John LaMalfa Commits Suicide at Bismarck Pen
Bismarck, N.D., Aug. 8.—John LaMalfa committed suicide in the state penitentiary here Tuesday afternoon by hanging himself to a cell door with a piece of sheeting from his cot. He had not been dead long when found by guards, who were startled at the gruesome figure hanging lifeless from the grating.
LaMalfa was about twenty years of age and this was his second attempt at suicide since he was arrested. While in the county hail at Fargo last December he unfastened the electric light globe from its socket, crushed the thin glass to bits and ate them, hoping to end his life in this manner. The man hovered between life and death for several days and finally pulled through.
He was sentenced to serve two years in the state penitentiary for grand larceny by Judge Charles A. Pollock of the district court, last December, having stolen $200 from the Orpheum theater, and he tried to carry away everything of value about the ticket office with him, thereby leaving clues as to his identity, which were followed by Sheriff Bingham.
LaMalfa was traced to Grand Forks and when found there,had bedecked himself out in all the finery that his $200 could buy. He was taken to the county jail in Grand Forks and held there until morning, when men were brought from Fargo to identify him. He was then taken back to Fargo by the sheriff and awaited his trial.
LaMalfa is not married and has no friends or relatives in this part of the country. He comes from New York state, and it is believed that he had spent a number of years in a reform school there and was out on parole. He had been in Fargo but a short time and had no money or friends. He confessed to the robbery and other minor crimes, while in the Fargo jail.
Valley City Times-Record, 8/14/1913