On March 18, 1943, 45-year-old author George G. Gorman was in federal court being tried for writing a work of fiction.
Apparently, Gorman wrote a short story titled “The Red-Headed Widow and Her Borrowed Lovers” under the pseudonym of G. Jackson Gregory and then sold it to one of those “true” detective magazines. In other words, he claimed that his fictitious story was true, so he was charged with using the mails to defraud.
During his trial, it was learned that Gorman had been the subject of a Ripley’s Believe It or Not oddity in the 1930s because he had not had a good night’s sleep in thirteen years. His lawyer, Abe Goldman, suggested to the judge that this could partially be responsible for the reason why Gorman wrote the fictitious story.
Judge Merrill E. Otis stated, “I don’t sleep so well myself at times. And I’ve understood that Thomas Edison didn’t sleep much, either.”
The judge sentenced Gorman to one year and a day in an institution or penitentiary, where he would receive medical care. He explained that he didn’t believe the offense to be a serious one and would consider parole of Gorman after one-third of the sentence had been served.
Gorman ended up in the hospital section of the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he underwent what was reported to be serious surgery.