It Rests with His Peers
Butch Bradley’s Fate in the Hands of the Jury
IT RESTS WITH HIS PEERS | The fate of Butch Bradley is now in the hands of twelve of his peers, and he is anxiously awaiting the verdict. The case was given to the jury at 4:20 o’clock yesterday afternoon, but no verdict was reached last night.
On court convening yesterday morning the first witness called was A. D. Claiborne, town marshal of Mason, Tenn., who testified to arresting Bradley.
Detectives Hedrick and Wolf testified that Bradley told them he got the pistol with which the murder was done from a table near Rogers’ bed. The defendant denied this when on the witness stand.
This ended the evidences, and Assistant Attorney-General Eldridge made the first presentation of the case for the State. He summed up the case admirably and made a good speech. He was followed by P. M. Winters in one of his usual discursive efforts. He was followed by John T. Moss. After him Attorney-General Peters closed for the State.
Judge Scruggs then delivered his charge to the jury. It was a fair charge, acceptable to counsel on both sides, and at the request of Mr. Moss, a special charge was given on the drunken condition of Bradley at the time of the killing. This fact will possibly save his neck, as there is no doubt but that he was very drunk at the time, as were the other three also. This fact will, it is thought, weaken the theory of premeditation and deliberation assential [sic] to a conviction of murder in the first degree.
Judge Scruggs, after the jury retired to consider its verdict, remained at the courthouse until 5:30 o’clock, but as the jury had not agreed at that time it was locked up for the night, and no verdict will be rendered until this morning, if then. How the jury stood could not be ascertained. Usually a well founded rumor can be obtained, but the jury is in charge of Deputy Sheriff Joe Perkins, who, very properly, too, does not disclose any information of that kind he may be in possession of.
It is almost safe to say that the defendant will not hang, and it is almost as safe to assume that he will be convicted and sentenced to a term in the penitentiary.
It transpires now that Bradley was a little too smart when he shaved his mustache and sideburns off for the purpose of disguising himself. He did that at Arlington the day he got there. Had he not done so he might have carried out his intention of boarding the train at Mason, but his clean shave aroused suspicion. The description of Bradley was telegraphed from Memphis in reply to a telegram to the chief of police, and it was seen that before shaving the stranger fitted it exactly. Word was sent to the marshal at Mason, who intercepted the man before he reached the depot in the buggy he had hired at Arlington.
[ It Rests with His Peers | The Memphis Commercial; Memphis, TN; 10 Jun 1893; Pg 5]
Aids to Work of Detectives
THE ROGUES’ GALLERY AND THE OFFICERS’ SCRAPBOOKS
Temporary Increase of the Memphis Force in Order to Cope With the Influx of Criminals – Knowledge of Their Ways Is Valuable to Police
The Memphis detective force has had its hands pretty full for the last several weeks. The biting cold of the North drives an army of the criminal class southward every winter. The depredations of this army are many, and form the epidemic of burglaries, hold-ups and kindred crimes the progress of the army southward can be marked.
For instance, the first great outbreak this fall began in Chicago, and it grew to the proportions of a “reign of terror.” Jewelry stores were robbed in broad daylight, and any person who left his house after night was never surprised to meet the “long and short men.” The wave then spread to St. Louis, and a few weeks ago it reached Memphis in a small way. The familiar faces of old and noted criminals and the familiar earmarks of experienced cracksmen, burglars and thieves, and the appearance of strange “mugs” around criminal hang-outs, informed the police that the army that comes every fall was here.
The migratory criminal is too smooth for the ordinary blue coat, who has a whole beat to look after, and a beat in Memphis means an entire ward, or one-tenth, roughly speaking, of the city. Of course, sometimes the patrolman plays in luck and bags a “catch,” but that is an exception. It is the department detectives and the superior officers who look after these “fancy” cases.
In order to be equal to the influx of criminals during the holidays the Memphis detective force was enlarged about December 1 by the addition of three special men, swelling the force to seven, which was placed under the direct charge of Capt. O’Haver. Ordinarily the detective force only consists of four men, and works directly under Chief Moseley. In most cities, especially the large ones, there is a chief of detectives, who is in control of the affairs of the department. Memphis has not gone so far yet, but it is possible that Chief Moseley will make such a recommendation in his annual report, which will be submitted in January.
