This inmate should have been released years ago according to the crime that he committed. It's a wild story from 1895. It turns out James Penn was caught robbing homes, was arrested and not released for 128 years.
Maybe we should back up a step. He was detained originally at the State Firemen’s Convention in Reading, Pennsylvania where Police detained him for drunkenness and Suspicion to get him off the streets.
He was later arrested for sneaking into Lizzie Dautrich's room. While sleeping in her room at Morris Brown’s boarding house she saw feet under her bed. She remained calm and slowly got up and notified authorities which resulted in James' arrest. He had been going from room to room stealing what he could.
Now, in Utah, your jail time for theft could be up to 15 years depending on the value of the goods stolen. But, Pennsylvania kept him as a property of the state for 128 years. To be fair it was not their intent. James actually passed away due to kidney failure while in jail. (Remember the drunkenness charge?). It also became clear that he had given them a fake name. His cellmate explained that James had said he was trying to protect his family from embarrassment.
A well-meaning mortician at Auman's Funeral Home decided to try an experimental embalming process with the intent of keeping him around long enough for his body to be identified, accidentally mummifying the body.
Talk about procrastination. The body stayed at Auman's for the next 128 years.
After a while, they named him Stoneman Willie and he became their own mummy celebrity. He has been dressed in different outfits throughout the years and visited by many curious mortuary visitors.
We don't refer to him as a mummy. We refer to him as our friend Willie,
said funeral director Kyle Blankenbiller.
So even though Stoneman, or Willie eventually served 113 years longer than Utah law would have required, authorities at Reading finally decided he had served long enough and gave him a final resting place. He was buried on October 7th, 2023.
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Gallery Credit: Credit: Mateo, 103.5 KISS FM