01 December 2007

The State Police in 1932

Over the years, there has been much criticism of the New Jersey State Police and their abilities during the Lindbergh Case. While some criticism is warranted, much of it comes from looking at the investigation with 21st Century eyes. This is unfair, because the State Police of today is a very different organization from what it was in 1932.

The bulk of Lindbergh Case investigation lasted from March 1, 1932 through to the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann in January 1935. The 11th Annual Report provides statistical data about the State Police from July 1, 1931 to June 30, 1932. According to the 1932 Annual Report, this was the structure of the State Police at that time:

Executive and Administration Staff

Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf – Superintendent
Major Charles Schoeffel – Deputy
Arden M. Sperling – Sergeant Major
Detective Bureau

Henry F. Wooge – Captain
Arthur T. Keaten – Lieutenant
License Bureau

Walter J. Coughlin – Lieutenant
Identification Bureau

Russell A. Snook – Lieutenant
Teletype Bureau

John E. Murnane (Trenton) – Lieutenant
Joseph Hoch (Newark) – Lieutenant
Supply Bureau

Gaston A. Conklin – Supply Sergeant
Statistical Bureau

John A. Mitchell – Sergeant
Automobile Bureau

John A. Mitchell – Sergeant
Safety Education Bureau

John V. Conover – Sergeant

William J. Carter – Troop “A” (Hammonton)
John J. Lamb – Troop “C”
William O. Nicol – Troop “B” (Morristown)
Specialist Staff

Dr. D. Leo Haggerty (Trenton) – Physician
Benjamin J. Spits (Paterson) –
Rev. Gill Robb Wilson (Trenton) – Chaplain
Fr. Joseph P. Connor
(West Orange) – Chaplain

Total number of Enlisted: 279

The current structure of the State Police has grown radically over the years. While there is still just one Colonel serving as Superintendent, there are now five Lieutenant Colonels that include a Chief of Staff and four Deputy Superintendents, fourteen majors, forty-six captains, and one hundred and ninety-two lieutenants. There organization is divided into four “branches” that are further subdivided into countless sections, bureaus and units. The State is divided into five “Troops” today that currently administer about 25 road stations.

In the 1930s, the State Police were faced with a three-fold problem, “namely the rural problem, the crime problem and the traffic problem.”

The Rural Problem
In the 1930s, New Jersey was still legitimately known as “The Garden State”. New Jersey had over seven thousand square miles that was entirely or to the greater extent dependent upon the State Police for protection. Many people were living on farms that were too far from the cities for the sheriffs and city police to protect. This is what led to the Grange pressing for the formation of the State Police eleven years earlier.

Also, “the productive activities of many of our agriculturists and horticulturists [extended] over such an expansive territory that it [was] impossible for them to protect their interests on their own. They were subjected to petty and wholesale thievery from malefactors ranging from passing automobiles to organized gangs.”

The State Police protected the farmers against “fruit thieves, flower and blossom thieves, chicken thieves, gangs of produce thieves, etc.”

The Crime Problem
A major part of the crime problem facing New Jersey at the time was due to the close proximity to New York City and Philadelphia. Both of these cities “...had its underworld and New Jersey [was] situated between the two.” Criminals would cross into New Jersey to commit “all manner of crimes” and then just as easily and quickly leave the State again.

There was also a general “crime wave” at that time, most likely due to the advent of the Great Depression, as well as the “ordinary criminal activities which always exist in more or less thickly populated territories.” The variety of crimes handled by the State Police at that time covered 100 different classifications. One of the classifications was kidnapping, of which there were 7 during the fiscal year.

The Traffic Problem
Foreign traffic was a major issue in New Jersey in the 1930s as much as it is today. The Lincoln Highway brought most of this traffic into the State. The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental highway in the United States. It linked Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. This section of the Lincoln Highway is now known as Route 1.

The United States Department Commerce reported the portion of the Lincoln Highway between Philadelphia and New York as being “the most traveled highway in the country”. The opening of resorts was another cause of the traffic problem in New Jersey.

Oceanfront, bay front, river, lake, mountain and pine resorts brought “hosts of out-of-state visitors.” The opening of the new interstate bridges increased the State’s traffic problem as well.

In 1932, New Jersey had 1,535 miles of State Highways, 4,070 miles of County Highways and 11,844 miles of Township Highways – all outside city limits. These had to be patrolled by the State Police.

As stated before, the New Jersey State Police had more than 7,000 square miles of territory to cover and they averaged 279 “assigned and attached men to carry on this work. From the 279 men, personnel were assigned for the Executive Staff, the Administrative Staff, the Detective Bureau, the License Bureau, the Automobile Bureau, the Supply Bureau, the Statistical Bureau, the Safety Education Bureau, the Identification Bureau, the Teletype Bureau, the Recruit Training Staff and the Troop Executive and Administrative Staffs.”

It was reported in the Annual Report that the “actual functioning of the State Police [was] mainly carried out by the Trooper on the road. It became necessary to spread them out in small groups all over the state, far from individual official surveillance. “Liaison, guidance and personal supervision [was] extremely difficult.” Colonel Schwarzkopf had to rely on morale to hold the organization together, as well as honor, integrity and courage to encourage good conduct and to ensure that the Troopers did their job. And, according to the statistics, they did.

During Fiscal Year 1932 the State Police made 27,450 arrests resulting in 23,535 convictions with 1,874 cases pending trial. 131,774 warnings were issued during that time as well.

It must be remembered that the State Police was not (and is not) just an enforcement agency, but also a service agency. The Troopers rendered roadside assistance, for example, in 11,682 cases. They fought 73 forest fires, saving $21,940 worth of property from destruction. During this time 480 stolen cars ($207,302 value) were recovered and returned to their rightful owners. $60,116.36 worth of other stolen property was also recovered and returned. In addition, 10,291 co-operative days of service were rendered to other enforcement agencies in the State and 89 municipal police officers graduated from the New Jersey Police Academy run by the State Police at Sea Girt.

The Safety Patrol, which had been started in rural schools by the State Police in 1929, now had 177 patrols, with more requested.

The State Bureau of Identification, created in 1930, now held approximately 30,000 valuable records. 48,000 sets of fingerprints were received from 232 agencies throughout the State. 10,299 of them were identified as belonging to criminals. 43 wanted persons were identified and apprehended by fingerprints. 16,228 photographs were received and filed as well. 440 fingerprints were checked against latent fingerprint photographs taken at the scenes of crime.

The Bureau received 2,552 reports of missing persons and 2,252 reports of wanted persons were received.

All fingerprints received by the State Police had to be classified and then indexed by name and alias. They were filed according to fingerprint classification.

This basic analysis of the work performed by the New Jersey State Police during Fiscal Year 1932 is very similar to what they faced in 1933 and 1934. However, there were fewer Troopers in 1933 and 1934 due to layoffs caused by the Great Depression. In 1933 enlistment dropped 13% to 240 Troopers and that number increased by only one, to 241, in 1934. Today there are over 2,900 enlisted members of the State Police -- a 1146% increase -- with over 1,400 civilian support staff.

At least thirteen Troopers -- 5% of the entire State Police enlistment -- were assigned to the Lindbergh Case. To do that today would require over 380 Troopers to be assigned to the detail. That is more than the entire compliment of the Department of State Police in 1932.

It was against this background that the New Jersey State Police had to investigate their first major case – the Lindbergh Kidnapping – with all the world watching.

01 November 2007

Schwarzkopf vs. Hoffman

On February 13, 1935 Bruno Richard Hauptmann was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. New Jersey Governor Harold G. Hoffmann did not accept that Hauptmann was the sole perpetrator of the “Crime of the Century” and ordered the New Jersey State Police to re-open their investigation. Convinced that the State Police were trying to frame Hauptmann, the Governor also conducted his own investigation, generating over 20,000 pages of documents. Hoffmann was unsuccessful in his attempt to help Hauptmann and on April 3, 1936 he was executed at the Trenton State Prison.

On June 30, 1936, Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf’s third five-year term as Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police came to an end. He was first appointed in 1921 by Governor Edward I. Edwards to establish the New Jersey State Police and to serve as its first superintendent. He served under five governors of both political parties during his tenure.

Governor Hoffmann decided not to re-appoint Schwarkzopf as Superintendent. Instead, he appointed his friend and political ally, Colonel Mark O. Kimberling, as the second State Police Superintendent. Kimberling originally held the title of Deputy Superintendent under Schwarzkopf from 1921 until he resigned on June 30, 1929. He later became the Principal Keeper of the Trenton State Prison and was in charge of Richard Hauptmann’s execution in April 1936. He took over as superintendent on June 17, 1936.

