JOSEPH "MOSE" FLANNERY was born in Pennsylvania in 1902 to James A. and Mary Flannery, both of whom were born in Ireland. He was the sixth child born to the couple, coming after John F., Thomas, Winifred, Mary, and James. Two more children, Catherine and Francis, came later. When the Census was taken in 1910 the Flannerys and their eight children lived at 436 Jackson Street. From 1914 through January of 1920 the Flannery family lived at 1712 Broadway in Camden's Eighth Ward, a half block north of the corner of Broadway and Ferry Avenue. Joseph Flannery attended Camden High School as a member of the Class of 1923, but dropped out after a year or two. In 1924 he married Anna Boggs. They had a son, but the marriage was a stormy one. The couple had separated by the summer of 1928. By that time he was living at 346 Jackson Street.
After World War I he became involved in organized crime in Camden and in politics in the Eighth Ward. "Mose" Flannery's involvement in politics began before he was old enough to vote. He was active as a Republican until the municipal election of 1927, when he backed the Non-Partisan slate, and aided several Democrats. During this election he came in conflict with Mikey Brown, who was the leader of the Republican party in the Eighth Ward. The two apparently mended fences after the election.
"Mose" Flannery's criminal activities seem to have centered around slot machines. He was arrested several times on a variety of charges, but never convicted of any offense. In January of 1928 he was held for a time as a material witness to the murder of Joseph Cimini at the Sixth Ward Republican Club at 908 Broadway.
"Mose" Flannery was mortally wounded out side the bar of James L. Hawkins at 101 Kaighn Avenue, shortly before 4:00 AM on September 18, 1928. He was taken to West Jersey Hospital, where he died that evening. Joseph "Mose" Flannery was survived by his wife Anna, his son, parents, and siblings.
In the wake of Flannery's murder, the slot machine issue was brought to the forefront. When Assistant County Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando and Camden County Chief of Detectives Lawrence Doran organized a series of raids to seize illegal slot machines, some of the raided sites had been tipped off. This would be a problem in Camden for several more years. There was political pressure on Orlando and County Prosecutor Ethan Wescott to to go easy on the slot machines, which did not help the situation. There would be problems of this nature within Camden's police department for several more years. Camden Commissioner and Director of Public Safety Dr. David S. Rhone received criticism for the situation, as did Chief of Police Lewis W. Stehr. There would be several shakeups within Camden's police department for several more years, due to problems of this nature.
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 27, 1927
|Camden Courier-Post * January 14, 1928|
|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 Evening Courier - January 17, 1928|
PLOT FADES AS MOTIVE BEHIND CLUBHOUSE KILLING
The suspected “love motive” in the Sixth Ward Republican Club slaying broke down today under the glaring light of investigation. It was the he second time within two that the investigation behind the killing of Joseph Cimini, otherwise Joseph Gannon, had been seemingly explained only to have the explanation rejected.
First, Camden city detectives had affirmed their
belief that the fatal shooting was the aftermath of a hold-up attempt by
"Mose" Flannery and Cimini. This theory went by the boards
when the statements of witnesses, taken by Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott
disclosed no hint that any such hold-tip had been attempted.
Then came the confident introduction by
authorities of the “love motive”. Charles “Chick” Hunt, former
South Camden pugilist and one of those present at the time of the
slaying. Mr. Hunt argued with Cimini over a girl the detectives hinted,
and this had precipitated the battle.
Woman Reverses Story
But today, from the Cupid’s bow lips at pretty Katherine Rosalie there issued a statement which wrecked the suspected love triangle in the case, so prominently put forward yesterday as “the real solution.”
"I never knew this Cimini,” declared Mrs. Rosalie.
‘‘I’m not Chick Hunt’s
girl’’ added the 22-year-old brunette who, up until that moment, had
been called “Chick’s sweetie” by investigators.
“I’m not anybody’s
girl,” she asserted positively, her dark eyes flashing in a manner that
proved to interviewers she certainly would encounter no difficulty in
attaining the status she so decisively denied.
