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Mug Shot Monday! John Elgin Johnson, 1953

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! John Elgin Johnson, 1953

 

John Elgin Johnson, 1919-1953.

John Elgin Johnson, 1919-1953.

John Elgin Johnson, 1919 to 1953, was a career criminal who ended up in the federal prison system for robbing banks. After a failed escape attempt from Fort Leavenworth that left one guard severely injured, Johnson was sent to Alcatraz in 1944. He served nine years there and was released in 1953. During his time in Alcatraz, he underwent a religious conversion that, although sincere, did not stick.

After he was released, he was suspected of murdering a new friend he had made after he had gotten out. The FBI began hunting him and caught up with him while he was in a telephone booth inside a movie theater in Baltimore, Maryland.

According to an interesting story written by the FBI, here is what happened next.

“Inside the booth, Johnson, his criminal cunning ever alert, sensed his impending apprehension. Two shots rang out from the booth. One bullet crashed into the abdomen of agent J. Brady Murphy. Another tore into the hip of Murphy’s fellow agent. All four agents opened fire on the phone booth; and, though mortally wounded, Agent Murphy emptied his revolver at the figure of the desperate man behind the glass and wood partition. Fifteen times the agents fired, and 15 deadly slugs ripped into the booth. Johnson toppled toward the floor, but his head, crashing through the broken glass of the door, held him partly erect. Before he stopped moving forever he tried vainly once or twice to lift his head.”

When the shootout occurred, Johnson was on the phone with Los Angeles Mirror reporter, Sidney Hughes.

The entire story of John Elgin Johnson’s life can be found, here, on the FBI’s website.

 

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The Cupcake Killer, 1942

Home | Short Feature Story | The Cupcake Killer, 1942

 

This story was written by NYPD detective Captain Henry Flattery, Retired, for Front Page Detective magazine, November, 1955. It was part of a collection of stories called, “Dumbells I have Known.” which poked fun at some stupid criminals. He was with the NYPD for thirty years and worked on many important cases from that time including the still famous Ruth Snyder – Judd Grey case. – At the bottom is a link to another nice feature story about the case.

 

Sometimes a man who murders in haste is smart enough to realize that all the signs are going to point to him, so he tries to cover up by planting misleading evidence or incriminating someone else. But time is always working against him and he invariably bungles the job. At best, he gains only a few extra hours of freedom. Here is a good example of that:

During World War II, there was a man we called the “Cupcake Killer.” He got an unexpected break when his victim inadvertently threw suspicion on another man. In spite of that, and in spite of the Cupcake Killer’s clever ruse to throw us off, he was arrested within 24 hours. He had killed in an angry frenzy and left a calling card.

On a cold winter night in 1942, Patrolman Joseph Doyle was walking past the Dutch Reformed Church in Queens when he saw a light flicker in the dark churchyard. For a moment he stared into the blackness, wondering if he could have been mistaken. Then the light flared again. Doyle jumped the fence. Instantly the light died and there was the sound of running footsteps up the gravel drive. Doyle searched the area with his flashlight but could find no one.

He went back to where he had first seen the beam of light. No windows were broken in the church. There was no indication that anyone had tried to break in. Then Doyle saw the woman. She was lying just off the path. A green scarf was tightly knotted around her throat, which had been viciously slashed. She was young and had been pretty once. Now she wasn’t.

Ten minutes later, the churchyard was filled with policemen. Searchlights were set up and the medical examiner began inspecting the body.

As I listened to Officer Doyle’s story, it struck me that the killer must have lit some matches after the woman was dead: he wouldn’t require any light to strangle her or cut her throat, and even if he did she’d be unlikely to hold still while he used his hands to light a match. That being the case, the killer must have been looking for something, her purse if he was a mugger, something that belonged to him if he wasn’t.

“Cover every inch of the yard,” I instructed my men. “I’m looking for a calling card.”

But, except for a bakery carton of cupcakes, nothing was turned up. There were no signs of a struggle.