The publicity of Hoffman’s involvement in the Lindbergh Case ruined his political career. He was not re-elected and never went on to national office. He served in World War II in the Army Transport Command and after the war was appointed to mid-level positions in state government.

Eighteen years after being dismissed from office, Colonel Schwarzkopf (by now a Brigadier General in the United States Army) returned to state service as an administrative assistant to the Attorney General. In March 1954, he was directed to lead an investigation into the affairs of the Division of Employment Security whose director had been suspended on charges of official misconduct. The director in question was former Governor Harold G. Hoffmann. He was suspended on March 18, 1954 and State Troopers were sent to his offices to secure files for Federal and State investigators.

When Schwarzkopf was directed to investigate former Governor Hoffman, he knew full well that there would be questioning of his objectivity and accusations of vengeance. It never came to that. On June 4th, the former governor was found dead in his New York City hotel room, the apparent victim of a heart attack. He left behind a letter to his daughter in which he admitted to embezzling $300,000 from the South Amboy Trust Company where he was an officer during the 1920s. He claimed that he had used the money to fund his Congressional campaigns. Schwarzkopf’s investigation further revealed evidence of payroll padding, improper use of state employees and equipment and payment for purchases that were never delivered.

Schwarzkopf versus Hoffman. Yet another example of the many tragic ironies of the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case.

01 October 2007

The Lindbergh Case: The State Police vs The Press

When the “Crime of the Century” occurred in the evening of March 1, 1932, it was, of course, immediately reported to the local and state police. At 10:46 PM, a teletype was sent from Department Headquarters in Trenton to all police stations throughout New Jersey and the neighboring states announcing the kidnapping and providing a description of the child.

Always looking for a “scoop”, the Press monitored the police teletypes and within fourteen minutes, at 11:00 pm the Philadelphia Ledger became the first newspaper to call the State Police about the kidnapping. At virtually the same instant, the Newark News called Department Headquarters. Two minutes later the State Gazette phoned. Then, the Newark Ledger. And so it went, every two minutes a newspaper was phoning the State Police for information. By the end of that hour twenty newspapers had phoned Headquarters.

According to State Police Superintendent Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the Director of the Investigation, “several hundred newspaper reporters arrived at the Lindbergh residence during the night [and] were entertained by Colonel Lindbergh.” They “...did not leave the place until specifically requested to do so through their editors by Colonel Lindberg [at] about 4:00 pm Wednesday, March 2nd.”I The State Police quickly established a sub-station in the garage of Lindbergh’s estate where they installed filing cabinets and teletype machines. Lieutenant Walter J. Coughlin was appointed as Publicity Officer and was on duty at the Publicity Room at the State House in Trenton.

Lt. Coughlin will maintain contact with Major Schoeffel for the purpose of giving press releases at 8am, 12 noon, 4 pm and 8 pm. Any special or emergency press release will be forwarded to Lt. Coughlin without delay for immediate release...Lt. Caughlin will handle the release of all statements to the press and he is the only one authorized to give out any statements to the press.ii

Colonel Schwarzkopf held a press conference where he laid out his vision of the relationship of the relationship between the State Police and the Press:

This conference was asked for the purpose of the establishment of press relationship between the police and the newspaper correspondents. I said that I would hold such a conference and I am here for that purpose and nothing else…No publicity is given out by the police authorities in charge of this case, no one will get any scoop and you will all get the same break. We are trying to do this to be fair to all the correspondents.

The main purpose of all of our activities is the recovery of the Lindbergh baby alive and as quickly as possible…We are there as a police authority and are working as a police authority. This, of course, involves a great volume of work and it is a definite interference with my work if I have to come in to Trenton for a conference with the press…I am too busy to come in to Trenton or to give any personal conferences…We will give out no opinions and we will not make any predictions. Things that we give to the press are actual facts as we have found them…We will co-operate to every extent with the press. We want to do that [as] we realize the fine work the press is doing in carrying out the news of this case and we want to co-operate with you…If you will not mis-quote or misconstrue any of the things that are said and also in the handling of rumors if you will make every effort to verify them before the publication goes out. The State Police is not looking for publicity…of [any] kind…We hope you appreciate our earnest efforts to co-operate with you.iii

Beginning on March 7th, representatives from the Press submitted a series of twenty-two questions regarding various aspects of the investigation and asking for confirmations of rumors. The questions were submitted at various times throughout the day and were answered during the scheduled press releases. Twenty-one Press Questions and Answers were exchanged over a five-day period.

Because the questions were not screened prior to submission, the State Police began to become overwhelmed by the demands of the Press. Finally at 2:03 am on March 11th, the Press Submitted what became the “last straw” for Colonel Schwarzkopf’s patience. “Questions From Publicity Room State House Series No. 21” consisted of fourteen questions, each a paragraph long and requiring very detailed answers and explanations. They went on to insist that “…if the answer to any of the above is ‘no answer’ or ‘not to our knowledge,’ kindly explain why…such an answer was made.”

Colonel Schwarzkopf took it upon himself to reply to this latest series of demanding questions from the Press. He handwrote a four-paragraph reply that was transmitted to Lt. Coughlin at 3:43 am:

The questionnaire that has just been forwarded to me is so involved and commentary that it would require several hours and considerable discussion to competently answer it. The answering of these questionnaires has taken a great deal of time – the time that really belongs to the advancement of the[ir] work[.] The police authorities have the work on the case as their uppermost responsibility and this must receive first and foremost consideration. We regret the attempt that has been made to dictate to the police and the disregard that is shown to our earnest effort to cooperate with the press. The time required to answer these questionnaires is interfering with our work and therefore we will discontinue to answer questionnaires. In place thereof two bulletins will be issued daily from Hopewell – one at eleven am and one at ten pm. In addition you have our assurance that the moment anything definite develops we will issue a bulletin immediately so that you may have prompt and authoritative information.
--Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

The first Press Bulletin was issued by Colonel Schwarzkopf on March 11th at 11:04 AM. The Press obviously was not the least bit happy about this new arrangement.

Just three hours after Schwarzkopf issued his proclamation and four hours before the Press Bulletin was issued, one or more reporters sent Colonel Schwarzkopf a Western Union Press Message that was hand delivered at 6:35 AM. It was signed “The Press”:

Although you have issued a dictum that the world at large, through the press, may not trouble you with any further questions regarding the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, we nevertheless hopefully transmit to you, with all due humility, the questions which were prepared during the four and one half hours in which you decided you would not answer the last or any further questions which questioned the efficiency of the New Jersey State Police investigation in to the disappearance of the Lindbergh Baby.

The telegram continued on with a list of ten questions, each designed to be a slap in the face of Schwarzkopf and the State Police. For example, “The Press” wrote,

1.—To clarify the confusion caused by your silence in the face of conflicting reports, will you tell us whether you or any of the investigators have information that the kidnapping was done by amateurs, or by professional gangsters or kidnapers? If the answer to this is “NO ANSWER”, will you tell us why the question is not answered?
2.—Do you think that the baby’s safety justifies abandonment of police methods and a surrender to organized gangsters?
3.—If the answer to the above is “NO ANSWER”, or something of the sort, will you tell why?

The last “question,” posted by “The Press” further demonstrated the anger and frustration felt by the reporters who were now faced with a wall of silence:

Despite the fact you have destroyed the established system of communicating with you, can you inform us in some way, at the State House, in Trenton, how we can and will or will not receive a reply to this our final communication under present arrangements?

The audacity of the criticism in the two-page telegram was shocking in 1932. So much so, that editors and publishers immediately tried to disavow any connection to it.

Leonard Norman of New York’s Standard News Association was the first to send a telegram to Colonel Schwarzkopf informing him that “…neither [the] Standard News Association nor myself subscribe to [the] criticism expressed in [the] telegram…” Six more similar telegrams arrived from the United Press, Quentin Reynolds of the International News Service, the New York Evening Journal and others all desiring “…to disassociate [themselves] with and to disapprove of the type of questionnaire submitted to the State Police…”

Bates Raney of the United Press tried to explain to Colonel Schwarzkopf that the “public interest in the Lindbergh investigation is so strong, and of such international character, that this can only be served satisfactorily by respectful press interrogation at intervals of a responsible State Police official…” He went on to state that while “…it is our wish to cooperate heartily in every way possible, at the same time we press firmly and respectfully for the right of the public to know just how the investigation is proceeding…We urge that the Colonel make some immediate arrangement for personal contact between the press and a responsible State Police official…”

Quentin Reynolds, in his telegram, went further, pointing out to Schwarzkopf that the “...entire International News Service staff at Hopewell and Trenton have been anxious to continue cooperating with the authorities even to the extent of making subordinate our real duty of disseminating news to the all important duty of getting Lindbergh’s child back safely.” He did feel, however, that “the present system of bulletin communications is not nearly as efficient as the discarded questionnaire method” and he urged Schwarzkopf to reconsider his decision.

