Soldiers Hanged Today at Lansing, Kans.

LANSING, Kan, March 1---Three soldiers who killed a taxicab driver died on the gallows early today in Kansas' first triple execution since the state resumed capital punishment two decades ago.

The three Negro enlisted men, hanged under army supervision, were Chastine Beverly, 25, Balty, Va.; Louis M. Suttles, 26, Chattanooga, Tenn., and James Riggins, 28, Birmingham, Ala.

All wore regulation army uniforms stipped of insignia. They went to their death quietly.

They were convicted at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., of fatally beating Harry Langly, a Waynesville, Mo., cab driver and stealing his cab and money in September, 1951.

Military authorities and President Eisenhower upheld the death sentences fixed by a court-martial. (Chillicothe, Missouri, Tribune ~ March 1, 1955)


FT. LEAVENWORTH, Kan.---The Army hanged two soldiers early today for separate slayings almost four years ago in Germany and North Carolina.

They were Winfred D. Moore, Virginia Beach, Va., and Thomas J. Edwards, Ardmore, Okla., both 23-year-old Negroes.

They went to their deaths calmly without any last words.

They wore regulation olive drab uniforms without insignia.

The executions were carried out at the Army's disciplinry barracks at Ft. Leavenworth.

A general court-martial at Ft. Bragg, N.C., sentenced Moore to death after convicting him of slaying Charles Pettit, a cab driver, on June 30, 1953. Pettit was slain in the course of a robery at the military post.

Moore's wife Patricia lives at Columbus, Ga. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Moore of Virginia Beach. Edwards was convicted of the slaying of a German girl at Kitzinen, Germany, in March 1953. His wife, a daughter, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry N. Edwards, live at Ardmore.

Military personnel carried out the hangings. Col. James W. Davis, commandant of the barracks, supervised the 30 officers and enlisted men assigned to the task. A master sergeant sprung the trap. The Army declined to identify him.

A temporary platform was built in the station power plant with the traditional 13 steps. A guard walked at each side of Edwards as he climbed the steps. They repeated the procedure with Moore.

The executions were the first at Ft. Leavenworth since the 1940s. In the interim, condemned military men were executed at the Kansas State Prison at nearby Lansing. Kansas authorities recently served notice they would no longer execute Army prisoners.

Edwards received a telegram from the White House yesterday notifying him his plea for a delay had been rejected. He had dispatched two letters to President Eisenhower in recent days asking for a reprieve. (The Daily Times News ~ Burlington, North Carolina ~ February 14, 1957)


Fort Leavenworth, Kan., July 10---Five German prisoners of war, sentenced to death for the murder of a fellow prisoner, were hanged early this morning at the U.S. disciplinary barracks in a move unprecedented in the annals of United States military history.

The prisoners, termed "fanatical Nazis" by army authorities, were convicted Jan. 25, 1944, at Camp Graber, Okla., for the murder of Johannes Kunze at the Tonkawa, Okla., brauch compound. They were the first foreign war prisoners ever to be executed in the United States.

The executed Germans, all members of Rommel's Afrika korps, were:

Walter Beyer, 32, whose rank was equivalent to that of a first sergeant in the U.S. army; Berthold Seidel, 30, a staff sergeant; Hans Demme, 23, sergeant; Hans Schomer, 27, sergeant, and Willi Scholz, 22, corporal.

All went to their deaths clad in their German uniforms, their only request. Their last meal consisted only of the regular issued rations. Beyer, the ranking member of the group, ws the first to go to the gallows. Col. William S. Eley, commandant of the disciplinary barracks, read the execution order, relayed to the prisoner through an interpreter. (The Independent Record ~ Helena, Montana ~ July 10, 1945)


Phoenix, Ariz., March 14 - Military authorities today investigated the hanging of a German prisoner of war and an escape attempt by two other prisoners at the Papago Park internment camp.

The body of Werner Dreschler was found in an empty barracks building yesteday shortly after two other prisoners had made their way through an eletrified wife fence surrounding the camp. They were recaptured. (Huntingdon Daily News, March 14, 1944)


Phoenix, Ariz., March 14 - A board of officers today were investigating the hanging at the Papago Park internment camp Sunday night of a German prisoner of war identified as Werner Dreschler.

