Posts Tagged ‘vincent mcneil’

“The Stoney Mountain Gang,” Kingston Daily Standard. September 4, 1912. Page 02.

The Stoney Mountain gang who came up for trial this spring and received nineteen years additional to their sentences for breaking jail, have not yet been restored to the confidence of the authorities at the Portsmouth Penitentiary, and as a result are still doing solitary confinement. The officials do not intend to take any chances, for the members of the gang, facing their long recently acquired sentences, would be willing to take any chance, however small, to escape. They are keeping very orderly during their present sojourn in the dungeons.

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“Stony Mountain Gang.” Kingston Daily Standard. June 29, 1912. Page 02.

The Stony Mountain gang are still finishing their time in the isolation ward at Portsmouth Penitentiary. So far they have been well behaved, and have given no cause for suspicion. McNeill is with the other prisoners in the yards, and although a special watch is being kept over him it is unlikely that it is really needed. McNeill, when not influenced, is harmless enough. Nevertheless, every precaution will be taken to see that another escape is not attempted.

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“The County Court,” Kingston Daily Standard. June 10, 1912. Page 01.

Five Convicts Who Attempted to Escape Will Be Tried.

Owing to be closely followed by the High court, there will be no civil cases tried at the jury sittings of the June Sessions of the County Court, which opens to-morrow at ten o’clock before Judge Madden of Napanee.

The five convicts who escaped from the penitentiary about a month go, will all come up for trial. Two other criminal cases will also be heard. The docket is as follows:

Walter Collins, assault; George Clough, horse poisoning.

Frank Jones and Vincent McNeil, escape and wounding.

Arthur Bonnar and George Brown, escape, bodily harm and assaulting an officer.

Henry Kelly, escape and bodily harm.

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“Mr. O’Leary Surprised,” Kingston Daily Standard. May 11, 1912. Page 04.

Has No Intention of Retiring from Deputy Wardenship.

Deputy Warden O’Leary told The Standard to-day that he was surprised to read in an Ottawa despatch yesterday to the effect that he was anxious to retire. He stated that he had no intention whatever of retiring. He reported that affairs at the penitentiary were ‘as fine as silk.’

The brave action of convict Fiveash, who was sent down from Toronto about three years ago for a fourteen-year term for a serious offence, and who attempted to stop the five convicts who recently escaped, has been reported to the Department of Justice, and it is likely that his sentence will be materially reduced. He is about 45 or 50 years of age.

Guard Davis and assistant farm instructor McCarthy, who were assaulted by the escaping convicts and severely injured, are improving, but are not yet able to resume their duties.

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“Investigation Has Concluded,” Kingston Daily Standard. May 10, 1912. Front Page.

Report From Ottawa Hints of Appointment of Mr. Hughes


It is Understood, According to the Despatch, That Both Have Asked Superannuation and Will Get It.

Ottawa, May 10 – The investigation into conditions at Portsmouth Penitentiary as the result of the recent escape of the five convicts, is concluded and the report will be submitted to the Minister of Justice next week.

It is, however, practically certain that Dr. Platt, Warden of the penitentiary, will soon be superannuated. He has already asked for leave of absence prior to retirement, but no action has been taken by the Minister of Justice.

Deputy Warden O’Leary will also, it is said, be retired. He has put in a good many years of service and is said to be anxious to retire.

Strong pressure is being brought upon the government to appoint Mr. Wm. Hughes, present chief clerk and accountant of the penitentiary, as the new warden. He has been for years one of the chief officers of the penitentiary and is declared to be one of the best disciplinarians in the institution.

It is well known that he is a brother of Hon. Sam Hughes, the Minister of Militia.

Investigation is Over.

J. Hackett Has Completed His Enquiry at the Penitentiary.

Mr. Hackett, of the Dept. of Justice, Ottawa, who has been here conducting an investigation into the recent escape of five convicts and of the attempted escape of Chartrand, the insane convict, completed his enquiry yesterday and returned to Ottawa to-day.

He will at once proceed with the preparation of his report, which will be submitted to the Minister of Justice at an early date.

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“Recommendation For Pardon,” Kingston Daily Standard. May 6, 1912. Page 06.

Action of Old Convict Will be Reported to Department.

