GEORGE A. WARD was born in New Jersey around 1887. He married his wife Della by 1902. He joined the Camden police department on August 3, 1917. By 1920 the Ward family was then renting a home at 810 St. John Street, with their sons Vernon, Walter, and George M. Ward.
George A. Ward was promoted to detective January 1, 1927. He made sergeant on November 14, 1928 and lieutenant January 24, 1930.
By 1934 had served as commander of the First Police District, and had been in charge of police headquarters on the midnight to 8:00 A.M. shift. Dr. David Rhone, who was then the Director of Public Safety, placed George Ward in charge of the Detective Bureau of the Camden police department. Ward was a political ally of the Republican Rhone. When Detective William T. Feitz was murdered in the line of duty at a disorderly house in the 200 block of Sycamore Street, Lieutenant Ward was actively involved in the investigation. Dissatisfaction over his handling of the inquiry, however, eventually led to his replacement as Chief of Detectives.
When the Democrat Party took control of city government in August of 1935, Mary Walsh Kobus was made Director of Public Safety. George Ward was transferred and placed in charge of police headquarters.
George A. Ward was not listed in the 1936 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory or the 1947 Camden City Directory.
JANUARY 21, 1922
B. Kates - Walter Keown - George
Ward - Howard Fisher
Anthony "Babe" Paradise - "Pye" Calletino
George Murry - William Draper - Tony Latorre - Ira Hall
Harry "Dutch" Selby - Gus Davis - Albert "Salty" Cook - Ned Galvin - James Wilson
Sycamore Street - Pine Street - Rosetta Blue - Deena Howard
Camden Courier-Post - January 2, 1928
PARADISE ADMITS HE IS NARCOTIC KING
after a lengthy investigation, Anthony ‘Babe’ Paradise, of Camden
has confessed to being the head of a narcotic ring operating throughout
South Jersey, it was declared yesterday by Captain John
Golden, head of the city detective bureau.
also admitted that he is a drug addict, Golden
said, making the fact known when he became ill in his cell at the city
jail and calling for Dr. W.G. Bailey, who has been treating him for the
With three other men, who are accused as accomplices, Paradise is being held for a preliminary hearing in Police Court tomorrow morning. The four men, Golden said, will probably be held without bail pending grand jury action and be committed to the Camden County Jail. At the jail, detainers will be lodged against the quartette by Federal narcotics agents, who co-operated with city and county authorities in the investigation, which resulted in the arrests.
declared that city detectives had purchased more than $500 worth of
drugs from Paradise and his agents, in obtaining evidence against the
ring, which authorities said reaches into Atlantic City and other South
Jersey communities as well as Camden.
The three men arrested with Paradise are James Mucci, 18 years old, of 324 Stevens Street, Rocco DeCord, 21 years old, of 221 Spruce Street, and Andrew Hill, of Locust Street, near Kaighn Avenue. According to the detectives, the base of operations of the “ring” was in the Third Ward. Mucci and DeCord were arrested in a barbershop at Third and Locust streets, three blocks from the Wiley M. E. Church where the pastor, Rev. John S. Hackett, recently exposed vice conditions existing in the Third ward and assailed the Department Public Safety for laxity. The arrest of Paradise and the others is believed to be a result of the result of the clergyman’s scathing sermons.
Paradise and Hill were arrested several hours before the other two men. Fearing that they get word to other members of the “ring” police took the two men to Merchantville police headquarters, where Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow and Chief County Detective Lawrence T. Doran were waiting. Statements were obtained from the two, and meanwhile Mucci and DeCord were taken into custody. Paradise, who is 34 years old, served a year In State Prison five years ago for selling narcotics.
George Ward, Louis
Shaw, and Thomas Cheeseman, of the city, and M.H.
Shapiro and J.H. McFadden, of the federal office in Philadelphia,
arranged the purchase of a ‘deck” of heroin from Paradise, and
‘caught him with the goods’ when
he met them at Nineteenth Street and River Road, near his, home at 927
North Nineteenth Street.
Paradise was in his expensive automobile when arrested. It was the machine he had used to distribute narcotics to his agents and addicts during the past few years, the detectives said.
of dope which sold for $1.50 each, police said, were placed in
the automobile which was driven to a certain point as prearranged, and
then Paradise would leave it parked, the detcrt1ves said.
At a stated hour an agent or addict would approach the machine, take the “dope” inside, and leave money as payment. Paradise would return and collect the money received, it was said.
That the ring extended to Philadelphia, New York, and other large Eastern cities was indicated by the many times the automobile was parked at Camden bridge plaza for hours, when exchanges would be made, the detectives said.
Camden Courier-Post - January 7, 1928
CLERK HELD IN ROBBERY OF STORE
Climbing to the roof of a shed in the rear of the Greenetz & Pellicoff jewelry store, 833 Broadway, burglars entered the shop early today and carried away $2,000 in loot.
noon today, Joseph Shapiro, 29 years old, 215 South Fifth
clerk in the store, was being grilled by Detectives George
Ward and Thomas
Cheeseman, after being booked at police headquarters
as having been arrested “on suspicion.”
29 four suspected robbers were captured by police only a few minutes
after they had smashed the plate glass window and snatched a tray of
jewels at the same store.
John McTaggert reported the burglary this morning. He is the brother of
McTaggert, who participated in the capture of the four
suspects last August.
in the loot of the burglars this morning were 35 watches left at the
shop by their owners for repairs. At the shop it was said the owners of
the watches would be reimbursed. Other articles stolen included 26
bracelets, 12 diamond bar pins, 15 pair of earrings, three fountain pen
sets, and six strings of beads.
