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Dont trust banks? ......Just use your pockets


Saturday 7 October 1950

She Sound .£41*000 in a patient's pockets

'Mail' New York Office

Matron Isabelle Lynch, of Middletown (New York State) Mental Hospital, was going through a new patient's clothes when she heard a rustling.

The matron, following hospital routine, was making an inventory of the patient's belongings so he could get them back when— or if— lie left. The patient was a 59year old, straggle-haired man who looked as though he didn't have a penny in the world, but Matron Lynch pulled a $10,000 (£A4,464) banknote from his shirt pocket. The matron had never seen anything bigger than a $100 dollar note in her life. She hastily went through the patients' other pockets, found four more $10,000 banknotes. 'I should have about $100,000 (£A44,642) on me,' said the patient in gloomy tones. Matron Lynch ran to call the medical superintendent, Dr. Walter Schmitz. Together, they found 27 $1,000 (£446) notes in the man's trousers pockets, mixed up with crumpled wads of other dollar notes of various values. The unkempt old man was carrying $91,500 (nearly £41,000). Dr. Schmitz and the matron hastily opened an account In the patient's name in the Middletown National Bank and put the money in it. The patient was Charles Wilson, eccentric old man from the nearby township of New Paltz. He had been committed to the asylum by the New Paltz medical officer of Health, Dr. Virgil Dewitt, who thought he was acting too queerly to be left at large. Wilson's wife told the rest of the story. Her husband, a farmer, had inherited 500,000 dollars (£A222,000) from his family in 1930. The money had turned his mind. He started to live In one room of his eight-roomed farm house, had a gas-ring installed so he could cook his meals there. He never talked to his wife, Mary, or daughter, Jeanette.

'My husband would leave his room only to go for walks at night.' Mrs. Wilson said. 'He wouldn't give me any housekeeping money, so, having been a registered nurse before I married, I had to go back to work to keep myself and daugh ter.' Mrs. Wilson said her husband , took to carrying large amounts of cash in his pocket because he didn't trust the banks. 'I think he has been robbed several times, but he never re ported anything to the police. 'Once he had such an attack of hatred for his money that he * made a bonfire of $8,000 (£A3,560),' she said. Wilson will be held in Mid dletown Hospital for a 60-day observation, after which he may be declared sane or insane.
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