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LAKE COUNTY INDIANA
CRIME NEWSPAPER DATA



These are in very loose alpha order, based on the first surname of the first criminal mentioned in the story...or failing any criminals being named, the name of the victim... or... the name of the police officer if nothing else. And if no one is named, the story is at the end of the page in date order.
Nobody said genealogy was easy!



CROWN POINT, Ind. Dec 6. -- Sheriff Benjamin Hayes and entire force of deputies. Including: his three bloodhounds and nearly a score of eleven of this City, hunted diligently for three hours for a tramp this afternoon who committed a brutal crime. On account of darkness they were compelled to stop without getting the man. While a nine-year-old daughter of Fred Blumenthal was walking along the roadside the tramp came from the woods and dragged her several rods and brutally assaulted her. The father heard her screams and frightened the tramp away. Instead of following him he immediately came to town and notified the sheriff. In the meantime nearly a hundred infuriated Bohemians had appeared on the scene and spoiled the tramp's tracks for the hounds.[Source: Indiana State Journal December 9, 1896 - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


The Crown Point (Lake County) Register says that a little daughter of a German, Carsten, two and a half years old, was carried off from that county by a couple of men in a buggy last week. The mother had gone out to work in the field, leaving the child playing at home, when the men came and took her off. They were traced to Thornton, but nothing further was heard of them. All the neighborhood turned out to chare the scoundrels, and quite a number were still on the track when last heard from.
[Date: 28 Nov 1859; New Albany Daily Ledger - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


Crown Point Farm Hand Shoots Employer to Death
GARY Ind Juno 2—Because he couldn't have his employer a automobile and a $15 check in order "to step out" at a barn dance near Crown Point, Charles Cole, 'hired hand' on the farm of Chris Pascher near here, fired a rifle bullet through the head of his employer, instantly killing him. After the shooting, Cole climbed into the machine, drove to the home of his "girl" and enjoyed the remainder of the evening at the dance Upon his return he was arrested on suspicion and later confessed and told the story. Evidence is to be taken before the Lake County criminal court grand jury today. [2 June 1920; Fort Wayne News Sentinel - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


Riotous Conspiracy. Hoosier Justice is Hard on Pugilists
Martin Costello Given Two Years in the Penitentiary for Fighting at Roby - It bodes Ill for Solly Smith.
Crown Point, Ind., Dec. 14.— The jury in the case of Martin Costello, the prize fighter, returned a verdict of guilty of riotous conspiracy, and fixing the penalty at two years in the penitentiary and a fine of $5. The case will be appealed to the supreme court should a motion for a new trial be refused. The judge's instructions were that a prize fight is a riotous conspiracy, and no notice was taken of the act of 1889, legalizing tests of science and skill. A number of other prize-fighting case will follow as the result of the series of gatherings in the Roby arena. (Solly Smith's case is one of those yet to be heard. If the precedent in Costello's case is to be followed, it may go hard with the Los Angeles pugilist.) [The Herald, (Los Angeles, Calif.) December 15, 1893, Page 2]


INDIANA MURDERER HANGED
Crown Point, Ind., June 9 [1905]
Judge Mahan, having refused to interfere, Ed Donahue was hanged for the murder of A.H. Northrup this morning. [10 June 1905; Morning Olympian - submitted by K. Torp]


GRAND JURY HEARS TESTIMONY IN DR. EAST DEATH CASE
Crown Point, March 11. Members of the grand jury today were hearing evidence in several automobile fatality cases the principal one involving Dr. Robert East, 39 years old of Hammond, and his colored chauffeur, Adam Glass, 21, in connection with an automobile accident on Jan. 19, at 119th street and Calumet avenue, Hammond, when the East automobile fatally Injured Charles Braley, 10-year-old Robertsdale school boy and son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Braley, 647 West 119th street. Both East and his chauffeur are charged with manslaughter. Dr. East has been at liberty on $2,500 bond, while his chauffeur has been confined to jail. The grand jury is expected to be in session all week and not make a report to Judge Murray until March 17. [The Hammond Times Thursday March 11, 1937 - Submitted by Barb Z.]