Some of the editors seemed resigned to the fact that the bulletin system was going to remain in place however they asked for a revision in the times the bulletins were to be issued. “The issuance of bulletins at 11am and 10 pm creates [a] difficult situation for [the] New York American as our first editions [go] to press before ten o’clock. [We] would appreciate [a] bulletin at 5:30 and six o’clock to remedy this.” The long span between the two bulletins put a hardship on many papers and was seen as discriminating against some of the newspapers and press services due to their publication deadlines.

While just about all of the newspapers’ telegrams to Schwarzkopf included a formal request for him to reinstate the regular press conferences, it was only Jack Miley of the Daily News who asked outright if it was “…upon your own initiative or by the authority and approval [of] Governor Moore that you have so despotically acted to abrogate press and police contact?”

Into the Lion’s Den

That afternoon, Lieutenant Coughlin was sent from his office in Department Headquarters across the street to the Press Room at the State House to mingle among the reporters in hopes of getting some insight as to how the press was handling the new system imposed upon them. Coughlin reported back what Schwarzkopf already knew; that the reporters were very dissatisfied with the new system. Referring to the initial teletype of ten detailed questions that caused Schwarzkopf to abolish the questionnaire system, “those reporters who are responsible for the telegram…realize now that they have made a terrible mistake and are crawling around [with] their tail between their legs.”

Not too surprisingly, Coughlin learned that it was not the reporters but rather their editors that were the source of the harsh criticism directed at Colonel Schwarzkopf. This was illustrated by the Trenton Times headline, “Schwarzkopf Offended, Won’t Answer Questions.”

Coughlin struck up conversations with some of the more experienced reporters and discussed the present situation. It was a mess of their own making and they knew it. The seasoned reporters tried to distance themselves from both the early morning teletype and the now infamous telegram that chided Schwarzkopf, claiming that “it was gotten up by Paynter of the New York Journal and five or six other men.”

Finger pointing aside, everyone in the Press Room knew they had to get things back on track. They offered several suggestions for re-establishing a working relationship with the State Police. At 3:47 PM, Lieutenant Coughlin forwarded these suggestions along with his own recommendations to Colonel Schwarzkopf who took them under advisement.

In the Press Bulletin issued at 10 o’clock that evening, Schwarzkopf delineated the compromises he was willing to make:

Respecting the requests of the press and wishing to cooperate with the press 3 instead of 2 bulletins will be issued daily. The time for these bulletins in accordance with your latest request will be 10-00 A.M., 4-00 P.M and 10-00 P.M. In a further desire to cooperate with the press and at the same time satisfy the public we will be glad to receive one hour before the time of publication of bulletins suggestions as to news to be covered and questions from the press. Both of these will be considered in the preparation of the bulletin and will be covered as far as possible in the bulletin by the information it contains.

The Colonel also made it clear that the time had come to put an end to the constant requests by the Press to change the system back to the way it was:

The stated policy as to information to be given out will continue and we request your cooperation in not making suggestions contrary to the defined policy. We earnestly hope that this bulletin and response to your suggestions and questions will satisfy the Press and our statement last night was offered in the same spirit of attempting to arrive at a solution, which would meet with everyone’s approval.

Just four days later, on March 15th, a new schedule was devised for the issuance of Press Bulletins when the 10:00 PM bulletin was bushed back to 9 o’clock. A day later, the 4 o’clock bulletin was pushed back to 3 o’clock provided, of course, the Press got their questions submitted early enough.

A committee of reporters was submitting the questions from the Press. It was hoped that this would help to prevent a submission such as the one received on the 11th that caused Schwarzkopf to put aside the Questionnaire System. To help to further alleviate the tension between the Police and the Fourth Estate, the first questionnaire submitted on the evening of March 11th ended with a diplomatic note: A majority of the committee responsible for this [list] hereby express appreciation for the Press arrangement announced by the police today.

At noon on May 29, 1932 the police investigation headquarters was moved from Lindbergh’s garage in Hopewell to the State Police Training School at Wilburtha. “The permanent headquarters for this investigation are now established at the Training School and the teletype installation is being removed and set up in the investigation headquarters just established…[with] the same method of operation, including the same press policy as heretofore…”

Also starting on May 29th, the Press Bulletins were handled by Trooper Gable and Trooper McCormick. They would phone questions to Wilburtha where a clerk would usually take the call and replies would then be phoned back to them.

When developments in the case would warrant, Special Bulletins would be issued to the press above and beyond the established schedule of announcements. One such special bulletin was issued on June 10th when it was announced the Violet Sharp, a maid working at Mrs. Lindbergh’s mother’s estate in Englewood, New Jersey, had committed suicide.

The last Press Bulletin on file in the State Police archives is #260 dated June 13, 1932. Issued at 4:15 in the afternoon, it discussed Dr. John Condon, the (in)famous Jafsie who acted as the intermediary between the kidnappers and the Lindbergh family and the further investigation into Violet Sharp’s suicide.

Regardless of how the Press continued to receive their information, receive it they did. In 1934 with the arrest of Bruno Richard Hauptmann and his subsequent trial and execution, it became impossible to satisfy the Press’s insatiable appetite for a story and the expressions “media frenzy” and “Yellow Journalism” took on new meanings.

Since the rocky relationship days of the Lindbergh Case, both the Press and the New Jersey State Police have striven to maintain an amicable relationship, realizing that the Press needs accurate information for their stories and the police needs the Press to publish accurate and factually correct stories in order to help with their investigations and to protect the public at large.

Internet press releases have replaced teletypes and the press liaison officer has evolved over the past seventy-five years from a temporarily designated spokesman to a permanently staffed office of responsible and reliable spokesmen and women under the direction of a State Police Captain. Armed with cell phones and “blackberries”, the Office of Public Information continues to work closely with the Press informing them of significant events and developments while portraying a professional and positive image of the New Jersey State Police.

i Schwarzkopf, H. Norman. Memorandum. April 7, 1932

ii Schwarzkopf, H. Norman. Organization Plan. March 9, 1932

iii Schwarkzopf, H. Norman. Text of speech given at press conference. [no date].

01 September 2007

The Skirl of the Pipes

The Bagpipe is much used by the Irish. To its sounds, this unconquered, fierce, and warlike people march their armies, and are encouraged to feats of valor. With it they also carry their dead to the grave, making such a mournful sound, as to force the bystander to weep.”

- Vincenzo Galilei, 1581

As witnessed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Great Highland Bagpipe has become the instrument of choice to be played at the funerals of law enforcement personnel. Many police departments around the country – around the world in fact – now have their own pipe and drum bands, including the New Jersey State Police. But how did this tradition come about?

It is safe to say that all pipe bands in the beginning were modeled on the British Army pipe bands. The bands of the Highland regiments were first established around 1854. The Irish Guards, another regiment of the British Army, formed their pipe band in the early 1900s.

In Scotland, the tradition of police pipe bands began with the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band. Established in 1883, this was one of the first bands to be formed outside the ranks of the British Army. Because many of the officers of the various Scottish police departments were ex-military, it was only natural that they would bring the military’s bagpipe tradition with them.

The first police pipe band in the United States would come much later, but the seeds for it were sewn at the dawn of the 20th century.

During the 1880s and into the early 1900s, largely due to the great potato famine, there was a massive Irish immigration to the United States. Unfortunately, the immigrants arrived to equally massive discrimination. It was common in cities such as New York, Boston and Chicago to see “NINA” signs on factories and other businesses informing that “No Irish Need Apply.” During this time, the some of the only jobs available to them were in police and fire departments.

The Irish immigrants naturally wanted to preserve their Celtic heritage and culture. Francis O’Neill, the Chicago Police Chief from 1901 to 1905 established the “Irish Music Club” which, of course, included the bagpipes, usually a solo piper or a small group of pipers. As the famous Irish fraternal organization The Emerald Society became closely tied with police departments around the country so did the bagpipes. The bagpipe used by most bands today is of Scottish origin, and it was adopted by the Emerald Societies because it is both louder and better suited to outdoor use than the Irish version.

The oldest police pipe band in North America is in British Columbia, Canada. The Vancouver Police Pipe Band has been in continual existence since 1914. It was not until 1961 that the first police pipe band in the United States made it’s official debut. On March 17th of that year, the Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society of the New York City Police Department made its first appearance in the city’s famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Since that time, police departments across the United States have formed pipe and drum bands of their own. Many of the bands wear traditional Scottish attire while others wear the simpler Irish uniform. All wear a kilt – some wear the Scottish tartans and others the single color Irish kilt.

