The Strange Case of Philip Schuth

Back in the early 80’s, as I was getting half ass serious about some sort of writing career, I started submitting poems to different mags listed in the Writer’s Market, and my first actual money making experience was with a strange little mag called Bloodrake published by a fellow named Philip Schuth in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

bloodrake

And even though it was an obvious low budget made on a shoestring home produced rag, Bloodrake actually paid hard cash (I remember receiving dollar bills stuffed in an envelope) and as well featured many of the rising stars on the fantasy and sci-fi scene of the time, such as Ardath Mayhar, Janet Fox and Leilah Wendell, who no doubt we’re attracted to Bloodrake in the prospects of making a little cash. The poems I submitted were rather dark and twisted, such as a little ditty called, Listen To The Madman Rave:

Crack a skull and worms crawl out

Chant a spell, then demons shout

Raise the rotting from their graves

Listen to the madman rave!

Build a monster with used flesh

Drill steel crews into his neck

Crank the juice and let it flow

Then watch your evil creature glow!

Drink fresh blood with all your love

Rip the feathers from a dove

Take a witch to lunch today

Hug a baby’s breath away!

The editor, Philip Schuth, seemed to possess a rather dark (maybe even morbid) sense of humor, and was constantly griping about artists not meeting their deadlines, and how he would seemingly exact some kind of revenge if said scumbag artists didn’t start meeting said deadlines. At the time, I figured Schuth’s tirades were semi tongue and cheek jabs, but as later events would attest, it appears that Mr. Schuth was indeed an anti-social misfit and crazy as a loon. Here’s an example of one of Schuth’s editorial rants:

bloodrake21

Schuth contracted art to show how much he hated artists!

Schuth contracted art to show how much he hated artists!

I don’t remember now in how many issues of Bloodrake my “poetry” appeared, as for some reason I only retained one issue of the mag, although I know my stuff was published in several issues, and so I became curious to track down those lost poems of yore. At one point I tried to contact Schuth at the old Bloodrake address and received no reply. Of course, this came as no real surprise, as it had been well over 20 years since I had any correspondence with him. Not long ago, I was again thinking about Bloodrake, and started doing a little web trawling and lo and behold, came up the mind blowing tale of the aforementioned Mr. Schuth who stuck his dead mom in a freezer, and was living like a hermit in a dilapidated house with this hair and teeth falling out, which seemed to be partially on account of being abused as a kid by a father who was fond of sticking sharp pencils up his ass. When Schuth took some potshots at some neighborhood kids his dead mom in the freezer was discovered and Schuth wound up behind bars where he could get threesquare meals a day. So I guess it all worked out!

Schuth in Court

Schuth in Court

These links tell Schuth’s twisted tale:

http://www.lacrossetribune.com/mj/index4.php

http://editorialmatters.lee.net/articles/2005/11/04/stories/top_stories/9ynews010.txt

~ by gorightly on January 24, 2009.

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