Karl Zirka

Carl Zirka was a 23 year old fireman in King County, Washington when he was arrested and convicted for sodomy in 1909 and sentenced to the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. He was still there, listed among the other prisoners, many much older, when the Federal Census was taken in May 1910.

For currently unknown reasons, he was transfered to the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, Washington on August 5, 1910. Reasons may have included his young age and overcrowding at Walla Walla. It seems likely that he was on good behavior at the Pen as the reformatory was considered less harsh and offered vocational education programs for rehabilitation. When he entered the reformatory his "term" was given as "indefinite", which suggests that he was there on a trial basis. The institution was still new in 1910, buildings were still being built by the inmates, the farm was still under development. We may never know what he learned while he was there, or if it had any effect on his future life. Being much older than the majority of the inmates at the reformatory reserved primarily for teenagers, it would have been unlikely for him to stay for long. He was transferred back to the State Penitentiary on April 2, 1911.

Criminal Records

Washington State Reformatory Admission Records (1908-1923)

No 132
Name: Carl Zirka
County: King
Crime: Sodomy
Term: Indefinite
Age: 24
Height: 5 feet, 10 inches
Sentence: -
Received: August 5, 1910
Occupation: fireman
Hair: light
Eyes: Gray
Marks: Right little finger stiff. Small scar inside wrist - left hand.
Handwritten Note: Trans Pen Apr 23, 1911

[additional info from Index]
Residence: Seattle
Nativity: Oregon

Walla Walla Penitentiary Records Index
[Note: this index has several errors]

Earl Zirka
Ref # 5590
Inmate # 5569
Received: 1909
Convicted: King County
Crime: Sodomy

Census Records

Washington State Penitentiary, Walla Walla, Washington - 1910

Zirka, Carl - white male age 24, single
Born: Oregon
Father Born: United States
Mother Born: Germany
Occupation: fireman

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