7:30 this morning, Patrolman McTaggert noticed several men standing in
front of the jewelry store. He learned that they had just discovered an
open window and, investigating, found the shop had been robbed.
watches and other articles of jewelry were taken from trays and
showcases. A safe in the store was left untouched.
building next to the jewelry store at 831 Broadway
is unoccupied and it
was through this structure that the burglars entered. They climbed to
the roof of a shed at the rear, entered a second story window and
followed a corridor to an inner door of the jewelry store, forced open
the door, and entered.
capture of the four men at the store more than four months ago resulted
in commendation from Chief James E. Tatem for the three officers who
participated. With Policeman Edward Smith and Frank
James McTaggert took the four men at revolver’s point. The men
arrested at that time, still awaiting trial, are James Toner, 54 years
old, 1204 Vine Street, Philadelphia; Mervin Campbell, 24 years old, 2309
Carlisle Street; James J. Kelly, 25 years old, 2121 Brandywine Street;
and Frank MacCrossan, 33 years old, of 1328 Pearl Street.
CAMDEN COURIER-POST - January 12, 1928
FLAM ARTISTS GET 2 MONTHS FOR ENVELOPE GAME TRY
Two “flim-flam artists” who tried to work the
“envelope game” on a South Camden contractor late yesterday on Broadway
and were caught a few minutes later after a long chase in which
police and pedestrians took part, were sentenced to two months in county
jail by Judge Bernard
Bertman in police court yesterday.
The pair gave their names as William Gans, 32 years old, Glassboro Lawns, Glassboro, and Clarence Johnson, 52 years old, Washington. Their intended victim was George Bowyer, 129 Boyer’s Court, who testified against them in court.
City Detective George Ward told the court that Gans had a police record in Philadelphia.
Johnson, before he was sentenced, said he had tried to work the
confidence game on a number of people, but that it had seldom worked.
He gave up attempts to fleece gullible people of their money, he added,
but had been driven back to that occupation because he was out of work.
Here is the story of their activity yesterday, as
told in court today:
Picks Up Envelope
As Johnson talked with
the contractor, his alleged accomplice walked by. Stooping nearby, he
picked up a small brown paper envelope of the portfolio type. As he
looked into it, Johnson and the
contractor walked over. From within the envelope, which police said
Gans bad dropped and merely picked up to attract attention of the two
men, Gans took a “decoy” hundred do1lar bill, according to the story
the contractor later told detectives.
Only the figures on the “bill” were visible. The Johnson on acting as though he had not known Gans, decided he wanted a share in the “find”; the contractor’s story went. Gans acceded and both men then tried to learn “how much money” the contractor had in his possession, the latter told police.
money, together with the “find”, was to be divided evenly between the three, the men aid. The contractor, becoming
suspicious, called to Alfred Trusty and James Gaskins, policemen, who were passing by.
Starts To Run
As the prisoners realized their ‘game” was known, Johnson broke from the grasp of the policemen. He dodged through a gathering crowd and ran east on Kaighn Avenue, Gaskins, in pursuit. He was caught near Seventh Street.
When the victim turned over his money and the
“split” was made, a white envelope, supposed to contain money, would
be handed to the “lucky participant” in the find. The “finder”
and his aide would disappear. Then the envelope would be found to
contain nothing but a few worthless papers, the detectives said.
Gans was arrested in Philadelphia about five
months ago for “working” the “flim-flam game,” Ward said. He
also served time in Goldsboro, N. C., for carrying concealed deadly
weapons, the detectives said.
Both prisoners are colored and are said to have mulcted only colored persons. Several complaints had been received about their activities, Ward said. Last week a man reported losing more than $80 in a similar “exchange.” Names of complainant, were withheld to prevent embarrassment, detectives said.
|Camden Evening Courier - January 16, 1928|
MOTIVE AT G.O.P. CLUB SPLITS SLEUTHS
With city and county authorities definitely divided on the motive and circumstance if the Sixth Ward Republican Club slaying, Joseph "Polack Joe" Deven was arraigned in Camden police court today and held without bail on a murder charge.
Through County Solicitor Walter Keown, retained as his attorney, Deven waived a police court hearing and was held to await grand jury action in the slaying of Joseph Cimini, Philadelphia gangster, at the political club early Saturday morning.
At the same time County Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott announced his operatives had abandoned the theory Cimini was killed as the aftermath of an attempted hold-up, and were concentrating their investigation in the case on an effort to "find the woman'.
Statements of witnesses to the fatal shooting, the prosecutor added, made no mention of a hold-up, but contained the declaration that Cimini had been shot as a result of a feud with Charles "Chick" Hunt, former South Camden pugilist, concerning the affection of "Chick's girl".
Police Claim Holdup
On the other hand, Captain John Golden, chief of the city detective bureau, declared he was unable to recall any mention of a girl in the statements obtained from witnesses, and added emphatically that his department still held the shooting had followed an attempted holdup of the club by Cimini and Joseph 'Mose’ Flannery.
After Deven had appeared in Police Court today, Flannery was arraigned as a material witness and as an accessory to the crime, with an additional charge accusing him of carrying concealed deadly weapons. Similar charges were made against Russell Sage, a taxicab driver, who arrived at the club with Flannery and Cimini early Saturday morning. These two were committed to the county jail without any bail by Judge Bernard Bertman.
Hunt, however, was released under $1,000 bail as was Martin O'Brien, 27 years old, a former New Jersey State Trooper, and Harry Waterhouse, 28 years old, 1102 Marion street.
Three Others Arrested
During the day the police continued to build up their case against Flannery by arraigning him on the charges made by Milton Feinstein and Henry Mehrer. The also arrested Joseph Genther, 29 years old, 414 Atlantic Avenue; Robert Wolfe, 21 years old, 1106 Mechanic Street, and Eli Conaghy, 27 years old, 814 South 6th Street. Wolfe, who is Flannery's brother-in-law, and Genther were held "on suspicion" of having been with "Mose" at the time the latter is declared to have attacked and attempted to rob Mehrer, an Audubon policeman, outside the Ringside Inn, on the Black Horse Pike.
Conaghy, Flannery and Sage were arraigned and held without bail on charges of threatening to kill Feinstein and of carrying concealed deadly weapons. Feinstein declares these three with Cimini, the slain man, entered his cafe on January 2 and attempted to hold him up, threatening to kill him if he refused to “come across”. When he defied them by telling them to “go ahead and shoot”, Feinstein says, they departed.
