Franklin County, Ohio
Genealogy and History


Crime News

These are listed in loose alpha order based on the surname of the first individual mentioned in the story.

Columbus, March 19- Mrs. Cecelia Alberry, 24, was in serious condition at Grant hospital Tuesday with two bullet wounds in her head, inflicted late last night by her husband, Ivan Alberry, 27, who is held at city prison for investigation. Alberry made an unsuccessful attempt to shoot himself after wounding his wife, but the cartridges failed to explode.  In a statement to police Alberry said he quit his job as messenger for the Adams Express company last night and decided to kill his wife and himself because she had wrongfully accused him of infidelity. [Evening Gazette, (Xenia, OH), Mar 19, 1918 - Submitted by LD]

COLUMBUS, O., Nov. 2.-The arrest here of H. E. Campbell and Joseph Gavin by Chicago detectives, will probably clean up the robbery of the New Westminster, B. C. bank a year or so ago.The Alaska Daily Empire (Juneau, AK), November 2, 1912, page 1

The Ohio supreme court has refused to grant the motion for leave to file a petition in error in the case of Patrick Hartnett, wife murderer, sentenced to hang at the Ohio penitentiary. [The Eau Claire News (Eau Claire, Wis.) 3 Oct 1885, pg 2, tr by KT]

A Seven-Foot Fall from the Gallow's Trap Almost Tears Head from His Body-Strong Men Horror-Stricken.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 1 - The law's extreme penalty was visited Wednesday morning upon Patrick Hartnett, who murdered his wife in Cincinnati some time ago.  There had been great efforts made by his counsel and friends to save Harnett's life, but the governor, when at last appealed to-after every other plan know to the law for securing respite or liberty to murderers had failed-refused to interfere.  Hartnett died game, as he promised he would. The execution, the second under the new law, took place at the Ohio penitentiary Wednesday morning. The drop was sprung at 1:25 1/2 in the morning, and the victim was pronounced dead one-half of more than seven feet, and one of the most sickening and revolting scenes in the history of Ohio executions followed. As the body dropped to a standstill a heavy, gurgling sound was heard, and soon the blood in torrents commenced pouring on the stone floors. The black cap was raised slightly, and it was found that decapitation was almost complete, the head hanging to the body only by a small piece of skin at the back of the neck. During the half minute or more which the heart beat the blood was thrown against the platform above from the exposed gash caused by the head being pulled back on one shoulder. The strong men who had charge of the execution turned white under the scene and stood fixed for a time looking each other in the eyes. finally Coroner Carrick, more thoughtful than the rest, through unable to speak above a whisper, called for help to take the body down before it should disconnect from the head and fall. The heavy clothing of the murderer by this time had become soaked and running with blood from every wrinkle and seam. Those who lifted it up till the rope could be untied were smeared with blood, and as the body was lowered to the pools of gore below the gaping trunk was exposed in all its horror. [unknown newspaper, Oct 1885] Executed September 30, 1885

Infuriated Irishman Tried to Shoot Man Over Telephone.
Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 27.-"If yez don't pay up," shouted Pat McGwynn through the telephone, I'll shoot the top of yez heads off. begorra." Somebody talked back to Pat over the wire and he howled with rage: "What's that? Yez says shoot and so I will, Yez son of a gun," and Pat pulled a long revolver from under his coat tail. McGwynn had gone into a St. Clair street coal office to use the telephone to dun a delinquent debtor. He did not get satisfaction, and from Pat's end of the wire the foregoing conversation ensured. Clerks in the office became frightened and notified the police. An officer nabbed Pat while he was flourishing the gun in one hand and the ear trumpet in the other. In police court McGwynn was fined $5 and costs for carrying concealed weapons.[The Anniston Republic, Jan. 3, 1903, page 6, Anniston, AL]

Columbus, O., Sept. 3.- Frank Mueller was electrocuted in the annex of the Ohio penitentiary for the murder of Mrs. J. W. Miller, the wife of his employer, on March 27 last. [Willmar Tribune (Willmar, MN), September 7, 1897, page 2]

Jacob Neiswander
, living fifteen miles north of Columbus, Ohio, is supposed to have been murdered and cremated. He left home nearly three weeks ago, and was not seen again until the 19th inst., when he was seen going towards his home with a satchel. He again disappeared, and last week his family deserted the premises. The neighbors made an investigation in the house and found bones in a large heap of ashes in a fireplace. Two sons of the missing man have been arrested. They are boys fourteen and eighteen years old. There have been contentions in the family, and one of the boys confessed to having wounded his father with a butcher knife almost a month ago. [Gallipolis Journal, (Gallipolis, Oh.) Thursday, January 07, 1875 - Sub. by Kathy McDaniels]

On the 8th Clark Ours was killed in trying to escape from the Ohio penitentiary at Columbus. He slipped from the roof and fell four stories. [The Worthington Advance (Worthington, MN), December 13, 1888, page 2, tr by RL]

There is immense excitement at Columbus Ohio in consequence of the kidnapping of a colored man, named Jerry Phinney, by a company of men living near Frankfort, Kentucky.  Jerry, it is stated, has lived at Columbus for fifteen years, has a wife and three children and has the papers to show that he was twenty years ago liberated and sent to Ohio by his mistress.  The governor of Ohio has offered a reward of $500 for the arrest of the kidnappers, which will be increased by the citizens of Columbus.  The affair, it is added, has caused scores of accessions to the abolition ranks and will doubtless cost Kentucky many a slave. [The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, April 17, 1846 - Sub. by NP]

Columbus, July 18. - Tonight at 9 o'clock Frank Rollin, a prisoner in the penitentiary, sent up last May for burglary, was found hanging in his cell by a cloth string attached to a wire fastened to his bed. In his stocking was found a letter confessing that in 1888 he and Samuel Potts murdered a man in Saginaw, Mich., but, giving no name. [New Ulm Review (New Ulm, MN) July 20, 1892]


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