The first State Police pipe band formed in the United States is the New Jersey State Police Pipe Band: the Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold. Founded in 1986 with the consent and authorization of Colonel Clinton Pagano, its function is to provide ceremonial services of the Division of State Police. In early 1990 the band was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization within the State of New Jersey.

Under the authority of Colonel Carl Williams on November 13, 1995 the ceremonial services of the band were re-authorized. The Superintendent recognized the not-for-profit organization and set procedures for the Division to request the Pipe Band to perform at official State Police functions in an “on duty” capacity when “...the Superintendent determines that the Division will benefit from the appearance/performance.”

As the bagpipes grow in popularity, the Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold and its members are called on to perform at over 200 events annually. They join with more than twenty other civilian and police pipe bands in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania in carrying on the proud tradition and music of this ancient instrument into the 21st Century.


Pipe Major (Ret.) William Robertson, Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)

Strathclyde Police Pipe Band website (http://www.strathpol-pipeband.com/)

Chicago Police Pipe Band website (http://www.pdcpd.org/about.htm)

New York Police Pipe Band website (http://www.nypdpipesanddrums.com/)

New Jersey State Police Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold (http://njsppipeband.org/)

02 August 2007

Crime of Choice: The Threatened Kidnapping of Senator Dryden Kuser

During the Great Depression, the crime of choice was kidnapping. In 1932, the most famous kidnapping in American history took place when the son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh was taken from their home in Hopewell, New Jersey. The resulting police investigation, international manhunts and world-wide media frenzy made this the crime, and later, the trial of the century.

A year after the kidnapping of the Lindbergh Baby, on the evening of April 24, 1933, a maid in the employ of Mr. and Mrs. J. Dryden Kuser handed her mistress a letter that had just been collected at the post office by Anthony Gallo, the Kuser’s chauffeur. The letter, dated April 19, 1933 and addressed to Mrs. Kuser, demanded $12,000 be paid or else her husband would be “...kidnapped and held for five times that amount or he will be delivered.... DEAD.” The note, which was mailed in Somerville, New Jersey, on April 23, instructed her to have the money ready by Wednesday, April 26. The money, which the author of the note claimed “...is a small amount for this kind of business”, was to be in hundred and thousand dollar bills. Mrs. Kuser was then to wait for a Mr. Copeland to phone her on Wednesday at noon with instructions on how and when to deliver the money. The author requested in a postscript that the money be sealed in a large business envelope.

John Dryden Kuser was the son of Colonel Anthony Kuser and Susan “Susie” Dryden. he was born on September 24, 1899. His mother was the daughter of John F. Dryden, a United States senator and founder of the Prudential Insurance Company. His father, who financed William Fox in the formation of the Fox Film Corporation, was the president of the South Jersey Gas and Electric Lighting Company and the founder of the New Jersey Audubon Society.

Dryden, as John Kuser was known, had been the Vice President of the Lenox China Company before becoming a state senator. He was first married to Brooke Russell, who later divorced him and married into the Astor family. He then married Vivia Marie Fischer, the recipient of the threatening letter.

Quite expectedly, Vivia Kuser became very much excited over the content of the note she received and immediately phoned her husband telling him to come home from work. In the meantime, a call was placed to the State Police.

The New Jersey State Police Morristown Headquarters received the phone call at 9:38 in the evening. Sergeant Louis Kubler and a Trooper were immediately dispatched to the Kuser home in Bernardsville to investigate. While Sergeant Kubler examined the letter for fingerprints, the Trooper remained on guard at the home.

By the next morning, April 25, a plain-clothed Trooper was sent to the Kuser home to keep watch. Captain William Nicol and Sergeant August Albrecht met with Senator and Mrs. Kuser to discuss possible suspects and the procedure that would be followed during the investigation. They then left, accompanied by the senator, for the Prosecutor’s office in Somerville. The Kuser letter was compared with other threatening letters on file in the office, but no match was found. Later, a revolver and permit were issued to the senator.

The following day was the day Mr. Copeland was to telephone Mrs. Kuser at noon with instructions for delivering the money. Around 11:00 that morning, Sergeant Albrecht arrived at the Kuser home where he was informed that nothing suspicious had occurred during the night watch.

Meanwhile, Captain Nicol dispatched Troopers, in civilian clothes, to various telephone exchanges to cover any telephone calls coming through for the Kuser residence. Detective Joseph Meade met with two Troopers and instructed them to cover the telephone exchanges at Bound Brook and Peapack. He also went to the Plainfield Police Headquarters and enlisted the aid of Sergeant Baker who said that someone would be at the Plainfield exchange to monitor calls. Detective Meade then went to the Bernardsville Police Headquarters where he met with the local Constable, Clyde Wolfe. Together, they went to the Bernardsville telephone exchange and waited for the call to be made.

The Trooper arrived at Bound Brook telephone exchange at 10:50 that morning, consulted with the chief operator, and informed her of his mission. She, in turn, instructed all of the operators to be on alert for a telephone call being made to the Kuser home at “Bernardsville 272" or “276". He waited at the exchange 1:35 that afternoon. However, no calls came through. Before returning to the Berkeley Heights Sub-Station, the chief operator told him that she would continue to have her operators on alert and if a call should go through, a notation of its place of origin would be made.

The next day, the telephone rang at the Kuser home. The butler answered the phone as instructed and advised the caller that he would call Mrs. Kuser to the phone. He gave the phone to Sergeant Albrecht and Mrs. Kuser answered from the upstairs extension. “Hello?” “This is Copeland”, came the reply.

Sergeant Kubler and a Trooper had been detailed to the Bell Telephone Company’s office at Somerville. Sometime between 12:06 and 12:12 p.m., Miss Myrtle Snyder, one of the telephone operators on duty, received a call for “Bernardsville 272" – the Kuser home. The call was traced to “Somerville 1945", a payphone located at Frank Yurek’s Candy Store, 10 East Somerset Street in Raritan. Immediately, the Troopers who were stationed at the Raritan Police Station and the Bell Telephone office were ordered to proceed to the store and apprehend the person making the call. They arrived and found Mr. George Sabol still on the phone talking to Mrs. Kuser.

As a Trooper approached the front of the telephone booth, Sabol stopped in mid-sentence and hung-up the phone. The Trooper immediately called Miss Snyder, the operator, and asked whether the man who just hung up the telephone was the man who was speaking to Mrs. Kuser. She informed him that Sabol had indeed just telephoned the Kuser home and that he had only been talking to Mrs. Kuser for about 10 seconds before the Trooper called her on the phone. She also informed him that the man who had just hung up the phone was the same man that called the Kuser’s that noon.

George Sabol, a single 28 year-old from Raritan, was placed under arrest and taken to the Bernardsville Police Headquarters for questioning. Sergeant Albrecht searched him and a receipt was found in his shirt pocket. The receipt was for a “Copeland” refrigerator. Sabol was questioned and he denied having any connection with the crime. He was then taken to the Somerville State Police Station for further questioning where, in the presence of the Prosecutor, he made a complete confession.

Sabol was born in Providence, Rhode Island, moving to Raritan in 1915. He had worked for three years as a stock clerk for the New Jersey Tobacco Company in Somerville. Having been unemployed five months previous, he said he had “...been broke since about the first of February.” When asked what his reasons were for writing the letter, he simply replied, “I needed money.” He chose to write to Mrs. Kuser because “...she was a woman and would be easier and if I sent it to Mr. Kuser he would not pay any attention to it.” If she refused to meet his demands, Sabol “...was going to let it go. When I started to phone, I just couldn’t go through with it.”

George Sabol’s ordeal began on April 11, 1933 when he wrote the letter to Mrs. Kuser, thinking that it would be one way of getting money. He borrowed stationary from his sister and put the letter in his pocket, carrying it around with him, trying to muster up the courage to send it. “I carried it in my pocket until Sunday, April 23rd...I was going to the bus terminal and I dropped it in the mail box on Division Street [in] Somerville.” Before doing so, he changed the date of the letter from the 11th to the 19th and the date of the phone call from the 12th to the 26th. To make the phone call, he borrowed a dollar from his sister on the previous Sunday.

Had Mrs. Kuser agreed to the terms, Sabol was going to have her come alone to Duke’s Park on a road leading to a fountain. He was going to have her park there or drive slowly and he would then meet her. “I was going to ask her how she was going to come, what kind of car and all that.”

George Sabol appeared before Judge Reger of the Special Sessions Court of Somerset County where he pled guilty. On May 12, 1933, he was sentenced to “not less than 18 months or more than 2 years 6 months” in State Prison.

