Month: November 2011

Ernest McDole, “Burglary”, 16 January 1941

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The police spent almost a week hiding upstairs in the grain storehouse on Hugh Martin’s farm, fifteen miles south of New Castle in Big Beaver township, in the hope that the thieves who had taken a hundred bushels of corn would return for more. It was the middle of January. Freezing mist filled the valleys. Deep snow covered the hills. The officers were not permitted to light a fire to warm themselves. On the fourth […]

Ad Hambrick, “Stopping Traffic”, 12 November 1933

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A Negro speakeasy on Mahoning avenue, run by a man known as Little Alabama, was raided by police in August 1933 in an effort to recover a fine watch that had been stolen from a white customer while he was spending time with a prostitute named Irene Smith. Eight people were arrested, including Ad Hambrick. All were released a few days later, having revealed nothing about the whereabouts of the watch, which was never recovered. Ad […]

Harold Geary, “Armed Robbery”, 2 February 1945

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A broken eardrum kept Harold Geary out of the war. His friend, Ross Paswell, had been sent home after having been found unsuitable for naval service. They robbed the Wilson café in Ellwood City at gunpoint in January, 1945. The $50 that they took from the till lasted them four days, at the end of which they and their girlfriends were arrested. The women were given short sentences in the workhouse; the men were sent […]

Ross Paswell, “High W Robbery”, 2 February 1945

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On 25th January 1945, when Ross Paswell’s former comrades in the American navy were firing thousands of shells into the hillsides of Iwo Jima, destroying Japanese installations that were blocking the advance of the marine corps in the early days of a battle that would end the lives of twenty-five thousand men, Ross, who had been found unsuitable for naval service the year before, was robbing a café in Ellwood City, along with a man […]