Wednesday, April 25, 2007

From the Archives - A look back at Corpsewood

In December of 1982, Sheriff’s Deputies of Chattooga County Georgia were dispatched to a remote location on Taylor’s Ridge, also known as Corpsewood. The occupants of Corpsewood; Dr. Charles L. Scudder and Joseph Odom, had become mysterious and strange transplants into a community unaccustomed to outsiders moving into the area. Rumors swirled around the small, rural county that the men were Satanists. When the Deputies arrived they found the bodies of both men, dead from gunshot wounds.

While the story has become local legend within the county and the bordering counties, there is another aspect of the slayings that gained very little media attention and fits into a small corner of the history of MKULTRA. Dr. Scudder’s past and evidence found at the scene of the crime place the Dr. into the early days of the project.

Dr. Scudder was a professor of pharmacology at Loyola University prior to moving to Georgia in the mid 1970’s. His work at the University began at some point in the late 1940’s. Loyola helped to play a part in the MKULTRA program by working to recreate LSD-25 which the CIA had bought from Sandoz Laboratories. His later work centered around the study of mice in controlled environments.

Finding the research papers of Dr. Scudder has been difficult for me over the years, with only tantalizing glimpses of his work popping up from time to time. The greatest and most intriguing has been the detailed listings of the Stafford Beer collection at Liverpool John Moores University. Among the items in the collection is a series of papers, letters and research materials for a project named “Challenge to Paradigm”, which was planned to be published as a book. Scudder was among the 7 contributors to this book project, which was also comprised of 4 other University professors and musician Brian Eno.

The titles of the papers that Dr. Scudder was to contribute to the book are interesting to say the least, "The mind an evolving system of models","Mindless meaning; meaningless mind", "On the environmental mind” and "The brain: a neurohumorally regulated ultrahomeostat". It’s worth noting that with Scudder’s background and work with psycho-reactive drugs and neurophysiology, he would have been of serious interest to the CIA.

Among the items found in Corpsewood were several vials of a clear liquid. When the state crime lab analyzed these vials it was learned that the liquid was highly purified LSD-25 and it was believed that based on the chemical signature the vials were from one of the original batches of the drug which was imported by the CIA.

So, how did this researcher wind up in the hills of north Georgia, only to be murdered? In the mid-1970’s, Scudder had decided to move a remote location, one that was away from the hustle of everyday life. In a 1976 interview with Mother Earth News, Scudder detailed the process of becoming sick of modern life and his efforts to build his home and live off the land in the hills.

In the end, Scudder and Odom’s deaths were as violent and as senseless as any murder that could occur in Chicago, the city he escaped to live a quiet country lifestyle. The killers were two local men who planned to rob them at gunpoint. Scudder and Odom were known to host small parties with the local youths which involved wine and drugs. The killers used this as part of their plan to gain entry to their home however, once the drugs and alcohol took hold things got out of hand, which resulted in the deaths of both men.

The side story that Scudder left behind, his death, is almost as interesting as the research career he had.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would like to hear more about this subject please!

The CT blogger said...

Thanks for the comment! I've had quite a surprising response to this posting in terms of hits and email and there are more people who are interested in this event than I ever realized.

I have thought seriously about researching and possibly posting more about this in the future. I believe that very little can be added to the story by researching the actual murders but Dr. Scudder's research, work and life as an academic has been virtually ignored. The CIA connection is stunning and his writings that are in the Stafford Beer collection are so very intriguing.

I have a fairly full plate of subjects that I am looking at for posting right now, but I will put this subject back onto my list.

Chris Lewis said...

never heard this angle on it either. interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

I live literally 2 minutes away fom DW and go camping there regularly.its nothing speial but if your a tourist it can give you the creeps

Anonymous said...

I Live about 15 minutes from Corpsewood Manor and have been there several times, I camped out all night there about 7 years ago.I just wish it could have been preserved.It's just a pile of bricks now...email me if you'd like to know anything more on the subject or if you need directions...Anthony.w.c@hotmail.com

Mark said...

I lived in Subligna, Ga. which was on the other side of Taylors Ridge.I remember hearing about devil worshipers but never believed until they were killed.My bother reminded me of them by the vehicle they drove, an old Jeep.They would pull up to Subligna General store, go in, get their things , talk a qwhile and leave.We went up there shortly after they were killed and looked around,my brother and I made our way up to the pink room which was the third floor of the chicken house, there we found the walls pink, the carpet and a matress on the floor. There also was a old coffee can which my brother emptied and found a roach of a joint. There was gay mags thrown about the place outside, and canned goods on the second floor of the chicken house. However some published a book shorly after that great pics, but can not remember who did it. Can anyone help with that.

Tom said...

Mark -- the book you refer to was written by a reporter at the Summerville newspaper. I cannot recall his name, but the book, I believe, was titled "Murder at Corpsewood." It is soft-cover, magazine-style and difficult to find. I was one of two or three journalists at the home the day the bodies were discovered and deeply regret losing my copy to a borrower.

vocon2@aol.com said...

