Eighty-eight years ago today nineteen year old Patrick Lynch was checking into Sing Sing for a fifteen year stay. His crimes, attempted burlary and shooting. The victim of the first Edward Jewett, the victim of the second his shadow.
After being released from a stint at Elmira Lynch went right back to his nefarious work. Climbing over the roof tops he went to the home of the aforementioned Jewett and let himself in through the skylight. Lynch crept down stairs and entered the room that Jewett was in. Assuming that the young man was his son, Jewett said something to him. Spooked, Lynch made a run for it. He ran back up the stairs. The moon was shining through the skylight and as Lynch approached it threw his shadow on the wall. Assuming it was Jewett, Lynch opened fire. "Why'd you do it?" cried the shadow as it slid down the wall.
Lynch managed to climb back out the skylight and into the waiting arms of a police officer. Once in front of a Judge Lynch plead guilty to first degree burglary. In what many at the time felt was a miscarriage of justice his shadow was also sentenced to fifteen years.
Addendum: About a year into the sentence Lynch was shivved by his shadow during a riot. Though he survived he was transferred to Dannemora for his own protection while his shadow remained in Sing Sing.