It was yesterday, shortly after
Joseph Deven had been committed to jail without bail on a murder charge,
that Rosalie went to the County Courthouse and told her story to Assistant
Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow.
Immediately thereafter, County Solicitor Walter Keown, attorney for Deven, Hunt and two of the other witnesses who are ranged on the side of “Polack Joe” in the case, declared his belief “the shooting came as a result of a plot between Cimini and Rosalie, because Rosalie was jealous of Hunt”.
this version, Varbalow
announced that a search would be made for John
Rosalie, husband of the young woman who was called “Chick’s girl”.
The inferential theory, according to
Varbalow, was that Cimini was a
friend of Rosalie, and that he had taken up his friend’s cause by
calling Hunt to “shoot it out” A melee had ensued, according to this
theory in which Deven had taken Hunt’s side. Then, to continue this
line of deduction, Cimini had struck Deven with the butt of a gun and Deven
had fired another gun. killing Cimini.
of this may have been true, according to Mrs. Rosalie’s assertion. But
she does not believe that her husband’s jealousy, linked to his possible
acquaintance with Cimini, was the real cause of the shooting. She has
heard, she says, that Flannery
and Cimini used a previous argument with
her husband as “an excuse” to precipitate the argument which resulted
in Cimini’s death. But she believes that it was only an excuse.
the picture changes and, according to the latest theory, Flannery
Cimini entered the Sixth Ward Republican Club on Saturday and picked a
fight with Hunt— ostensibly because of the latter’s acquaintance with
Mrs. Rosalie, but actually because of previous ill-feeling between
“Mose” and “Chick.”
“I did not know either Flannery or Cimini,” Mr. Rosalie told the Evening Courier in an exclusive interview today, “In fact, I have never seen either of them and did not know who they were. It’s true that my husband and my brother-in-law, had an argument with Chick Hunt. I have known Hunt for only a short time. Since meeting him I have regarded him a. a personal friend, but I certainly do not like the imputation that I’m ‘Chick’s girl.’ I am not anybody’s girl.”
I read in the newspapers that they were looking for Chick Hunt’s girl,
however, I remembered the argument my husband and my brother-in-law had
with Hunt. I did not see how this could have any bearing on the shooting,
but I decided to go to the prosecutor’s office and tell them what I knew
in the event that it might be some help to them.”
of Old Feud
“I have read that, when Cimini and Flannery went into the club on Saturday morning, they started the trouble by claiming that Chick was crossing up a friend of theirs. I have heard it said they started the argument by recalling an argument between Chick and my husband.”
‘‘If they did this, it was without foundation, as far as I know. I believe that, if this Is what they did, they were merely using the argument between my husband and Chick as an excuse to get into a new argument with Hunt. In fact, I have heard that there had been ill feeling between Flannery and Chick long before I ever met Hunt.”
said Mrs. Rosalie, who lives at 311
Cooper Street, told him of the
jealousy which her husband bore toward Hunt. She and her husband have been
estranged for eight months, Varbalow
says she told him. For a little more
than two months, she has known Hunt. Some weeks ago, she underwent a blood
transfusion operation and, when her husband came to the hospital to visit
her, he found Hunt there. Later, Rosalie and Howard Churchill, his
brother-in-law, set upon Hunt outside Mrs. Rosalie’s former apartment at
and beat him, according to the statement Varbalow
says the girl made to
|Camden Evening Courier - January 18, 1928|
|Camden Evening Courier - January 18, 1928|
Jury Will Consider Slaying After Probe Ends
Although the Camden County grand jury went into
session this afternoon, he added, the case will not be presented to that
“We wish to present a
complete case to the grand jury,”
Varbalow said. “Obviously, we
are unable to do that at the present time. There are many ramifications.
All we have to present is the declaration of Joseph
Deven that he killed
Cimini and he did so in self-defense. We are investigating other
ramifications and are looking for John Rosalie, husband of the young woman
who came to us yesterday and told us of a quarrel between her husband and
Charles Hunt, one of the witnesses to the shooting”.
