The Oxford English Dictionary was mostly written by a murderer who cut off his own penis and spent a lot of his time in a mental institution. This certainly detracts from the image that I always had of a rather boring, reclusive professor who had nothing better to do than to think of every known word in the English language and its meaning. But while the image that you are probably thinking of right now is of a Jack the Ripper mixed with a Dr Jekyll style of killer, this man who helped our society develop in many ways was far from a natural born madman killer. At one stage he was a doctor who helped people.
William Chester Minor or W.C. Minor as he was mostly known, was a US army doctor who served as a surgeon during the latter half of the US Civil War. During his time with the Union army he was part of the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, which saw heavy casualties on both sides of the conflict. The injuries and terrible loss of life would have been terribly upsetting for a young and impressionable doctor, but as bad as they were one thing played on him worse than anything else. He was forced to brand an Irishman who deserted the Union army with the letter “D” on his face, for deserter.