Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Defense of Dr. Ossian Sweet by Clarence Darrow

What Are You Shooting At?

Soon, windows in the Sweet house shattered. Then shots rang out from the second-story window facing Garland Avenue. One man fell, slightly wounded. A second man, Leon Breiner, fell, fatally wounded. Inspector Schuknecht ran to the house, entered, and shouted to Ossian, "For Christ's sake, what the hell are you fellows shooting at?"

Sweet replied, "They are ruining my property."

"What have they done? I haven't seen anyone throwing stones, and I haven't heard any commotion or anything else."

Sweet told Schuknecht that there would be no more shooting. The Inspector left, but returned a few minutes later with five officers and handcuffed the 11 occupants of the house. The 10 men were escorted to a van, Gladys Sweet was taken to a car, and all 11 were taken to police headquarters. They were separated and questioned individually. Most refused to talk. They were not permitted to call lawyers. They were locked up for the night, and a hearing was scheduled for Saturday morning.