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Hysterical History: The 'Mad Gasser Of Mattoon'

the first headline about the "Mad Gasser"

Across the country, many people are increasingly wary of creepy clowns. Media reports say they have been scaring unwitting citizens, though it's unclear if any actual harm has been perpetrated by the costumed menaces. This all sounds familiar to Jason Lee Brown, he's the author of the book Prowler: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon.He says back in the mid-1940s the media helped spread hysteria, perpetuating the idea that there was a madman on the loose gassing people in the Illinois town of Mattoon. He says the fears were likely spurred from the horrific deaths by gas chambers that happened during WW II.  Jason Lee Brown joined us to chat more about the case:

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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