"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US,
and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers.
Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.
This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations
with Negroes, entertainers and any others."
Harry J. Anslinger, testimony to Congress, 1937
Many of Harry Anslinger's marijuana horror stories have been tracked down to stories in the yellow press. Of 200 specific cases referred to by Anslinger, his accusation that marijuana was the cause of a gory crime was proved false in 198. The other two stories were untraceable and no account of them ever appeared in print where the crimes allegedly occurred.
The most sensational crime in Anslinger's "gore file" was the Victor Licata case. A young man got up one morning and killed his parents, two brothers and a sister with an axe. Harry Anslinger claimed marijuana was responsible for this horrific crime because, he said, Licata "had been addicted to smoking marijuana cigarettes for more than six months".
However, psychiatric examination of Victor Licata told a different story. The examining psychiatrist, Dr. H. Mason Smith, concluded that Licata's insanity was probably hereditary. His parents were first cousins and a granduncle and two paternal cousins had been committed to insane asylums. Licata's younger brother - one of his victims - had been diagnosed with dementia praecox.
Police had tried to have Victor Licata committed almost a year before he butchered his family, but withdrew the petition when the youth's parents insisted they could take better care of him at home.
Licata's history indicates that the cause of his crimes was a long lasting psychosis. At the Florida State Mental Hospital, he was diagnosed as suffering dementia praecox with homicidal tendencies, and he was observed to be overtly psychotic. In the hospital, Licata killed another patient and finally hanged himself.
Hospital records do not blame either Licata's crimes or his lifelong mental illness on marijuana. In fact, marijuana is never mentioned. Yet Anslinger misrepresented the Licata case for over 15 years in order to terrify the public about marijuana.