Map of Winton on (V) Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 18, 1937 with ectrodactyly, a genetic defect commonly known as lobster-claw syndrome, Stiles was seven or eight when he joined his similarly afflicted father in a side show attraction billed as the Lobster Family. Stiles, a fixture on the carnival circuit for many years, exhibited his pincer-like hands-feet and stunted body as Lobster Boy before retiring from performing to become an independent side show operator. Recognized by his peers as a shrewd businessman who turned a devastating congenital deformity into a marketable asset, Stiles was widely respected by the carnival community as a man who cared for his family and often took in workers who had no place to stay. To his family, however, Lobster Boy was a violent alcoholic who, in 1978, murdered his oldest daughter's boyfriend with a shotgun in Pennsylvania.
He was convicted of third-degree murder, but sentenced to only 15 years probation due largely to the fact the Pennsylvania prison system was not set up to accommodate a prisoner with his disability.
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On Sunday, November 29, 1992, Stiles, 55, was in the trailer at 11117 Inglewood Drive in Gibsonton, Florida, he shared with his wife, Mary Teresa Stiles, 54, and her son by another marriage, 18- year-old Harry Glenn Newman, III. In 1973, Mary Stiles divorced Lobster Boy and married Harry Glenn Newman, a midget billed on the carnival circuit as the World's Smallest Man.
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