The New York Times from New York, New York on March 3, 1912 · Page 39
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The New York Times from New York, New York · Page 39

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 3, 1912
Page 39
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NT L - : Magazine Section Part Five "1 Magazine Section Port Five SUNDAY, MARCH I 3. 1012. 'AL ----WOMAN )RLD in IIW. THEFIRSII MUN1C I IMII DETECTIVE Hi ,"V . ! nit hi Commissioner Waldo Rewards Mrs. Isabella! Goodwin with a First Grade Position in Recognition of Her Work in the Famous Robbery Case Below the " Dead Line" The First of i Her Sex to Win Such a Rank., JNNIS HOLL 3QTOWrr AS'SWEDE ANNIE "TEH WCM2I TH.THEi iCAE,? AQCIET, medium-sited, unura-lug woman, dressed neatly In black, sat In her apartment on the top floor of very uninum-Ing apartment house tn tha heart of Greenwich Village, and in an unassum ing but Impressive manner told a tala of detective work that was aa thrllltng at anything In fiction. It waa th tale that gripped the country within the pest week about this woman's ahara In tha running down of tha men concerned in the Trinity Place taxlcab . robber)', wherein desperate criminal got rlaan away with I&S.00O after beating two clerks into InaensiblUty-al! at midday in a thick! populated section downtown d r , Tt has beta a long tlma alnca tuch an sbsorblng crime atory waa unfolded at Folic Headquarters, and because the , iniriwuif w uiiim ii -wmm vunvn siv. In tha robbery but In tha detective work that swiftly followed, the caae Immediately became untque In police annala. Mrs. laabella Goodwin la the unassum- & liia umi ilAttlwa m rtA I warms! Vint aa - to get her to tatk at all about her share In tha work that waa dona, and then only after Police Commissioner Waldo and First Deputy Commlseloner Dougherty had given her liberty to talk. Commissioner "Waldo has a theory that It Interferea with the effectiveness or a i detective to have too much publicity thrown about hla or her work, for detectives. Ilka crtmlnale, accompllah most In tha dark. In Mrs. Goodwin's caae, however, ha decided that she had fully earned the gratitude of tha pubUo, and that the public was entitled to a gllmpae behind tha ecenes. Besides, Mrs. Goodwin has many Interesting thlnga to tell of other caaea .she has Veen concerned In that ara now nearly forgotten In rrrognltH'n of her effective work In hls csaa and others tha Commissioner baa'juat advanced her to first grade In tha Detective B-iixau with pay of $2.2J0 a year. Thus she wins. In addition to this reward, tha unique distinction of becom ing tha first municipal woman detective In the world. Mrs. Goodwin has none of tha earmark! that ara usually associated with detectives. Bhe Is not dashingly brilliant, tha typa ana would euppoaa to be most et. f active with a certain criminal clement, nor yt spectacularly made up In dime novel faahion. Bha has a kind, motherly face. Her dark hair Is not yet streaked with gray, and her gray ayea ara full of expreeeton and sympathy. A broad forehead denotes Intelligence and her whole manner would lead one to take her for - - M tv vll-tA..- rllM In maxrmi w - But Just aa raadlly aha could be taken far ft widow which aha la or a aplnater. 7 Her oadasertpi appearance U a studied art with her, for la her calling she ac complish ee mora by having no dlatln gulshtng marks that would make her stand out from the multitude. Moreover. aha habitually weaxa a thin black yell, so that her f eaturea are well protected. For nearly fifteen years she waa a police matron attached to a station, and tn that capacity she came into peraonal contact with every Important criminal at her sex that waa arrested tn New York during that time. For the Ust year and a half aha has been doing ape-eta detective work under assignment from tha chief of tha Detective Bureau. In this oapaclty aha has dona laborious sleuth work aad haa been responsible tor tha arrest and conviction of more crooks. swindling clairvoyants, spiritualists, and - fake medical practitioners than a!l the ' ether women Investigators or detectives r doing similar work In the city putto- -twther n was tnia.womi ht.uj -w wviwy . VA I evidence ikhtch resulted In the arrest of Cole, the? Christian Scientist, and only last Thursday, after ahe had played r-er part In (he bringing to justice of the taxlcab bandits, she was the star witness in the court proceedings against Cole. j; "1 have already said more than I Intended to about the robbery case,' raid Mrs. Goodwin to a Times reporter, V and I would rather talk about the ither thlnga 1 1 have been . concerned lni Of course thfc