Month: August 2010

William Shovlin, “Drunk”, 10 Feb 1945

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William Shovlin had a little too much to drink one Friday after work and ended up sleeping in a cell instead of his bed. It was a bad start to his weekend, but some households in New Castle had worse ones, and all they did was open the door to the telegram delivery boy. That weekend in 1945, news came that Henry Mateja had been killed in the south Pacific; that Chester Glenn and Louis […]

John H Hutchison, “Forgery”, 19 April 1948

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A year of fighting Nazis in Europe earned John Hutchison a chestful of decorations: the ETO ribbon, the good conduct medal, a purple heart and cluster (he was injured twice), four battle stars and the Luxembourg citation. He came home to Oil City, Pennsylvania, a genuine American hero at the age of twenty-one, and proudly wore his uniform when he married his girl, Thelma, exactly six months and one day after Adolf Hitler shot himself […]

James Byers, “Rape”, 30 July 1951

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In July, 1951, James Byers escaped from the hospital in Ohio where he’d been sent after being badly injured during his arrest for rape, and the Youngstown police alerted nearby towns that he might be headed their way. On the last day of the month, residents of Cascade Street, on the eastern edge of New Castle, informed the police that a suspicious couple had “slept all night in the weeds” nearby. When Officers Bartoshek and […]

Frank Soda, “Adultery, Bastardy”, 5 March 1946

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In 1937, when he was eighteen, Frank Soda and a couple of his friends were arrested after a high-speed chase through Lancaster, Ohio, which started when they filled up their stolen car at a gas station and drove off without paying. The police shot out their tires. Frank‚Äôs friend, Pete Polinsky, threatened the police with a shotgun. They had only been trying to impress a girl who had accepted their offer of a ride. The […]