Two Others Released
Two other men who were questioned in connection with the murder case were in court this man but neither was held. They are Newton Blanchard, 923 St. John Street, a former boxing referee and alleged “stick man” at the crap game declared to have been in progress at the club before the shooting, and Michael Dandrea, 26 years old, of 1657 Norris Street. Both men had been released after questioning on Saturday. Police say they are the men who told police that trouble was imminent at the club and that “Flannery and another fellow are trying to stick up a bunch of other fellows.”
The city police hold-up theory was further attacked today by Francis J. McCarthy, a Philadelphian, who arrived before noon at the county prosecutor’s office and said he would co-operate with the authorities. He wishes to clear the dead man, he said, of the stigma of suspicion that he was slain while engaged in an attempted robbery.
Hearing in Police Court was brief. There was no testimony and Keown merely announced Deven would waive a hearing. Appearing also as attorney for Hunt, O’Brien, and Waterhouse, he said the other three men were “present at the unfortunate shooting” and thus should be held as material witnesses. He added the prosecutor’s office had permitted the release of the three under $1,000 bail each and requested Judge Bertman follow suit. The court acceded to this request but stipulated that new bail must be provided. The three men were freed shortly afterward when the bond was furnished by James Louis, 603 Kaighn Avenue, who had provided the bail yesterday in the prosecutor’s office.
Despite the declaration by two Camden district detectives who were present at the time and who said there was no evidence that gambling was in progress at the club, county detectives disclosed today that statements of the shooting contained the assertion that the men had gathered for a crap game.
These witnesses also declared the fatal shooting resulted from an argument over a woman for whose attention Cimini and Hunt were rivals.
In circles where the leading figures in the shooting move, it was freely predicted things would be fixed up for Deven and that Flannery, political worker and supposed gangster, was to be "made the goat".
Flannery is blamed by the city police for precipitating the battle. he has also been identified, according to County Detective Howard Smith, as one of the men who beat and robbed Henry Mehrer, an Audubon policeman, outside the Ringside Inn on the Black Horse Pike a fortnight ago. In addition, he is charges with attempting to hold up Milton Feinstein, cafe proprietor, 508 Kaighn Avenue. Cimini and Sage were also identified by Feinstein, according to Detective Smith.
According to the version of Cimini's death given in statements by witnesses to county detectives, "Chick" Hunt might have been the victim of the slaying had it not been for Deven's interference.
Gamble Over Affections
Like actors in a carefully-rehearsed drama, the various witnesses to the shooting made their statements nearly twelve hours after the shooting and, both city and county detectives say they agreed in all important aspects. Prosecutor Wescott declared, however, that no mention of an attempted hold-up was made despite the fact that City Detectives Clarence Arthur and Clarence Bunker- before whose eyes Cimini was shot down- stated Flannery and Cimini were holding the other men at bay when the detectives entered the room.
Instead, the statements of the witnesses described the scene as a dramatic gamble, with death as the stake, over the affections of a woman beloved by both Cimini and Hunt. This woman, who is married and estranged from her husband, is being sought today, Prosecutor Wescott said. According to detectives, Hunt was severely beaten last Wednesday night in a downtown gambling place by members of Cimini’s gang. Cimini, known also as Joseph Gannon, was a brother of William Cimini, a pugilist known in the ring as Billy Gannon.
The stories told by the witnesses place Hunt as one of the players in the crap game which was in progress at the club on Saturday morning. Deven was at the window, looking out, according to the witnesses, when he saw a taxicab draw up in front of the building. Flannery, Cimini and Sage descended and entered the club, it was declared.
“Here comes Mose, Chick, with that guy what’s gunnin’ for you” Deven is declared to have shouted.
A dozen gamesters fled from the room. “Chick” and a few of his friends held their ground and were waiting when the trio entered. Cimini, it is stated, walked over to Hunt.
“I told you,” he said with a sneer, “to stay away from that dame. She’s my girl. You were warned and sow you gotta take your medicine..”
Hunt said nothing.
Flannery drew from his pockets two automatics and flung them on the green-topped table, the stories go.
“C’mon, Chick,” he said. Don’t be yella. He toldja about the broad and he toldja what he’d do. Take your gun and shoot it out.”
“I don’t want none of that stuff, Mose,” he pleaded. He eyed Cimini carefully as the latter held one hand on the butt of a pistol which protruded from his belt.
Hunt made no careless movements toward the pistols on the table. Then Deven is declared to have interfered.
“None of that stuff, Mose” he said warningly. “Who’s this guy to come here making trouble? He’s no member, is he?”
Cimini moved quickly, the witnesses say. With an upward flip of his hand he brought the barrel of the automatic sharply against Deven’s chin. The latter lurched forward snatching one of the pistol from the table.
The weapon was discharged, the bullet tearing through Cimini’s heart. He died instantly.
Released from Lakeland
The detectives found Deven cringing with fear under the table, the weapon still in his hand. Four other pistols were picked up in different parts of the room.
Deven was identified as a lovesick husband who appeared in the prosecutor’s office several month’s ago and asked to be “put away”. His wife had left him, he said, and he was afraid he might harm someone.
He was committed to the asylum at Lakeland. When or how he was released is a mystery. Lakeland officials said they had no record of him. Deven once shot himself in a suicide attempt police say, in grief over estrangement from his wife.
Gangdom’s prevailing opinion is that Flannery is “in” for it. Attempts and threats against the blond gangster’s life have furnished many lurid tales for the habitués of downtown hangouts.
Further, Flannery has made many bitter enemies through his political activities. In the last election he worked as a Democrat against “Mikey” Brown in the Eighth Ward. His overbearing tactics and bravado among the other downtown characters has increased the feeling against him, it is said.
Thus far, he has succeeded in keeping out of the toils for any length of time. His police record includes arrests for rum-sunning, carrying concealed weapons, alleged ballot frauds and attempted murder. His most recent arrest came in Philadelphia when he figured in a pistol battle in which a man was slain.
