Though many performers with ectrodactyly, aka Lobster Claw Syndrome, were prevalent throughout freak-show history, Grady Franklin Stiles, Jr. is clearly a large influence for Jimmy Darling. Born in Pittsburgh in 1937, Stiles was part of a whole family of people who had the condition. He was forced to become a sideshow act at a young age and became an abusive alcoholic — which seems to be the direction Jimmy is headed. He murdered his daughter's fiancé in 1978, and then Grady himself was gunned down by a neighbor in 1993.
Freak Show: Jimmy Darling and Grady Franklin Stiles, Jr.
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