The medical examiner made his report: “She probably died a few minutes before Doyle spotted her. Strangled with the scarf. Those cuts are funny. Not one big one but a whole series of little ones, as if the killer had used a small knife. And not a very sharp one at that. No matter. The scarf’s what killed her.”

By this time, a crowd had gathered outside the churchyard although it was almost 2 a.m. Hoping to get a lead on the dead woman’s identity, I asked them to file by and have a look at her. They did, but it brought no results.

Back at headquarters, I went through a pile of Missing Persons reports. There was nothing matching a description of our murder victim. It seemed to me that if the woman had been carrying a box of cupcakes, she might have a family. But if she had a family, why hadn’t they reported her missing?

Other things weren’t adding up, either. The case didn’t follow the pattern of the usual muggings. Muggers didn’t use scarves, they used their forearms. And they certainly didn’t hack away at their victims’ throats with a dull knife. They weren’t interested in killing, only in stealing. They’d kill if they had to, but they wouldn’t stop to cut someone’s throat after they’d gotten what they wanted by strangling.

No, it looked like our killer had planned on murdering the girl, then tried to cover up by making it look like a mugging. If that was so, whatever the killer was looking for in the darkness must have belonged to him—and must be important to us.

Now a clearer, more logical picture began shaping up. The girl had entered the churchyard with the killer. She knew him.

At 4:30 that morning, a patrolman found the victim’s purse five blocks from the churchyard. It matched her outfit and contained identification papers and a commutation ticket to Freeport, Long Island. We phoned Nassau County police, outlined the crime and asked for a check on a Carol Dugan of Freeport.

Meanwhile, another discovery had been made. In the churchyard, detectives had uncovered the calling card I was hoping for; a small, bone-handled knife. It still had blood on it.

Carol-Duggan-Tuttle

Victim Carol Duggan Tuttle

By morning, we had the report on the victim. Her name was Carol Dugan Tuttle. She worked in a large chain store not far from the church. Her husband was on his way to police headquarters.

Now things began to move quickly. Tuttle, obviously shaken by his wife’s death, answered all our questions forthrightly.

Why hadn’t he notified the police when his wife didn’t get home by, say, midnight?

“She stayed out late pretty often. I thought she’d missed the last train. I had to put the kids to bed. Then I went to bed myself.”

Did he know of anyone who might want to kill her?

“Yes. That is, someone tried to kill her a couple of weeks ago. She came home about six in the morning, all beat up and cut. She said a sailor named Wright, John or Joe Wright, who used to work in her place had done it. She promised me she wouldn’t fool around anymore.”

At a tavern near the churchyard, one of several we had been checking, we began unfolding the mystery of Carol’s last hours. She had been there the evening before, drinking with a man the bartender knew only as ‘Jim.’ The bartender remembered the box of cupcakes.

“Was Jim a sailor?”

“No, a civilian.”

A check of the store where Carol had worked turned up a youngster who knew Jim well: “He’s James Mallon. Used to work here. He and Carol were sweet on each other.”

“Do you know a John or Joe Wright?”

“No.”

By now, I was convinced that the killer had tried to throw us a curve ball by making the murder look like a mugging. The question that remained, therefore, was which of Carol Tuttle’s after-hours friends, Mallon or Wright, was our man. We tried Mallon first.

A tall, rawboned young man, he was shocked when we told him Carol was dead.

“But I was with her last night,” Mallon exclaimed.

“Yes, we know. Let’s hear about it.”

“Well, we went to this tavern where we always used to meet. We had a few drinks and talked. About midnight or a little after, we left. Carol went to the railroad station and I came home.”

“You didn’t walk through the churchyard with her?”

“No.”

“Do you know a sailor named Wright?”

“No.”

“What about Carol’s husband? Know him?”

Now Mallon looked even more shocked: “What do you mean, Carol’s husband? She’s not married. She was going to marry me.”

We took Mallon to headquarters, then began checking Carol’s friends in Freeport. We hit pay dirt with the first one, a girlfriend, who remembered the time Carol had been beaten.

“She came to my house before she went home that night,” the girl explained. “She said she was afraid to let her husband see her like that. I persuaded her it was best to face the music so she went home.”

“Did she tell you who did it?”