At 9:30 in the morning of July 3, 1933, Senator J. Dryden Kuser phoned the Morristown Headquarters of the New Jersey State Police. He was requesting that Troopers visit him at his Bernardsville home regarding a new threatening letter he had just received.

Sergeant Albrecht and Detective Meade drove out to the Senator’s home where they were shown a letter post marked “New Brunswick Jul 1 6PM 1933.” The letter and envelope were both printed using a black crayon. The letter read:

So you think is all gone and forgotten hey may be
we are too poor
to revenga you senda the boy to jail
we senda you to hell You wife no save
you this time
We send back your head to her no fone next time see


The Troopers took the letter and envelope back to the Troop Headquarters where they were processed for fingerprints. A confidential look-up was then arranged of the names and addresses of George Sabol’s relatives. Later, they proceeded to the Prosecutor’s office in Somerville where the Kuser letter was compared to other threatening letters on file. No matching comparison was found.

Further investigation was made into the possibility of matching the Kuser letter with other threatening letters at the New Brunswick Police Headquarters and the New Brunswick Prosecutor’s office. Again, there were no matching letters on file.

The “July letter” was received only two months after the arrest and conviction of Geroge Sabol. Because of this, it became the opinion of the State Police investigator that either a relative of Sabol or a crank had written the letter in an attempt to influence Senator Kuser with regards to Sabol’s sentencing. Sergeant Albrecht recommended that the case be closed “...due to the limitation of prosecution.” Captain Will Nicol concurred with this recommendation and the case was closed.


Albrecht, A.H. Sgt. Secondary and Final Report. 11M10. New Jersey State Police. circa February 17, 1936.

-----. Initial Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 27, 1933.

-----. Initial Report. 11M10. New Jersey State Police. July 3, 1933.

Astor, Brooke. Footprints: An Autobiography. Doubleday & Company, Inc., NY. 1980.

Cunningham, T.H. Sgt. Final Report. 11F5. New Jersey State Police. November 26, 1935.

Freeman, Theo. H. Tpr. Secondary Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 26, 1933.

Geran, A. W. Tpr. Secondary Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 26, 1933.

Justin, A. Tpr. Secondary Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 25-26, 1933.

Kubler, L. Sgt. Secondary Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 26, 1933.

Kuser, Edna Howe. The Kuser Story. Township of Hamilton, NJ August 1978.

Meade, Joseph Det. Secondary Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 26, 1933.

Russell, J.G. Tpr. Secondary Report. 11F4. New Jersey State Police. April 26, 1933.

Sabol, George. Statement. April 28, 1933.

01 June 2007

First Test Issued by NJ State Police - 1921






DIRECTIONS: Read these directions carefully before going ahead. You are expected to understand them without help. Do not ask the examiner in charge any questions. He is not permitted to answer them. Work as rapidly as you can, but work carefully. Speed is important, but accuracy counts more than speed. You will have exactly twenty minutes for the entire examination. You are not expected to answer every question, but do as many as you can in the time allowed. Read each question carefully and fully before answering it. If you cannot answer it readily, pass on to the next question.


TEST 1: Read this paragraph and then write YES or NO in answer to the
questions which follow. Read the paragraph again if you need to.

This test is given to see how quickly and accurately you can do as you are told. It therefore determines your ability to understand and follow printed orders. It is a test of memory as well as of comprehension, judgement, and reasoning. But most of all it determines your degree of mental alertness. Guessing will not contribute to accuracy in your responses.

1. Does it say that this test shows how fast you can follow directions?__________

2. Does it say that a man can succeed in it who is unable to read printing?________

3. Does it sate that imagination is measured by it?_________

4. Does it claim to estimate mental sluggishness?___________

5. Does it say that theory or guesswork is indispensable for successful answers?_________

TEST 2: Read the following and do what it says.

1. Put a dot below this line: ___________

2. Cross out the third letter in JERSEY.

3. Draw a circle around the second letter before the X in TEXAS

4. If MARCH comes after MAY, make two crosses here____________, but if not make a circle here___________, or, else a square here___________.

5. If in the following words the letter E comes just before the letter A more times than right after the letter I, then put a line under each word containing the letter A and the letter E:

Receive Feather Teacher Believe

TEST 3: Answer these examples:

1. How many are 60 guns and 7 guns?_______

2. How many hours will it take to ride 42 miles at the rate of 6 miles per hour?______

3. If you buy 2 packages of tobacco at 8¢ each and a pipe for 65¢, how much change should you get from a two dollar bill?_________________________

4. A dealer bought some mules for $1,200. He sold them for $1,500. Making $50.00 on each mule, how many mules were there?________________

5. A motorcyclist patrols 8 miles an hour on rough roads and 80 miles an hour on improved highways. How long will it take him to patrol 100 miles if he has to go 2/5 of the distance over rough roads?___________________

TEST 4: In each sentence below you have four choices for the last word. Only one of them is correct. In each sentence draw a line under the best answer.

1. The capital of New Jersey is NEWARK, CAMDEN, TRENTON, PATERSON.

2. A sorrel is a kind of COW, HORSE, DOG, BIRD.

3. A troop-horse costs about $100, $200, $400, $800.


5. Habeas Corpus is a term used in MEDICINE, LAW, THEOLOGY PEDAGOGY.

6. Christie Mathewson is famous as a WRITER, ARTIST, COMEDIAN, BASEBALL PLAYER

7. General Lee surrendered at Appomattox in 1612, 1865, 1885, 1832.

8. Air and gasoline are mixed in the ACCELERATOR, CARBURETOR, GEAR-CASE, DIFFERENTIAL.


10. President Harding was born in NEW JERSEY, CALIFORNIA, VIRGINIA, OHIO.

TEST 5: Read the following questions and answers. Three answers are given to each situation, but only one of each three is correct. Make a cross on the line before the best answer to each question.

1. Why do soldiers wear wrist watches instead of pocket watches?
________they keep better time.
________they are harder to break.
________they are handier.

2. Why is it wiser to put some money aside and not spend it at all?
Because you should:
________have money to spend when you wish.
________prepare for old age or sickness.
________help the banks in their business.

3. Why are criminals locked up?
________to protect society.
________to get even with them.
________to make them work.

4. Why should a married man have his life insured?
________death may come at any time.
________insurance companies are usually honest.
________his family will not suffer if he dies.

5. Why should we have Congressmen?
________the people must be ruled.
________it insures truly representative government
________the people are too many to meet and make their own laws.


1. State carefully what you consider the essential qualifications of a good State Trooper. (Not more than one hundred words)

2. What should be the highest aim of every member of the State Police?

3. (a) Which is the "Off" side of a horse?
(b) Do you feed a horse before or after watering? State why.
(c) What five (5) qualities impress you most about a horse?

4. Why do you stand at attention when you hear the "Star Spangle Banner?" [sic]

5. (a) Name four rivers in New Jersey.
(b) Name the four largest cities in New Jersey.
(c) How many counties are there in New Jersey?
(d) Name four railroads operating in New Jersey.
(e) Would you recommend naming or numbering State Highways? Why?

6. Why are governments established.

7. (a) What is Valley Forge famous for?
(b) Name two battles fought in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War.
(c) Name three Jerseyites and state in what they have received National recognition.

8. When in the performance of your duty does "Honor" not apply?

9. (a) Name four athletic championships of the World that are now held by America.
(b) What is your favorite sport and why. (Be brief)
(c) What are the underlying principles of true "sportsmanship."

10. In a few words describe what constitutes:
(a) A mollycoddle.
(b) A hero.
(c) A coward.

11. What in your opinion constitutes "Success."

The following question will not be counted for or against you. It must be answered. Criticism will not count against you. You need feel no reservation. Be frank and candid.

What is your honest opinion of this examiniation?

What size hat do you wear?

What size shoes do you wear?

01 May 2007

Septimus Banks - A Butler to Stars

On September 28, 1891 the great American novelist, Herman Melville, died in New York City. On that same day, several thousand miles away, in the east London borough of Hackney, Septimus Samuel Banks was born.[1] The son of Samuel and Marian Laurence Banks, Septimus left school at the age of 15 to work for a Dr. Hanock in Leightonstone, London for three years. He then worked for two years for R.B.C. Chapman and later the Lady Donald Stewart, for about a year and eleven months.

For the next three years he worked for the Honourable Mrs. Morrison of 14 Grosvenor Crescent, London. After this, he spent four months working for Lord Islington of Harman Park, Corsham who, at this time, was the Undersecretary of State for India.[2]

He then worked for Andrew Carnegie in Scotland. On September 18, 1914, he emigrated to the United States on the R.M.S. Lusitania from Nornoch, Scotland[3]. He continued to work for Andrew Carnegie at 2 East 91st Street in New York City for four and a half years.