Dreschler "was found hanged in an empty building situated within the prisoner of war enclosure," Col. A. H. Means, camp commandant, announced, adding the board "is investigating the matter, and will render the usual report of their findings."

Colonel Means announced that two other internees had escaped from the Camp Sunday night, but were apprehnded. (El Paso Herald Post, March 14, 1944)


Fort Leavenworth, Kas., Aug. 25 - Stocial and still allegiant to a Nazism they refusted to believe was beaten, seven German prisoners of war - former members of wolf-pack submarine crews - died early this morning on the gallows for the "traitor slaying" of a fellow-prisoner.

The men - Helmut carl Fischer, 22; Fritz Franke, 21; Gunterh Kulsen, 22; Heinrich Ludwig, 25; Bernnard Reyak, 21; Otto Stengel, 26, and Rolf Wizuy, 23 - were executed at the U. S. Disciplinary Barracks here.

They went to their deaths one year and nine days after an army general court-martial found them guilty of the murder March 15, 1944, of Werner Dreschler, a fellow-prisoner whom they had accused of giving information of military value to the United States.

Dreschler's body, the army report said was found by guards the morning after the slaying in a bathouse of the Papage Park, Ariz., prisoner of war camp. The seven Nazi submarine sailors, the report continued, confessed to beating and choking Dreschler, then hanging him from a rafter.

At midnight Fischer, first of the seven began the "last mile" march to the gallows to pay for their crime. (Kokomo Tribune, August 25, 1945)


Jake and Joe Tobler Hanged in the Jail at Wichita, Kansas

WICHITA, Kan., Nov. 22---Jake and Joe Tobler, colored, were hanged yesterday at 10:25 in the county jail in the presence of but a few people, by Federal authorities, Deputy Marshal Howard superintending.

The crime for which they were executed was the killing of Cass and Gody Kuntz, near the Sax and Fox agency, in August, 1885. The murdered men were on their way from Vinitia to northern Texas, and were killed while asleep in their camp, about one mile from the Sax and Fox agency. The Tobler boys were soon after arrested with property of the murdered men in their possession, and confessed their guilt in the presence of a number of people. They were convicted at the September term of the United States court. (Newark, Ohio, Daily Advocate ~ November 22, 1888)


Carl Horne has been tried and convicted for the murder of Phillip Friend, by the Criminal Court of Leavenworth. This is his second trial, he being convicted on the first, but judgment reversed by the Supreme Court, to which the case was carried on error. A motion is now made for an arrest of judgment. (Freedom's Champion, December 20, 1862, page 2)


The first legal execution by hanging in the State of Kansas took place at Leavenworth on the 13th inst. A German, named Carl Horne, was hung for murder. (New York Herald, February 22, 1863)


We learn from the Paola Argus that the Indian Ben Lewis, tried on his own confessions, at the recent term of the District Court of Miami county, for the killing of a soldier some months since, about six miles north of town, was convicted of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to be hung on the 10th of August next. (Freedoms Champion, July 26, 1866, page 3)


Seneca, Sept. 18, 1868

Editor Champion and Press: Today at three o'clock and twenty-five minutes, Melvin Baughn paid the the extreme penalty of the law. The execution was conducted in front of the jail in Seneca, inside of a canvass enclosure. A rope was stretched on stakes about twenty feet from the enclosure and twenty guards armed with muskets and bayonets were stationed on the outside of the rope to keep back the crowd. They were commanded by Capt. A. K. Moore. The crowd was very quiet and everything passed off in the best of order. About twenty persons, including the Sheriff and deputy, two ministers of the gospel, and two surgeons were admitted to the inside of the canvass. He made no confession, and evidently had made up his mind to die game. He never quailed before the gallows, but stepped onto the scaffold with as much nonchalance as a practiced stump orator amid the plaudits of an admiring multitude. He stood for about ten minutes after the black cap was drawn over his face before the drop fell. He was still and upright as a statue, and never moved a muscle during the awful suspense. When asked by Sheriff Kiger after the reading of the sentence and death warrant if he had anything to say, he responded that he had been tried by his countrymen and sentenced, and now he was ready to suffer the penalty imposed by the law; that it was usual for men in his condition to make a confession, but that he had no confession to make. He handed a written document to Sheriff Kiger, thanking him and his son Lemuel, (deputy) for the uniform kindness and courtesy he had received while a prisoner in their care.
He acknowledged to your correspondent and to others, that he killed him, as he took good aim. He acknowledged to the shooting of a man by the name of Flood, on the Platte, when he was in the employ of the Overland Mail company. (Weekly Champion and Press, September 25, 1868, page 1)


