Trial of Robert Nixon

Kwesi Anekwe

Nixon's Trail

Robert Nixon was an African American serial killer who admitted to the murder of five individuals in Chicago and Los Angeles during the 1930's. In 1937, his first murders were committed. A 12 year old and her mother were found slain in their apartment. The two victims were sexually assaulted and repeatedly struck with a brick. Nixon went on to commit three more murders in Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as multiple more assaults. Arrested in Chicago, Nixon later admitted to five murders total. He was sentenced to death by electric chair and on June 16, 1939 he was executed in Cook County Jail.

Media Portrayal

Due to the feeble minded persona given to Nixon by the press, he was nicknamed the Brick Moron. Also, Nixon was often referred as the"missing link in human evolution. The Chicago Tribune article entitled , BRICK SLAYER IS LIKENED TO JUNGLE BEAST, expounded upon the accusations by comparing Nixon to an animal. It states," civilization has left Nixon practically untouched. His hunched shoulders and long, sinewy arms that dangle almost to his knees; his out-thrust head and catlike tread all suggest the animal," In addition the media also seemed to depict his victims in a more positive light. The biased reports led to more racial tension between blacks and whites in Chicago as well as all around the country.