During the First World War, he enlisted in the 70th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery as a gunner. In May 1918, he married Rose Flynn, a native of New York City and daughter of Irish immigrants.[4] Sadly, on the afternoon of November 21, 1929, Rose Banks died from Delirium Tremens caused by alcohol poisoning. She was buried four days later in St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx.[5]

Banks was discharged from the Canadian Army on Christmas Day, 1918 and he returned to New York. In January 1919, he entered into service with Dwight Morrow. Dwight Morrow was a United States Senator and later Ambassador to Mexico. Septimus worked continuously worked for Mr. Morrow until October 1927 when Senator Morrow was appointed as Ambassador to Mexico. Banks stayed behind and became a free lance in the catering business working for Charles Welsh of 157 East 80th Street until June 1931 when he re-entered the service of the Morrow Family.

Septimus served as both a butler and personal valet to Senator Morrow. On October 4, 1931, he became the last person to see Dwight Morrow alive:

Shortly before midnight on Sunday, October 4, 1931, Dwight Morrow leaned on the arm of his waiting valet and walked slowly up the stairs of his darkened house. Morrow usually wasn’t one to lean, but he had never felt so tired. He and Banks climbed up the winding lantern-lit stairway to the second floor and turned toward the double wooden doors of the master suite. As Morrow wished banks a ‘good night’, Banks noted that Morrow looked uncommonly pale...[6]

Around eleven the next morning, Morrow’s secretary, Arthur Springer, and Septimus Banks entered the bedroom and found the Senator unconscious, the victim of a stroke. Two and a half hours later, Dwight Morrow died at Englewood Hospital.[7]

Five monthslater, at approximately 10:00 A.M. on 1 March 1932, Septimus answered the telephone at the Morrow Estate in Englewood, New Jersey. On the phone was Anne Lindbergh, the daughter of Dwight and Elizabeth Morrow. She was calling from her new home in Hopewell, New Jersey. She requested to speak to Betty Gow, the nanny/nurse for her 20 month old son, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. She was requesting that Betty be sent to Hopewell to help care for the baby since both the baby and Anne were suffering from a bad cold.

It was sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 that evening that the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped from his nursery in Hopewell, New Jersey. Although Septimus was cleared as a suspect by the authorities, he was interrogated and his background was investigated.

It was speculated that Septimus Banks was an alcoholic. In a 1932 FBI report, it was stated that Septimus was

“employed off and on for a period of about fifteen years; had been discharged several times because of drunkenness and re-employed. At the time of the kidnapping, [he] had been steadily employed for four or five years. [He] is said to have done most of his drinking in a speakeasy in the Yorkville section of New York City around 70th Street...and that he was very talkative and quite irresponsible when drunk and on several occasions had to be loaded in a taxicab to be taken home.”[8]

Banks was also alleged to have frequented a Fort Lee, New Jersey speakeasy called the Sha-Toe, “a hang-out for horseplayers” and reportedly told the police he was there on the night of March 1, 1932.[9]

According to one of his co-workers, Mrs. Marguerite Junge, “...none of the servants brought liquor to the estate with the exception of Banks, who besides drinking at speakeasies, occasionally had a bootlegger deliver liquor to him in bottles at the estate at night, and that the bootlegger would leave the bottles in a window where Banks could get it later...”[10]

Marguerite Junge also told the FBI that after Dwight Morrow died in October 1931, “...one of the [Morrow] servants told [her] that...Septimus Banks, the butler, [was] left out of the will, but that it was believed that Senator Morrow had intended to make some provision for [him]. It was Mrs. Junge’s opinion that Mrs. Morrow felt that if Banks received a large sum of money he would spend it in dissipation and that she kept him on as butler in spite of his drinking habits because of Senator Morrow’s regard for him, and so that he would always have a home..” [11]

Septimus Banks was rumored to be the fiancé of Violet Sharp, a maid in the employ of the Morrow household. Miss Sharp was a prime suspect, for a while, in the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case because when was interrogated by the New Jersey State Police and Jersey City Police, she continuously lied, contradicted herself and misled the investigators. Finally, when the police called to schedule a fourth interview with her on 10 June 1932, she committed suicide by drinking potassium chloride – silver polish.

According to the FBI Summary Report of February 1934, Septimus was “...reported to have entered a sanitarium, Central Park West, near 66th Street, and to have remained there two weeks during August 1932. Rumor prevalent among the Morrow servants is to the effect that the death of Violet Sharpe [sic] completely unnerved him. He is reported to have again spent some time in this sanitarium just prior to Christmas, 1932, as a result of overindulgence in alcoholic stimulants.”[12]

On April 21, 1939 Septimus was once again employed by Charles Welch of 157 East 80th Street in New York City. Banks was at this time living in College Point, New York.[13]
In 1942, at the age of 50, Septimus Banks registered for the Selective Service. After the United States entered World War II in December 1941, all men between the ages of 45 and 64 were required to register for the Draft. Known as “The Fourth Registration” (or colloquially, as “The Old Man’s Registration”), this registration was conducted on April 27, 1942. At this time, Septimus was living at 304 East 72nd Street in New York and he worked at 141 East 56th Street[14].

Nothing else is known of Mr. Banks except that he died in Matawan, New Jersey in January 1970 at the age of 79.[15]

Works Cited

Adriatic, RMS. Manifest. 10 September 1922. http://www.ellisisland.org/

Banks, Rose. Death Certificate. November 21, 1929. Department of Health of the City of New York, Bureau of Records

Banks, Septimus S. Social Security Account Application. U.S. Social Security Administration,
April 27, 1939.

Banks, Septimus S. Social Security Death Master File. RootsWeb.com, Inc. http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com/

Hertog, Susan. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life. Doubleday, New York: 1999.

Lusitania, RMS. Manifest. 18 September 1914. http://www.ellisisland.org/

Milton, Joyce. Loss of Eden: A Biography of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. HarperCollins, New York: 1993.

Seykora, J.E. Report. US Department of Justice. 5/10/34. New Jersey State Police Lindbergh Files. Files, F-447.

Seykora, J.E. Report. US Department of Justice. 5/18/34. New Jersey State Police Lindbergh Files, F-447.

Sisk, T.H. Summary Report. US Department of Justice. 1 February 1934.

[1]Statement, Septimus S. Banks to New Jersey State Police. New Jersey State Police Statement File. April 13, 1932; his middle name can be found on the Manifest of the RMS Lusitania. See note 3.
[2]The Rt. Hon. Lord Islington, PC KCMG DSO (John Dixon Poynder) was Governor of New Zealand from January 1910 through December 1912; Undersecretary of State for India in 1913 and a member of the House of Lords who spoke in favour of granting women the right to vote in England and, in 1923, spoke in opposition to the Balfour Declaration.
[3]Manifest, RMS Lusitania. 18 September 1914. http://www.ellisisland.org/
[4]Septimus Banks and Rose Flynn. Marriage Certificate. May 1929. Department of Health of the City of New York, Bureau of Records; also Rose Banks Death Certificate. November 21, 1929. Department of Health of the City of New York, Bureau of Records.
[5]Rose Banks. Death Certificate.
[6]Susan Hertog. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life. Doubleday, NY: 1999. p146.
[7]Hertog. p147.
[8]J.E. Seykora, US Department of Justice. 5/10/34. New Jersey State Police Lindbergh Files, F-447.
[9]Joyce Milton. Loss of Eden: A Biography of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Page 258).
[10]J.E. Seykora, US Department of Justice. 5/18/34. New Jersey State Police Lindbergh Files, F-447.
[12]T.H. Sisk. Summary Report. US Department of Justice. 1 February 1934, p. 94.
[13]Social Security Application for Account Number. Septimus Samuel Banks. April 27, 1939.
[14]Registration Card. U.S. Selective Service.
[15]Social Security Death Master file. http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com/

01 April 2007

Mission to Iran

At the outbreak of World War II, the Empire of Iran declared itself neutral. In 1941, after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, the allies needed to ship supplies and war matériel to the Soviets through Iran. This would have violated Iran’s neutrality so Britain and the Soviet Union simultaneously invaded Iran on August 26, 1941. The invasion was successful and the allies were able to ship over 5 million tons of supplies across the Iranian frontier into the Soviet Union.

On September 16, 1941 the pro-West Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi ascended to the Peacock Throne after his father abdicated. He ruled as the Shah (or Emperor) of Iran until he was deposed in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. In an attempt to build up American influence in Iran, the United States provided the Shah with a military assistance as well as assisting with the establishment of an internal security force under his direct command.

The Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie was the first modern highway patrol and rural police force in Iran. Established in 1910, the Gendarmerie went through several changes over the course of the Twentieth Century.

In December 1921, at the same time the New Jersey State Police was beginning its first patrol, the Gendarmerie was amalgamated into the Iranian Army. Four months later, the Iranian parliament established a new Gendarmerie. It was a relatively weak police force and was scattered throughout the Persian countryside. According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, “...it’s main duty was to give warning of the existence of robbers and to identify the perpetrators of any robbery, generally leaving their pursuit and capture to the army...the broad responsibility for tribal pacification and rural control...remained with the army.”

After the Anglo-Soviet invasion of 1941, the Allies met with the Iranian government to discuss the country’s security and policing needs. In late 1942, the Shah’s government and the United States “...reached a series of agreements for the provision of American advisers” to assist with the military, the police and finances. General George Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, met with Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf and ordered him to Tehran as an advisor to the Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie.

Known as GENMISH, the mission to Iran was to “advise and assist the Persian ministry of the interior in the reorganization and training of the Gendarmerie...” As could be expected, GENMISH, and Colonel Schwarzkopf in particular, were the targets of both popular and organized nationalist opposition. Even the Shah was unhappy, being “...incensed at the very broad powers exercised by Schwarzkopf.”

A total of twenty-four American officers and enlisted men worked to reorganize, train, arm and command the 20,000-strong rural paramilitary police force. “By 1944-45, GENMISH had achieved considerable success with its reorganization, recruitment and training programs and had gone some way towards re-establishing the central government’s authority in the countryside. By December 1944 the US military attaché in Tehran believed that the army and Gendarmerie had improved to the point where Allied troop withdrawals would not jeopardize the security of the central government.” (Encyclopaedia Iranica)

It is interesting to note that, while Schwarzkopf was under the jurisdiction of the American Minister in Tehran and later the War Department, “...if the British...should employ the Gendarmerie to maintain security [in their region of Iran], then Colonel Schwarzkopf, in his capacity as an officer of the Gendarmerie, would come under British command.” This provision of the GENMISH mission never came into force.

Early on during his tour of duty, Schwarzkopf familiarized himself with the problems facing the Gendarmerie, visited the Gendarmerie posts throughout the countryside and reported his findings to the Iranian Minister of the Interior and eventually presented the Prime Minister a plan for the reorganization of the Gendarmerie.

By the end of summer 1944, Schwarzkopf established training schools “...for sergeants, motorcycle riders, and truck drivers, and had planned six others.” He also arranged for the United States to send a radio engineer to install a communications system. This was only a small fraction of his overall plan for the Gendarmerie, but he had learned that “...the work of his mission [was] beset with conditions of intrigue and inefficiency marked by a succession of eleven ministers of interior during the two years after his arrival.”(Motter, 1952).

The Iranians did accept nine demands Schwarzkopf put forth for the Gendarmerie, including remaining independent of the Army, a budget, pensions, the establishment of an elite corps, genuine government support of the GENMISH mission’s efforts, and the elimination of graft, red tape and reform delays. (Motter, 1952).

Although by the end of the war many of the reforms had not been implemented, the achievements of Schwarzkopf and the GENMISH mission were considerable. Most important was the improvement of the overall condition of the Gendarmerie and the creation of an esprit de corps among the ranks. Fighting illiteracy and opium addiction amongst its members, progress was finally able to be made. Under Colonel Schwarzkopf, the Gendarmerie rank and file “...moved steadily toward a better sense of discipline and respect.” (Motter, 1952).

Once again, H. Norman Schwarzkopf was able to beat the odds and transform an ineffective rural police force into an efficient, honest and respectful “Outfit.”

Photograph: Members of the Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie on a visit to New Jersey State Police Headquarters in West Trenton, 1955. (NJSP Museum Photo Collection)


AllRefer Reference (http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/iran/iran19.htm)

Encyclopaedia Iranica
. (www.iranica.com/articles/v10f4/v10f448.html)

United States Army in World War II: The Middle East Theater. The Persian Corridor and Aid to Russia. By T.H. Vail Motter, Washington, D.C. 1952.

01 March 2007

British Suspects: America’s Most Famous Kidnapping’s British Connection

At 10:24 on the evening of May 21, 1927, the life of an unknown airmail pilot from the Midwestern United States changed forever. As Charles A. Lindbergh landed the Spirit of St. Louis at La Borget airfield, he became the first person to successfully fly from New York City to Paris, France. The triumphant end of his 33 ½-hour flight transformed this unassuming, shy, Minnesota airmail pilot into a world hero and media superstar.

Lindbergh returned to the United States and began a “Good-Will” tour of the nation in an attempt to promote civilian aviation. In December 1927, the American ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow, invited Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis to visit. Mexican/American relations were quite tense at that time and the Ambassador believed, correctly, that a visit by Lindbergh would help to improve those relations.

While in Mexico City, Lindbergh met the Ambassador’s daughter, Anne Morrow. Soon thereafter, they began dating (she was Lindbergh’s first girlfriend). On May 27, 1929 they were married in her parents’ home in Englewood, New Jersey.

The Lindberghs tried, unsuccessfully, to lead a private and quiet life. They had hoped that by building their home in the isolated Sourland Mountains of New Jersey they would be left alone at last. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case.

On the evening of March 1, 1932 their first-born son, Charles Jr., was kidnapped from his second floor nursery. A ransom of $50,000 (about $750,000 of 2007’s dollars) was paid, but the Little Eaglet, as he was known, was not returned. Sadly, he was found dead in the woods, five miles from the Lindbergh’s home.

The New Jersey State Police were called in to investigate. Every lead, no matter how unlikely, was investigated. It was not until September 1934, however, that the police had their first real lead: a German immigrant carpenter had bought gas with a $10 Gold Certificate that was part of the ransom money. As luck would have it, the gas station attendant recorded the man’s license number on the edge of the bill. It should be noted that he did not do this because he was thinking it was Lindbergh ransom money. The United States had gone off the gold standard about a year prior and all of the gold certificates and coins in the country were recalled. The attendant was afraid the bank would no longer accept the gold currency, so he wanted a way to track down the customer and get his money.

The police traced the bill to Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German carpenter living in the Bronx. He was arrested and extradited to Flemington, New Jersey and on February 13, 1936 was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. A year later, on April 3, 1936 Richard Hauptmann was executed in Trenton, New Jersey.

The investigation that lead to Hauptmann’s arrest spanned two continents and involved not only the New Jersey State Police, but several hundred local police, the FBI and even Scotland Yard. Initially, the prime suspects were the domestic staff of both the Lindbergh’s home and the Morrow home in Englewood.

The Nanny
Many of the servants employed by the Lindberghs and Morrows were immigrants from Europe, several from Great Britain. Betty Gow was the “Little Lindy’s” nanny. She was born at 26 Polmadie Street in Glasgow, Scotland on February 12, 1904. Her mother was Isabella McLaglan. Her father, William Gordon Gow, was a baker. Betty was a member of the Govanhill Parish Church and she attended Wolseley Street and Haysfield Street public schools to the age of fourteen.

Betty worked as a sales girl in various stores in Glasgow. Her first job was as a dressmaker with Copland & Lyre, warehousemen, at 165 Sauchiehall Street. Six months later, she was working with the Kinning Park Co-Operative Society on Rutherglen Road as a cash girl. She left this job due to illness. Later, in 1923, she was employed by A.L. Scott, Boot Factors, on Argyle Street, first in the warehouse and later in their branch shop in Sauchiehall Street. She worked there for six years, quitting to move to America.

Betty immigrated to the United States on April 27, 1929 on the steamship Cameronia of the Anchor Line. She first came to Bogota, New Jersey where her brother, William, lived. Two days later she moved to Teaneck, New Jersey where she worked as a nanny for the Gibbs family. She then moved to Detroit where she was employed by the Adam Jackson family of Lakeweed Street. Mrs. Jackson was the sister-in-law of Betty’s brother William.

After leaving the employment of the Jackson family, she worked for a few days with the Ross Family and later for the Moser Family of Grosse Pointe before returning to New Jersey in October 1930.

Once back in New Jersey, she obtained work through the Lydia Lonquist Employment Agency with Mrs. Warren Sullivan of Englewood. She worked there for nine months before taking the position of nanny with the Lindbergh family in 1931.

