Clipped From Santa Cruz Evening News

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 - AUGUST 5, 1933 S 5 I , When, ttfo, nl: the...
AUGUST 5, 1933 S 5 I , When, ttfo, nl: the kidnapers of. Mary McElra mere, arraigned, after,- their, 'rest'. . Standing, milk bowed head; w the center, is Clarence Click . , . at " the: left Walter McGee. said, tu have been ringleader in. the plot. IDNAPING. for, tartsom i not; only the-meanest crime of allit i rapidly becoming one of the 'roost dangerous, and thing are, getting to tha( the pay i,iomething terrible. Tha seems to be the. mpraj to be drawn, frorn, the upshot of tome, of the most noted kjdnaping cases, of the past year. Chief, of- Detectives Thomas, j. Higgins. of.Kaiua.Gl)t, Ma, is. one law enforcement official whq says bluntly that the racket is gttting to be prejty toMgh. Hjggini. ought to, knq. It was he . wh,o supervised the running dpwn ofthe gangsters vAn Lirlnanw) MIm Marv McElrov. daush- ter of Citv Manaecr Henry F. McElrov of fv Kansas. City, this spring,! Threvof the four, kidnapers haye been caught, the fourth is a fugitive and a good part, of the., ransom money? they -collected, ha been recovered. And-; Mies, McElroy, of cpujrse,, i; backs home unbarmed Another law officer who can testify to the! same, effeci . Daniel Needham. state commissioner, qf public safety in-. Massa?. chosctts, , It, was under. Wfiedhara'a jupervisipn,, that, the kidnaping of little Peggy McMath wa solved with the conviction, of her, kidnaper and the recovery of all of the. ransom money that hadi been, paid ' ' .TVTOR; ve those, two case, exception, 4-1 Mrs. Nell Donnelly of. Kansa City . was kidnaped more than, a year , ago, and. held for. ransom. The police got on the trail so fast that, the kidnapers finally, let her. go free, unharmed, without even waiting to try. to collect the ransom they had demanded. Subsequently they were arrested and put. behind the bars. - . .hen there was Jackie.Thompson of Detroit, son of a well-to-do real' estate dealer. He waa held prisoner for several day, by gangsters, being released after $17,000 ransom, was paid A little later bis. three kidnaper were arrested and sent' to prison, and $5000 of' the ransom money was recovered. Somewhat similar was the case of Adolphus Busqh Orthwem of St. Louis, 1 3-year-qld grandson of August A. Busch. He, wa returned safely, after, hi kidnaper it seems to have been more cr les a one-man job had held, him only 20 hours. No ransom was paid, and the kidnaper wa arrested. Benjamin. P; Bower, Denver banker, wa kidnaped and held for $50,000 tansom last year, ljut was released wjthout any payment having been made. The leader of the gang thaf kidnaped him committed suicide, and three other member were arrested. , At about The. same time Gordpn, H. Sawyer, a bankexecu.tive of Tocson, .Arir.i was kidnaped and held for $60,000 ransom. He, too, Wa' released- wjthput anyN ransqrq being, paid, . arid one of the three men who abducted' him ' ha been arrested. X'. THE McMath ,case; in. Massachusetts at-., . tracted wide attention, . and, ended in a complete: defeat for. the kidnaper.. Peggy McMath wa the object of a nationwide search; until she was released after $60,-000 rapsom.mpney had beeri paid.- But a, very sliort. time, after, her release, lw.o brothers, Kenneth andjCyril Buck, wereunder arrest charged vim the, crime,' and all of. the $60,000. had been recovered.; Kenneth, was, found guilty, ' apo givn' 2l years: Cyril was acquitt,. . Ierhap the most significant of all of these cases, .because of the light it sheds qti the pitfall that beset the "kidnaper path. wa the kidnepipg of Mis McEIroyi " 1 On 'the morning of, flay 27 two masked men took. Miss., McElrpy from her.home and took her to place of seclusion where they, and : ;" : : r .-. SANTA if V 'Mia Mar McElroy, daughter of Kansas Cilxfs chief executive, vho Was released unharmed after her kidnapers got , $30,000 . . . rnpsf of which Bxjj recovered, when the, kidnapers were ar-, rested. their two accomplices kept her until her father had paid over the $30,000 they demanded. Within a few weeks three of the four men involved in the crime were under arrest, and a good share of the money had been recovered. Walter McGee and Clarence Click were seized within a comparatively short, time after the, girl's release. A few week later George NJcGee, Walter' brother, was arrested in Roanoke, Va., and returned to Kansas Gty. examination of the crime show how the. kidnaper themselves helped to bring about' thejr own downfall., , , There were several persons in tKe Kansas City underworld. Vvho Ars.' Nell without oseJ. knew, the minute word of the kidnaping was circulated, just who had pulled, the job. " ' ' "' " ' Before the kidnaping Walter McGee and Click had not only talked over bejween themselves and other, of the, "mob", their plans for the, kidnaping, but also had mentioned thejr plans to others not in the, ring. After the kidnaping they found it necessary to pay several of these pePJjle to keep quiet being threatened with exposure unles. they did so. But they didn't pay off enough people, apparently. At any rate it is pretty well known in Karuas City police, circles that one of the meK who had had advance knowledge, of. the . . ; ; . (Cot k Hi CSUZ NEWS, SANTA CKUZ, CALffOBNIA Kidnaping, Vvv Qn of th&mo$i hazardous -of: criminal undertakings, the l ransom raqket is likewise on of ihqjeast successful ! ( v III Donnelly: whose kidnapers freed her