Wichita, Kas., Nov. 15, - Lee Mosier was hanged here this morning. The execution was conducted by United States Marshall Sherritt and there was not a hitch in the proceedings. The only thing Mosier had to say was "I don't like to die this way." The drop fell at exactly 9:35 o'clock and Mosier's body shot downward. His neck was broken and he died in 12-1/2 minutes. A. R. Museller, one of the attorneys who defended Mosier in the United States court, received a telegram this morning from President Cleveland in answer to one asking for clemency:

"I am very sorry that my conception of public duty will not permit me to interfere in the case, thought I am much moved by sympathy for his worthy and suffering parents. Grover Cleveland" (Duluth Daily News, November 16, 1887, page 1)


Fort Leavenworth, Kan. (AP) - An Army warrant officer from San Antonio, Texas, is scheduled to be hanged Saturday for the 1952 slaying of his wife in Munich, Germany.

Bernard J. O'Brien, 33, will be executed at the Kansas State Penitentiary at nearby Lansing.

O'Brien was convicted by an Army court-martial at Munich in 1952 and sentenced to die. He was accused of killing his wife, Dorothy, earlier in the year. (Dallas Morning News, July 30, 1954, page 3, part 3)


Fort Leavenworth, Kan. (UPI) - A 30 year old U. S. Army private who had been under the death sentence since 1951 was hanged for the murder of a Korean civilian.

John E. Day, Jr., formerly of Washington, was sentenced by an Army court martial for the slaying Dec. 23, 1950, of Lee Mak Chun of Seoul. (Dallas Morning News, September 25, 1959, page 16, section 4)


Garden City, Kan. (AP) - Ex-convicts Richard Eugene Hickock, 28, and Perry Edward Smith, 31, were convicted Tuesday of first degree murder in the robbery-slaying last November of the Herbert W. Clutter family. The jury sentenced them to die by hanging.

Hickock and Smith were convicted of using a knife and shotgun last Nov. 15 in the brutal killing of Mr. and Mrs. Clutter, a daughter, Nancy, 16 and a son, Kenyon, 15.

The pair displayed no emotion at the verdict.

Statements made to police by the two men before the trial said they killed the Clutters because they "did not want any witnesses" to the robbery.

The holdup netted them a radio, a pair of binoculars and less than $50 in cash.

The crime was considered one of the most shocking in Kansas history.

The defense did not challenge the state's case but made pleas for life imprisonment rather than the death penalty.
Logan Green who assisted County Attorney Duane West in the prosecution, told the jurors it is up to them to see that the laws of the state are enforced.

Green noted the pleas by court appointed defense attorneys, Harrison Smith and A. N. Fleming, and said
"I wish these two men (the defense attorneys) had been present Nov. 15 to make a plea for mercy for Nancy Clutter. I dare say there would have been six bodies found instead of four." (Dallas Morning News, March 30, 1960)


FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kans.,---Pvt. Levi Brandon, 23, Kansas City, Kans., soldier convicted by a military court of raping a 17 year old waitress last New Year's morning, was executed on the gallows Monday at the military post. Only military officials, including an army chaplain, designated by the commanding general of the seventh service command witnessed the execution.
(Mason City, Iowa, Globe Gazette ~ July 26, 1943)


TOPEKA---A decision was delayed Friday on the attempt of Nathaniel Germany, 27-year-old Negro, to escape the gallows for the 1947 murder of David Gray, Kansas City, Kas., junior college student.

Counsel for Germany asked the Supreme Court for a 10-day delay to prepare a brief in answer to the state's motion for dismissal of the condemned man's application for a writ of habeas corpus.