“She didn’t have to. I know this Jim Mallon she goes with. He has a terrible temper.”

“What about the sailor, Wright?”

The woman shook her head. “I don’t know of any sailor.”

James-Mallon

James Mallon talking to a NYPD detective. He might be Cosmo Kramer’s father.

We went to work on Mallon but he insisted that he had left Carol shortly after midnight, that he had never known she had a husband and three children by a previous marriage. Then came the big break, a letter we found among Carol’s things. It was from Mallon and it read: “I know you are thinking of the children, but you don’t owe Harry anything.”

It was pretty clear now. Afraid to tell her husband about Mallon, Carol had invented the sailor named Wright—someone Tuttle could never check up on because he didn’t exist. As for Mallon, he was acting the injured innocent because if he could convince us that he didn’t know about Carol’s husband, he would have no motive for killing her. The letter made a liar out of him and a killer, as well. He had beaten Carol up because she wouldn’t leave her husband for him and he had murdered her for the same reason.

We were ready to play our ace. Calling in witness after witness, we showed them the little bone-handled knife we found in the churchyard and asked if they recognized it. Every one of them who knew Mallon identified it as the one he always carried on his key chain. Result: we had placed Mallon in the churchyard in contradiction to his statement; we knew what he was looking for when he lit the matches.

Caught dead to rights, Mallon finally confessed to Carol Tuttle’s murder and was given a 20 years to life sentence. He had gotten every break a killer could ask for: a phony suspect, a misleading motive and a chance to get away unseen. But he had stacked the cards too high against himself. He had killed in haste; he got plenty of opportunity to repent at leisure.

Murder in the Church Yard,” by  Edward Radin, Milwaukee Sentinel, July 10, 1955, pages 31 and 32.

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Small Town, Vigilante Justice in 1907

Home | Rediscovered Crime News | Small Town, Vigilante Justice in 1907

 

While searching my newspaper archive sources for specific stories, or just on fishing expeditions for new ones, I often come across stories about a lynch mob serving up vigilante justice to an unconvicted murderer. In most cases, the lynch mob would storm the jail where the prisoner was held and grab him while others held their guns on the local sheriff and his  deputies, or, like in the case below, they would capture him while he was being transported somewhere else.

Below is just one of the many stories I come across of lynch mob justice. I have placed a map at the bottom of the newspaper article for a reference. Also at the bottom of the story are a few more links to 1907 newspapers with more reports on this specific incident.

Back Story to Lynching:

A farmhand working for the Copple family near Rosalie, Nebraska, got drunk one Saturday night in May of 1907, and just decided to kill his employers, Walter and Eva Copple. After Loris Higgins, using the alias Fred Burke, grabbed a shotgun and went outside, he called for Walter to come out of the house. When he did, he shot the farmer with both barrels. When Eva came running out to help her husband, he fired both barrels at her while the couple’s seven children watched in horror.

Higgins then stole $900 from his employer, sexually assaulted the Copple’s 13 year-old daughter, and threw the bodies of his victims into a hog pen where the pigs disfigured their corpses. He then saddled up a mule and rode off.

Higgins was captured one day later and held in the county jail in Omaha, Nebraska. When he was being transported to Pender, Nebraska, the county seat of Thurston County, where the crime took place, he was accosted by a vigilante mob when his train reached Bancroft, Nebraska, which is 11 miles from Pender.

“Higgins Is Lynched”

- Red Cloud Chief, Red Cloud, Nebraska, Aug. 30, 1907, page 7.

Loris Higgins, alias Fred Burke, who shot and killed Mr. and Mrs. Walter Copple, farmers of Rosalie, Nebraska, [near the Iowa border] May 12, was lynched one mile from the town by a mob of twenty masked men.

Higgins reached Bancroft [seven miles from Rosalie] on the Northwestern train in custody of Sheriff Sid Young of Thurston Country and a deputy, at 8:37 a.m. from Omaha while he had been confined in the Douglas County jail since his arrest soon after the murder. The masked men met the train, brushed the sheriff and his deputy to one side, threw a rope around the murderer’s neck and led him forth. Ho was placed in a wagon and hauled to the Logan Bridge one mile west of town where the lynching was performed.

