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 - MCELROY KIDNAPER'S SENTENCE COMMUTED McGee 's...
MCELROY KIDNAPER'S SENTENCE COMMUTED McGee 's Sentence Changed to Life Imprisonment by Gov. Park WX SCHEDULED TO HANG MAY 31 Chief Executive Believes Life Term Meets 'All Demands of Justice' JEFFERSON CITY, May 25. JP --The death sentence of Walter McGee, first imposed in the United States for kidnaping, was commuted to life imprisonment today by Governor Guy B. Park. Commutation of the sentence was announced by Woodson Cockrill, executive clerk in the governor's office, just two years to the day after McGee kidnaped Miss Mary McElroy in Kansas City. Park, -who has been confined to the executive mansion on account of illness, will officially sign the papers this afternoon, Cockrill said. McGee was awaiting execution May 31. Miss McElroy, daughter of H. y. McElroy. city manager of Kansas City, was chained to a basement wall for 29 hours while her abductors negotiated for $30,000 ransom. The sum was paid and the girl released unharmed. The Governor's View "I hftn jipt convinced that the hanging of this man will prevent kidnaping any mo.-e than that..the hanging of H mutuerer -vrt'3 jice- Vent further murders." Gov. Park swirf in a written statement. '" believe in capital punishment, under all of the circumstance of this case, I feel that imprisan- men in the penitentiary for life will meet all the demands of justice." The chief executive said it was "a difficult matter to consider this case alone, disassociated from other cases of kidnaping that have been and are now attracting general attention, but this has been my purpose." "The laws of Missouri," he said, ·"fix five years as the minimum and death as the maximum penalty for this crime. It is not contemplated therefor that every person convicted of kidnaping should suffer the death penalty. NEW f? Arnerica.'s^waye of kj,dnapir\gs, J^tHe srtjjTuctrn of George' Philip cyn'lnfs wayjjbom£~from_,sclibol at hjs fiexvrsh barK)wr,JifiTig on -the ' ' ' ' ' ' ' o apae . moan ,f^^**'~"' : -.i*'/ i ,v,.:*'. " - v ^y*^ (Wssoo^ated Press Photop," Weyerhaeuser Similar to "I am convinced from a careful perusal from this case, and from the knowledge from the general state of public opinion at the time of the trial, that this defendant received a sentence which he would not have received under normal conditions of a calm state of public mind, No BotUJy Harm Resulted "No death or bodily harm resulted from the crime. The victim and her father are of-the opinion punishment is excessive and ^ed that it be commuted. TJ-K-" defendant's attorney who proffered his services to the defendant, according to the record, did not preserve the rights of the defendant at the trial and for that reason many points of error could not be considered by the Supreme Court on appeal. "The brother of the defendant, while not a party to the actual kidnaping. yet a co-conspirator and accomplice and active in detaining the victim, has been punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for life. Another coconspirator is serving an eight year sentence for a minor participation in the crime. Justice should be equal." Others Caught Months after the kidnaping, most of the gang having been rounded up, McGee was sentenced to be hanged. ' Shortly afterward his brother, George, was sentenced to life in prison and Clarence Click was given eight years. The remaining members of the McGee band, Clarence Stevens, has not yet been apprehended. Every method of legal escape from the gallows has been attempted by McGee and has failed His last hope lay in a plea by Mi.°s McElroy to the governor. Although she testified against her abductors. Miss McElroy said she did not want to see them punished, maintaining they were of circumstance and not criminals. In her appeal to the governor she stressed her "own peace of mind." By FRANCIS A. JAIVOESON Associated Press Staff Writer NEW YORK, May 27 .T -Careful examination of the text of the ransom note in the kidnaping of nine-year-old George Weyerhaeuser indicated today that the abductors had followed the pattern of notes written by the kidnapers .of the Lindbergh b - i f ^ b i - casft'' against notifying police, claimed they could not be caught and pointed out their crimes had been mapped out carefully in advance to defy detection. Said the second Lindbergh note: "The kidnap we prepared in -- ao we are prepared for anything." Said the Weyeshaeuser note: "We know what we are doing. We have it all planned. It has been all planned for three years." Desire Not To Harm The abductors in' the Lindbergh case and in the Weyerhaeuser snatch both expressed a desire not to harm the victim. The Weyerhaeuser abductors: told the parents that "we don't want to hurt any one," and in the Lindbergh case the distraught mother was told that the abductor was using the diet she prescribed for protection of the baby's health. SEATTLE, May 27. ^P--In a copyright story, the Seattle Post Intelligencer today printed what is said was the text of the kidnap note received by the Weyerhaeuser to it. be the in , Both McGee and His Victim Happy KANSAS CITY, May 27. (-S*)--"Say that again!''"Mary McElroy exclaimed jubilantly today -when informed Governor Park had forestalled the hanging of her kidnaper, Walter KcGee. "I'm too bewildered to say anything more," she added. "I'm too nappy about it." Walter McGee broke into a broad grin when Sheriff Thomas Bash told him his sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment. "Well, what are you waiting for,"said Bash as he neared McGee's cell. "I'm waiting for life," McGee said. "Well--you got it, boy," Bash answered, and McGee became jubilant. "The governor couldn't have given me a better birthday present, 1 ' ue said. McGee will be 30 tomorrow. six the four now the in Compromse Introduced* Again- WASHINGTON, May 27. 5-The Harrison compromise bonus bill was reintroduced in the Senate today by Senator Pittman (D, Nev.), who asserted confidence no bonus legislation could be passed this session unless it were satisfactory to President Roosevelt. St. At At at MOORE APPROVED BY COMMITTEE WASHINGTON, May 27 (-5;-The Senate judiciary committee today approved the nomination of Berry. At and At Grace. At

Clipped from
  1. Moberly Monitor-Index,
  2. 27 May 1935, Mon,
  3. Page 1

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