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The initial event was being caught causing ruckus in the town with his buddies when they were teenagers. They were just goofing off, and ended up locking the town's beadle (law-man) in the courthouse outhouse. Well, they were caught and brought before the judge, who sentenced them to "the state industrial school, where boys were sometimes sent for no other reason than to provide them with food and decent shelter." However, Mr. Radley thought that was a huge disgrace, and told the judge that if he released Arthur (Boo), then he "would see to it that Arthur gave no further trouble." And, he did, because "Mr. Radley's boy was not seen again for fifteen years." Then, after the alleged scissors-stabbing incident where Boo supposedly stabbed Mr. Radley with scissors in the leg, they locked him in the courthouse basement for a while until he went back to being a "malevolent ghost" in the Radley house.
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