MADISON, Wis. - True to his word, a hermit who encased his dead mother in a block of ice keeps himself in solitary confinement by threatening people, swearing at guards or simply refusing to leave his cell.
Philip Schuth told a newspaper when he was sentenced to prison in 2005 that he feared other inmates and wanted to live in solitary confinement. Prison conduct reports show Schuth, 56, has been working to do that, earning more than 1,400 days in solitary.
"He's somebody who just wants to be left alone," said Schuth's attorney, Michael Lieberman. "It appears in his mind keeping himself in solitary confinement is the best way to keep himself safe."
Dude! Couldn’t you just buy a house in the woods? Come on man! That’s a long damn time! Four years alone in a box? You better be cranking out one bitchin’ novel.
For decades Schuth and his mother, Edith, lived in a crumbling two-story house in the town of Campbell, a hamlet of about 4,000 people on French Island outside La Crosse, Wis.
Children teased him in school and he never found real work, neighbors said. He often walked the streets in knee-high rubber boots.
Small town loner with no fashion sense. Hey man, this isn’t funny anymore!
Things came to a head in April 2005, when Schuth shot Randy Russell Jr. after Russell came into his yard to ask if Schuth had hit Russell's 10-year-old son. Russell fled and Schuth retreated into his house. An all-night standoff with police ensued. Schuth eventually surrendered without incident and Russell survived his wounds.
There is a line between being a Hermit and being a nutcase. Hitting kids and shooting other people put you firmly in the “nutcase” category. I’ll get the other members of The Order to cast this man out at out next meeting. Wait. We’re Hermits. We never meet in groups. Okay, I’ll cast him out. All opposed? Motion carries.
Police then discovered Schuth's dead mother in a basement chest freezer, frozen into a 200-to-300 pound block of ice. Schuth told investigators she died in 2000 of natural causes. He kept her hidden because he feared police might charge him with homicide and he needed her Social Security payments.
You know, I think I may have cast him out of The Order just a wee bit late. So, dude, you just in there chillin with your ma? That’s cold.
Schuth was the talk of La Crosse for months. One man even started selling car magnets that read: "What's in Your Freezer? French Island, WI" and "My Mom is Cooler Than Yours! French Island, WI."
I would point out to you how totally tasteless this is and how it points to the decline of our civilization except I was doing the same thing a paragraph ago. Nevermind.
A judge sentenced Schuth in November 2005 to seven years in prison and 10 years extended supervision for hiding a corpse, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety. The next summer a federal judge gave him four months, to be served simultaneously with his state sentence, for Social Security fraud. Schuth gave a bizarre speech in court laced with Latin, demanding more roles for actress Jennifer Garner and fewer for her husband, Ben Affleck.
Seven years for a dude that shot someone and kept his mother in a block of ice? May I take a look at those sentencing guidelines? You’ve got them confused with those people who do shots with their neighbors and keep ice for their mom while defrauding Social Security.
Schuth gave a bizarre speech in court laced with Latin, demanding more roles for actress Jennifer Garner and fewer for her husband, Ben Affleck.
He has his moments of lucidity, yea.
He started demanding to live in solitary the day he got to prison, conduct reports show.
After watching an orientation video on his first day at Dodge Correctional in December 2005, he immediately told a guard he was a solitary person and asked to be placed in "the hole." He refused to go to his cell and got his wish: 90 days in solitary for disobeying orders.
“I wanna be kept in solitary.” Crazed Hermit.
“No” The System
“Then I’ll act up.” Crazed Hermit.
“Then we will punish you.” The System.
“How?” Crazed Hermit.
“By keeping you in solitary.” The System.
Do you not see where this might be heading?
Schuth has received 11 more conduct reports since for violations ranging from disobeying orders to leave solitary to making threats and being disruptive.
He got 180 days for calling a Green Bay guard a "Nazi flattop (expletive)" in May 2007. In August 2008 he got another 30 days for swearing at a guard at the unnamed facility.
Well imagine that!
The most recent conduct report was dated April 2009. He got 90 days for refusing to leave his cell in solitary.
And the punishment for that is…?
"This demonstrates a good example of why prison isn't really the place for people with mental illness," Lieberman said. "Even if you go back to the facts of his state case, without trying to minimize his conduct, he was living in isolation, wanting to be left alone. If he had been left alone, none of this would have happened."
Except for the freezing his mom in a block of ice stuff that popped up there at the end. Oh, and by the way, shooting people isn’t always a guarantee you’ll be left alone. Buy a house in the woods. Get a computer and three dogs. Man, I’m telling you, this is much better and much easier on your parents.