The rope was tied to the highest beam of the bridge and after the victim made a statement he was thrown by the mob into the air and reached the end of the rope with a terrible sound, snapping his neck and producing instant death. Forty bullets were then shot into his body which was left dangling in the air for the officers to care tor, while the executioners unmasked themselves and scattered in all directions in the timber which skirts the scene of the lynching.

The whole affair was performed with little excitement and was over before most of the people of Bancroft knew it was contemplated.

Sheriff Young, finding himself confronted by a resolute mob of masked men offered no forcible resistance to the taking of the prisoner. The sheriff was visibly affected by the demonstration, far more so than was Higgins. Higgins appeared little concerned, and when the rope which was to send him to his death in a few minutes was slipped over his head, he did not even flush or move, but stepped lightly from the train to the platform, surrounded by the masked crowd. He prayed as he alighted and continued his prayer until the train had gone and he was loaded into a wagon which was standing conveniently by.

Deputy Sheriff Knocked Down.

The sheriff’s deputy pulled his revolver when the mob appeared. The men told him to put up his gun and when he refused they knocked it out of his hand and knocked the deputy down and told him “not to be foolish.”

None of the mob had much to say to the victim and he was not assaulted until the bridge was reached. At the bridge, after the rope was tied and just before he was thrown into the air, he was given permission to make a statement. He availed himself of the opportunity saying he had long ago repented for his terrible deed, that he had made his peace with his God and was now ready to go and face Him, feeling that all would be well hereafter, he said he had tried atone for his wanton murder, but had no excuse to offer as he had no cause for committing it. He reavowed his faith in the religion he had found through the help of the “good women” in Omaha who came to his cell and prayed with him.

Hard to Fix Responsibility,

He asked God to bless the little children whom he had left without parents by his deed and then to the I, masked men alum’ him he requested that a note be sent his mother asking her to write to his father at Nanta, Idaho.

The possibility of finding out the names of those who formed the mob is exceedingly remote. No one is standing on street corners condemning them nor professing that he knows a single man who engaged in the affair. So far as Sheriff Young is concerned, he does not appear to know them.

Thurston County authorities declare that they have proof that Higgins mistreated the thirteen year-old daughter.

More Reading:

Murder Near Pender,” Omaha Daily Bee, May 14, 1907, page 1. This story details the crime after it happened, and before the arrest of Higgins, alias Fred Burke.

Burke in Omaha Jail,” Omaha Daily Bee, May 16, 1907, pages 1. This story is about his capture and placement in jail.

Higgins Mother Hears News,” The Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, Aug. 30, 1907, page 8. This story is about the reaction of Higgins’ mother when she heard the news her son had been lynched.

Map:


View Larger Map

Mug Shot Monday! George Edward Cole, 1957

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! George Edward Cole, 1957

George-Edward-Cole

George Edward Cole

George Edward Cole shot and killed a San Francisco Police Sergeant during a hold-up of a tavern on Dec. 30, 1956. He was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List on Feb. 25, 1957. He was captured two years later in Des Moines, Iowa after a citizen identified his girlfriend, Yvonne Conley, 45, on a wanted poster. A magazine article later described her as 4′ 11, and dumpy, and declared she was an odd match for Cole who was 14 years younger than she was.

yvonne-conley

My archival sources that I rely on do not have any more information about George Edward Cole after a jury selection for his trial in October, 1959. It just stops after that and I have no clear picture of what happened to him. His name does not appear on a comprehensive list of inmates executed in California before 1967. He also does not appear in the online California Death Records database as George Edward Cole or George E Cole with the correct age. I will have to contact the California State Archives to dig up  more information on what happened to him.

A little more information can be read about him here:

The second photograph, below, was taken nearly a decade after the mug shot featured on his FBI circular.

