True Crime Books by Jason Lucky Morrow

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Freshman Hazing Ends in Death, 1918

Home | Rediscovered Crime News | Freshman Hazing Ends in Death, 1918

Re-posted From: New Albany Evening Tribune, Sept. 14, 1918, page 1.

Raleigh, N.C. Sept. 14, 1918 —Upon the charge of murder, four terror stricken youths stood defendants in court, the result of the hazing of Isaac William Rand, Bon of a prominent lumberman of Smithfleld, North Carolina.

The accused are sophomores at the University of North Carolina. They took Rand from his bed and made him sing and dance until he fell from a barrel and cut his throat on a broken bottle. The accused belong to widely known families. They are Robert W. Oldham of Raleigh; A. R. Styron, ministerial candidate, of Wilmington; W.C. Merriman, Wilmington, and A. C. Hatch of Monroe.

The testimony of the court was that after they attended a reception to the freshmen by President Venable. They took Rand from his room and placed him on the barrel and forced him to sing and dance.

Robert Wellons, roommate of Rand, was also forced to dance and sing, and in a fall received slight injuries. Rand dropped from the barrel, fell upon the broken bottle, which pierced the jugular vein and carotid artery, and bled to death in ten minutes.

Two of the sophomores fled, but the other two called doctors. The boy died before a doctor could reach Rand, and at the instance of President Venable the four men were arrested. Governor Kitchin called upon President Venable to go deeply into the matter, and be prepared to give a statement at the special meeting of the trustees called for this purpose.

Unfortunately, I could find no follow-up stories regarding the fate of the four boys who were charged in this case.


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