“Henry Darger died in 1973 in a Catholic mission operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor. He was buried in a paupers’ cemetery. He had no family or friends. The neighbors in his north Chicago apartment building remembered him as an odd, unkempt man who scavenged through garbage cans and talked to himself in numerous voices. […] Unknown to his neighbors and to everyone, Darger had been creating and compiling a massive literary and graphic body of work since 1909. […] Central to Darger’s work is his 15,000 page, 12 volume, single-spaced, typewritten epic entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, as caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.” - Realm of the Unreal: A Page About Henry Darger
Inevitably - these days, apparently even the life of a hermit artist needs to be spiced up for the amusement of the masses - the book about his art and life (find a review here) contains some speculation about the murder of a young girl.
Update (14 Jan 2005): There’s an entry on metafilter with lots of additional links, which appeared just a few days after this one. Conscientious well ahead of the crowd? Or maybe Conscientious visitors not quite as conscientious?
Update (3 April 2006): I had the chance to see some of Henry Darger’s art works yesterday, and it was an interesting experience. I didn’t quite expect the pieces to be so big. And the details are amazing and, partly, very weird. Also, plenty of his sketches contain drawings of strangled little girls.