Statements made to Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott
by witnesses have not yet been
transcribed by the court stenographer, it was also stated. Joseph
“Mose” Flannery held as a material witness and
as an accessory before the crime, has made no statement.
|Camden Evening Courier - January 19, 1928|
Flannery Released On Bail
Joseph 'Mose' Flannery, declared by detectives to have precipitated the battle in the Sixth Ward Republican Club which resulted in the slaying of Joseph Cimini last Saturday, was released from the Camden county jail us afternoon under $5,000 bail.
attorney for Flannery walked into Camden Criminal Court with an order for Flannery’s
release, which was immediately signed by Judge Samuel M.
Shay. Bond was
furnished by Flannery’s
brother, James, who lives at 1123 Princess Avenue.
Flannery has been accused as an accessory to the murder of
Cimini by Joseph
“Polack Joe” Deven
and also as a material witness. He
was also charged with carrying concealed deadly weapons and with attempted
hold-up and with assault and battery with intent to kill, the latter
accusations coming in connection with two other cases. The bail bond
signed by Judge Shay covers all the charges.
Alone among those who were’ taken into custody
for the fatal shooting last Saturday morning, Flannery had refused to make any statement to detectives.
His replay to all questions has been “See my attorney Sam Orlando.”
Until today, however, it was not definitely known if Orlando
had been retained to represent Flannery.
Arrested with Flannery and accused on the same charges, Russell Sage,
taxicab driver, remains in jail as does Deven, the latter being held on a
murder charge. Other material witnesses to the shooting are out on bail of
The order for bail for Flannery, it was learned, was obtained from Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott
by the accused man’s brother. After his
clients release, Orlando
said he had “no comment to make on the case at the present time.”
|Camden Evening Courier - January 20, 1928|
PROMISES TO EXPLAIN SLAYING
With Joseph "Mose" Flannery at liberty under $3000 bail, a statement setting forth his part In the Sixth Ward Republican Club affray which resulted in the slaying of Joseph Cimini last Saturday, was promised today by his attorney, Samuel Orlando.
Orlando said he had not discussed the case fully
with Flannery, but expected to do so today. Flannery had no
statement to county detectives or to County Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott, although he is generally regarded as holding the
key top certain mysteries circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.
the text of statements made by other witnesses to the slaying were still
being awaited at the Camden courthouse. Copies of these statements were
promised to newspapermen early this week and on each day since. Today.
However, it was declared by William McDonald, court stenographer, that
transcription of the statements had “little more than begun”
and of Russell Sage, another witness to the shooting, leaves only Joseph
“Polack Joe” Deven in jail. He is awaiting grand jury action on a on a
charge of murdering Cimini, otherwise Joe Gannon, He has admitted the
shooting, according to Prosecutor Wescott, but claims that he fired in
self defense after Cimini struck him with the butt of a revolver.
in addition to being held as a material witness, was charged with being an
accessory to the crime, carrying concealed deadly weapons, attempted
robbery, threats to kill and assault and battery. The three latter
accusations were made in connection with other cases in which County
Detective Howard Smith brought in an Audubon policeman and a Kaighn
cafe proprietor who identified Flannery
as the man who had attempted to hold them up.
was similarly accused. Statements from witnesses of the Sixth Ward
Republican Club slaying are said to agree that Sage, a taxicab driver,
and Cimini to the clubhouse on the morning of the fatal shooting. Bail for
Sage was set at $2,000 and was furnished by Alfred
Schlorer*, a Camden meat packer.
Flannery’s $5,000 bail bond was furnished by his brother, James, who lives at 1123 Princess Avenue. Other material witnesses, including Charles “Chick” Hunt, who is declared by detectives to have been the intended victim of Flannery and Cimini when the entered the clubhouse, were at liberty under bail of $1,000 each.
fixed the bail bonds yesterday afternoon after Orlando had made
application. Judge Samuel M. Shay signed the orders for bail and the two
prisoners were immediately released.