The person who wrote the book is named James A. Budd and was the editor of the Summerville News during that time.
An original copy of the book Murder at Corpsewood can be purched at Never ending Books in Summerville. There are several levels of condition ranging from poor to unissued.

Mic said...

I live close to the area and I'm a professional videographer/editor with documentary experience. Don't know that I'm interested in that aspect, but your balanced reporting of this case along with the tantalizing prospect of MK/Ultra got me to looking. This paper came up: http://www.springerlink.com/content/h30780h483532q87/?p=700ad7b1393a41a4abbdcfcbecef8351&pi=0

What's funny is this area is notorius for the amount of methamphetamine addicts/cooks. The cooks part is interesting: Who brought the technique into this area. And WHO studied the affects of overloading mice (the link above)with methamphetamine? Dr. Scudder.

He seems like a nice guy to me from reading his article in Mother Earth, but hmmm...could he have been involved in the release of this epidemic in our region as part of the extended reach, study, and/or population control of those behind MK/Ultra?

Anonymous said...

my ex wife was a siser in law to the girl that was there while they were being murdered.you should here the first hand account that she tells.she was sent to florida as protection till the trial.she came telling a tell of satanist,drugs,and murder.they were tripping on here tale that seemed right from a horror movie.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear what the lady you know has to say. Do you still know how to get in touch with her?

Anonymous said...

I think the vials of LSD were actually in a crystalline state.

Anonymous said...

MY FOSTER BROTHERS DAD IS ONE OF THE GUYS THAT MURDERED THE TWO MEN THERE.WE BOTH LIVE 15 AND 20 MINS FROM THERE.IT'S NOTHING BUT A FEW ROCKS IN THE WOODS NOW.YOU SHOULD HEAR THE STORIES THAT MY BROTHERS(DANNY WEST) FATHER (TONY WEST)OLD US WHEN WE VISITED HIM.THEY WERE THERE TO STEAL AND ROB ONLY! THEY WERE INVITED TO PARTY (DRINK) AND SOMETHING WAS PUT IN THEIR DRINKS AND THOSE 2 GUYS IN THE CASTLE WERE TRYING TO HAVE SEX WITH THEM,LIKE THEY DID SO MANY YOUNG TEENAGE AND ADULT GUYS THAT CAME TO HANGOUT TO DRINK.

missy k said...

I know the lady who was there. The stories don't match up but I guess over years somethings were forgotten

Anonymous said...

"I think the vials of LSD were actually in a crystalline state".

From Photographs that GBI took, the vials were from Sandoz and compare to other archival photos that I have seen and are indeed the largest dosage vials. Here the drug LSD is in its most concentrated state and would have been potent at the time of Corpsewood and have sufficient quantity and quality to dose the state of GA.

In those days before LSD was illegal a DR could obtain the drug LSD from Sandoz Labs
So it seems possible his being involved with Abbot Labs and their attempts to recreate the drug here in the US would be one conclusion you could come to. This is exactly how MKULTRA worked through a splintered group of researchers not knowing what each part was doing to contribute to the project. Universities were prime places to work with where no one set of people knew the whole story of the project.
This makes it harder to follow a paper trail. The propagation of LSD in the early 60's was sponsored by the CIA through collages and used in human experiments with hopes of finding a drug which they could use to break subjects under interrogation. In the end it proved unreliable because of the different effects it had with different people.

as to its usage
Dr. Scudder personally mentioned to me that he thought the children of that day were ruining their minds with drugs.

Anonymous said...

as a side note: The Germans during WWII used methamphetamine and other drug cocktails to supply the soldiers with a pill that would keep them awake for days.
This enabled the invasions of countries to be done in a matter of days. It took the English scientist to decipher just what kind of substance the Germans were using.
When the English discovered it was methamphetamine and how good it worked they developed Benzedrine as a substitute for the Allies to use for the same purpose.

I don't know if today this exist but up to 1968 the US Navy had tabbed rolls of Benzedrine available in the survival kits in life boats and in Sick bay.

This turned out to be not such a good idea. After even short term use age psychosis would set in a make the soldier less than useful. Seems like the absence of sleep does strange things to people! Just like it would do to mice as subject substitutes
for humans. The Nazis didn't have to use mice after all...

death to the WBC said...

James budd. (James A Budd) is who I think you are talking about. It was a local newspaper/magazine type thing?

melanie le said...

First off the vials contained crystallized not liquified LSD. Also they were not tested so they were only "alleged". He moved here to GA for a reason related to Joey Odom's background. The Dr over him at Loyola said he was not ever involved in any LSD experiments or any types of drugs and he seemed to the the type to look down on drugs. The people that were involved in MK ULTRA were listed. Loyola was not one of them. - Facebook: Corpsewood Manor A Castle in the Woods

edmunddruilhet said...

He was involved in LSD 25