George-Edward-Cole-2

 

Photo Sources:

AP Wirephoto. [Photograph 2012.201.B0231.0668], Photograph, February 27, 1957; digital image, (http://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc197502/ : accessed June 24, 2014), Oklahoma Historical Society, The Gateway to Oklahoma History, http://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

[Photograph 2012.201.B0231.0666], Photograph, July 8, 1959; digital image, (http://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc220712/ : accessed June 25, 2014), Oklahoma Historical Society, The Gateway to Oklahoma History, http://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

 

Winner Announced for Lottery 10-10-2014

Home | Crime Book Lottery | Winner Announced for Lottery 10-10-2014

 

Congratulations go to Robert Doyle who is the winner of this week’s crime book lottery for The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek. His guess of 137 was closest to the number selected by Random.org which was 141.

Another crime book lottery will  be held next week. I will post more information about Sunday evening.

I would like to thank everyone for playing.

random-org-10-10-2014

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Book Review: The Murder of Maggie Hume

Home | Crime Book Lottery, New Books | Book Review: The Murder of Maggie Hume

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Book Review: The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek, by Blaine Pardoe & Victoria Hester, History Press, August, 2014. This book will be given away to one lucky winner of our crime book lottery this week.

While researching and writing his last true crime book, Murder in Battle Creek: The Mysterious Death of Daisy Zick, which was great reading, veteran author Blaine Pardoe was repeatedly confronted with another famous Battle Creek, Michigan cold case which has become the subject of his latest true crime book: The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek. Like an investigator with a nagging compulsion to go after a specific suspect, or to close an old case, Pardoe, assisted by his daughter Victoria Hester, dug into this 1982 murder mystery and came up with an accurate, thorough and unbiased account of this cold case which still has a chance of being solved.

The Maggie Hume case has the classic elements a true crime book needs to be successful: A young, attractive ‘girl next door’ victim who is special to the reader only because of her ordinariness; and a chief suspect that you really, really, really just love to hate.

Book Synopsis

TheMurderofMaggieHume“On August 16, 1982, an unidentified attacker brutalized and strangled Maggie Hume at her apartment in Battle Creek, Michigan. The daughter of a beloved local football coach, her seemingly senseless murder sparked intense scrutiny that lingers today. Award-winning author Blaine Pardoe and his daughter, Victoria Hester, crack open three decades of material on this mysterious tragedy, exposing dark secrets and political in-fighting that tore at the Battle Creek legal system for years. Compiled from documents, videos and interviews, this book presents the facts and clues of the case to the public for the first time.”

Pardoe is the master of atmosphere and setting the scene. Just like with his Daisy Zick book, Pardoe and his daughter Victoria, put you inside a DeLorean time machine with a flux capacitor, set the time dial to August, 1982, the location dial to Battle Creek, Michigan, and land in the middle of prose where the reader absorbs that era. Okay, Back to the Future came out AFTER the crime, but it’s a DeLorean time machine, it doesn’t matter.

Once you’re taken back to that time and place, you want to stay there and look around for a while. Peer over the investigators shoulder as they examine the crime scene. Sit in on any one of the numerous interrogations. Listen to family and friends as they chat about the peculiar antics and quotes of the chief suspect.

Pardoe and Hester present this story in a clear, concise manner. They parse out the facts in an unbiased tone and condense the entire case down to its core essentials. That’s not easy to do when the case file could very well be 10x to 100x the length of the book. In the beginning, they throw a lot of names at you, but there is no way around this, and the reader will have to make an effort to keep up with who is who, and who said what about the chief suspect. As I said before, the book has the classic elements needed for a good crime book, but only in the first half. In that first half, the story reminded me of the type of true crime stories Ann Rule would choose and write about. If you stop and think about why you love the victim and hate the chief suspect, it’s because Pardoe and Hester have guided you to feel that way by placing the reader in the middle of the storm that rolls in after Maggie’s death. That takes some skill.

But in the second-half of the book, the story takes a sharp left turn to reveal woefully misguided investigators who darn near ruin the case. Pope Francis very recently (Sept. 29, 2014) gave a sermon in which he said, and I’m paraphrasing, Satan seduces us by disguising evil as good. “He presents things as if they were good, but his intention is destruction,” – were his exact, translated words.