Camden Courier-Post - January 16, 1928
Storekeeper Is Knocked Down by Two Bandits Who Empty Cash Register
Entering a grocery store at Van Hook and
Streetts under the pretense of being customers, two men knocked Mrs. Mary
Maska, the proprietor, to the floor this morning an robbed the cash
register of $162.
Recovering from the blow, delivered by one of the
pair, the woman telephoned police, who immediately set up guards at the
entrance to the bridge and at the ferry terminals, apparently in the
belief that the thugs were from Philadelphia.
The men were described by Mrs. Maska as colored,
both small in stature. One was shabbily dressed, wearing a torn
overcoat, she said. The other was neatly garbed. Both wore caps.
The robbery occurred at 9 o’clock this morning
and a1thougth Mrs. Maska screamed for help after the men had fled, no
help came City Detectives George
Ward and Thomas Cheeseman arrived at the scene in response to her
call to police headquarters.
The men entered the store; where Mrs. Maska was
alone and one tendered her a quarter in supposed payment for a small
quantity of bologna. This was done, detective. Believe, in order to give
the men an opportunity to see the contents of the cash drawer in the
cash register. In ringing up the quarter, Mrs. Maska revealed that there
was a quantity of paper money in this drawer.
The second of the bandits then asked for a cigar
and Mrs. Maska left the cash register for another part of the store. As
she did so, one of the men struck her on the head and then looted the
bottles of pre-war liquor were among the loot taken by burglars who
broke Into the home of William Bonstedt, 510 Clinton
Street, during the absence of the family over the weekend. In
addition to the liquor, the thieves got several
articles of jewelry and #20 in cash. The robbery was discovered
when the family returned from the seashore last night.
also discovered that the home of Wilfred
Kaighn, 567 Benson
Street, had been
entered and ransacked during the family’s absence at Pittsburgh.
Until Kaighn returns, it
will be impossible to determine how much loot was taken, detectives
O’Donnell, 31 years old, 545 Penn
Street, was arrested yesterday after
he was seen breaking into a tool house at Baird and Crescent Boulevards.
When O’Donnell was arrested by George Zeitz, a patrolman, he was found to have in his possession a sweater he had taken from the shed which contained supplies from a building operation nearby. A companion with O’Donnell escaped according to Zeitz.
Camden Courier-Post - January 25, 1928
SNIPER SHOOTS AT BUS, FELLS COP AT BRIDGE PLAZA
Probing a mystery that sounds more like fantastic fiction than serious fact, police of Camden and officials of the Camden Bridge today were conducting a vigorous hunt for a “phantom sniper.”
After four vehicles had been
fired upon during the last month on or near the Federal Street Bridge
across Crescent Boulevard, a mysterious bullet or other missile
penetrated the windshield of a Pennsylvania bus on the Camden Bridge and
spurred authorities into action.
Then at 4:30 o’clock this morning, Bridge Policeman John J. Rodgers was twice fired upon on the span. The second time, he was struck between the shoulders, spun around and knocked down.
Blue Marble Found
The missile that struck him, found a few moments later, was a blue marble. It furnished the first clue to the “phantom sniper” that police have obtained. Apparently it was fired from a powerful slingshot or an air gun, so powerful in fact that it struck Rogers with almost bullet-like force although it must have been fired from a distance of nearly a hundred yards.
Police were unanimous in
the opinion that the missile which penetrated the window of the bus on
the span yesterday was no such marble, but a bullet. They added,
however, that there was a possibility that it might have been a steel
ball bearing discharged from an air gun or slingshot such as that which
was used in sniping upon Rogers.
It was learned from an
official source this afternoon that bridge police will question
a15-year-old boy. It was said that he lives 150 feet of the spot where
the gun was fired upon yesterday.
The boy and his father
are said to occupy the third floor of a rooming house on North Fourth
Street. Police have no evidence that this boy fired the shot or marble
that struck Rogers, but they decided to question him on ownership of a
rifle or slingshot.
Meanwhile it was revealed that still another incident in which the “phantom sniper” had appeared had taken place last night when a Philadelphia-Pennsauken bus was fired upon near the Federal Street Bridge.
the same time bridge officials disclosed that police on the span have
been bothered for the past three months by the fact that the sniper has
been shooting out electric lights
and theorizing over the peculiar incidents ran riot among the police who
are investigating them today. Although the slingshot or air gun theory
was given considerable credence by Rogers’ extraordinary experience,
other officers insisted that no instrument of this nature would
discharge a bullet, ball bearing or other metal missile with sufficient
force to bore through the windshields of buses and automobiles which
have been fired on by the “phantom sniper.”
was November 21 that the sniper- if he is the same who has now taken the
Camden bridge as his basis of operations- first came into public notice.
Former State Senator Albert
S. Woodruff was fired upon from an automobile which his car was
following across the Federal Street Bridge at the time.
Hear Report of Gun
On that occasion, however, the report of a gun was heard by Woodruff, whereas, in subsequent incidents, none of the near victims of the shots have heard any sound. This also strengthens the theory of the existence of air gun or other instrument more powerful than any known to police. If the missiles which have struck other automobiles were bullets, however, it is pointed out that they may have been fired from a rifle or revolver equipped with a silencer.
the Woodruff incident, a
Riverton family has been fired upon, another automobile windshield has
been penetrated, apparently by a bullet while crossing Federal Street
bridge and on Sunday night, Mrs. A. D. Kohn, 319 Evans Street,
Haddonfield, was cut by flying glass when her car was made the target of
the member of the Camden bridge police force who was struck by the blue
marble early this morning; was standing on the bridge about 10 feet from
the point at which the Pennjersey bus was hit by the sniper yesterday.
As he leaned over to inspect a portion of the roadway, something
whistled over his head and hit the railing. Hi straightened up and found
on the steel railing, the spot at which the missile had struck. The
paint had been chipped off and the metal dented as though by a bullet.