The court granted a delay but took under advisement the amount of time to be allowed.

Germany is seeking the habeas corpus writ on the grounds his constitutional rights were violated. The high court already has upheld his conviction and sentence.

The state has asked that the writ application be dismissed and contends all questions raised by Germany already have been ruled on by the court.

The new delay was encountered when the state's motion came up for a hearing.

Germany was scheduled to be hanged last Dec 3 but execution has been stayed twice while his attorney, Elisha Scott of Topeka, exhausts his client's legal rights in the state courts. (Atchison Daily Globe ~ January 9, 1953)

Martin W. Bates, a boy of 19, was hanged at Burlinghame, Kansas, on the 20th, for the murder of Abel Pailey. (Lowell Daily Citizen and News, March 2, 1867, page 2)

The trial of Martin W. Bates, indicted for the murder of Abel Polley, Esq., a much esteemed citizen of Burlington, Osage county, commenced yesterday in the District Court for that county. (Weekly Champion and Press, January 3, 1867, page 4)


Russell, Kan. (AP) - Two teenage soldiers were convicted of murder Tuesday and sentenced to hang for the slaying of a railroad man in Western Kansas in June.

James Douglas Latham, 19, of Mauriceville, Texas and George Ronald York, 18, of Jacksonville, Fla., were convicted of slaying Otto Ziegler, 62, of Oakley, Kan.

The 12-man jury deliberated about 6 hours and 45 minutes rejecting a plea York and Latham were insane.

They also are accused of six other murders in Florida, Tennessee, Illinois and Colorado on a wild spree which started May 24, with their escape from an Army stockade at Fort Hood, Texas, and ended at a roadblock near Salt Lake City on June 10.

York and Latham sat quietly in the courtroom as the verdict was read. Neither showed any emotion. York's mother, Mrs. Horace A. York, wept quietly and was led from the courtroom by a friend.

The trial began Oct. 23 on a change of venue from Wallace county, near the Colorado line, where Ziegler was killed and robbed of $51.

Defense attorneys concentrated their final arguments on pleas against the death penalty. York and Latham did not take the stand during the trial.

Marvin Thompson one of the four court-appointed defense attorneys, argued that the state failed to prove premeditation - a requirement in first degree murder convictions.

"It's our position that it's not a first degree murder case," he told the jury.

"It's not even a very good second degree murder case."

Defense attorneys also contended there is a serious doubt of the youths' mental condition citing an Army record which sets out mental disturbances. (Dallas Morning News, November 8, 1961)

Kansas to Hang Confessed Killers

Russell, Kan. (UPI) - Two confessed killers, convicted by a district court jury after a cross country crime spree that took seven lives were sentenced to be hanged Jan. 30 "by the neck until dead."

George R. York and James D. Latham stood with heads bowed and appeared very serious as Judge Benedict Cruise pronounced sentence and told the youths to use the brief time remaining in their lives to turn to God.

The hanging was set for 12:01 a.m. CST at the Kansas State Prison in Lansing. (Dallas Morning News, December 4, 1961, page 7, section 1)

Last Minute Stay Given Two Men

Lansing, Kan., (AP) - Condemned killers James Douglas Latham and George Ronald York were granted a last minute stay of execution Wednesday just after they had ordered their last meal and flipped a coin to determine which should be hanged first.

They were under sentence to hang after midnight for the slaying of Otto Ziegler, 62 year old Oakley, Kan., railroad man, one of seven persons they killed in a cross country crime orgy.

The U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Denver, Colo., stayed the execution for 30 days. Roy Cook, attorney for the killers, pleaded that their constitutional rights had been violated because they were denied court-appointed counsel at their preliminary hearing. (Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1963)


Denver, Colo., (AP) - A three judge court of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the murder convictions of George York, 19, and James Latham, 20.

The two AWOL soldiers are under sentence of death for the slaying of Otto Ziegler, a 63 year old Oakley, Kan., railroad worker, during a 17-day crime spree extending from Florida to Colorado two years ago.

The two were under sentence to be hanged at the Kansas penitentiary in Lansing, June 20 until the circuit court granted a stay of execution to consider the appeal.