She had three husbands -- New developments in the murder case at Crown Point, Ind.
Two men arrested on a charge of inciting the killing of their sister.
Corwn Point, Ind., April 12 - What at first appeared to be a rather ordinary bungling murder, committed by a drunken husband at Crown Point, Ind., promises to develop into a sensational and peculair case. Instead of a practically unknown Bohemian woman the victim turns out to be the sister-in-law of ex-County Commissioner Michael Wasserman of Chicago, and the wife (undivorced) of three men. Her husband, is either a fugitive from justice or has himself been murdered, while the woman's two brothers are locked up, practically charged with inciting her husband to murder their sister. A letter written by Ralph Bechtel of Philadelphia was found near the body of the murdered woman. The writer reveals that the woman has been married twice before and offers to help her in case she should get into trouble over her marriages , first to a Mr. Gregg and then to Elwanger.
There are plenty of people who believe that the missing husband, Otto Elwanger, did not murder his wife and as many more who think he himself has been murdered. He bears the reputation of a particularly peaceable man. There are evidences that more men than one went to the Elwanger farm Tuesday morning. The police have offered a reward for Elwanger's apprehension. [The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]), April 13, 1895 - Sub. by K. Torp]


Killed in Fight with Robbers | Chicago Policeman Loses his Life | A Brother Officer Mortally Wounds One of His Assailants | Gang, Led By an Ex-Convict, Blow Safe in Hammond Grocery Store
Chicago, Ill., Nov. 19 - Policeman Luke Fitzpatrick is dead and Charles Hanson, an ex-convict, dying in St. Bernard's hospital as the result of a fight which took place early today on the station elevated road at 63d and Madison avenue. Hanson and a companion last night entered a grocery store in Hammond, Indiana, blew open a safe and escaped with several hundred dollars in money and negotiable papers worth a considerable sum. Later the robbers boarded an electric car bound for Chicago and the conductor, who had heard of the robbery, being suspicious of them as soon as the car reached Chicago, informed Officer Fitzpatrick, who was standing near the foot of the stairway leading up to the elevated station. The robbers had already mounted the stairs and Fitzpatrick and the conductor followed them. Fitzpatrick ordered them to halt and they at once opened fire on him. Fitzpatrick was struck several times and fell down the stairs. After reaching the bottom, however, he emptied his revolver at Hanson, who ran down the stairs in an effort to escape. Hanson fired several more shots at the officer. Fitzpatrick died in a short time. Policemen Birch and Wilson, who had heard the firing between Hanson and Fitzpatrick, hurried up just as Hanson was running away. Birch shot Hanson through the back, inflicting a fatal wound. [1906-11-20; Charlotte Observer - Submitted by K. Torp]


Crown Point, Ind. - Sheriff Henderlong in Chicago looking for "city chap" who passed worthless check on sheriff's brother, then stole sheriff's motorcycle. ["The Day Book". (Chicago, Ill.), August 25, 1913 - submitted by K. Torp]


Murder and Suicide
Son of a Wealthy Indiana Family Shoots Former Financee Who Had Jilted Him and Kills Himself
Crown Point, Ind., Sept 17 --- Harry Hohman, of Hammond, Ind., son of a wealthy family angered because his financee of five years had married Charles Jeannette, of Steger, Ill., today in the presence of many persons fired four bullets into his former sweet-heart's heart and then killed himself. Miss Ida Taylor had been betrothed to Hohman for five years, but two weeks ago she was married to Jeannette. Vowing vengence, Hohman came to Crown Point Saturday and secured a room at the hotel where the Jeannettes stayed. This afternoon Mrs. Jeannette went to the back yard, and Hohman followed her. As she turned to face him, Hohman drew a magazine revolver and fired four shots at the woman. As she fell dead amidst the startled ---? of the summer boarders, who rushed to see whence the shots came, Hohman fired two bullets into his breast and fell dead beside the woman's body. [18 Sep 1905; Paper: Charlotte Observer - Submitted by K. Torp]