A moment, later, he had turned toward the south when he was struck between the shoulders by the marble. With such force did the little round object hit him that it wheeled him around as would a bullet and felled him. Although he wore a heavy overcoat, a leather jerkin and thick underwear, the missile left a severe bruise at the spot where it struck him.
on his feet, Rogers saw the object which had hit him rolling away. He
picked it up. It was the blue marble.
house-to-house canvas of all dwellings in the neighborhood from the
roofs or windows of which the missile might conceivably have been
discharged was being conducted today by four bridge policemen. The
search was begun after Joseph Costello, superintendent of the bridge,
and Captain Alfred Souders, head of the bridge police, had conducted a
conference attended by all the span officers.
mysterious incident on the Camden bridge occurred as the Penn-jersey bus
bound for Pennsauken from Philadelphia with seven passengers aboard
was rolling down the incline of the bridge towards the toll booths at
Five of the passengers were women and two were
middle-aged men. The driver was Franklin Copeland, 29 years old, of 244
South Fifty-fourth Street, Philadelphia.
The bus passed George Clarke a bridge patrolman,
at a point about 173 yards from the end of the incline, and perhaps 225
from the tollbooths. The policemen and the bus driver are well
The driver waved, and the policeman, making a megaphone of his hands yelled “Howdy, Fats.”
Passengers In Uproar
The next instant Copeland heard a sudden buzz and
then as if by magic a small hole appeared in the glass before his face.
Tiny bits of glass fell upon him.
He yanked on the brakes. Passengers were half
thrown from their seats and cried out to know what was wrong.
Clarke came running over. He saw the small hole at
once, and instantly scanned the bridge walk to find the source. There
was no one in sight but a little girl who strolled on.
The bus went on to Pennsauken and bridge patrolmen
took up the mystery. Four patrolled the walks, scanning the skyline on
either side to see from which houses a shot might have been fired.
Others searched the roadbed, seeking the bullet.
Detectives at Odds
The bus came back and a minute examination of it and the hole in the windshield began. When it was over investigators were divided between two theories and completely mystified.
The hole, the detectives said, seemed to have been made by a steel jacketed .22 caliber bullet. Some bridge policemen said it might have been from a .25 caliber automatic and some said it could have been a .22.
Copeland declared he was positive that there was
no automobile directly ahead of him on the bridge- that the nearest was
past the curve. No pedestrian except the little girl was in sight.
According to the detectives, it is out of reason
that the missile was fired from a house on the south side of the bridge.
The glass would have splintered because of the angle from which the
bullet would have entered, they declared.
That brought up the theory that the missile was fired from within the bus. Lieutenant Gregory Love, of the Bridge Police, suggested that a “crank” using a pistol equipped with a silencer might have fired the shot. A further search was made of the interior of the bus, and on the glass alongside the driver, near the partition at the back, was found a half-inch long scratch. No bullet or other missile was found.
The inside of the glass was chipped and the
outside smooth. Generally, detectives said, a bullet will chip at the
point of exit, not entrance.
Bridge Policemen John Batting, John Cox, John
Curry, and Sergeant Michael Bachmeyer, aiding in the investigation,
admitted themselves completely bewildered.
One Card Shy
Then the driver began looking among the cards
signed by his passengers as witnesses. He was one card shy.
“Do you know?” he said slowly, “I don’t
think that man gave me the card after all.”
When he found the card signed Mrs. Harriet Billingsley, 30 East Cedar Avenue, Merchantville he recalled that she had told him that a moment before the bus stopped she thought she saw a flash on her right- the south side.
Other women who gave their names were Eleanor Montgomery, 217 North Forty-seventh Street; Mrs. C. Schmidt and Mrs. T. Van Newkirk, both of 1110 North Twenty-sixth Street.
Police Drop Probe
Detectives George Ward
and Louis Shaw
said this afternoon that they would make no further investigation into
the incident of the motorbus on the Camden span yesterday. Both
declared they were convinced that a shot was fired from inside the bus.
“We are convinced that no sniper fired the shot that went through the windshield”, Ward said. “We believe the shot was fired inside the bus”.
were two men in the bus at the time the bullet went through the glass.
These men refused to give their names to the driver of the bus. Bridge
police were on the job but I believe that it they had searched these two
men they would have found a .25 revolver on one of them”.
of these men sat directly behind the driver. There are marks on the
woodwork there to show where the man rubbed the revolver when he put it
beside the driver’s face and fired the bullet through he glass.”
The glass was shattered on the inside which shows that the bullet was
fired from the inside. If the bullet had entered from the outside the
glass on the outside would have been shattered”, Ward
of the bridge police- former service men and experts on firearms-
discredited the theory of the two city detectives. They declared that
the city detectives were wrong in the matter of the shattered glass and
that the conditions would be just the reverse.
Bridge Patrolman Crane, who was standing near the bus when the shot was fired, declared today that the driver of the bus asserted he heard no report of a pistol. If the pistol had been fired near his head, he naturally would have heard it, Crane said..
|Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928|
David Hunt -
Thomas Cheeseman - Walter Smith -
Rox Saponare -
Camden Courier-Post * May 18, 1929
Andrew Kelly - Edward Kelly -
|Camden Courier-Post * April 9, 1930|
Camden Evening Courier - December 3, 1930
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
Camden Courier-Post * December 12, 1930
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
|Charles V. Dickinson - Dr. David S. Rhone - George Ward|
Camden Evening Courier - December 13, 1930
T. Doran - Charles
V. Dickinson - Clifford A.
Baldwin - Walter
August 14, 1931
Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1931
Camden Courier-Post - March 9, 1932
"They are in there- dead"
That shrill scream from the chilled lips of a relative of two men trapped in the steel tomb of the purifying box at the Public Service gas plant at Locust and Cherry Streets today almost started a panic among l,000 persons, gathered at the scene a few minutes after a mysterious explosion snuffed out the lives of more than a dozen men.