As a result of the heroism of the old convict, attacked by McNeill, Brown, Williams, and the Mecums, when he attempted to give the alarm at the time of their escape from the Portsmouth Penitentiary, several days ago, matter will be reported to the Department of Justice, with a recommendation that he be pardoned. As the man is on a minor charge, the pardon will probably be granted. No one saw the attack upon him, but his story seem plausible enough to those who know the circumstances.

Warden Stewart confirmed the rumor to The Standard that the guards would be given revolvers as part of their necessary equipment.
“Would Release McRea,” Kingston Daily Standard. May 6, 1912. Page 06.

It Is Said That Effort Will Be Made to Free Aged Prisoner.

Ex-Reeve McRea of Cornwall, Ont., who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the McGee shooting affair, some time ago, is now nearly seventy years old, and it is reported that he cannot live many months longer in confinement. The death of his brother since his imprisonment, and other family afflictions and misfortunes have weighed heavily on the aged prisoner at Portsmouth.

It is also reported that McRea’s release will be asked by a monster petition to the Government.

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“Wanted To Kill Mr. O’Leary,” Kingston Whig Standard. May 2, 1912. Page 01.

That Was Part of the Escaping Convicts Plans.


How McNeill Enticed First One Guard and Then the Other to Their Undoing.

That McNeil and his four fellow convicts, the western outlaws, Bonner, Brown, Kelly and Jones, who made their escape from Portsmouth Penitentiary Monday forenoon only to be recaptured, had intended and hoped to kill Deputy Warden O’Leary during the course of their manoeuvres, is the opinion of many of the penitentiary authorities, judgment being based upon the attitude and mutterings of the prisoners. O’Leary, it will be remembered, was the officer in charge of the Stony Mountain gang when they attempted to escape at Toronto junction while being transferred to Kingston. It is the duty of the Deputy Warden and the chief keeper to inspect the isolation building every morning, and the quintette knowing this were awaiting their arrival.

Fortunately for the Deputy Warden the inspection was not made as early as usual on this particular morning or the gang might to-day be facing a murder charge.

As it was if O’Neil had had his way Davis and Madden would have been put out of the way. He suggested killing them, but his comrades persuaded him that they had everything to lose and nothing to gain by killing the guards, with whom they had no old scores to settle.

No Wire Pinchers.
Scout Talton who alone conducted the greater part of the chase, was greatly hindered by the fact that wire clippers were not included in his regulation equipment. He was held up for several minutes while in the act of cutting off the escaped prisoners by a long barbed wire fence extending almost to the Bath Road. He had to go around this whereas if he had had the clippers the chase would not have been fraught with the uncertainty which at one time characterized it.

Plenty of Language.
The prisoners both before their capture and after used most terrible language. Their operations in the isolation building were accompanied by oaths, low spoken, and when Scout Tatton was cut off by the barbed wire fence they wasted several minutes in jeering at and cursing him. Later when captured they cursed and while being searched for weapons, one of the number said to the official who was ordering the search: ‘If you say there are guns on me you’re a g—- d—- liar.’ He was quickly given to understand that his business was to keep quiet.

How They Did It.
It was McNeil who was the brains of the party. His plans were cleverly arranged.

Two guards are always together in the isolation building, and when one enters the inner department where the cells are, the other is supposed to remain in the corridor to give the alarm if there is trouble.

Davis entered the inner apartment to straighten things up as usual, and Madden remained in the corridor. While engaged in his work, Davis was called over to McNeill’s cell by the convict, who complained that something was wrong his bed. Davis entered the cell, stooped to look at the bed, and was promptly knocked senseless with a piece of iron McNeil had previously taken from his cot and secreted in his shoe.

McNeil taking the keys quickly unlocked the cells of his comrades and then went to the door, calling to Madden that Davis was very ill in his cell, and seemed to be in a fit and dying. Madden opened the door unsuspectingly and entered the cell. In the meantime the others had gathered and soon Madden was ‘sleeping’ beside Davis. Escape was then a matter of time.

Walked Ahead.
Another incident which should have been observed by the guards on the wall was the fact that, in the walk of 160 yards from the isolation building to the gate, the three uniformed convicts walked ahead of the other two. The rules of the penitentiary distinctly state that no guard is to walk ahead of convicts under escort, and a non-observance of the rule is to be reported.

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