Since the enlargement of the force to clean out the city, there has been a pretty general rounding up of petty criminals and some big ones, too. The professional cracksmen that have been operating around town without playing any particular favorites have not been caught. The officers claim that they have left town, and that they have come to grief in East St. Louis. They have done no work in Memphis this week.
The work that a department detective accomplishes appears in the daily papers, but the manner in which he accomplishes it seldom ever gets into print.
His stock in trade is experience as an officer, knowledge of criminals, their hang-outs and places where stolen property can be disposed of and an ordinary amount of alertness. That is all. The downfall of the ordinary thief is his associations and the trouble experienced in disposing of ill-gotten property. It isn’t so much trouble to steal.
To assist the detective in his work the city of Memphis has one of the finest rogues’ galleries in the country. It contains 349 pictures of noted crooks, ranging from murderers to pickpockets. This necessary requisite in criminal catching is kept to the standard by a system of exchange between cities, and the photographing of noted and desperate crooks when caught.
The gallery is arranged similarly to an album, except that the outside is a large wooden case and the leaves are of wood, and hold about 80 pictures to the side. The gallery is not near full. Among some of the most noted criminals whose photographs it holds are:
Dr. Lea, a noted “check’ man, sent to Nashville, pardoned and now doing time in another State.
Butch McCarthy, a pickpocket who had to be held by force while his picture was taken. The hand that enforced his attention can be seen entangled in his hair. he wouldn’t “look pleasant, please,” and he has a terrible look on his face.
Butch Bradley killed John Rodgers, a partner in crime on Union street several years ago, and is now doing a life sentence at Nashville. He and his three companions lent their photos to the collection. George Parkinson, one of the three attempted to rob a house and kill its owner, and got five years in the penitentiary, afterward excaping.
Will Conner, a negro, is doing forty years for burglary.
Charley Effs killed Patrolman Parkinson a few years ago, and is now serving a life sentence.
Red Reilly, a notorious garroter from New Orleans; W. A. Ridgeley, who got three years recently for robbing a countryman by a confidence game; Kelly, “the Artful Dodger,” arrested while trying to rob a hotel in Memphis in 1895, released and afterward “put away” at New Orleans for a job Mardi Gras Day; John McGowan and Mikey Gleason, pickpockets; Louis Speilberger, a “mollbuzzer,” or a picker of women’s pockets; Fritz Dean, one of the most notorious “diamond getters” in the country, who escaped the clutches of the law in Memphis and was “put away” in the North; Dock Butler, a safe blower; Jake Washington, a pocket-book snatcher, who was given forty years in the penitentiary; Pat Crowe, a desperate train robber now doing time at St. Joseph, Mo., and others are in the gallery.
There are photographs among this collection that bring back to mind many famous cases. For instance, it contains pictures of Talton Hall, the man who was said to have caused 100 human beings to be removed from this earth, including himself, who was hung for his crimes in Virginia; Eddie Gibbins, the diamond thief, whose excape from the Shelby county jail caused Sheriff McCarver to be indicted early in his administration; John McKeever, who was hung for killing Trainor; Kick Dare Devil the nickel novel name for Richard Lawrence, who was surprised in a room on Shelby street while trying to rob a gentleman, and in attempting to escape fired a shot at him and was given twenty-eight years in the penitentiary; Charles Johnston, a confederate in the job, who was given fifteen years; Roxie Conner, a noted hotel thief, who in trying to rob Gaston’s was surprised by the porter, whose life he tried to put out with a bullet; John Flavin, “The Rat,” who was arrested here, but was turned over to the authorities in Jackson, Miss., and many others.
“The Rat” escaped the law in Jackson and as afterward caged at Toledo, O.
The detectives keep scrap books of newspaper articles about criminals, thus making a fairly good record of crooks of note. A high class professional crook is often known by his work. There is as much originality in it as in a legitimate vocation.
[The Commercial Appeal; Memphis, TN; 2 Jan 1897; Pg 3]