Posts Tagged ‘crime and justice’

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Plattsburgh’s Erastus Hudson and the Lindbergh Baby Case

1A EMHudson“Trial of the Century” is a term frequently bandied about in the media to define extremely high-profile court cases. In the 1900s, twenty or so sported the moniker—the Scopes Monkey Trial, Nuremburg, Charles Manson, and O. J. Simpson among them—but always in the running, and at the top of many lists, is the Lindbergh Kidnapping in 1935. (The crime was committed in 1932; the court case began three years later.) At the center of one of the main issues during that trial was a North Country man, whose testimony spawned doubt among observers that justice was achieved. Many books have been written about the case during the ensuing 81 years, addressing the controversy as to whether the final verdict was justice or a travesty thereof.

That North Country man was Erastus Mead Hudson, born into a prominent Plattsburgh family in March 1888. (Hudson Hall at Plattsburgh State University is named after Erastus’s father, George Henry Hudson.) He attended Plattsburgh High School, and after graduating from Harvard in 1913 with a bachelor of science degree, Erastus attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, graduating in 1917 with specialties in bacteriology and body chemistry. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The North Country Man Who Threatened A President

P1JosephDoldoWhen presidential historians and scholars rate America’s greatest leaders, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is among the few who nearly always appear among the top five, along with Washington and Lincoln. While others certainly served admirably, those three achieved elevated status by facing stern tests of leadership during great crises in our history: the battle for independence, the fight to preserve the Union, and in FDR’s case, both the Great Depression and World War II.

It’s less well known that Roosevelt very nearly didn’t serve as President due to assassination attempts prior to his first inauguration. One of those stories brought ignominious headlines to the North Country over a period of several months.

Roosevelt first won the presidency in November 1932. The 20th Amendment was ratified on January 23, 1933, officially establishing January 20 as the new inauguration date for all future presidents, and making FDR the last President to be inaugurated on March 4. He very nearly didn’t survive the waiting period. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Adirondack Response To The Orlando Massacre

TMDA Logo NewAll of us reel in horror at the violence in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.  As Coordinator for the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council I feel it important to respond to this tragedy, just as I feel it important to respond as a human being.  In either capacity I struggle to offer any kind of worthy reaction except to express solidarity with the victims and with all who suffer from the conditions that foster the kind of hate and anger we saw unleashed.

Though it is hard to find meaningful words, I think I know the right question to ask.  Where do we go from here?  How does our society move towards a destination where senseless mass killings, where violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, recedes into history?  Many will say that such a future is unimaginable, that there will always be hatred and bitter, alienated individuals capable of acting with insane malice.  To those doubters I ask how such a future can be more unimaginable than what took place Sunday in Orlando. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sweat And Matt Deja Vu: Another Dickinson Center Manhunt

1SweatMattEarly June marks the one-year anniversary of one of the biggest crime stories in the Adirondack region during the past century. The final days of the manhunt for Richard Matt and David Sweat played out in northern Franklin County, focusing mostly on Malone and the large forest south of the village. By coincidence, one of the biggest crime stories of the 1800s unfolded in the same area and shared some key components: murderers on the loose, a manhunt, and Dickinson Center. Both stories rocked a sparsely populated region, where little of consequence ever seemed to happen. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dannemora Escapee Jack Williams: At First, Too Big to Succeed

DannPicketWall1880As the one-year anniversary of the infamous Dannemora prison break approaches, here’s the story of an inmate linked to a pair of unusual breakouts, excerpted from my book, Escape from Dannemora.

Despite media stories claiming early on that Richard Matt and David Sweat were the first-ever escapees from Clinton Prison, some in the past did it in even more spectacular fashion, and overall, hundreds managed to escape under various circumstances. Among them was Jack Williams, a participant in two Clinton exits involving unusual components featured in no other Dannemora escapes. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Forest Rangers And The ‘Christmas Detail’

Gib‘Tis the season for illegally cutting Christmas trees in the Adirondacks. That was the jingle, and it was followed by a stern warning from Conservation Department Commissioner Lithgow Osborne in December 1934 that his forest rangers would be on high alert for those attempting to steal their holiday cheer from the Forest Preserve:

“Forest Rangers are very much on guard this time of year because of the tendency of some persons to take trees from state land. Some of the newer forest plantations on state land offer a tempting array of Christmas trees and it is only by the exercise of constant vigilance on the part of the rangers that thefts can be prevented.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Tidy Scam: Cats + Rats = Profits

1936CatRanchHdlineIf you’re obsessed with cats, you might not find what follows very funny – but I thought it was pretty amusing, and I’ve been owned by cats before. It has to do with a very efficient business plan offered periodically to folks around the country, including the readers of several North Country newspapers. Entrepreneurs sought financing for a slam-dunk proposal, the 1918 version of which targeted northern New York investors for a company based in Ontario.

The plan was to establish a Cat Ranch to supply furs for market. Clothing made from cat pelts?! Decidedly insensitive in modern times, but not so unusual when a single advertisement of the day in the Ogdensburg Republican-Journal offered coats using skins from beaver, seal, raccoon, muskrat, opossum, marmot (woodchuck), caracul (sheep), viscasha (chinchilla), fox, mink, skunk, panther, calf, and gray squirrel. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gooley To Speak On Dannemora Prison History

Escape From DannemoraThe Clinton County Historical Association will host longtime Adirondack Almanack contributor and award winning local author Lawrence Gooley on Monday, December 7.

The program will begin with a 7 pm presentation, “Escape From Dannemora: Breakouts, Tortures, and Violence in Clinton Prison’s Past” featuring an overview of Clinton Prison’s history including details of numerous escapes and attempts, routine punishments and profiles of famous and infamous inmates. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Essex Jail Attorney Calls May Have Been Compromised

prisoner-phone-call-Gilboa-PrisonA massive leak by a hacker reveals that the attorney-client privilege of people held in Essex County Jail in Elizabethtown may be compromised.

According to The Intercept, an anonymous hacker released over 70 million phone call records involving 37 states who use the phones systems of Securus Technologies, a private prison telecom company.

The leaked material includes recorded phone calls involving more than 14,000 attorneys and cover the period from December 2011 until the spring of 2014. The latest leak also shows that it’s not the first time the company’s phone records have been hacked. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Two North Country Men Linked By Death Coincidence

WalterEMurphyOn January 7, 1933, the lives of two North Country men converged briefly nearly 300 miles from home in the Jamaica section of Queens in the City of New York. By odd coincidence, without ever meeting, they were fatally wounded within a few feet of each other. The older of the two was Walter Murphy of Ausable Forks, who joined the New York City police force in June 1926. The following year, he was cited for bravery after stopping a runaway horse (the cause of many deaths and injuries in those days), and in early 1933 he made headlines for a murder arrest. He frequently visited family in Ausable Forks, and had just left there nine days earlier after spending Christmas in the Adirondacks.

On the fateful day, Murphy was off duty, and with a friend had stopped at a service station for gas and to make some minor repairs to his car. While cleaning up in the washroom, they overheard a commotion outside. » Continue Reading.


Page 1 of 2212345...1020...Last »