work 1 have dona before this robbery occurred has had no auch spectacular results, but It wm give a better Idea of what kind of training I have f ad to go through to make fne capable of the X ' . I ' ; "To be In at the beginning. I think I "A 0 j 4 5 KM. r i ! x -jar. v. i . - r 4 i 1H& TA30.CAB IHATT fl.HELP 'UP.'""""""' was born for Just such 4mrk as I am doing. X think highly; of the work, too; I have a; great fondness for it. and 1 don't think I ould have been satisfied to have done any other line of It. My husband was a Roundsman, and I always took the deepest Interest In police work. TtVhen he died, about seventeen years ago, I waa left! with four children on my "hands, and I determined to be come ajpbUce matron. I took the civil service irxamlnaUon and got on tha ellgl- i i j ble list s " Mr. 'Roosevelt was then Police Oom-missloner. and aa aoon aa X waa appointed 1 1 threw myself body and sotd Into the work. I grew to like It. and. althougii It haa Its a pa aad downs and' furnishes about, as much hard labor. 4a almost iany other prpfesalon. It has Its oompenSatlona also, and the excitement alwaya ketpa one's Interest a.t the fever potnt. 4 I was assigned te tha Mercer Street Police tatlon, and thjare I remained until a yearand a half, ago, when Z waa or dered to the Detectlvn Bureau. I havw a son now. by the way, who la also a detective assigned to duty at Police Head quarter, so you see i It seems to. run In the family. My youngest daughter. Mar-j Jorla. 14 also Interested la the work, and la already bothering ma to make a detective out of her. J I I The Mercer Btraet BtaUon, awing ; to Its proximity to Police Headquarters,' U one of jibe most Important tha city, for there ill wsmen prisoners from Head- " After so many years at what you might call the drudgery; of the profession I was glad enough to te put on tha spe cial investigation work-that of obtaining evidence against clairvoyants and other swindlers. My experiences with this class of criminals would fill a book. I have never kept a record of my experiences, however, and only tha most Important stand out In my memory. The things I have learned about poor. weak human natural I I often have to blush at the way men and women and particularly women like to be ewlndled. They positively rush into the palpable traps set by fortune tellers and fake heal ers. Even bitter experience teachea them nothing; for they will gladly glva up their money to these cheap fakers, even while they know they are being swindled. Although trimmed ' a dozen times, they go to get '.trimmed ' again, and I often wonder If It la worth while trying to save them from their own folly. They da seem to enjoy It sol I hare Investigated: hundreds of eases of fortune telling In aS Its varied forms, from common crystal gaxlng to the practice of tea leaves, cards, handwriting. and palm reading, aad not once ihat X can remember bar they told me the truth. On the contrary. X havw 'found quarters ara taken to tended 'to, and tor this reason I soon be gan to get acquainted men criminals. My epertencee aa a ma tron stood ma tn good stead when I took up jtegjilar detecy va be searched or at- wltb, notorious wo- rk,j that these takers ara Just aa gamble as their victims, aad ft Is yoat aa away to tool them, p , "Why. there waa on ease not long ago where a fortuna teller wrote a. aeries of artlelee tor a New Tork newspaper en the art' fooling the people. He exposed an tha; tricks of the trade and told how easy 1 la for the charlatans to get the publte's money. Most people thought that tn man had been hired to expose tha i struck by the article, and said to me: - I believe that fellow Is a faker. Go up and look htm over.' X went, and, sura enough, he had an elaborate fortune telling establishment and waa proficient In an the various stunts.' Hs told me the most ridiculous things about myself, not one of which was true, and I admitted that ha was right with auch a show of sincerity that pleasure shone all over him. " I paid htm the fee and then, when he waa arrested, you never saw such a crestfallen man. He could tell me the most wonderful things about my past UnH ' Inftlr t m 9 IntA mv future !! ftf S9 of course but ho couldn't get the alight-est Inkling from hla psychological poweis that I was a detective and was after him. This fellow was convicted, and how he glared at ma when X testified against him In court! "The methods used by these fakers are so crude that It seems Impossible that a person of ordinary common sense would be taken In by their elWneas. Tor Instance, one of the tricks of the trade I learned early waa their method of determining whether their