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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Immigration Service Statement Regarding Death of Charles E. Bedaux

John F. Burling, immigration agent, issued the following statement regarding the death of Charles E. Bedaux.

“On Monday, February 14, Bedaux was advised that a board of special inquiry of the Immigration and Naturalization Service had concluded its hearings and would determine that he was a citizen of the United States and would order his admission into the United States as soon as certain minor formalities had been complied with.

“Bedaux was further advised at that time, however, that a Grand Jury would be convened to inquire into his relations with high officials of the German Government and of the Vichy French Government, and that the Grand Jury would consider whether he should be indicted for treason and for communicating with the enemy.

“On the night of February 14 Bedaux went to bed in his room in the detention station of the Border Patrol Immigration and Naturalization Service at 525 N.E.30th St, where he had been held since his arrival in the United States on December 22, 1943, and then took a large overdose of sleeping pills. These had been issued to him from time to time when he complained of sleeplessness and it is now clear that he had been hoarding them. A suicide note indicated that he had been retaining the tablets, which were given him and it is probable that this was done with suicide in mind. Bedaux died without regaining consciousness."

Excerpted from: New York Sun, February 19, 1944, page 1

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