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“A Killer Winks at Gory Crime,” LIFE. August 16, 1948. Page 30.

Newsreel records a brutal tale

In the fortnight beginning July 10 two subnormal young men named Robert Daniels and John West murdered six people in the state of Ohio. West killed a Columbus saloonkeeper, a farmer and a truck driver. Daniels shot down the family of John C. Niebel, the farm superintendent of a reformatory where both Daniels and West had served sentences. When police finally intercepted the slayers, West was killed but Daniels surrended. A few days later Sheriff Roy Shaffer (left), who captured him, interviews Daniels for Movietone News. In the dramatic film sequence (below) Killer Daniels repeated his confession, and, winking at the audience, boasted that he got his ‘share’ of the victim.

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“Riley Is Sentenced To Fifteen Years’ Term,” Toronto Globe. April 18, 1914. Page 04.

Driven To Crime, He Says, By Liquor – Will Never Touch It Again.

(Canadian Press Despatch.)
London, Ont., – April 17. – Thomas Riley, the railway brakeman, against whom a jury in the Assize Court last night returned a verdict of manslaughter in connection with the shooting of George Blackburn, a bartender at the Hotel Cecil, last October, was sentenced to fifteen years in Kingston penitentiary by Mr. Justice Kelly this morning. Before sentence was imposed, the prisoner made a statement in which he declared that he had been driven to the crime by drink, and vowed that he would never touch liquor again in his life.

Riley’s sixteen-year-old wife and her baby, his mother and stepfather who came from their home in Everton, Missouri, to attend the trial, were present to hear the sentence, and the two women broke down completely when they heard it. Riley showed no sign of emotion.

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“Fifteen Year Sentence For London Murderer,” Mail and Empire. April 18, 1914. Page 03.

Seventeen-Year-Old Wife And Three Months Old Baby In Court.

London, Ont., April 17. – Fifteen years was the sentence imposed by Justice Kelly, this afternoon, on Thomas Riley, Grand Trunk brakeman, whose home is in Wichita, Kan., for killing George Blackburn, bartender, last October, when the latter tried to put Riley out of the barroom. The pretty little seventeen-year-old wife of the prisoner, who came from Kansas with her three-months-old baby and her mother-in-law, to be present at the trial, tearfully caressed the prisoner and held their baby to him to be kissed before he started for the penitentiary at Portsmouth. Then she fainted and was carried out. In pleading for leniency, Riley said he was under the influence of liquor when he committed his crime. 

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“Bagnatto Sentenced To Fifteen Years,” Toronto Globe. April 2, 1917. Page 02.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., April 1. – After being out of two hours and thirty-five minutes, the jury trying the case against Pasquale Bagnatto, charged with the murder of Rocco Scaljo, his brother-in-law, in this city on the night of August 20, last, brought in a verdict last night of guilty on the lesser charge of manslaughter, with a recommendation to mercy.

Mr. Justice Sutherland imposed a sentence of fifteen years in Kingston Penitentiary. Throughout the trial, which lasted two days, the accused was represented by Attorney Uriah McFadden, while Peter White, K.C., Toronto, was Crown Prosecutor. The spring sittings of the High Court closed just a few minutes before midnight.

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“Murder Hunt Ends With One Suspect A Suicide, One Held,” Montreal Gazette. January 3, 1936. Page 06. 

Self-Confessed Killer of William Haynes Takes Own Life

Two Attempt Hold-Up

Armorer Slain by Bandits in Hearing of Two Witnesses – Police State Case is ‘Complete’

Named by police as the self-confessed murderer of William Haynes, 58-year-old-gunsmith, of 1221 City Hall avenue, Frank, alias William Schafer, 17, 4572 St. Urbain street, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital at 6.30 o`clock last night. He had been found in a northend filling station with a bullet wounded in his head: a note, police say, declared the wound self-inflicted and admitted the murder of Haynes.

A second man, Joe Abramovich, 17, of 266 Pine avenue east, is being held by police as a material witness for the inquest on Haynes’ death to be conducted this morning. The well-known armorer was shot to death by two bandits who attempted to rob him in his City Hall avenue shop early yesterday afternoon.

Inspector Armand Brodeau, head of the local detectives, stated last night that the bullet which killed Schafer was fired from one of two revolvers stolen from Haynes. The bullet, entering the right temple, passed though the head and emerged from the other side. Physicians at the hospitale stated that Schafer was brought to the institution unconscious and succumbed without recovering consciousness.

Detectives investigating the double shooting stated that robbery was the motive for the killing of Haynes. From what police could gather, Haynes gave up his life in defence of his property; two witnesses say they heard of the two gunmen in Haynes’ premises say: ‘Well, give it to him.’ Then they heard two revolver shots.  

Haynes, a brother of the gunsmith who was an expect Crown witness in the famous Delorme trial some years ago, succumbed a few minutes after receiving two bullet wounds, one shot being fired by each of the two gunman who held him up. The attempted robbery was unsuccessful. although the intruders escaped with a pair of revolvers.

Facts concerning the hold-up were given out last night by Inspector Brodeur. He said that the attempted robbery took place at 12.10 o’clock yesterday afternoon while Haynes was in his shop at the rear with his clerk, Rene Dagenais, and a customer, Philippe Demeule.