Robbed In Church.
Crown Point, Ind., Feb. 20.-During a revival service Miss Minnie Houk, a school teacher and a member of the church, knelt before Mrs. Minnie Mitchell and prayed for the convention of her soul. Shortly afterward the congregation was startled by the declaration from Miss Houk that she had been robbed. Suspicion fell upon Mrs. Mitchell who was followed to her home by the sheriff, who found the debris of Miss Houk's pocketbook in the stove, and the money concealed in the lining of Mr. Mitchell's cap. Miss Houk had just drawn her salary as teacher, and her loss included $25 and valuable papers. [Warren Republican Feb. 21 1895 - submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


Mayor R. O. Johnson, with chief of police and two other Gary officials left for Indianapolis, where they will be tried for election frauds. . ["The Day Book". (Chicago, Ill.), March 21, 1917, Sub. by Janice Rice]


Crown Point, Ind. - Steve Jurcha's first auto joy-ride was en route to electric chair. Deputy sheriff drove him to Michigan City, where he will be electrocuted for murder. ["The Day Book". (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 04, 1913 - submitted by K. Torp]


Chicago, March 30.—The same tornado that made James McInerny homeless in Indiana Harbor last week found a new home for him in the Indiana penitentiary. Justice, moving almost as fast as the tornado itself, has decreed that he serve five years at hard labor for bigamy. Had it not been for the wind storm which destroyed Mclnerny's house and left him with slight injuries; his whereabouts might never have become known to the wife who has just brought about his conviction. Mrs. Olivine Anglais McInerny of Chicago, who claims that McInerny deserted her in Hamilton, Ont., fifteen years ago, chanced to see his name published in the list of those injured by the storm. The result was the identification and arrest of McInerny, who two years ago was married to a young girl of the suburb. ["The Minneapolis Journal" (Minneapolis, Minn.), March 30, 1904 - Sub. by K.T.]


Disposed of a Rival
Uunique Method of a Medicine Man to Overcome Competition.
Chicago, Aug 25 - Warrants have been issued for Sheriff Lawrence and assistant prosecutor of McAleer, Lake County, Indiana, Maurice Lundin, medicine manufacturer, and Constable Miller, of Cook county, and as a result a startling story is told by Armin Bendick. He says he was hounded by Lundin as a result of business rivalry. A man was hired to kill him and finally he was thrown in jail at Crown Point, Ind., where he was kept for a month. He was fed meagerly on bread and water and in his agony gnawed the boards off his cell and ate the rust off the bars. He was released after he had slipped out a note in the shoe of a discharged prisoner. [The Guthrie daily leader. (Guthrie, Okla.) 1893-1996, August 25, 1900]


GARY WANTS LOPEZ ON MURDER CHARGE
Although he is only 19 years old Ben Lopez, former Gary steel worker, has been an inmate of a reform school, has served three prison terms for burglary, is now serving another sentence for the same offers; and also faces the electric chair for a Christmas Day murder.
Lopes is now confined in the Folsom prison at San Bernardino, Cal., for a burglary committee in that state. According to bureau of identification records, he started his career in crime at the tender age of 12 when he was sent to a reform school for correctional measures. Following his release he was arrested and served three sentences in the Colorado state prison for burglary. When Gary officials recently learned that Lopez was held In the Folsom prison, they communicated with authorities and learned that the prisoner is the same youth who is wanted for a Gary murder on Christmas Day. He will be returned to Lake county to face the murder charge when he finishes his present sentence. [The Hammond Times Thursday March 11, 1937 - Submitted by Barb Z. ]


When Mrs. H.H. KIZER OF 3428 Fir street was parking her car on Broadway, she was hit by Mrs. Ann Martin of Gary. [Hammond Times | Hammond, Indiana | Wednesday, June 12, 1935]