victim Is married or single. Of course thla works beat with the women, for they come for advice In a highly nervous condition as a rule and pay little attention to the trivial thlnga, Aa soon as the victim takes her seat be fore tha fortune teller she Is asked to cut tha cards with her right hand If ahe la married and with her left If she Is single. That ought to furnish a clue to what Is going to follow, hut It Is seldom noticed and when, a few minutes later, the fortune teller solemnly Informs the victim that aha Is married or single the victim simply gasps with astonishment. "AH the ether tricks are about aa rfti, but tha moat peculiar part about It la that oft jd times tha victims knew that tha fortuna taller ts lying, but they do not roaent It aad actually believe what be ears against their batter Judgment. "It ts vary much the same with the medical fakers tha men and women who guarantee tha most marvellous cure. One experience X had la typical X went te ona ot these 'healers once aad pro tended that X Stuttered badly. lie bit Immediately and for a f ew dellara to do was to tell that experience la court aad the maa was cosrrtcted. "The fortune tellers have a elm pie way of getting their vlctlme ts come to them again and again. "Many women who think their bus-bands are not faithful go to these fakers tor advice. The faker quickly diagnoses the caae and hazards the Information that the victim has had a quarrel with her husband. He then tells her that her husband Is attentive to a blonde or a I brunette and suggests that If the victim I win bring around on of hr husband's handkerchiefs or some other object, she ' will concoct a ' remedy to bring back the erring one's love. That insure another visit, and then some other flimsy excuse le hit upon to bring the victim to her again. - If the victim finds fault because the cur ' doee not work, th fortune teller simply says that .the victim waa not In a 'receptive condition,' or that she did not ' concentrate her mind in the way she was told. " Of course I have made many enemies as a result of these Investigations, and many of them would like to get revenge, but I am not afraid. It la thla element of danger that makes the work faectnat-tng. Ona woman doctor got her revenge m a peculiar manner one. X bad paid her $3 for a cream te rub on my fee to become beautiful, or something Kk that As she was not a regular practitioner, of course she was arrested. X told en the witness stand about my experience, end when It came to the woman's turn to testify and sh was asked why ahe had sold the cream she snapped: - i aid It bacaus her face was so dirty that I thought It would bo a com mon act et decency to gtvo her something te dean ft' She waa ee manifestly pleased wttk thla thrust that ahe aetually did net seem te mind her eoc fiction. X attribute my awreees tn thla work te the fact that X use erdmary earns lease. My Intuition la strong aad X am thua able te else up quickly eeme Bttl so in ess tu the fakrs and I pmy oe tt an X can. None of them, apparently. aver upctd that X waa a detective. : X never overdr the part, and wkew Ot course, a woman detective most a shrewd and quick tn expedlenta. She must seise any Uttle advantage rapidly and turn It to her account. More valua ble than an ts the quality of Intuition, tn ability to ' feel ' or aeaee things for which at first you have no actual proof, X think that the re so a why a woman some time snooseds where a man falls la because she Is more strongly endowed with this Intuition. - Bh must also be a good mixer and be able to make aoqualntaae easily among all ciasas. She must also have plenty of self control and eowreg, and finally ah must have persevere, the trick of never firing vp eaoe the trail ts started. X suppeee this eould be failed patience, and It takee rpertae to d vale thai trait la tha right way. Tha long, hard sehooDag X iulied t work of detecting fortune teller and fake healers served me In good tread la the work X waa ordered t do rardlng the taxlcab robber. One morning Cemnlaslener Dougherty ant for m and eutlhg what b wanted Lm to do. The Commissioner thought the thing an oat. and. told me Just what would have te da. Would X take the ehaacef WeS,' rather I X dent think hesitated a moment, for a deteettv wneee heart le In the work must take things ae 1 they rem. I never dreamed there would be any aotorUty tn It. aad X weat te work merely out of a sens of duty. My horn life is so managed that X ona leave at a moment's nolle aad stay away as long as aececaary. X had to live tn a low dtve for I didn't know how long, and X made up as a servant et an work and applied for the place. I