The cry of horror and grief was taken up by others as they pressed against the woven wire fence about the company s property. Panic was averted by the policemen and firemen who had reached the scene a few minutes after the blast.
The excitement started when Frank Pizzatilla, of Walnut Street near Third, climbed up the narrow steel stairway that led to the top of the purifying box and looked upon a scene of horror within the square steel tomb.
Pizzatilla, who had rushed to the plant with several hundred others when word of the tragedy spread, said he recognized the seared bodies of his father and father-in-law in the seething mass below.
He started to walk down the narrow, steel stairway that formed the only means of reaching the lone entrance to the purifying box. Below the hundreds of relatives and friends of the doomed men watched him with anxiety.
“In There Dead”
are in there- dead,” he screamed.
fell in a faint and
but for a
fireman, Pizzatilla would have toppled to the ground, fully 20 feet below.
Other firemen and policemen rushed up the narrow stairway and carried
As his inert body was being carried toward an ambulance, cries of bitter hatred were heard. They came from a relative of another victim. He shouted vile curses upon the officials of the company, upon the firemen and upon the policemen. He called them murderers. He yelled for a revolver, shouting that he would avenge the death of the trapped men.
him gathered a number of persons, most of them of foreign extraction, or
colored, for the majority of the victims were colored, The situation became
Every policeman and fireman who could be spared from the gruesome work of trying to reach the entombed bodies rushed the crowd. Lieutenant George Ward and several policemen grabbed a heavy, long rope from one of the nearby fire wagons.
the rope was stretched across Locust Street at the intersection and a tug of
war started, with the crowd surging against the rope and policemen and firemen
pulling at both ends, sweeping them backward into Locust Street.
the crowd under control, the police began to search for the man, whose cries
for revenge had started the hundreds milling around in groups, but he had
disappeared in the crowd.
Then Locust Street below Cherry was roped off with little difficulty and a line of policemen took their positions across Cherry Street between the two gas tanks that stand on the northeast and southeast corners. People who attempted to reach the plant were turned back.
use going any farther," the policemen would tell each person who tried to
get up closer. "All the men in
are dead and there is nothing anyone can do except remove the bodies when the
tank is cooled down.
These words seemed to have a quieting effect upon the hundreds that had tried to rush the police lines. Gradually the people left for their homes An hour after the blast there was less than 100 spectators at the scene.
Camden Courier-Post - March 28, 1932
PARTY RAIDED, WOMAN ASKS PROBE
Complaint against policemen who raided her home early yesterday and arrested four women and eight men participating in a party there will be made today by Mrs. Velda Mosely, 23, of 521 North Third street.
The woman charges the police had no right to stage the raid without a complaint or warrant. Her husband, Robert Mosely, 26, still is being detained at police headquarters in lieu of $100 security wanted to assure police of his appearance at a hearing today.
A Camden policeman and the son of another policeman were included among those arrested. Two of the other women were married and were accompanied to the party by their husbands, while a fourth woman was accompanied by her fiance.
At police headquarters those arrested were booked under the "disorderly act," of Section 422, City Ordinances, which prohibits the congregating of disorderly persons.
Raid Puzzles Woman
"I can't understand why the raid was staged," Mrs. Mosely said last night. "We were all bundled into the patrol wagon and taken to city hall after Lieutenant Ward and another officer had knocked on our door at 1 o'clock,
"At that time I asked Lieutenant Ward to come into the house and inspect the place. He refused to do this and said ‘I’ll give you five minutes to get your hats and coats on and come out here,' He stood by the doorway all the time.”
“No liquor was seized because there was none there and furthermore no search was made to find any.”
"I asked my neighbors in the building this morning if they had made any complaint against us and they told me they had not. The caretaker of the apartment house told me we were making a little noise dancing and laughing but that he had received no complaint," Mrs. Mosely continued.
"I think the police made a mistake in arresting us. They could have told us to discontinue the party and we would have complied with their wishes. I intend to enter a formal complaint against Lieutenant Ward with his superiors tomorrow.”
Cop Gets Patrol Ride
The patrolman arrested was Edward Wright, attached to the First District under Ward, Herbert Bott Jr., son at Patrolman Herbert Bott, of the Third District, also was taken, Both were made to ride in the patrol and booked at police headquarters.
Others arrested were: John Olsen, 26, of 950 North Twenty-seventh Street and his wife, Eleanor, 19; Alda Prickett, 23, of 920 Fern street; Benjamin Harris, 27, of Sewell; William C. Grey, 38, of 519 North Third street, and Henry Ronson, 24, of 116 Elm street.
Nearly all of those arrested live in the neighborhood of the raid and have been friends for some time. Mrs. Mosely said, She said that three of the women work together at a local factory, two of whose husbands are out of work. All but Mosely were released in $10 security for the hearing.
Camden Courier-Post * March 28, 1932
Thomas Fleeyne, 54, of 515 Taylor Avenue, who was arrested when police raided his home, was sent to jail for 50 days in default of a $50 line Saturday by Police Judge Pancoast. Fleeyne entered a plea of guilty to permitting disorderly persons to congregate at his home. He said he had been without work since coming to Camden.
Fleeyne's wife, Margaret, 42, was unable to appear in court on account of illness, and her $25 bond was returned; Josephine Lorento, 30, of 350 Tree Street, Philadelphia, also held as a material witness, was freed when she said she had visited the house to see Mrs. Fleeyne,
Michael Bratses, 49, of 210 Market street, and Thomas Kretekos, 48, of 529 South Broad street, Philadelphia, were fined $25 each as inmates. John Kershaw, 32, of 515 Taylor Avenue, forfeited $25 bail when he failed to appear. The raid was made by Lieutenant George Ward, commander of the First district police, and Patrolman John Trout, on complaint made by Dominick Madden, 46, of 455 Haddon Avenue..