Waitress Arrested
Betty Mason, 26, a waitress residing in 113 Rimbach street, Hammond, was arrested by Hammond Detectives William Lute and Carl McFarland on a warrant charging her with grand larceny.  The apprehension was in Chicago. [Hammond Times (Hammond, IN) Sunday Oct 10, 1937]


Civilization in Indiana
The Crown Point, Ia., Register, of August 16th, says that on the Monday previous the citizens of Hobart township were startled with the sounds of guns, pistols, &c, and the cry of murder. The sounds came from the vicinity known as the Mummery neighborhood. A family, by the name of Mummery, consisting of the old man, three boys, a son-in-law and several daughters, have been living at variance for a year or two, have had hard words and frequently threatened each other's lives.
The quarrel commenced about the old man's property - one son and the son-in-law on one side, and the other sons on the other. The two have often threatened to put an end to the old man, if they ever caught him alone.
On Monday, the old man was told by the daughter that a hawk was flying about the house, and that he could shoot it. He took down a heavy double-barrelled gun. He did not see the hawk, but looked about until he got a short distance from the house, when he came across his son and his son-in-law, who said, "Here is the old man, let's kill him," and at once made after him with an axe. He turned and fired one barrel at his son, hitting him in the breast with some fifty large shot, killing him instantly. He snapped the other barrel at the son-in-law, but it did not go off. He took a double-barrel pistol from his pocket, and fired one barrel, taking off one of his ears. He then fired the other barrel and shot him through the body.
The son-in-law lived until Tuesday, and gave in his testimony before the coroner's jury, and died in 20 minutes thereafter. Public opinion seems to favor the old man, and the general opinion seems to be that he did no more than was necessary to save his own life. The old man is about 60 years old, the son he killed about 30 or over. The son-in-law, and leader in the difficulty, was an old man, probably older than his father-in-law.
About the same time, a man named Horton was killed by his own son, in Clay county, in a quarrel about a pistol which the father desired to take from the son, to prevent his killing somebody with it. The parricide was lodged in jail; and in the same jail were three of his brothers, one of them confined for theft, and the other two for obstructing legal process. Four brothers in jail at the same time for different offenses, is a spectacle not often witnessed. [26 Sep 1860, The Deseret News - submitted by K. Torp]



Crown Point, IN. - Nov. 30,1898. By the jury disagreeing in the case of James O'Leary, John Cello and "One-armed Nick" the operator, who have been on trial here for the past 3 days charged with operating poolrooms at Roby, the Chicago gamblers have won a victory. In all probability the cases will be dropped, as the State brought out all evidence possible but failed to convict. Several of the juryman say they think the case was started through the Corrigan crowd to crush out the Roby Racing Association by unfair means.
(Indiana Journal - Transcribed by Bonnie Clark for Genealogy Trails)


Crown Point, Ind., May 21 - Judge Biggs court was occupied all day in getting a jury for the first Roby prize fight case. The suit is against Dominick O'Malley, charged with riotous conspiracy. [The Herald (Los Angeles, Calif.) May 22, 1894, Page 2]


HAMMOND- William PEELE, 567 Summer street, Hammond objects to being held up. Last night he was returning home, and was alongside his home, when a hold-up man stepped up, struck him over the head with a revolver and demanded Peele's money. Instead of complying, Peele landed a couple of good punches on the gunman, who took to flight. [re-printed in the "10 Years Ago Today" column of the Hammond Times | Hammond, Indiana | Wednesday, June 12, 1935 | Page 2]