Betty was the last person to see the baby alive. She had put him to bed around 7:30 pm and when she returned to check on him at 10:00, she discovered he was missing. Naturally, the police wanted to thoroughly investigate her. During her interrogations, they learned that she was dating a Norwegian sailor who jumped ship in March 1927. An illegal alien, Finn Henrik (Henry) Johnson managed to secure a job on Thomas Lamont’s yacht. In 1930, Betty was with the Lindbergh’s at their summer retreat in North Haven, Maine. It was while here that she met “Red” Johnson who was also in North Haven with the Lamont’s yacht.

Henry and Betty became prime suspects. Henry was arrested in Connecticut and interrogated and later released and he returned to Norway. Betty, too, was cleared of any compliance in the kidnapping by the New Jersey State Police. She continued in the employ of the Lindbergh’s, caring for their second child, Jon, who was born in August 1932.

After the trial of Richard Hauptmann, Betty Gow returned to Scotland and lived on Kings Park Avenue in Rutherglen, just outside Glasgow. She retired as a manager from the Ilene Adairs Dress Shop. She never married.

Betty died on July 16, 1996 at the Victoria Infirmary Annex in Glasgow at the age of 92.

The Butler and his Wife
Olly Whateley was born in Birmingham, England in 1885. He attended school up to the age of 15 when he took-up trade as a jeweler. He served his apprenticeship with Tandy & Sons of Birmingham and worked with them for 20 years.

From 1914 to 1918, Whateley was employed in the munitions plant in Birmingham. After the First World War, he went into business as a manufacturing jeweler and had his shop on Vyse Street in Birmingham. In 1926, he went to work for his brother-in-law, George Ward, who was the manager of Ward & Co Machine Shop on Dale Road.

In 1929, he left for the United States with his wife, Elsie, aboard the S.S. Scythia, arriving on March 12, 1930. Elsie was born in Birmingham on November 2, 1884. Like her future husband, she attended school to the age of 15 when she went into an office to work as a secretary. She did clerical work for six years and also took singing lessons for eight years.

While in the States, Olly was first employed by J.H. Potter of Mendham, New Jersey, as a butler. On October 15, 1930, he and Elsie obtained employment with the Lindberghs through the Hutchinson Employment Agency. The Whateleys acted as caretakers of Lindbergh’s estate in Hopewell, New Jersey during its construction. When the Lindberghs were in residence, the Whateleys took on the role of Butler and Housekeeper.

On May 23, 1933, Olly Whateley died in Princeton Hospital where he had undergone an operation for a perforated stomach ulcer. Just a few years later, Elsie would succumb to cancer.

Just a Scullery Maid
Violet Sharp was born on July 25, 1904 in Bradfield, England and later moved with her family to Beenham in Berkshire. Her brother James served with the First Royal Berks Regiment in Fyzabad (Dingapore), India. Violet and her sister, Emily, attended the Beenham School and Violet left there at age 14. In 1926 Violet went to work in London for Mr. Pearce Leigh in Gloucester Square, Paddington as a parlor maid.

Violet and Emily always had a desire to travel and they decided to move to Canada. Violet booked their trip at Canada House in London and they sailed from Southampton. They traveled Third Class to Quebec. From there, they continued on to Toronto.

Violet and Emily stayed at the Women’s Hostel on Carlton Street that was also a “servants agency.” Both obtained work through this hostel: Emily worked for Lady Kept of 7 Frank Road, Toronto, as a kitchen maid. She went by the name Edna Sharp while working there. Violet, meanwhile, went to work for a Mrs. Eaton of Island Avenue, Rosedale, Toronto, as a waitress. They both held their jobs for approximately three months.

On April 14, 1930 Violet entered the United States via Niagara Falls, New York as a quota immigrant. On May 13, 1930 she entered the employ of the Morrow Family in Englewood where she worked as a maid and became quite popular among the Morrow servants.

During the course of the investigation of the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case, the police interrogated all of the domestic servants. When it came time to question Violet Sharp, the police noticed suspicious behavior. It became obvious to the police that Violet was lying about her whereabouts on the night of March 1st. The police questioned her three times, and each time Violet would contradict her previous statements. Finally, on June 10th, 1932, the police called requesting a fourth interview. She agreed, but before they arrived, Violet had run upstairs to her room and drank silver polish – it contained cyanide. She died just a few minutes later.
This, of course, convinced the press (and the police, initially) that she was indeed involved - somehow - with the kidnapping. Further investigation by the police, however, revealed that she was not involved in any way that they could determine.

Her suicide became an international scandal. The Daily Mirror in England ran the headline Murder By Third Degree. On June 20, 1932, Brigadier General Clifton Brown, a Conservative MP from Newbury, rose in the House of Commons to address the issue of possible mistreatment of a British subject by the New Jersey State Police:

Is my Honourable Friend aware that the parents, owing to letters that they have had from their late daughter, are quite convinced that, owing to the methods of investigation that have been pursued, she committed suicide and that they are very anxious in the interests of justice that the whole case should be investigated?

We will never know for sure why Violet committed suicide. The police could find no tangible connection between her and the kidnapping. It is possible that she was hiding facts not about the kidnapping but about her personal lifestyle. It was learned that, while “unofficially engaged” to the Morrow Butler, Septimus Banks, she continued to see other men. The police discovered that rather than seeing a movie on the night of the kidnapping she had, in fact, gone to a roadhouse called The Peanut Grille. The most disturbing discovery was that she had been a spy for the New York Daily News, leaking confidential information about the Morrows and Lindberghs to a reporter named McKelvie. While the police dismissed this as petty, for Mrs. Morrow’s servants it was quite serious. Violet would almost definitely have been dismissed and she would have faced scorn and shunning by the other servants – her friends – who took their oath of loyalty to the family seriously.

Keeping Up Appearances
One staff member who took her position in the Morrow household seriously was Josephine “Jo” Graeme. Mrs. Roderick Cecil Henry Grimes-Graeme was Mrs. Morrow’s private secretary since November 1919 and she would represent Mrs. Morrow when she was not at home. She also had the responsibility of hiring and directing the duties of all of the household servants.
Her late husband had been with the British Civil Service in South Africa. She had two sons, Arthur David Grimes-Graeme, who was born in Transvaal, South Africa, and Cecil Grimes-Graeme who was born in England. Both of her children attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada and resided on Victoria Street.

Jo Graeme maintained an upper-middle class lifestyle. She earned a salary of $350 per month ($5250 in today’s dollars) and maintained an apartment on East 73rd Street in Manhattan for $125 per month ($1875.17). It was rumoured that the Morrow estate paid for the apartment and the college tuition of her two sons. However, there was no mention of her or her sons in Senator Morrow’s will.

Jo Graeme was not well liked by the servants who worked under her, many of them characterizing her as a high flyer and they accused her of taking kickbacks from local merchants when she placed orders for the Morrows. They possibly were jealous of her being so close with the Morrow family. Newspapers reported that she and her sons would, at times, attend social functions at the Morrow home. Joe was also a confidante of Anne Morrow before her wedding and later of Constance Morrow. In fact, Constance would occasionally spend time at Jo Graeme’s Manhattan apartment when she was in town.

Although the servants did what they could to discredit Jo Graeme, the FBI was more interested her two sons. When Colonel Lindbergh authorized the payment of the $50,000 ransom in St. Raymond’s Cemetery, he was given a note with instructions on where he could find his child. The note told him to look for a boat called “Nelly” near Martha’s Vineyard. It turns out that the Graeme family had often spent their summers at Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, not far from the spot where the ransom note directed Colonel Lindbergh to search for his son.

In addition, it was believed that because they had spent time in South Africa, the sons would have been able to fake the Germanic grammar and spelling that was found in the ransom notes. The FBI and the New Jersey State Police requested samples of their handwriting. When Jo Graeme learned of this, she protested to the British Embassy in New York. The Ambassador, in turn, warned the authorities that British subjects could not be questioned without approval of the Embassy. With a lack of evidence connecting the Graeme brothers with the kidnapping, the investigation was dropped.

The New Jersey State Police, the FBI and Scotland Yard investigated hundreds of suspects in both North America and Europe. All of the leads were dead-ends until the fateful day when the German carpenter from the Bronx decided to fill his gas tank. With the arrest of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the authorities focussed their resources on his investigation. While the police were still under the assumption that he was part of a gang, it was decided to prosecute him as the lone culprit. Any question of others being involved had to be pushed aside; the Prosecution needed a conviction – a conviction that would carry the death penalty.

The British suspects, as well as most of the other suspects in the Lindbergh Case, were simply ordinary people caught in an extraordinary situation. Usually, it is only the prominent family members that are remembered throughout history. But in 1932, a handful of household servants were elevated to the same level of notoriety and public interest as their wealthy employers.


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-----. Statement. April 13, 1932.

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-----. Obituary. May 24, 1933.