You’ll understand what I mean when you get to the second part of the book where two ambitious investigators falsely portray themselves as the angels of justice against a quasi-corrupt or incompetent system. As you read through that section, you fear that the case, which can still be brought to justice, is permanently derailed. However, that asinine era of the story ended years ago and by the end of the book, the reader’s hope returns, but just barely.

The language of investigators, prosecutors, families, and the media often employ the words cold case, and unsolved case. I would humbly like to submit for consideration into their glossary a new term which, at times, including this one, might be a smidgeon more accurate. The murder of Maggie Hume is not an unsolved case, it’s an unresolved case. Go back to the ‘Cluster B personality’ type of a chief suspect, and reread page 57 after you’ve read the entire story. The fact that I have that opinion should tell you that ‘I got into this book.’ If you read The Murder of Maggie Hume I  am betting you will too.

About the Authors

Blain Pardoe is an award-winning, best-selling author of numerous books ranging from science fiction to true crime, military history and business management. Mr. Pardoe was raised outside Battle Creek, Michigan, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University. He has been a featured speaker at the U.S. National Archives, the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian. He was awarded the State History Award in 2011 for his book on Battle Creek aviator Frederick Zinn (Lost Eagles). In 2013, he was the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame recipient of the Harriet Quimby Award. He is the author of several true crime books, including The History Press bestseller Murder in Battle Creek: The Mysterious Death of Daisy Zick. He currently lives in Virginia outside Washington, D.C. He can be followed on Facebook or via his website (www.blainepardoe.com).

Victoria R. Hester is a graduate of Lord Fairfax Community College and resides in Culpeper, Virginia. She won two prestigious writing awards for her nonfiction work while in college. She is a full-time nurse and writes in her spare time. She is married and has a son. With her family being from the Battle Creek area, she has been visiting the community her entire life. This book is her first published work that she co-authored with her father. You can follow her writing at her website (http://victoriapardoe.wordpress.com).

 

 

 

Mug Shot Monday! Michael Ronning

Home | Crime Book Lottery, Mug Shot Monday, New Books | Mug Shot Monday! Michael Ronning

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Michael-Ronning

This is Arkansas DOC inmate Michael Ronning who is currently serving Life without parole for the rape and murder of Diana Lynn Hanley, 19. He is suspected of murdering up to seven more women, including, but not likely, the 1982 murder of Maggie Hume in Battle Creek, MI.

He was the subject of a controversial development in the Hume murder which nearly derailed that unsolved case as detailed in a book which will be given away during this week’s crime book lottery.

Here is an excerpt from his, uhhhhhhh, ‘confession': “I walked around the apartment on Stringham Road and down Stringham Road of the corner of the curve there, where the river bends.  When I was walking down there, I looked up and seen her in the window.  Uh, I went down and uh threw my fishing pole in the water—to the bank in the water and uh went back, scaled the wall, got on her terrace…I guess that’s what you call it…and I went through the window; to the left if I’m on the terrace facing the apartment I went to the left into that window. Uh, went into her bedroom, uh, immediately hit her and grabbed her around the throat…”

In a poorly produced episode of Dateline, which was far from being balanced and unbiased, Ronning said: “I’m not an honest person. In other words, I lie all the time.”

That should have been the first clue for producers they were off track with their episode.

The longer version of the story of this loser is presented in this week’s crime book lottery book, The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek published by History Press where you can find about 100+ historical true crime books for sale.

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New Crime Book Lottery this Friday, Oct. 10

Home | Crime Book Lottery | New Crime Book Lottery this Friday, Oct. 10

TheMurderofMaggieHume

Can you believe it has been nearly two months since we’ve done a crime book lottery? I feel like I’ve been negligent. However, this week’s lottery is special since we will be giving away a copy of The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek written by Blaine Pardoe and his daughter, Victoria Hester. Blaine is a good friend to the HCD blog and I am proud to connect my readers to his work. If you remember, I wrote a review for his last book, Murder in Battle Creek: The Mysterious Murder of Daisy Zick in which he did a stellar job.