"KIDNAPPED" OFFICER FACES BIGAMY CHARGE
Captain Charles Pike, Medical Corps, Held in Indiana to Answer Criminal Charge. TAKEN FROM CHICAGO
Chicago, Dec. 15 [1922] -- After being "kidnapped" from his bride of a month, Captain Charles Pike, army medical corps, was held "somewhere in Indiana" today, charged with bigamy. Pike was taken into custody last night by three men who rushed him from the lobby of his apartment to a waiting automobile and spirited him across the Indiana line. Mrs. Pike notified police who immediately started search for the captain. It was not until several hours later they learned a warrant for his arrest was issued at Crown Point, Indiana. According to police, Pike was marriage by a "common law" contract in Philadelphia several years ago. Pike is said to have learned that the Philadelphia marriage was not valid in that state. Mrs. Pike's father, Attorney Louis A. Hile, opposed the marriage of his daughter to Pike. They finally eloped and were married in Crown Point. Several weeks later he was called before the public health service "investigating committee," charged with bigamy and conduct unbecoming to an officer. Police asserted that Pike's alleged first wife went to Crown Point and swore to the warrant for his arrest. It is believed he will be arraigned in Crown Point today, although his whereabouts were kept secret. [15 Dec 1922, The News-Sentinel - submitted by K. Torp]
ARMY MAN FACES CHARGE OF BIGAMY
Captain Pike, Former U. of P. Athlete Arrested on Penna. Woman's Complaint
CROWN POINT, Indiana, Dec. 15 [1922] -- Captain Charles Pike, U.S. Army Medical Corps, who was arrested in Chicago last night and brought to Crown Point jail to face bigamy charges will not be arraigned before tomorrow afternoon or night, Judge Howard Kemp announced tonight. Attorneys for the army captain are trying to arrange bail, but so far have not been able to obtain the required surety. Mrs. Frances Heile Pike, daughter of a Chicago attorney, who married the captain a month ago, visited him at the jail this afternoon. She declared her belief in his innocence was unshaken. The charges against Pike were filed by a Pennsylvania girl who claims to be his wife under a common law marriage entered into at Philadelphia. Pike and Miss Heile eloped to Crown Point from Chicago, where he is assistant surgeon at the Marine Hospital, last month after Attorney Heile had forbidden them to meet again because of Pike's statement regarding his relations with the Pennsylvania woman. Pike is a former star athlete of the University of Pennsylvania. Pike graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1912. He matriculated at the University after attending Swarthmore for a year, where he played football. During his student days at Penn, Pike played football, his position being at guard but he never succeeded at winning a regular berth on the Varsity. As a shot-putter he won a place on the track team and was also a member of the wrestling squad. [16 Dec 1922, The Philadelphia Inquirer - submitted by K. Torp]


Prize Fighter Fined and Jailed.
CROWN POINT, Ind., Feb. 25--Tommy Ryan, who recently defeated Danny Needham at Minneapolis, was fined $500 and cost yesterday by Judge Johnston for engaging in a fight with Bartlett last December in this state. Ryan was unable to pay, and lies in jail in default of payment. [February 27, 1891, Bloomfield Democrat, Indiana, p2, Sub. by Tammy Inman]


INDIANA JUSTICE IS SWIFT

CHICAGO, May 6 [1910] - Carl Schaller found Indiana justice was swift yesterday at Crown Point. He stole jewelry and diamonds from the house of Matthew Leinin, was arrested an hour later, entered a plea of guilty, was sentenced to 14 years in the Indiana state prison at Michigan City, and was taken to the penitentiary for supper. It was all over in six hours. [7 May 1910; The Grand Forks Daily Herald - submitted by K. Torp]


Chicago, IN. Sept. 21, 1898. Thomas Sharlau, alias Kelly, said to be one of the 3 men who robbed the bank at Shipshewana, Lagrange, Indiana, of nearly $15,000, about a year ago, was arrested here today after and exciting chase. He will be taken to Indiana for trial at once. The robbery of the bank was one of the most daring that ever occurred in Indiana. Nitroglycerin was used by the robbers, and the force of the explosion was so great that part of the walls of the bank building were blown out. [Indiana Journal - submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


EAST CHICAGO -- The car belonging to Steve SIMKO, 605 W. Chicago avenue, which was stolen early last evening, was recovered later by Officer Kondrat


Hammond, Ind., -- Revenge may be sweet for Albert Szymoniak. Albert is a butcher. He used to work in the shop of John Briggs, until Briggs discharged him. "I'll get my revenge". said he. Yesterday, the police said, he did. He led officers in a raid on the place of his erstwhile employers, pointing to a string of sausages. Inside the sheaths, the police said, there was moonshine. [The Lima News - March 13, 1931 - submitted by Linda Dietz]


Light Sentence for Whitlock.

