony.
He is well nourished and apparently in good health. Physical examination was essentially negative with exception of absence of the right testicle which was lost during the War as the result of a gunshot injury. There is another bullet scar in the back of the chest. There is a scar of an old circumcision. His Neurological examination shows moderately increased deep reflexes with no other focal signs of organic brain disease.
He is very emotional during the examination and gives the appearance of being exceedingly anxious to establish his innocence of the crime charged. He has a very plausible explanation to offer for all of his difficulties. Says he has never committed a crime in his life. His emotional tone seems to be one of anxious depression and he is much worried over the length of the sentence and the injustice heaped upon him. He states that he has long been the object of persecution by Officers of the Law mostly [page 2] because of their misunderstanding of his attitude. This has all been due to the fact that he has been unable to establish his place of birth or his parentage and he believes he can straighten this out if given the opportunity and that everything will be all right. He express no actual delusions. Believes that he has been unjustly dealt with in many instances through no fault of his own. He denies having had any hallucinatory experiences of any kind but admits that he worries a great deal about his condition and especially about his sentence. He asserts that he is an honest man and tries to do right at all times and does not understand why he cannot get along better. He is quite unstable in his emotional field and says he has never had any very close friends. He has wandered about from place to place all his life never remaining more than a short time at one location. Something always happens to his job which makes it impossible for him to remain. This never results from any fault of his own he thinks, but from circumstances over which he has no control.
CONCLUSIONS- He is a man of unstable nervous makeup from the begining and has led a very irregular life from birth. He was brought up without friends or family and has drifted all over the world practically, seeking to find a place where he could get along. He has proved inadequate on every job that he has ever held and does not think that any of his failures have resulted from any fault of his own.

Romney M. Ritchey, Surgeon (R)

Examine A Letter Bowers Wrote to His Family