I will be posting a lot more about his book this week with a review, passages and photographs. Before I do, I want to remind everyone about the rules of crime book lottery. Our crime book lottery is a simple contest in which we give away one paperback copy of a crime book to an email subscriber who chooses a number between 1 and 480  (the number of email HCD subscribers) and is the closest to the Random.org selected number without going over. That lucky winner will then be mailed a copy of the book.

Here’s a detailed description of the rules.

How To Play:

1. This game is only open to our email subscribers. You have to be an email subscriber to play and win. If you want to subscribe, go to our Email Alerts link in the top right corner of the website and sign-up.

2. I will use Random.org to select a number between 1 and 480 at 8:55 am, Friday, Oct. 10. I will then take a screen shot of that number and post it when the winner is announced 24 hours later.

3. On Friday morning at 9 a.m. Central, all email subscribers will receive an email with the subject line, The Murder of Maggie Hume.

4. That email is your entry form. Hit reply to that email, guess a number between 1 and 480, put it in the subject line or email, and click send. The 480 number is the number of email subscribers we have. The logic is that if everyone guessed a different number, everyone would have an equal chance of winning.

5. The 24-hour contest will end at 9 a.m., Saturday, Central Time, when the winner will be announced.

6. The person who guesses a number closest to the Random.org number, without going over, wins the book. In case of a tie, the person with the earliest email wins the book.

06-20-2014-Random-Screenshot7. I will take the random.org screenshot and post it on Facebook and the HCD blog, as well as send out an email that the contest is over and the winner has been announced. At Right is a sample of what the random.org screenshot will look like. Click to Enlarge in New Window.

8. If you did not receive an email notification (your ‘lottery ticket’) please check your spam or junk folder. If it is not there, contact me direct at the email below: You should add that email address to your list of Contacts/Address Book.

Mug Shot Monday! Ed Hagen, Hero Policeman, Boxer, Bootlegger, 1921

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! Ed Hagen, Hero Policeman, Boxer, Bootlegger, 1921

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Ed Hagen was a former semi-professional boxer and hero policeman turned bootlegger. He was caught in April of 1919 trying to break into a government liquor warehouse. He was sentenced to two years in McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary. He appealed his sentence but eventually lost and began serving his sentence in March, 1921. The article below is just one of many stories about him that can be found on the internet by searching “Ed Hagen” Seattle Policeman. While he was appealing his sentence, he was working as a baker’s helper when he got his  hand caught in a dough mixer and lost two of his fingers. For a man that was shot several different times in the line of duty as a police officer, this was just one of many injuries he endured during his exciting and often publicized life.

Ed-Hagen-Cropped

 

The article below was originally published in The Seattle Star under the title “Done With Booze,” on August 5, 1921, pages 1 and 7.

Ex Patrolman Ed Hagen, once hero of Seattle, small boys’ idol and regarded as one the most courageous men in the police department, later one of the hardest-boiled bootleggers of the Northwest, now a federal convict, today is seeking a parole. He has reformed, he says.

Having served four months of a two-year sentence on McNeil Island Penitentiary for breaking into a government liquor storehouse. Hagen has written appealing letters to United States Attorney Saunders asking Saunders to help him gain his release.

“I am a changed man,” writes Hagen, “and a model prisoner. I see everything now in a different light, I want to go straight.”

Saunders is understood to have promised Hagen that the charge still pending against the prisoner hero will be dismissed, paving the way for parole board action. No parole could be considered too long as other charges are pending.

STARWICH AND DOUGLAS OPPOSED TO RELEASE

“What’s the matter? Are we short of whiskey in Seattle? He oughtn’t to be paroled. What he needs is a longer term.”

This was the pithy comment of Sheriff Matt Starwich, whose men had several brushes with Hagen, the bootlegger, before he was finally captured.

Prosecutor Malcolm Douglas declared he was not inclined to jump on a man when he is down but considered a parole for Hagen would be a mistake.

“We had a case against him before the government sent him to prison,” said Douglas. “We fined him instead of giving him a jail term on the understanding that he was going up for two years on the federal charge.”

