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TAMPA DAILY TIMES - (Oct 18, 1933) - page 1. DREAM SLAYER TALKS IN CELL Licata Tells How He Slaughtered Family of 5
Victor Licata had a dream a horrible nightmare that snapped the last bit of sensibility out of his dope-tortured brain and made him a butcher.
He dreamed his father-Big Mike the Barber-held him tight against the wall of their home in Ybor City, and laughed and sneered at his futile struggles to get free.
He dreamed his mother---Resalia---hurried in from the Kitchen with a huge carving knife in her hand, and jeered and taunted and mocked him as he fought against his father's iron grip.
In his dream Mike and Rosalia severed his arms at the elbows. They made him a pair of wooden arms, with iron claws at the ends, and strapped them to his stumps.
Beautiful Providence, his 22-year-old sister, strapping young Philip, 14, and little Joe, baby of his family, stood in the room and laughted.
It was a dream, of course, the kind of a nightmare that lifts its ugly head out of a deadly combination of raw moonshine and dope, but it was a dream that brought a sudden and horrible death to five happy members of the Licata family.
In County jail, where Victor Licata was hurried at noon yesterday immediately after police found him cowering in his home at 1709 Fifth Ave., surrounded by the bloody bodies of his victims, the young "dream slayer" talks freely. From his babbling auditors have been able to pierce together a jumbled pictures of what happened in the Licata home sometime between midnight and daylight yesterday.
There is little doubt in the mind's of officers that Victor is insane. But whether he is as crazy as he attempts to show is declared questionable.
Talks Freely to Cellmates.
To his comrades in his cell block, third floor left Victor talks calmly and rationally-as long as they are alone, But the moment a stranger or interviewer appears in the corridor, he becomes a raving maniac, his lower jaw hanging limply his pin-pointed eyes staring and his words incoherent. He crawls on the floor, claws and paws at his companion, and shakes the bars.
Even now with the effects of his marijuana jag worn off, Victor dose not realize, or will not admit, that he killed his family. One moment he talks freely of a killing or some kind, the next he is silent.
When first admitted to the cell block after his arrest yesterday morning, he appeared a raving maniac, but other men in the cell block-John Lewis Flynn, Arthur Guest, Robert Knowles and Cecil Long---took that out of him. Introduced to "jail discipline." Victor calmed himself and told his story. He repeated it to reporters last night.
Tells His Story.
Here's his story: "Me kill my sister, my mother? Man, you're crazy!" Victor paused to shake at the bars. "I never killed anybody. I hit them with an axe, and knocked off every _____ _____ that was in there. My uncle, and some old woman. Then two other men and two other women. Six there were, not five!
I hit them with the axe like this_____."
He swung his arms in a slashing, crushing way. "I knocked them all off but I didn't kill them. "Why didn't they let me out of here. I go to the door and they shove me back. I shake on the gates and they won't move. I'm the strongest man in the world, but the gates won't move.
"My arms---see they're not made of wood." They're the strongest arms in the world. But the gates won't move. My arms are strong, but they didn't kill anybody. They didn't hit anybody, or hurt anybody."
Victor, by his own story, returned to his father's home some time between 8 and 10 o'clock Monday night. His father was at his barber shop. His mother was working in the kitchen. Providence, his sister, was out. Fourteen-year-old Phillip and eight-year-old Jose were in bed. Victor himself, if he followed his customary habits was "charged to the skies" on marijuana, sodden in moonshine liquor. For hours before he went home he rode on somebody's truck---a liquor truck, he said---but he refused to name his companions.
"I just went to bed and went to sleep," he continued. "My father hell me on the wall, and my mother helped him cut my arms off. They put wooden arms on, but look!" - Victor shoved his arms through the bars --- "my arms are (continue on page 4) all right now. I was scared. My arms were gone. I had a pain in my stomach. I went to the kitchen and got a drink of water and took the bottle with me, somewhere.
"The axe? It was on the back porch. I took it in and set it down in the fireplace. It was a funny axe. When I picked it up and wrung it out, real blood came out! Not pain, not red ink . . . My stomach hurt."
In jail last night he would not admit he killed his parents, sister and two brothers. He expresses no remorse or regret. His only reference to the actual killings was his statement that he hit "his uncle and that old woman, two men and two women."
His statement, however, will not be needed in the event the court sets aside the insanity plea it is expected he will make and puts him on trial for his life. On the handle of the axe used in the slaying are his fingerprints.
His underwear, which police found still on his body beneath a clean white shirt and well-pressed trousers, was sodden with blood --- the blood of his father, Mike, his mother, Rosalia, sister Providence, and his brother, Philip and Joe.
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