evert - Waiting to get the ransom, iiej They Were caught, later, and im prisoned. kidnaping tipped off a polite detective as to the identity bf the kidnapers ' shprtly after the abduction had oc curred. .' Another factor which, helped to trip up Walter McGee' and Click wa the age-old failure of criminals possessing some easy money to keep upder cover' with it i . ' fT"0 begin with,' Judge McElroy and his son. after agreeing to, pay. the ransom in bills of, five. ten. twenty, arid thousand-dollar denominations, had the. serial 'numbers of the bill (Copyright, 1933, by BveryWeek llaain Printed In U. the. Lowest Form of Crime, v 1 fa . I .. - Vi. 7" r ii. recorded by the police before they made the payment. That clew alone would probably have been enough, in the long ruo, to enable the poljce to catch the fugitive. But it yasn't really needed. The kidnaper had done, too much talking, before and after the crime. .They were noi many minutes out of the city with their loot before the police knew their names and their descriptions. When - too many gangsters know something, the information- is bound to leak. On the day after Miss Mc Elroy had been released, the police knew that Walter McGee had bought a 1932 Oldsmobile car, from a second-hand, dealer at Leavenworth, Kan. R. E. Vetterli, y. S, Depart-, mept of Justice agent, and William Simpson, Kansas Cty detective, hastened to the dealer's office,. While, examining soma papers on his desk they taw a telegram from a' motor car. agency at Amarillo, Texas, which dropped the net right over ' McGee' head. This telegram stated that Walter McGee, with several companions, wa in Amarillo negotiating to trade in a 1932 Oldsmobile on a new car. :sN.1 V:-: it- " j J J "1 Ten-year-old Peggy McMath, shown with her mother, C-McMath, just after she had been returned fcu her TNSTANTLY the Kansas City police got touch with ihe Amarillo authorities, and when McGee1 and his companion; went to the auto agency to get, the new car they were arrested, .The. companions were found to be distant relative of ' McGee who had joined him on his flight across Oklahoma. They had nothing to do with the case and in a short time thev rere released. ' S. A-i T.pAY TV7HEN he wa brought back to Kansas 1 ' ' City McGee confessed. The police recovered more than $9000 of the ransom money. He said he had given some money to hi aged mother to pay off a mortgage on her Kansas home. This statement, however, was found upon investigation, to be untrue. Meanwhile, the detectives got onto Click's trail also.. The same Leavenworth agency that had sold McGee his Oldsmobile had sold Click a new Chevrolet, for which he had paid with new. five and ten dollar bills. The numbers on these bills were found to correspond with numbers on the ransom notes, previously recorded; so when Click drove up to the home of, a relative in Kansas City, Kan., the police were waiting for him and arrested him. He also confessed after, being confronted with McGee' confession,. A, little later hi former wife, Lucille Cares, whp was engaged to marry McGee, wa taken into custody as a material, witness. , She kept house for Click, where Mis McElroy had been , held captive, and she b;d $1000 of the ransom, money, which she, said McGee had given her for copking, for the, girl. Click, by the way, wa forced to go tp his mother's farm and dig up $2000 of the. ransom money he bad buried there. TN addition, the various underworld members -1 who had forced the gang to pay them for their silence, were compelled to return the money to the police. Detective Chief Higgins." summing up, the. case.' reyiews the danger of the kidnaper' career as follows: "A mob of criminals may form into a kidnaping gang. They select a victim and successfully abduct him. Then the hazardous part of the crime from the. kidnapers viewpoint begin. "Contact must be made with the relative of the abducted person so that arrangements for ransom may be made. "This necessitate telephone calls, which may be overheard; the writing of letters, wjiiclj may be intercepted by the, police, or personal contact between, one. of the mob and. 'he victim's relatives. "Any of these three, may result in the immediate arrest, ol the criminal making the contact." TJUT, as Chief Higgins points out. when contact is made and, the ransom, is, paid, another hazardous element for the, criminal instantly, arises. Their very success in getting the, money frequently lead to their, arrest. "Such was the case in the McElroy kidnaping." he. says, "The kidnaper, like most other criminals, does not know how. tp keep under cover with money. His first thpught is to Spend it. "He. buys a car. He buy liquor to celebrate hi success. Ha associate with women. He gets drunk and brags to the women about what he has dpne. Ajid that, of course, is full of danger lor him. "In the McElroy case the desire of two of the criminals to get new automobiles as soon as possi Mrs. Ned kidnapers. ble led directly to their arrest. ' s ' "Again, the very number of persons involved in a kidnaping works against success! Soma one in tie gang has enemies. A member or the gang tells one of his trusted friends ol the gang's success. This man passes the inlorma-tion on tp another trusted friend. .Eventually the information reaches the ears of an enemy of the kidnapers, wh4 tells the police," PAGE

Clipped from
  1. Santa Cruz Evening News,
  2. 05 Aug 1933, Sat,
  3. Page 11

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