SEARING LAUDS HIS FORMER PATROLMAN

“The mere fact that Hagen was a policeman should not interfere with his pardon any more than any other man’s. Personalities should not be considered in a matter of simple justice.” said Police Chief William H. Searing. “I would like to get Hagen out, but I’m not going to give any opinion on the case, further than to say that a better policeman never lived than Ed Hagen. If he had not gotten into bad company, he would have been the best man in the force. He was absolutely fearless.

“Hagen was wild. He got into bad company and now he’s paying for it. I’m sorry, because Hagen was a good man. He was simply an overgrown boy.”

Commended for Bravery

Hagen joined the force Nov. 3, 1907 as a “temporary” and shortly was commended for courageous action in connection with the arrest of a holdup gang.

He became the storm center of a dispute over bribery charges, was dismissed, reinstated, dismissed again, begged to come back, and finally resigned. Ten days later he rejoined the force and was again commended for a daring arrest of footpads.

In September, 1915, he was shot by two men at the end of the Madrona Park car line. They left him riddled and apparently dead.

In the hospital, during his long fight for his life, he became the hero of the town. Extra editions of the newspapers giving his condition hour by hour were eagerly seized and read. The name “Hagen” was on everybody’s lips.

Arrested for Bribery, Takes Bothel Gang

When he came out of the hospital and it was announced he would resume his old beat, a whole city rejoiced. In 1916, he was indicted for accepting a bribe. His acquittal was speedy. He returned to work and a few days later, singled handed, captured the notorious “Bothel gang” [Bothel, not Brothel].

Again he was arrested on bribery charges. A year later he quite the force, turned bootlegger, and to his friends, “went wild.”

He knew he was in bad with the federal prohibition men and delighted in it. He knew that they followed him about, and he would go on a wild goose chase just for the fun of leading them on. He would travel about the city for the joy of seeing them follow him. He was a model policeman except for his wild ways. He was the best worker on the force, his superior officers frequently declared.

His wife and his elderly mother visited him recently in the prison and came back to report they had never seen a man so changed. They had found him, they said, not only a model prisoner but a member of the prison church. Both are working toward his parole.

 

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The Case of the Make Believe Orphan, 1953

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Story Credit: “The Case of the Make-Believe Orphan,” by Gerry Smart, Front Page Detective, November 1955.

Texas, March 1953

The boy’s words over the phone were simple, but it was the way he spoke that brought tears to the woman’s eyes. She kept thinking of her own son, Paul, now serving his time in the Air Force. Maybe Paul had known the despair she heard now in the stranger’s boyish voice.

“I don’t want to bother you, Mrs. Winterbauer. I wasn’t going to call. I put it off as long as I could. But Paul said if I was ever in Dallas. . . .”

She interrupted him, blinking her eyes and talking fast to push out of her mind any thought of her son ever sounding this lonely.

“You’re not bothering me one bit, young man. Of course I remember you. I’m mighty glad you called, and I know Paul would want you to come out and see his home.”

She didn’t remember him, but that didn’t matter. There were so many airmen in her son’s barracks when she last visited him at Lackland Base near San Antonio, that the names and introductions had been scrambled and lost in her joy at seeing Paul.

“I’d sure like to come out,” the boy said, shyly. “You see, I got transferred to Perrin Base at Sherman, Texas and then I got this leave. I didn’t know anybody, and didn’t have anywhere to go.”

“Is your home far away?” Mahala Winterbauer asked.

“My folks are dead,” he said.

That clinched it. Mrs. Winterbauer felt the tears filling her eyes again as she told him, “What you need is to meet some young folks, friends of Paul’s, and make a real vacation out of your leave. You check out of that hotel right now, and I’ll pick you up in my car. It’s a two tone Chevrolet. Now stand by the hotel door and wait for me. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

She was like a little girl who finds a lost kitten at her door. She knew a lot of it was her own loneliness. Paul’s enlistment and recent transfer to Korea had made her house empty. It’s hard to quit mothering somebody when you’ve done it so long. The death of her husband, retired police officer Edward Winterbauer, had added to her longing for someone to talk to and wait on, so that this call from her son’s friend was a little like having Paul home again.

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