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There were so many criminals and such little time to visit them.

Maybe I had spent too much time with my good friend Monk Eastman; or William Delaney, or both.

I copied down several other names of the dutifully convicted. My plan was to select several names and to read the trial transcripts. I usually don’t stop to look at car and train crashes; however I do love a well organized criminal trial.

I summarized the following data from ten trial transcripts to save you time. We will look at the individual details in future posts.



Date: 1910/05/18                   

Mr. Francesco Purpura was charged with rape, assault and abduction. He allegedly committed the crime at 80 Catherine Street; in the back of his shoe repair shop. The victim was a thirteen year old Italian girl. The question of her consent was raised. Mr. Purpura was found guilty by the jury.



Date: 1904/4/12

Mr. William Delaney (aka Monk Eastman) was a gang member in 1904. The following fact does not show up in these trial transcripts but does appear in several other documents. Monk Eastman had been doing the dirty work for Tammany Hall, the corrupt force behind New York City politics. Monk Eastman had become arrogant and foolish. Tammany Hall had to get rid of him. Jail seemed the easiest method.

In this transcript Monk Eastman allegedly fired his pistol at two Pinkerton Policemen. They were hired to protect the black sheep of a well-to-do family. Monk and some of his gang attempted to rob the sheep. The Pinkerton’s moved in and the gun fight on 42nd street erupted. The jury found Monk Eastman guilty of the charges.



Date: 1914/3/11

Michael Whelan, a city building inspector in 1914, was accused of demanding and taking a $25 bribe. This was in relation to some boiler work being done at 532 E. 20th Street, Manhattan. Witnesses have stated that, after the demand for the $25 bribe, a sting was set up with marked money. Mr. Whelan took the marked money and placed it in his pocket. He was immediately arrested. The trial papers are prematurely terminated. Therefore we do not know if Mr. Whelan was found innocent or guilty.


FOURTH RECORD: J. Harris, H. Simon, and Hirsch Seliger

Date: 1905/02/07

The case, tried in 1905, revolves around several cases of butter and eggs being burgled from 650 Hudson Street and delivered to 324 Greenwich Street. The goods were alleged to be illegally received and were of sufficient value to meet the requirements for grand larceny. Harris and Simon were caught delivering stolen goods to Seliger at his place of business. All three charges were bundled together to save time for the court. The defendants were found guilty.



Date: 1907/02/18

John Dorthy, in 1907, is charged with forging a working man’s name to a bank withdrawal statement. The location of the crime was 148 E. 45th Street. The crime was perpetrated under the pretenses that the working man was only signing as a witness to a will. There were two sheets of paper; the will and the second sheet being the withdrawal statement. The working man did not realize what he was signing. The top sheet was discarded and the money was taken from the bank. Because there was really no forgery that charge was dropped. The grand larceny charge was presented to the jury. The trial record does not show how the jury decided.


SIXTH RECORD: Mary Green and Mabel Rosher

Date: 1905/02/07

In 1905 Frank Hellam, a boat captain from the state of Maine, contends that Mary Green and  Mabel Rosher have robbed him. This allegedly took place at 213 West 27th Street, Manhattan. This, indeed, is a strange official transcript. In fact, it is not a transcript but rather the remembrances of someone. The two female defendants were convicted of grand larceny of the first degree.


SEVENTH RECORD: Stephan Hooker, Toussaint Vogelsand and Martha Pell

Date: 1893/11/10

The two males and one female defendant are charged with 1st degree murder in 1893. Neighborhood boys and men were playing craps on John Dozier’s front stoop at 25 Minetta Lane. An argument erupted and Dozier’s front door is broken. As a result a fight erupted between one of the young men and Dozier. Later that day three people conspired to give Dozier a beating. That evening Dozier was attacked and hit in the head with two bricks. He died the next day in the hospital. There is much testimony about the character of the defendants. The trial transcript does not include the jury’s decision.


EIGTH RECORD: The Zreik Brothers; Elias and George

Date: 1906/10/1

The transcript starts on page 296. There is no explanation as to why. An unknown witness (due to the missing transcript pages) is being questioned with the aid of an interpreter. There was a stabbing and two gunshots in a restaurant at 81 Washington Street. A man named John Stephen has been shot and falls to the floor. The witness tells the jury that George Zreik had a knife and a pistol at the time. The transcript is extensive due to most of the witnesses being Arabic and requiring a translator. Much of the transcript is discussion about the true meaning/intent of the translation. Multiple translators are called in due to confusion. There are conflicting stories between several of the witnesses. The jury’s decision is not in the transcript.



Date: 1911/4/18

The defendant, a dock master, is accused of changing the price of a docking fee. Triplicate fee tickets are always made. In this case ticket #1 shows that $0.50 was collected. Ticket #3 shows that $37.38 was paid for docking the schooner “Nellie W. Craig.” The dock is located between East 19th and 20th Street on the North River. The defendant is accused of pocketing the difference. There is much technical wrangling between the lawyers and the judge. Witness testimony is sparse and conflicted due to this. In the end the whole case falls apart due to a lack of comparative signatures for the defendant. The tickets which the entire case is built on are not allowed. The judge directs the jury to acquit.



Date: 1915/9/20

Harry Newman, a sixteen year old, is accused of raping a 6 year old girl. The alleged place of the rape was 125 E. 50th Street. Several witnesses saw him take the girl into a hallway. They became alarmed. They notified the mother who was in a building attached to the hallway. The mother says she caught the man with his private parts exposed and her daughter had her dress up and her panties unbuttoned. None of the witnesses saw an actual rape. However a doctor examined the girl the day of the alleged rape.  He confirmed that her hymen had very recently been ruptured. A second doctor, less experienced, claimed that he only saw irritation of the girl’s private parts. After much discussion and closing remarks the jury finds the defendant guilty of a reduced charge of attempted rape.



There I sat in my easy chair. Hardly had I expected to see such a group of infamous people.

Jorge Luis Borges had attempted to warn me when I read his “Book of Infamy.” He had introduced me to infamous people from around the world. But I never expected to see so many of them living in the south end of Manhattan, New York.

What is even more frightening is that I had only met sixteen of them. There were thousands more waiting for me in the college of John Jay’s “Lloyd Sealy Library.”

I hoped that none of them would appear to me that night.