John Patric

Linocut-style image of a man hunched over a typewriter in the front passenger seat of a car. It appe

In 1958, Snohomish resident and writer John Patric was involuntarily committed to Northern State Hospital for the Insane. The psychiatrists there diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic, and recommended he be locked up indefinitely. They said he was a danger to society. As permitted by Washington State law, Patric demanded—and received—a jury trial to determine the matter of his sanity. This is the story of that trial, and of John Patric.

Podcast Series Credits

“The Saturday Evening Free Press” (sidebar)

  • Script: Cameron Johnson
  • Excerpts: John Patric, Saturday Evening Free Press
  • Read by: Van Ramsey.
  • Typewriter sound: 277302_magedu_typewriter-manual-typing.mp3, courtesy of
  • Music: Tampalais,  by Oscar Pettiford, , courtesy of Jazz Online
  • Audio engineering: Cameron Johnson

“The Insanity Trial of John Patric”

  • Script: Cameron Johnson
  • Voice actors: Van Ramsey, Ron Averill, Laura McCarty, Cameron Johnson, Eileen Simmons
  • David Dilgard quotations read by Van Ramsey and Ron Averill
  • Audio engineering: Cameron Johnson
  • Music: Ed Chang, Beethoven, Late String Quartets (Electric Rock Arrangements), ,
  • courtesy of Internet Archive
  • Sound effects:
  • Fire sound: Flames.wav, Juskiddink; fire.crackling.mp3, courtesy of
  • Crowd sound: Bar atmosphere – Not So Busy.wav, courtesy of
  • Gavel sound: gavel-triplemad.flac, courtesy of
  • Cell door slamming: 80449_turtlelg_jaildoorclose; 214232_kd-jack_cell-door-4, courtesy of

Smokestack Soundbites theme

  • “Tattoo” by the Wild Snohomians, from the album “Imperfect Crimes”

 “The Ballad of John Patric (Eccentric But Justified)”

  • Lyrics: David Dilgard
  • Arranged and performed by Van Ramsey