Camden Courier Post
Joseph Connors - Max Aronson -
Tony Miller - Leonard winner
Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1933
AND FIREMEN WILL ELECT TODAY
Camden Police and Firemen's Association will hold election of officers
today at its headquarters, 1175 Whitman
Avenue, from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Bott is unopposed for re-election as president. William
Thorn is unopposed to replace Richard Middleton for financial
secretary and Walter Vecander
is unopposed for the new post of assistant
financial secretary. All these are police officers.
The police trustees will be named from the following nine candidates: William Marter, George Ward, William Britner, Joseph Shreeve, William Schriber, Joseph Mardino, Joseph Dunnett, Leon Feltz and Russell Young. Two police sergeant-at-arms will be chosen from among Stanley Wirtz, Harry Cattell, Joseph Schultz and George Clayton.
Three candidates are seeking the post of vice president, which goes to a fireman. They are William Spencer, Charles Edwards and Albert Dukes. Warren Rich, a fireman, is slated to succeed himself as recording secretary and Winfield Leviseur is unopposed for the new post of assistant recording secretary, which goes to a fireman.
Four fireman trustees will be chosen from ten candidates. They are Charles Cook, Henry Baumgartel, Walter Eastlack, Arthur Batten, William Getner, William Toy, Lawrence Newton, James Young, Russell Anderson and William Taylor. Three firemen are seeking two posts as sergeants-at-arms. They are William Judge, John Mulligan and Furman Price.
Camden Courier-Post - February 10, 1933
CHOSEN HEAD OF POLICEMEN, FIREMEN
by the members for his splendid work in behalf of the club, Herbert
a patrolman attached to the
Third Police District, last night was re-elected president of the Camden
Police and Firemen's Association.
praise was heaped upon the patrolman following announcement that he had received 107 of 110 votes cast
in yesterday's balloting. He was unopposed
a three-cornered fight, William
a fireman, was elected vice president of the association. He received 73
His opponents were Charles Edwards, given 12 votes, and
Dukes, 18 votes. Both are firemen.
unopposed for office were: William
financial secretary; Walter Vecander, assistant financial secretary;
Warren Rich, recording secretary, and Winfield
recording secretary. The last two are firemen while the first two are
After the ballots had been counted William H. Iszard, former assemblyman, appeared on behalf of the Elks Crippled Kiddies Committee, and asked police to support the wrestling show to be staged by that group February 13..
Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1933
barefoot children and their parents who reached Camden tired and hungry
last night after 'two months' journey from California, were befriended
city police and firemen after two welfare organizations refused to
children, four girls and two boys ranging in ages from 3 to 13 years,
were found with their parents soaking wet in their truck which they had
parked in a shanty at Delaware avenue and Pearl Street.
Policeman Raymond Carson, who made the discovery, took the bedraggled
family to No.6 fire
house at Second and Elm
streets where Captain Saunders and other firemen cooked them a
substantial meal, the first they had tasted since 8 o'clock yesterday
morning when they were fed in Maryland.
to Carson the Salvation Army reported it had no room to shelter them,
while the Wiley Mission wouldn't take the children and told the father
it was too late at night to admit him."
family was then directed to police headquarters at the old city hall.
There Lieutenant George Ward
took up. a collection from the men sufficient to buy shoes for the
children and arranged for the entire family to sleep overnight In the
detention quarters on the third floor.
The family is en route to Paterson, home of' the children's grandfather. They left California March 28 in the hope the father .could obtain work in the east.
September 3, 1934
Evening Courier - September 4, 1934
HINTS SHAKEUP IN POLICE
AS RESULT OF DETECTIVE FEITZ MURDER
Mayor Stewart also disclosed that since his charge of laxity against the police department, he has been criticized by at least one city official- whose name he would not make public.
"I've been told that as head of the department of public safety I shouldn't make such a statement as I did yesterday because of the effect it would have on the morale of the department.
Well, I want it to be known that I am not guilty of shielding anyone in the operation of this disorderly house. I have a right to protect anyone in this violation of my orders and that is what I intend to do with my investigation.
September 10, 1934
Click on Image to Enlarge
Police officials at the funeral of Detective William T. Feitz Jr.. Left to right: Lt. Herbert Anderson, Chief Arthur Colsey, Lt. Ralph Bakley, E. Howard Broome, secretary to Mayor Roy R. Stewart, and Lt. George Ward.
BANDITS TO BE QUIZZED IN CHESTER ON FEITZ MURDER
Seven men and women held by Camden as police as material witnesses in the murder of Detective William T. Feitz two weeks ago in an alleged South Camden disorderly house will look over two men arrested in Chester PA after a store holdup here.
At the same time, Chief Doran disclosed that after a conference with Police Chief Arthur Colsey, orders were issued that every person arrested in Camden, whether the charge is trivial or serious, will be placed in a police "lineup" and the material witnesses will face them to see if any of Feitz's killers are among them.
Chief Doran was not sure whether the Camden County authorities would be able to bring the two robbery suspects to Camden because they are also wanted in Pennsylvania for almost a score of other holdups and burglaries.
Will Visit Chester
In the event that Chester authorities will not turn the two men over to Camden detectives, the witnesses will go to Chester to examine them, Chief Doran said.
Those held in Chester in connection with the holdup Wednesday night of the candy store of Michael Guzik at 1301 Sheridan Street identified themselves as Peter Muraska, 10, of 342 McDowell Street, and Ray Tuttle, 30, of 2529 West Ninth Street, both of Chester.
While neither Chief Doran nor Chief Colsey believe Muraska or Tuttle may be implicated in the murder of the detective because they are not known to be killers, both declared the suspects will be questioned as to their whereabouts at the time Feitz was shot to death.
"We are letting nothing slip through our fingers at this stage of the investigation" Chief Doran said. "There is a bare possibility that either of these two suspects may be implicated or have some knowledge that would be useful to us in solving this crime".
While negotiations were under way between Camden County authorities and Chester police to bring the suspects here, Chief Colsey was making inquiry into the actions of Patrolman William Brickner during the holdup.