Farmers Angry and May Seek New Revenge on Tolleston Club
CROWN POINT, Ind., May 4.—The jury In the Tolleston Gun Club case, after nine hours of balloting, found Barnm Whitlock guilty of simple assault and battery and gave him six months in jail and fined him $300. The farmers In the vicinity of the Tolleston Club's duck swamp who took part in the bloody battle on Jan. 19 wanted to see the Tolleston game wardens behind the bars of the penitentiary. Whitlock getting such a light sentence has caused the fire of revenge to flame up again and it is said the matter will not rest here, as many of them have said to-day that if they cannot get justice In the court they will get it some other way. The verdict is a big victory for the Tolleston Club, considering the odds they had to work against. As soon as the verdict was announced Alfred Taylor and Charles Whitlock were given their freedom, as no case could be made against them, but Charles and John Blackburn will be tried May 12. The farmers will attempt to prove that John Blackburn fired the rifle which sent a ball through the body of Frank Costic. The defendants claim Frank Whitlock, who escaped, fired the rifle and will endeavor to prove it by the wardens. The Tolleston Club, which is composed of rich Chicago business men will pay Whitlock's fine, but Whitlock will be forced to work on the streets with ball end chain for the next six months. Whitlock and five others were arrested on Jan, 19 for shooting down several farmers on the Calumet marsh who had invaded the grounds supposed to be owned by the Chicago club. [12 May 1897; "Indiana State Journal" - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


Crown Point, IN. -- As the result of the investigation by the Lake County grand jury sheriff Hayes today arrested Justice of the Peace S.O. Van Winkle, charged with soliciting and accepting a bribe from Mrs. Charles Lavine, of Hammond. He was given a preliminary hearing and bound over to the Circuit Court under $500 bonds, Van Winkle has been a Justice of the Peace for 20 years and is a trustee of the First Methodist Church. The arrest has thoroughly stirred up the citizens of Lake County, and several more arrests full as sensational will follow soon. [7 Oct 1897 - Transcribed for G.T. by Bonnie Clark]


Dancers Poisoned. An Awful Deed Committed by some Indiana Fiend

CROWN POINT, Aug. 14 [1895] - Excitement is at fever heat at Horsford Park, on the Elgin, Joliet & Western railroad, seven miles north of this city. Sheriff Hayes received a telegram stating that an attempt was made to poison the whole village, and the sheriff, with several deputies left at once for the scene. The 50 inhabitants of that village attended a dance Monday night and, as a result, Charles Williams, Miss Reisig and two girls from Chicago are not expected to live. During the evening some person placed arsenic or strychinine in large quantities in the water pail. The dancers drank freely and about 20 were poisoned before it was discovered. They all commenced vomiting. Most of them are better this morning except four, who will probably die. The water was examined by a physician who pronounced the poison arsenic. [15 Aug 1895; Idaho Daily Statesman - submitted by K. Torp]


RADICAL FINED $500

HAMMOND, IND. - FEB 20 [1920] - Michael Yelowitz was fined $500 and costs in the Crown Point criminal court today for circulating literature advocating the overthrow of the government during the steel strike at Gary. This was the first conviction under the new Indiana law against the distribution of radical literature. [21 Feb 1920; Duluth Sunday News Tribune - submitted by K. Torp]


The Treasurer's office at Crown Point, Lake County, was burglarized entered on one night week before last, the safe was blown open, and money taken to the amount of five thousand dollars. [8 Jul 1854; Paper: New Albany Daily Ledger - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]


Well-Diggers near Crown Point unearthed the bodies of a man, woman and child whose skulls had been crushed.   It is a mystery.  [Thursday, June 18, 1891; Elkhart Weekly Review (Elkhart, IN)  Page: 2; Sub. by Barb Z.]

 



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