Under the unanimous decision handed down Wednesday, the two were granted 90 days for filing a further appeal with the supreme court of the United States.

York and Latham admitted seven killings during their crime spree. They were arrested near Grantsville, Utah, June 10, 1961 after the killing of Rachel Moyer, 18-year-old waitress at Craig in Northwest Colorado.

They were returned to Sharon, Kan., for trial in the slaying of Ziegler, but the actual trial was moved to Russell County, Kan., on a change of venue. (Dallas Morning News, July 13, 1963)


Topeka, Kan. (UPI) - A stay of execution was granted by Federal Judge Walter A. Huxman to Pvt. John A. Bennett, 24-year-old Negro who was to have been hanged at the U.S. disciplinary barracks in Fort Leavenworth.

Bennett, convicted of the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl, had been scheduled to go to the gallows at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

In his previous appeals, Bennett claimed that "racial hostility" surrounded the court martial and that he should have been tried by Austrian authorities and not by the military tribunal. (Dallas Morning News, March 11, 1960)


Pair Shoots Way Out of Post Office at Topeka; Sought for Bank Raid

Plattsmouth, Nebr. - April 16 - Two gunmen who shot Federal Agent W. W. Baker at Topeka Friday were captured here at night by Sheriff Homer Sylvester without resistance.

TOPEKA, Kan. April 16, Two gangsters blasted their way out of a trap in Topeka's downtown post office Friday with a fusillade of shots that riddled a young Federal agent bent on solving an $18,000 New York Bank robbery.

Wayne W. Baker, 27, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on his first major assignment was wounded critically by four bullets. A bystander, O. D. Davis, was shot in the foot.

Later the fleeing bandits kidnapped a doctor and forced him to treat the wounds one of them had suffered in the fight.

City Marshal P. M. Crawford of Sabetha, Kan., said Dr. Sam Hibbard of that town was kidnapped and forced to treat an arm wound for one of the two men.

Crawford said the men telephoned Dr. Hibbard from a farmhouse a few miles north of Sabetha. Hibbard was confronted by two armed desperadoes on his arrival.

Take Doctor's Car

The pair forced the physician to drive them to Sabetha in his own automobile and go to his office, where he bandaged the arm wound. Extent of the injury was not determined definitely.

The gunmen then forced Dr. Hibbard to drive them several miles north of Sabetha, ejected him from the car and continued their flight northward toward Lincoln, Nebr.

Crawford said the gunmen's car, bearing New York license plates, was found wrecked in a ditch near the farmhouse. A wrecker was to bring the machine here for examination.

The fugitives, identified by F. B. I. Director J. Edgar Hoover as Gerald Lewis and Robert Suhay, fled in a black coupe. They have been hunted for the March 12 robbery of the Northern Westchester bank of Katonah, N.Y. Their westward-bound automobile was the object of one of the most vigorous searches ever organized in Kansas.

Twenty shots were fired in the furious fighting through the marble lobby of the post office just before noon. Some of the spectators thought one of the fugitives also was wounded but the stories of the closer witnesses were sealed by Government agents who took extraordinary precautions to keep secret the details.

Call for Package

The two fugitives appeared casually at the post office and one of them called for a package Federal agents had marked. There were three agents who had posted themselves in separated positions for three days.

At a signal from a clerk at the mail window, Baker stepped forward, covered the suspect and ordered him to put up his hands. In answer, the second fugitive opened fire, shooting the agent in the back. Baker whirled and another bullet struck him in the chest. Two more bullets struck him in the legs.

Bystander Davis was writing at one of the lobby tables.

Mrs. J. Bunch, who was standing at a desk in the half-block-long lobby, said:

"I heard some man yell "I'm shot."

"There were two girls standing beside me and as soon as the shots were fired, we all fell on the floor and got under the table.
There must have been a dozen shots before I saw them an (Baker) fall. Then two other men began shooting at a fellow who was running out of the lobby."

Highway Guard Organized

C. C. McComas, who operates a food market across the street from the post office, said: "The two came out first, on a dogtrot, the agents just behind them. One dropped an arm at his side, probably wounded. They continued shooting as they crossed the street, to the northwest corner where the car was parked."

