On June 17th, 1952, Pasadena, California, was hit with a massive explosion at a coach house on the old Cruikshank estate, a plot of land on Millionaire’s Row, where a large manor used to stand. The inside of the house was destroyed thanks to a science experiment gone wrong. Wrinkled up pages covered in symbols like pentagrams and text written in different languages were found among the debris. On the floor, a man’s body was discovered in a pool of blood, with half of his face ripped off. The man was the father of modern rocketry: Jack Whiteside Parsons.
Jack Parsons was the definition of a mad scientist. Born in 1914, Parsons’ innovative ideas were ahead of his time, but there was more to the rocket engineer than chemistry and physics. Despite his scientific mind, Parsons was interested in voodoo, witchcraft, spells, and other superstitious subjects. Despite his influence on the world of science, he was insane. From his rebellious childhood to his association with fellow mad-man Howard Hughes, this is the life and career of Jack Parsons.