Pretended to be Clients
Two young men entered and one of them presented a revolver to Haynes, asking him if the weapon could be cleaned and repair. Haynes examined the firearm and answered in the affirmative. He was then asked to show some hunting knives or a catalogue. As he was getting the catalogue from a shelf, one of the young men drew a second revolver from his pocket and ordered Haynes to ‘hold up your hands and walk to the back.’

Haynes obeyed. As the trio passed into the shop at the rear of the office, the gunmen found Dagenais and Demeule sitting there talking. Keeping all three covered with a revolver, one of the intruders ordered his companion to tie Demeule and Dagenais hand and foot and to leave them upon their chairs. Then the pair passed further into the shop, with Haynes, and beyond the sight of the prisoners.

What happened at the far end of the shop Demeule and Dagenais were unable to tell the detectives. But Inspector Brodeur stated last night that he believed that some order had been given Haynes, probably that of opening his safe and handing over his money, and that Haynes refused.

Dagenais and Demeule said that they had heard the sound of voices and then one of the gunmen had said to his companion: “Well, let him have it.’ They then heard two shots and immediately the pair hurried out towards the front door. The witnesses noted that they had helped themselves to a revolver, each as they went out.

Tearing at their knots until their hands were badly bruised, Dagenais and Demeule managed to free themselves from their bonds. Demeule was the first to get free: he rain into the street, where he saw the two men running northwards. He got help from two ice dealers who were passing, and reported to Constable Cardinal, of the traffic squad, who was on point duty at St. Lawrence boulevard and Dorchester street.

The chase began and a passing taxicab was summoned to aid. At St. Catherine and St. Lawrence the pair parted one man turning west and the other continuing on toward Demontigny street. The constable decided to chase this latter and at the corner of Demontigny and St. Lawrence the fugitive was overtaken.

Gun Found on Fugitive
As Constable Cardinal jumped at him the fugitive put his hand into his pocket as if to draw a weapon. But before he could pull out any weapon Demeule, who had stuck close to the constable dealt the suspect a blow with his fist and knocked him down. In an instant the constable had searched the suspect and had found a revolver of .38 calibre from which it was seen one shot had been recently discharged.

The prisoner was taken to police headquarters where both Demeule and Dagenais are said to have identified him as one of the pair who had held up and shot Haynes. The suspect gave his name as Joe Abramovitch, 17 years of age, of 260 Pine avenue east. He denied, however, any knowledge of the affair and declined to say anything about the second man. He was placed in the cells and detained as a material witness for the coroner’s inquest.

At 4.50 o’clock yesterday afternoon the police were called to the gasoline station of the Shell Oil Company at the corner of Laurier avenue and Hutchison street for an attempted suicide. A man had been found in the rest room of the station suffering from a bullet wound in the head. It had been fired from the right side and had pierced the brain, but the victim still lived.

Suicide Left Letter.
The police radio crew responded to the call and found a revolver on the floor beside the victim. They also claim to have found a letter and this was later examined by the detectives who arrived at the scene. In this letter police claim that there were admissions to the hold-up at Haynes’ premises and the shooting. According to Inspector Brodeur, the letter was signed by William Schafer and stated that he wished to die because he ‘did not want to disgrace his family by becoming a convict.’

A second revolver, allegedly belonging to Schafer, was found by the police in the basin of the washroom. Examination of the weapon by detectives showed that it was of .38 calibre and that one bullet had been fired. 

The police said the statements in the letter were sufficiently complete to enable them to close the case. The full contents of the letter were not divulged by the detectives.

Lieut.-Detective Francoeur and Sergeant-Detective Fitzpatrick, of the homicide squad, were summoned and found that Dagenais and Demeule, who were in Haynes’ premises during the shooting, had summoned a doctor. He examined Haynes and pronounced him dead from two bullet wounds. One of them struck the head and the other his chest near the heart. The body was removed to the morgue.

Then Lieut.-Detective Bourdon, and Sergeant-Detectives Dumais, Guerin and Bond, of the hold-up squad, were assigned to the case by Inspector Brodeur, who had himself visited the scene. At the time a search was instituted for the youth who escaped; it came to an end when news came of the attempted suicide and the discovery of the letter.

Attendants at the gasoline station told police that they had noticed Schafer as he walked to the station and had seen him go into the rest room. They had not noticed whether he had an automobile or not. A few minutes later they heard a shot and ran to the rest room, where they found him unconscious on the floor. He was bleeding from a wound in the head. They at once called the police. 

When Schafer died at the hospital last night the detectives had the body removed to the morgue for inquest.

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“Murder and Manslaughter,” Kingston Whig-Standard. February 25, 1933. Page 03.

An informational on the difference between murder and manslaughter in the Criminal Code of Canada, c. 1930.

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“La Cinquime Victime Est Morte; Le Drame De Sainte-Perpetue,” Le Petit Journal. January 29, 1933. Page 01.

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“La technocratie serait  le règne des ingénieurs / Le negre assassin avait deja commis deux attentats,” Le Petit Journal. January 29, 1933. Page 05.

A story about the glory of technocracy – very popular in Québec at the time – and a murder story about Lloyd Price.

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