haggled over the wages Just ts show that I wasn't too eager for the Job, and accepted It at M a week. X wore a plain, dark, rather shabby salt, old bet and ahoes. so that X wouldn't look toe neat, and tha I simulated the walk or rather shuffle of one who was not used i to anything better. " X bad to work hard, of cour, and It rwuld tea m thing, X her ts. Myrtle Hsyt wwuld do the s, ee.V became p mined et taterwraaar ' ereta, iTSfc X ur course x naa to nets at kyi and manufacture excuses e get lata th room where the wemea were ttetr ax frteada X parked man significant bits of eewverwarVssi la IV way. One night after X had he Bat tng et the keyhole et the woman's rie roe hours I bear fete Anal ai ' Well, fiddle the Beeb turned the U9 an right' That waa tb turemg petal th work, and X redoubled my efforts. ' " There' were three day m wbirh l did mat hxw eight beure sOaep. swrW aad Myrtle Xleyt setdem eeme la Vefi t'ee d ee1eefc ta the snersiag. they were tatsxleeted. X had a great del f d'sgweQag an I see eight that were iolttg. bwi X stuck te tt with rrtm dsaarmmatla, X drank eeffa te hes awake. Vet tb sSptaes ahweet dieee ! me erary. What wi: hard masiwal labor all ay aad atttUg p an sdgnt. X rtt pewtty wn tudmred out hefere th week w " J -Early mm memtng X go tat twos' s Anxda room and dmsnai i that ah had istuined from Afbsjry wtrh a new ktl and svdt. X get rne names et tbe telephoned these fact te the atewer. who ascertained ta Albany thai th pert bee had bee mad wtth ftv dollar am by a maa of XCdwar re eeeenpaoa. Tbea X taeraed t make certain that nnemsa waa tmo f turned and teamed ef has ptaa te take' Bwwde Anal a a Pie els s last Msavl day. L0l Sunday night I wag abU IS get this Inform flow te the Cwmmtestoaer wows V . . . . u iMepnen. . " My hereest war: waa t Br t ast Ulepbone what pi mi ese X wae snekSnsi te Depety Caenml1 wi sr Deugherty. wh must have spent aa many eUetU nights) aa I did. II waa always tber t agrle aa. I oetdom tbeugbt ef tb eaagr f ta M MBZ ltjaoaa ITT T Imi aajux X aaivae aUale ftrut. was work of the moat unlnureetlag and running, but aa I look bark ea tt my displeasing kind. I grumbled a litu new and than, and did things sometimes m a slipshod way. and X gueea tbe Inmate ot that rooming house never gave me a second thought. I swept and scrubbed th floor, made beds, washed the dishes, and answered the door, aa well aa ran errands for he Inrrt'tr I told them X had ae other place to sleep, so they tat me sleep ta a dark, wretched little hole or rather ay bed waa there, for I didn't elerp tea hours the whole week end X ate scraps aad taavtnga. -1 didn't get a el for th first few days, but X made myself solid' wtth the people there, aad after that tt was Just a cas of Ua-tenlng- aad watching and trying act t get awaght or areuee suspicion. "I early saw that X had ta eulO-vat friendly relatloas wtth the two women I was set te watch, wed Aaaie aad Myrtle Hoyt. Tbe former was tb friend f Edward Kinsman, also knew aa Kddl the Boob,' one et the sstepeet la tb can, aad I strained my sera te get a menOoa et hie name. -1 ran errand for Bwd Anal aad Myrtle Hsyt and Became th ooafttant of each la turn. My the worae dears et th had taught me one thing that kind f worn are ftarfuSy each thr. "This class alee wffl et hesitate te talk te eervania, for. tike every they nred symfathy aad won't eft get It. Therefore whew two Anal would bv toput with Mrrd and the lt tar would g eat far a Ume awed the flesh creep eemetimes, for th wre Cesperete me an I gva my Et wouldn't hare bee worth much tt they had suspected. "My experlenee asneng the rrissiaat nase naa uat taey ar a etspld tat. taking It aO la an, aad mit the meet glaring error They d shrewd things sewMtlmee aad tbea BttV ury thir efforts by the she tt nisnssa. They are a poonflar lot. tbees creeks, and U Is taeclnadng t study them." Mr Geodeia aays her xper1ear ta criminal work ae wwQ aa among tn nl uloue hae aet made her ryataeX- ( " XTuman nature la th asm th wrtd wer." ah weat ea, haa something good ta hhw. If y only get te K. It te tbe crednnty m woraea who wdlagly ailew the" . be fleeced that Is raetiaed eympathses aad bettat X suppeee who one man I there are sot maay ef thee at beer. they ar coagaod t th ef wshus wh have my aad d net hare to wrk or do aeaafbl thmg a iwif their thua fnmtahiag a vast gar th- Ztaeptt say t Begtart my dsty Is t her fasafly. and I aJway te Mr. Oeedwts's tm thla wartWwIar. Thar hi Bed ft .fWwt-e tans ha all th atty. ther caarwd. ia-tbe Mrs. Oeedi K. itaw the " tt BnedUSr In goed tnin aaa:?v i : wwrk X try b4 hwe trsad 1 ; a i.f 1 ! ) ! (

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