Questioned by Colsey
Brickner was summoned to Chief Colsey's office at City Hall today to explain why he had rushed from his home at 1263 Chase Street to the scene of the holdup when told by neighbors that it was taking place and then gave his gun to his son Elmer so he could watch the place so he the policeman could telephone police headquarters for help.
According to Guzik, the proprietor of the store, the bandits were in his store 30 minutes. They locked the doors behind them and gagged Guzik and guarded his wife, Blanche, and her sister, Mary Pitura, 18.
The bandits broke open a trunk from which they took $100 in pennies, $30 in scrip, and $4 in silver. Guzik said the pennies represented his profit in a penny vending machine over a period of time.
It was while Guzik was left alone that he shouted from one of his windows and neighbors called Brickner who was at home and off duty. His son Elmer, fired one shot at the fleeing car before the patrolman came back from telephoning for help.
Several numbers of the license plates on the bandits car were covered with tape but one of the youngsters in the neighborhood succeeded in pushing aside the tape and getting the complete number which was turned over to police. Yesterday Detective Lieutenant Ward, accompanied by Detective Sergeant Gus Koerner and Detective Joseph Carpani went to Chester and made the arrests.
The car, which carried Pennsylvania tags, was listed in the name of Archie Hendrickson of Morton Avenue, Chester, police said.
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - AUGUST 3, 1935|
FORCE POLITICS BANNED COMMISSIONER KOBUS DECLARES
“I want 100% efficient police department and not a political machine.”
Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, new director of public safety, made that declaration yesterday afternoon at a joint police-press conference in her office at city hall before she was served with a writ restraining her from taking that office.
Commissioner Kobus was the kindly mother talking to her “boys” for the most of the conference- but at times she became the stern parent- with the birchrod in the cupboard- as she instructed the police heads to “divorce themselves from politics.”
“For many years I have nursed in my heart a desire to see Camden with a 100% efficient police department”, the commissioner said. “Now that time is at hand.”
“I have known all of you men for many years,” she told the assembled commanders, “and I don’t care what your respective political affiliations might be. You have a right to you opinions, but I want the police department to divorce itself from politics.
“You must know what is going on in your city and you must let me know. I
must have 100 percent cooperation if I am to succeed in this new
“If you have any complaints, don’t go around and growl, undermining the department. Lay your cards on the table, I guarantee you a fair deal.
“Chief Colsey is head of the police department and not in name only. You others in the rank you occupy are also commanders in fact and not in name. It is up to you.”
The commissioner urged a closer co-operation between police and the press and concluded by saying she wanted her “family” to be honest-to-goodness policemen “because there is no room in the department for those who are not.”
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - AUGUST 31, 1935|
GETS WARD'S JOB AS KOBUS ORDERS COP SHAKEUP
SHAW MADE ASSISTANT IN PLACE OF KOERNER
Detective Louis Shaw was made assistant to Johnson, replacing Detective Sergeant Gus Koerner. Koerner was transferred to the Second District, for radio car and street duty. The new order became effective at 4:00 PM yesterday
no other changes were made public, it is believed yesterday’s are a
forerunner of numerous shifts to be made today or early next week.’
“These changes are being made for the good of the service,” Commissioner Kobus declared. “There will be other transfers of officers and men so that all the police may familiarize themselves with all the branches of the department.”
Lieutenant Johnson was a appointed a policeman on January 1, 1910. After 10 years as a patrolman, he was promoted to a detective, where he made a splendid record. On November 28, 1928 he was made a sergeant, and again promoted on April 8, 1930, when he became a lieutenant.
Ward was appointed a policeman on August 2, 1917, promoted to detective January 1, 1927, sergeant November 14, 1928 and lieutenant on January 24, 1930.
Ward has been in and out of the detective bureau several times. He served for a time as the commander of the First District and later was ion charge of the police headquarters on the 12:00 midnight to 8:00 AM shift. He was a political lieutenant of former Public Safety Director David S. Rhone.
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - FEBRUARY 26, 1936|
ILLNESS CAUSES SHIFTS FOR POLICE OFFICIALS
Temporary changes in the police department to offset the absence of Lieutenant George Frost, head of the First District, who is ill, and Lieutenant George Ward, of headquarters, who is away on police business, were announced yesterday by Chief Arthur Colsey.
John Potter, of the Third District, is made acting lieutenant and placed
in charge of the First. Patrolman Louis Schmidt, of the Third, replaces
Potter as acting sergeant.
Gustav Koerner, of the
Second District, who has been working in plain clothes, Is to report in uniform.
Camden Courier-Post * February 12, 1938
TIPSY DRIVER CASES DRAW COURT'S
Police Judge Mariano gave notice yesterday that "unless a very good reason is advanced," there will be no more drunken driving cases postponed in Police Court.
He made that statement after telling Virgil Moffett, 47, of 303 North Forty-first street, that he was "very lucky" and that he would be "given the benefit of the doubt." He then dismissed a drunken driving complaint against, the man.
Moffett was arrested last Saturday night after a truck on which he was riding, and a car driven by Ernest Herman, 25, of 214 Byron street, were in collision at Fourth and Federal streets. The hearing scheduled for Monday, was postponed until today so that "additional witnesses" could be called.
Although Lieutenant George Ward testified that Moffett was drunk when brought into police headquarters, Sergeant James Wilson, who arrested Moffett, said he was not intoxicated, but had been drinking.
Moffett admitted driving the truck into the city and said he had a couple of drinks at a restaurant. He said that he did not want to drive back and that two men whom he met in the restaurant and whom he did not know offered to go along with him and drive the truck. The men were not with Moffett when he was arrested.
Herman said he didn't know who was driving the truck but that after the collision Moffett came over to him. He said he didn't know whether Moffet was drunk.
"I must dispose of these cases upon the evidence presented here under the law," Judge Mariano
declared. "I will dismiss the complaint. This will be the last drunken driving case that will be
postponed by me unless a very good reason is advanced."
Trenton Times * August 9,
Click on Image to Enlarge
|Mary Kobus - George Frost - Ralph Bakley - Walter Welch - George Ward - Arthur Colsey|
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