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Prohibition’s Roy Olmstead: The Man Who No Longer Exists

October 4, 2011

[Spotlight on Christian Science and Health –] By Bill Scott

Did you catch the PBS series on Prohibition this week? As the “King of the Puget Sound Bootleggers,” Seattle’s legendary Roy Olmstead made an appearance in the second episode of the three-part series. I’m writing to add more to his story after he was arrested and convicted of bootlegging. When Olmstead was sent to prison in 1928, he used his time in confinement to improve himself.  According to Philip Metcalfe, author of “Whispering Wires: The tragic Tale of an American Bootlegger,” “the man who arrived in 1928 was not the man who departed three years later.”  Metcalfe further writes, “Olmstead first sought relief in books on psychology and philosophy, but was not satisfied until a cellmate lent him a copy ofScience and Health [with Key to the Scriptures] by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science…Slowly, over time, he became a devout Christian Scientist, customarily rising every morning at 5:00 to read and reflect.” … Read story»

Watch Episode 2 of the Prohibition series which includes Roy Olmstead»

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