“The $5000 bond was set because, of the charge of carrying concealed deadly weapons”, Wescott said later. “There exists no right to hold a material witness without bail, nor does sufficient evidence exist against Flannery in connection with this case to warrant refusing him bail. So far as Sage is concerned, he plays a very minor part in the case.
|Camden Courier-Post - January 25, 1928|
HUNT’S GIRL’ GONE
Back into the notice of Camden’s Police Court, but not into its courtroom, Katherine Rosalie came today.
attractive 23-year-old brunette ‘who was known as “Chick Hunt’s
girl” during the investigation of the Sixth Ward Republican Club
shooting affray & fortnight ago, was to have appeared before Judge Bernard
Bertman today to press charges against her husband, John Rosalie, 30
years old, of 1956 South Sixth street.
January 10, it was made known; Mrs. Rosalie swore out a warrant charging
her husband with threatening to kill her. Rosalie was arrested Monday
night by Patrolman John Hollowell and the case scheduled for a hearing
yesterday. Katherine didn’t appear and the case was postponed until
when the case was called Katherine was again absent from the courtroom
and Judge Bertman sent
Motorcycle Patrolman Heber McCord
to the apartment house at 311 Cooper street where the young woman
formerly had lived. The officer returned with the information that
Katherine had moved, no one at the apartment house knew where.
Accordingly Judge Bertman dismissed the complaint against Rosalie.
Camden Courier-Post - April 04, 1928
JOE OUT ON BAIL DESPITE MURDER CHARGE
Slayer in 6th Ward G.O.P. Club Fracas Released From Jail by Varbalow
JUDGE SHAY, WESCOTT NOT CONSULTED IN MOVE
Findings of Grand Jury Will Not be Returned Until Tomorrow
|Joseph "Mose" Flannery
M. Shay -
6th Ward Republican Club - Broadway - Kaighn Avenue
Charles "Chick" Hunt - "Polack Joe" Deven
James Lewis - Walter Keown - Walter T. Gross - Ed Powell
Camden Courier-Post - April 6, 1928
INDICTED BY GRAND JURORS IN FINAL PRESENTMENT
'Polack Joe' Deven Charged With Manslaughter in G.O.P. Club Slaying
'MODE FLANNERY' NAMED
|Joseph "Mose" Flannery
M. Shay -
Ward Republican Club
Joseph Cimini - Patrick Mulvihill - "Polack Joe" Deven
|Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928|
David Hunt -
Thomas Cheeseman - Walter Smith -
Rox Saponare -
|Camden Evening Courier - September 19, 1928|
Joseph Moll - James Bonner - William Bonner
Leslie James L. Hawkins Hotel Royal -
Walter Novak - Joseph Novak -
Garfield Del Duca
|Trentonn Evening Times - September 19, 1928|
|Samuel Katz - James Wallace - Joseph "Mose" Flannery - Naomi Carey - Jean Kenny|
|Camden Evening Courier - September 20, 1928|
|Click on Images to Enlarge|
|Camden Evening Courier - September 21, 1928|
|Click on Images to Enlarge|
|Camden Evening Courier - September 22, 1928|
|Click on Images to Enlarge|
|Click on Images to Enlarge|
September 26, 1928
David Rhone - Joseph
Lewis H. Stehr Jr. - Bernard Bertman -
David Baird Jr. - Winfield Price - Thomas Cheeseman
Westwood Perrine - Elizabeth Tiedeken - Anna Brennan
Walnut Street - Kaighn Avenue - Front Street
Club - Russell Sage - William Jones - Lillie R. Kelton - Bessie Kunitz
William Wescott - Bernice Branch - Mrs. F.L. Barber - David Rolle - Abbie Lewis
Mary Heake - Stella McGowan - Catherine LeSage - Michael Carrigan
Alva P. Joseph - Frank Doris - Clifford A. Baldwin - Joseph "Mose" Flannery
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