Frank Stone Jr., assistant director of the Kansas Highway Patrol said. "The strongest guard on the highways we've ever had" was organized for the pursuit.

Dwight Brantley, Federal agent in charge at Kansas City, came here by airplane.

"I am trying to piece this thing together so I can find out what happened." Was his single comment.

Even the condition of Baker, who underwent an emergency operation for removal of several of the bullets was sheathed in the elaborate secrecy of the F. B. I. However, it was known the agent's condition was critical and that his associates were prepared for possible blood transfusions.

Is Native of Yuma

Baker, a native of Yuma, Ariz., entered the bureau in 1933 as a law clerk. In 1936 he enrolled in the special training course for Federal agents and when he was graduated early this year he was assigned to the branch at Kansas City. He is unmarried.
Three men held up the Katonah bank March 12 two weeks after Merle Vandenbush, Midwestern desperado, had looted it of $17,600 only to be captured with two companions a few miles away.

Lewis and Suhay were named as the men who actually committed the second robbery by New York Department of Justice agents three weeks ago when they arrested John M. Maurer, James O'Reilly and Leonard Haberman, all of New York City. (The Dallas Morning News, April 17, 1937, Section 1, Page 16)

Gangsters Puzzle Country Sheriff; They Didn't Shoot

G-Man's Condition Still Grave, $17,000 Taken From 2 Captive Thugs

Kansas City, Kan. April 17 - Federal and city officers backtracked Saturday a trail of money left by two New York gunmen before they were captured by a country Sheriff in Nebraska Friday night as they fled from the scene of a Topeka post office battle that left a young G-man gravely wounded.

More than $17,000, virtually the same amount stolen in a bank robbery at Katonah, N. Y., March 17, was found on the trail of Robert Suhay and Alfred Power, New York gangsters brought here after their bloodless arrest at Plattsmouth.

On the outcome of bullet wounds suffered by Wayne W. Baker, 27, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, will depend the gravity of charges to be brought against Suhay and Power, District Attorney Alexander said at Topeka.

Baker's condition was reported unchanged. His intestines perforated by bullets as he attempted to make this first major arrest, his recovery was said to be doubtful.

Doctor Leads G-Men to Cash

Dwight Brantley, in charge of the Kansas City division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said a Kansas doctor, presumed to be Dr. S. M. Hibbard of Sebetha, led officers to $6,954.15 left by the two men in a hotel room here.

Brantley said Power and Suhay gave a Kansas doctor keys to a Kansas City hotel room in which they told him there was a lot of money and he could have it.

Brantley declined to name the doctor. Kansas City officers found the money at the hotel.

Dr. Hibbard was captured by the fugitives at Sabetha and forced to treat one of them.

Homer Sylvester, 5-foot 4-inch Sheriff who arrested the men without a struggle after they lost their way through the streets of Plattsmouth, a town of 3,700, said they had $11,000 concealed in their clothing.

Brantley declined to say which of the two men fired the shots in the Topeka post office lobby that wounded Baker.

Pair Admits Shooting

J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the F. B. I. announced at Washington the two had admitted participating in the shooting.

Suhay was wounded in the arm as the pair fled from officers at Topeka Brantley said the wound was not serious.

Brantley said the men were not in the Jackson County jail, on top of the skyscraper courthouse here, but would not say where they are being held.

Sylvester, who admitted he was just a bit nervous after the capture, but not during it, thinks he and his brother were mighty lucky in staging the arrests without a shot being fired.

Sylvester said he cautioned his brother not to get too close to the gangsters' car while they were trailing it eight miles into town, because he said "if you drive up alongside and they have a machine gun, they get the breaks."

He said the New York men knew they were being trailed during the last six miles of the chase and that he added, is all the more reason why he can't understand why they didn't fight it out when they finally found they had lost their way. (Dallas Morning News, April 18, 1937, Pages 1 & 10)


Captured Thugs to Face Speedy Murder Indictment, Prosecutor Says

Topeka, Kan. April 18 - The bullets of two New York gunmen he sought to trap two days ago claimed the life of a young Federal agent early Sunday just as his fellow G-man were clamping an $11,00 web of evidence about the spectacular gangsters.
W. W. Baker, 27, the agent, died in a hospital here of four bullet wounds he suffered in his first major assignment. An emergency operation and at least two blood transfusions were futile.

The death of the agent was shielded in such secrecy by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that it did not become publicly known until the body was removed to a funeral home. Baker's father, a resident of Yuma, Ariz., was understood to be in seclusion here.

In near-by Kansas City Federal agents held Alfred Power and Robert Suhay, gangsters accused of an $18,000 Katonah (N.Y.) bank robbery, to face what United States Attorney S. S. Alexander said would be a prompt indictment for murder. The prosecutor indicated the indictment would be sought before a June grand jury, although there was a possibility of a special grand jury being called earlier. Alexander said the death penalty would be demanded.

The two gangsters blasted their way out of a trap Friday in Topeka's downtown post office. As Baker was cut down by bullets the return fire of his fellow agents wounded Suhay in the left wrist.

Homer Sylvester, 5-foot, 4-inch, Nebraska Sheriff, and his deputy seized the gangsters without a shot Friday night after the New Yorkers lost their way through the streets of Plattsmouth, Nebr., a town of 3,700. (The Dallas Morning News, April 19, 1937, page 1, section 1)


Leavenworth, Kan., June 10 - Robert J. Suhay and Glenn Applegate, convicted slayers of Federal Agent Wimberly W. Baker, were sentenced Friday to hang in the Federal penitentiary here between 3 and 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12.

"That's a good break; that's good luck." Applegate remarked to a prison deputy. "It could have been Friday the 13th."

The two were convicted for the fatal wounding of Baker in Topeka April 16, 1937. The young G-man was shot as he accosted the pair when they called at the Topeka post office for mail.

Suhay and Applegate, object of a search for the $18,300 robbery of a bank at Katonah, N.Y., were captured the night of the Topeka shooting at Plattsmouth, Neb.

Their appeals from the death sentence were confirmed by the United States Circuit Court and the United States Supreme Court. Sentence was passed by District Judge Richard J. Hopkins, who presided at their trial. (The Dallas Morning News, June 11, 1938, Section 1, Page 1)


Murderer of 22 Jeers as Hanged

Leavenworth, Kan., Sept. 5 (AP) - Carl Panzran, self-declared slayer of twenty-two persons, was hanged at the Federal prison early Friday for the murder of W. G. Warnke, civilian laundry foreman at the penitentiary where Panzran was serving a sentence for burglary imposed by a District of Columbia court.

President Hoover Thursday night denied a plea for clemency.

The slayer was pronounced dead at 6:19 a.m.

Jeering the crowd as he walked to the gallows, Panzran noted two chaplains present. He asked the warden that they be removed. The chaplains left in accordance with his will.

Panzran serving his sixth prison sentence, struck down the laundry foreman with a heavy iron bar June 19, 1929, in a frenzy of rage.

The hanging was the first legal execution in Kansas since 1870, with the exception of that of a Federal prisoner at Wichita in 1888. The Kansas law provides capital punishment only for treason. Panzran, however, was prosecuted under Federal statutes, his crime having been committed on Federal property. (Dallas Morning News, September 6, 1930, page two, part 1)



Lansing, Kan. (AP) - Lowell Lee Andrews, hanged early Friday for the murder of his parents and sister, will be buried in the same cemetery where they were interred four years ago after he killed them for their land and money.

Outwardly remorseless and disinterested, the 22 year old former University of Kansas Sophmore had nothing to say as he stood on the gallows trap at the state penitentiary to pay the penalty for the killings he freely admitted.

His attorney had tried unsuccessfully to prove him mentality ill. State and federal courts had granted three stays of execution. Thursday night Gov. John Anderson refused to intervene. (Augusta Chronicle, December 1, 1962, Section A, page 3)


William Griffith, one of the murderers, was arrested in Platte County, Mo., in 1863; was tried and convicted of murder at Mound City, Linn County, Kan. He was executed October 30, 1863. William Hargrove, one of the surveyors of the tragedy, acted as executioner. (A History of Kansas, by Noble L. Prentis, 1899, page 75)


Back to Index Page

Copyright © to Kansas Genealogy Trails' host & all Contributors
  All rights reserved